Patti Soldavini

The Barkerista

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2010 at 4:13 am

One morning last week, I decided to invite Olive into the bathroom while I showered in an attempt to keep her from barking non-stop from inside her well-appointed 48 inch crate which is so large, I call it “circus size,” as it looks like it could contain a miniature Bengal Tiger.  Mind you, I love showers but perhaps like my dog, have an undiagnosed case of ADHD so I’m out of the shower within 10 minutes. But 10 uninterrupted minutes of listening to Olive’s plaintive barks, howls and wails is enough to unravel the tranquil state of mind of even a Buddhist monk.

Somewhere in the first few invigorating minutes of my shower, Olive starts barking. I pull back the shower curtain to reveal to her, that yes, I am in fact right here, mere inches from you, so this can’t possibly be a separation anxiety issue. She sits on the terra cotta-colored bathroom rug at militaristic attention with a penetrating look on her naturally inquisitive face. And barks. Again. And again. Without wavering a European millimeter from her stance. She is, to the best of her canine abilities, doing an impersonation of a greek statue right now. Okay, I think, this may be serious. As in, this seems like it could be what they call in dog training books, an “elimination signal.”

I try staring her down. It doesn’t work. (She actually has a longer attention span than I do.) She barks again. Soaking wet, my hair matted to my head like a wet skunk, I get out of the shower and put on my fleece buttercream-colored bathrobe. For a second, Olive gives me an odd look, but I think I must be crazy, I must have imagined that kooky glint in her eye. She seems a little too animated as we walk outside into the yard.

Olive has already displayed an unusual talent for creating situations where others quickly become vulnerable prey. Suddenly, with no further warning, she leaps at me, again and again, biting at my bathrobe with maniacal abandon. Two thoughts race through my mind. One, within 30 seconds, she is going to completely disrobe me in my own backyard. Two, now I get it. When I put the bathrobe on, I became nothing more than a giant plush toy to her.

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