Patti Soldavini

Monster

In Uncategorized on 12/30/2010 at 7:32 am

In just 72 hours, I have created a monster. From the day I brought Olive home, I was as vigilant as a border guard during all aspects of her training to teach her that jumping onto the couches and climbing to their microfiber apex was not permitted. NEIN!

So, on a particularly frigid evening a few nights ago, feeling sorry for Olive as she lay peacefully curled up like a grey-brown fawn on her expensive fire engine red (how appropriate for a Weimaraner) donut bed from Orvis, I allowed my 8-month old mostly-well-trained pooch to join me on the couch.

She quickly made herself very comfortable, first walking around in tiny half moons before settling down at the far end all curled up, with her head propped up on the cheap faux-suede orange pillow from Kohl’s so she could watch TV. I kid you not. I think the TV screen is so big (51”) that she thinks that whatever’s on it represents something actually happening in our living room.

Then, slowly, as if sneaking up on some oblivious, small-brained prey, she oh-so-casually advances, finally sidling up beside me. Of course, she’s taken the inside track, so when she feels she’s gotten close enough—when her head is resting on my neck—she stretches her body out as far as possible, like a canine version of Nadia Comaneci. And sleeps. And snores. Quietly. She sleeps so soundly, so quickly that if I try to gently pry open her eyes, she could care less. They stay sealed as though they have been sewn shut. Since her eyelashes are the same color as her fur, she actually resembles a stuffed animal whose eyes have been stolen by some chew-happy dog.

All is fine until we get up to retire for the evening; me in my bed, her adjacent to my bed in the well-appointed but stinky crate she loves. And then it begins. Barking, kvetching, crying, trilling, even keening like a widow at an Irish wake. This is the first time she’s behaved like this, so I have to assume, that a) she’d prefer to stay on the even softer couch, b) she’d prefer to stay on the couch next to me, or c) she’s just pissed that I awakened her from her couch potato slumber. The barking and trilling goes on for about 10 minutes. Telling her to “be quiet” with calm, assertive energy has zero impact. Impatient, I switch gears and try yelling instead. “BE QUIET, BE QUIET, BE QUIET.” My pleas go ignored. At my wits end, I do the next most human-logical thing; I try to reason with her, “Olive, if you continue to behave this way, you will no longer be allowed to stay on the couch.” And for added emphasis, I pile on the rhetorical, “DO YOU UNDERSTAND ME?” Of course, the problem with all these approaches is tri-fold. A) she is not a child, B) she is not human and C) she doesn’t speak English.

Optimist that I am, I delusionally figure that this might be a one-time thing. Three times in a row. Now, during daylight hours, I find her walking across the top of the couch and love seat as if she’s scaling Mount Everest.

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  1. Is the translation for Weimeraners “Mountain Goat?”

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