Jacques after his haircut. Can you tell the difference?
I had this idea that Jacques should have a regulation coat, a hard outer coat and a soft undercoat. He’s a country dog and that hard outer coast sheds water and dirt, while the soft undercoat provides insulation. The thing is, shampoo softens the coat. You just have to let the harsh coat grow out. As you can see, I was there.
Then I had to leave him with the dog sitter. When Julien brought him back he said look, we gave him a bath! So, okay, a lot of people in the States don’t get it either. And maybe it’s just as well. Much of the time he’s a city dog and besides, he looks pretty cute in his pupwear.
Do you see all those rugs and all behind him? We are trying to keep the floor covered. Jacques loves his TV shows.
The rest of the time, he plays with his treat pyramid.
This is the greatest toy ever. You put the treats in little holes in the pyramid. It’s like a treat ball, except that the treat ball constantly rolled under furniture. I was constantly having to exercise myself, horrors, crawling around looking for the thing, then fishing it out from under the sofa or wherever. The pyramid does not roll. It stays where Jacques can get at it. It can take him half an hour to get half a dozen treats out. I love that.
If Jacques has noticed that the streets are relatively empty, he hasn’t let on.
The Paris attacks just made everybody angry. Now, after the Brussels and Pakistan attacks, people are rattled. They are staying home. I have read that tourism is down and it may be. I don’t spend much time in tourist areas, so I can’t tell.
I can tell you that when I went out for groceries yesterday, things were different. Cars left in odd locations — you have seen those scofflaws, leaving their hazard lights blinking while they run in for “just a minute” — are being ticketed. Paris has meter maids? Who knew? Though really, does a guy leaving a car bomb care if he gets a ticket? Camouflage-clad soldiers — sort of, though everyone outside the military knows that city camouflage is not some tan/sage/gray patchwork but solid black — used to be positioned outside synagogues on holy days, that kind of thing. Yesterday I found a pair outside a Metro stop. I see police on the Metro now, not the guys checking to see that you have paid the fare, real cops. My store had private security with muzzled dogs — bomb dogs? They don’t patrol, so what are they doing? — outside. Heading inside, instead of waving a wand vaguely in my direction, the guys really checked, even made me show them that my suspiciously bulging pocket contained only a pair of gloves. Police and security people used to be a bit of a joke, wandering around in groups, mostly paying attention to each other. Now I am more likely to see them in pairs, actually vigilant, doing their jobs. No surprise, neither playgrounds nor restaurants are seeing much action.
It’s a bad time out there. Better to stay in and watch Jacques dance in front of the TV.