This is the second part to my last post on, ” Pascal, all season dog”- the “all season” meaning, no matter what the season, Pascal will have a reason not to walk. His most-used, weather related excuse is the wind. The wind is a great one because he can count on it to be around no matter what the season. It’s definitely his most reliable source, followed by summer’s heat and winter’s cold . Fall and Spring are always good for wind, and the few days that are left free from the elements are, believe it or not, actually good for walks! We have even had some very good walks on those days. But it’s the days, the ones that actually have “weather,” where the problem occurs, and it’s of those days that I write.
Assume for this post that it is a typical windy day- ( I’m choosing windy, since those are our most prevalent encounters, but the things I’m about to describe here occur equally as much on any weather-related day.) I also should state that “wind” for Pascal can be anything from high velocity, sway trees, , shake leaves off branches, to the slightest puff of a breeze- anything that can be even remotely experienced as air moving-
So——I left off in my last post, where we’ve gotten out of the car, Pascal has chosen a few “lucky” bushes to water, and now he’s ready to walk. He takes off, quickly- eagerly, ahead of me. For a few fleeting seconds, following him, walking as fast as I can, I think, could it be that he doesn’t notice the wind~ or maybe, finally he just doesn’t care?~ No sooner have those thoughts crossed my mind than I notice that, while still out in front of me, he has started hopping with one back leg raised every other step, so that it looks like he is either skipping or has a seriously hurt leg. By now we have almost walked/hopped, to the end of the first block. As we approach the corner I notice he has slowed down and is no longer pulling in front of me, but instead, has fallen behind and is walking so close to the back of my leg, ( I think he’s walking in my footprints- ) that if I were to suddenly stop, he’d crash right into me. I realize then, he’s using me as a wind-break; actually pretty clever! Apparently walking in my footprints doesn’t offer enough protection-
The tension on the leash has shifted from him pulling me, to me pulling him. This is only good for four or five steps. I know what’s coming next, and it’s more than just reaching the end of the block. A sudden sharp tug stops me mid step and I know it’s happened. I turn around and let my eyes roll down the leash until they meet Pascal’s- (He has seated himself firmly in the middle of the sidewalk and is staring up at me,) “What is it, bud? Come on, let’s go!” I try to muster as much enthusiasm into my voice as possible. He looks at me a few seconds, then looks away, but doesn’t budge. “Come on Pascal. We’re almost there! Let’s go see-” I plead, giving the leash a little tug. Nothing happens. He’s dropped anchor. I know once we’ve reached this point, I can tug on the leash and cajole him forever, he’s not going to budge. I’m left with only one alternative-
I bend down and scoop him into my arms saying, ” You need a little jump-start, do you? O.k, I’ll carry you, but just for a little bit-” I carry him half of the block until his 18lbs. feel more like 100 lbs. “That’s it, bud,” I say, setting his 4 feet firmly on the sidewalk. He immediately sits down- “I can’t carry you any more. Time to walk. We’re almost there!” I say “heel,” give a little tug on the leash and start to walk forward- only to have the leash slacken when I reached its end.
I turn around and face him again. He’s still sitting there, but refuses to look at me. He knows I’m not pleased with him. As I talk he looks off in one direction, then turns his head to look in the other direction- anything but look at me. Finally I decide this is definitely not a day to be going for a walk- (not with Pascal, anyway.) “O.k!” I say. “Fine. Let’s go home!”I turn around and before I can say “heel,” Pascal is off, once again in the lead, pulling me! He holds his head high and moves quickly, prancing with polished Bedlington grace.
“Slow down!” I yell after him, as I chase his wagging tail–
straight into the wind–
the entire length of the block back to the car—–!
“Good walk, Pascal!” I say, trying to catch my breath. He looks up at me as I strap him into his seat belt for the ride home and in his eyes I see a peaceful sense of calm- That had to be a sign of agreement!