A New Year~ A New Pascal Story~ Nice Job, Pascal!

~*~ For some reason, the large photos at the beginning of my posts are getting distorted. Until I can resolve the problem, if you click on the photo, you will see it the way it is supposed to be. ~*~

To really get 2011 off to a good start, I think a new Pascal story is in order~  Though he turned eleven in July, (4th,)  Pascal hasn’t lost any of his funny quirks; if anything, he’s been busy adding new ones & refining the old ones.  Last night was a perfect example of a classic “Pascal” maneuver~

Every night, I prepare his dinner when I prepare mine, so we both eat dinner at the same time. He eats very slowly for a dog, but being a slow-eater myself, he always finishes eating before I do. Every night as soon as he’s finished his dinner, he comes over to where I’m sitting at the table to let me know he’s finished so I can wipe his face- ( I discovered early-on  that he really likes to be clean, so if I don’t wipe his face when he’s finished eating, he’ll wipe it himself- by running his chin along the cushion of the couch!)  Once I’ve cleaned his face I finish my dinner while he sits on the floor at my feet,  patiently waiting for me to finish eating.

Because he’s always been such a “picky” eater I have to have something I can use as a bribe to make sure he eats his dinner,   as  his medicine is mixed into his food. Once I’ve finished eating, I take both of our plates into the kitchen & if he’s eaten, give him a treat to eat in the other room while I wash dishes. Normally his treat is potato, but occasionally I’ll give him a small dish of sherbet,  which is what I usually eat while I do dishes, however he doesn’t usually see me, because he’s in the other room eating his potato.                                          

Last night I brought him his potato & went back to the kitchen to wash dishes. I had taken sherbet out of the freezer but hadn’t put it into a dish yet. Standing at the sink while it filled with water, I had the feeling that I wasn’t alone.  I turned around, and guess who was standing there staring at me?  “What are you doing?” I asked. I had just given him his potato, he couldn’t possibly have finished it! He continued to stare at me. I thought maybe he needed to go out,  so I asked~  No- that wasn’t it. He wouldn’t follow me to the door. He just stood where he was, not moving . I walked into the dining room where I had given him his potato.

At first I didn’t  see his dish where I had left it. I walked closer to take a better look. Nope! No dish. No potato! BUT I saw the plastic bag that I lay under his cloth placemat,  & his placemat-  both were pushed way back under the wooden stand that holds his water dish, carefully arranged in a lump-  over the dish with his potato in it! He had done a great job! He hadn’t left one bit of dish sticking out from underneath the placemat & plastic bag!  I lifted the placemat. There was the dish with his potato-  completely untouched!

While I was in the dining room looking for his dish,  Pascal sat totally still in the kitchen. He hadn’t budged-  I knew what this trick was about, he’d done it before,  but I pretended that I didn’t. With his dish in my hands,  I walked up to him & said,  ” No potato tonight, huh? What do you want?”  He stared at me~ “What, Pascal?  Show me what you want! Do you want ice cream?”  Suddenly the statue broke it’s silent stance! He  stood up,  tail wagging in circles excitedly-  I showed the carton of ice cream  to him and asked,  “This? Is this what you want?” I got a chorus of barks & a fanfare of tail wags. Clearly, I was on to something-  something good!

Pascal got a small dish of ice cream~  and oh! Life was good!

Nice job, Pascal!

Pascal; All Season Dog~ Fall

Fall Hat

Perhaps you are wondering as I am, where the time has gone~ It’s so hard to believe that Christmas will be here in a few weeks. It was just summer! Since we seem to be flying through the seasons, and I’ve been too busy to write until now,  I apologize for being a season behind in my Pascal stories. You may remember a story I posted in July titled, PASCAL; All Season Dog~ “all season dog” meaning, in Pascal’s case, no matter what season, he’ll find an excuse to NOT walk!  If you are wondering about the  photo above, I placed that large leaf on Pascal’s head one day while we were at the park to show him that leaves don’t bite; they’re really not scary things! Even more puzzled? Read on……..

I love fall. It’s my favorite season. I love the way the air is crisp and seasoned with the delicious scent of smoke-curls wafting from rooftop chimneys. I always look forward to our walks in the fall and I was eagerly looking forward to the many fall walks we were about to be taking.

If you were to ask Pascal, I’m sure he would tell you that our walks for the first part of fall were wonderful. The temperatures were perfect for brisk walking and there weren’t many days that were windy. We had great walks down to Heather Farms where we could watch the daily  changes in leaf color- or I could. I brought my camera and stopped in awe every few steps, to take a picture. Pascal thought that was great because it meant that he could stop and sniff around while I took pictures- one of his favorite outside occupations. He was as ecstatic with this freedom as I was with the potential to “preserve” every minute shade of the color spectrum. Our walks were mutually wonderful~ until about mid-way through fall-

One day  Pathway to Fall 11/2009

we started walking down the sidewalk, and guess what happened? The leaves were  falling off their branches and were headed straight for US!! Yikes!!!  All of a sudden Pascal  darted  in front of me, straight out to my side.   I almost tripped over him. They were  coming to get us, those beautiful leaves!

Our walks became difficult. Pascal was convinced that we were under attack. There were a couple of really bad days. It got windy and the leaves became really aggressive-  and what was wrong with me, Pascal wondered as he sat down in the middle of the sidewalk with leaves shooting down all around him. Didn’t I see what was happening? How could I be so stupid as to consider walking at such a time. I called him towards me to make him continue walking, and gave a little tug on his leash. That only convinced him that I had become just plain lame and needed a more powerful message or we were both going to become victims of this ruthless assault from the sky- My second tug on the leash made him budge! He stood, turned around  so that his back was towards me and,  with all 18 lbs. of his little body tugged hard in the direction of the car. O.k~ I got it!

For the next two days I didn’t even try to go walking. The morning of the third day was sunny, warm, & perfectly calm. Great! A wonderful day for a walk. Surely the leaves must be off the trees now.  “Let’s go! I said, standing at the door with his leash in my hand. He came bounding to the door; unusual for Pascal- for a walk. He wiggled excitedly as I fastened his harness. All right, I thought. Two days without a walk. Now he really wants to go. I felt excited too. This was going to be a good one. I could feel it!

I just barely got him out of his car-seatbelt and he was off and running down the sidewalk, pulling me behind him.  This lasted just long enough to get us partway down the  block. Then he abruptly slowed to a walk. It was such a beautiful morning. The sky was sparkling blue and not a single leaf was falling.  They were lying in scattered  piles that covered the sidewalk. Like always when I bring my camera, I was looking  for the “perfect shot” and not paying much attention to Pascal.

As we continued down the sidewalk  I became aware of erratic little tugs from the other end of the leash. With the next tug I looked down at Pascal and saw one hind leg raised high in an attempt to hop over a leaf. I kept watching as we walked and when I saw what he was doing, I couldn’t keep from laughing. First it was one leg up high, &  then another. If he had been able to figure out how to do it, I’m certain he would have very quickly been airborn. As it was, he was doing what looked like a complicated jig down the length of the sidewalk, trying to avoid stepping on those evil leaves! Oh Fall, you most perfect of seasons, whatever has happened to you?

Looking out the window at the 5:00 darkness moving in to blanket bare tree limbs, I’m reminded that it’s Winter now! Somehow we made it through Fall! We actually survived our walks!  Now, I have a feeling, we are about to see how we fare with Winter. It snowed last night. It almost NEVER snows here-  We didn’t walk this morning. My decision. Too cold!  Hmmmm~!