Pao is exceptionally nervous when there are high winds outside. Unlike other sounds (like his sister barking next door) he doesn’t bark. But he can’t settle down. He scratches on the living room door (we are waiting for the handy man to come by for a fix) and very annoyingly he climbs over me when I go to bed, trying to climb on the bed table so he can see what’s going on out the window. It was another very nerve-wracking night.
During the day it’s usually not awful. Mostly he just hangs around close to wherever I am instead of lying down and going to sleep. As I’m writing this he standing under the desk with his head popped out right next to me (see last photo).
Today though, I was out grocery shopping for a long time and came back to utter havoc.
I decided to walk a few miles to the Kojima pet store south of Shinkoiwa station. I was looking for some new dog shampoo because Pao was rolling in the grass the day before yesterday and got smelly. I gave him a shower but that didn’t help perfectly. So I was looking for something better. Unfortunately Kojima was still closed by the time I got there (they open at 11 am – why do stores in Japan open so late?).
I did some grocery shopping on the way back and was greeted by this. Pao had knocked over the coat rack in the genkan. I didn’t see Pao though. I sighed, put my groceries down, and put it all together again. I still didn’t see Pao though. At least he left the stuff on the coat rack alone.
I went into my office and saw that Pao had, for the very first time, knocked down the cork board I had blocking the router and network stuff, and also knocked down the Internet phone hookup device next to the router. Fortunately he left those alone afterwards as well and didn’t start messing with the cords. WiFi and phone service were fine. Still no sign of Pao though.
To the right of my desk, Pao had also managed to tip over my backpack (also a first), and knocked various things off of my desk. Still no sign of Pao. And, fortunately, he didn’t start pulling things out of my backpack to destroy them. So I just picked it all up and got the bag of groceries from the genkan and went to bring them into the kitchen to store away.
Then I found Pao! He was sticking his head out of the living room! That’s no-no land for him because it still hasn’t been Pao-proofed. I don’t know how he got in. I took a glance around, but the room itself (no photos to share) already looks like chaos, so it would be hard to tell. I put him out of the room and made sure the siding door was shut. He didn’t want to leave – here he is between my legs as I’m trying to shuffle him along.
Then I went to the kitchen and was putting stuff away when I heard the distinct sound of the living room door sliding open. Pao had somehow figured out how to open the door! I couldn’t believe it. Also a first. Today was a day of many firsts.
Lately, as I mentioned, he’s been digging deeper into the door at night. I’m trying get the handyman to come over and fix it, but he hasn’t had time yet. The door looks awful, I know. In the meantime, I blocked it with a chair from the dining room.
Determined to have lunch before taking Pao for a walk, I made a healthy salad. Pao was too nervous to eat snacks I tried to give him. Instead he sat really close to me and rested his head on my lap. I know he calms down when he hears Gordon Lightfoot, so I started playing “If you could read my mind” for him and he sort of relaxed. It was a complete coincidence that sitting there I heard about Gordon Lightfoot passing away today, so I was feeling very nostalgic, yet grateful that Pao liked him enough to calm down somewhat.
After lunch, I took Pao for a walk along the river. It’s a nice day – not cold, not hot, shirtsleeve weather – but noticeably high winds.
And, as mentioned above, while writing this Pao has been under my desk the whole time, with his head popped out, just sitting or standing there. A bit smelly because I need some new shampoo for him. But at least he’s quiet.
Some days I feel incredibly stressed by Pao. I’ve never once felt that he is a stress reliever. Yet, somehow, for some reason, with all the chaos in the house this afternoon I didn’t feel especially bothered by it. His not barking, and he looked stressed, and his needing to be close maybe affected my feelings about all that went on.
If you could read my mind, Pao, what a tale my thoughts could tell.