Patti Soldavini


In Uncategorized on 12/30/2010 at 4:14 am

Yesterday morning, as I started to awaken, I could hear Olive inside her crate whining. Not a loud insistent whining, mind you, but a low, intermittent kvetching. Sort of like an idealized Disney Princess, pseudo-whimpering for attention. Or so I thought. “Go back to sleep,” I barked. I need another 10 minutes to shake off the fog that still envelops my brain. It is now about 6:30am. The kvetching continues, low and still intermittently like worn windshield wipers that struggle to keep time. So, now I make the fatal mistake of doing what I do every morning. Get up, quickly restore the comforter to its pre-slumber state, get dressed, open Olive’s crate door, say “Good morning Olive,” and head for the bathroom. Except, this time, unlike any other morning, I close the bedroom door behind me. I march toward the bathroom in a semi-tranquil state of mind, having no clue about the train wreck destined to occur in just a few moments.

I open the bedroom door and there is my little “grey mouse.” Perched regally on top of my bed like a giant chrome hood ornament. Peeing. I stand there, slack jawed like a stupid human, my brain unable to process what my eyes are seeing. “BAD, BAD, BAD,” I yell as I reach for Olive and she frantically scrambles for cover. There is now a wet stain winding its way across the comforter, settling into the nooks and crannies as though the Hoover Dam had burst and was trickling out about 1,000 miles from the epicenter of the disaster.

This is how my day started. I was alternately furious with myself for having ignored the obvious signal – the kvetching – and discouraged that this spectacular display came on the heels of literally months of not soiling anything inside the house. Maybe she couldn’t take the pressure of a perfect record. Thank God, it didn’t seep through to the mattress.

I wondered, did Olive have any idea her trainer was coming to the house today for a private lesson? Was this morning’s performance a foreshadowing of what was to come during Olive’s in-home tutoring session? To the point, was I about to throw $85 in the toilet today?

And then, she surprises me. The trainer arrives and Olive dutifully sits when greeting her – and I haven’t even taught her that yet. (I still haven’t figured out how to “quiet” lightning in a bottle.) Olive also has only a nano-understanding of the concept of “stay” right now. She performs admirably in front of the trainer, once again, defying expectations. Sit, down, sit, down, come. Perfect. Then, in a display of her unquenching desire to please, and perform coupled with her natural slap-happy exuberance, she hurls herself up the stairs and almost kills herself. She holds up her back leg and I’m freaking out afraid she’s snapped a bone. The trainer instructs me to put ice on her leg and we sit there on the landing (aptly named, although Olive confuses it with a “launching pad”) a few minutes while the trainer holds Olive still and I wrap the ice pack around her leg.

The trainer was going to show me how to get Olive interested in the treadmill, but not today. Today, we will focus on the hound’s predilection for “dog singing,” meaning barking. But, that’s another story. :>)


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