Patti Soldavini

Wild Kingdom

In Uncategorized on 01/12/2011 at 7:52 pm

As I sit down to write tonight, Olive leaps over me like a champion reindeer to curl up on the couch directly behind me. Just moments after revealing that the missing fleece sock I spent the past few minutes looking for is not in my bedroom where it should be, but laying in a corner in the living room looking “dead” if that is at all possible. (Her head is jammed into my back as I write this). The TV is on and Olive will remain vaguely disinterested in it until she hears or sees a dog on screen. Then, she will leap off the couch with the energy of an errant spring that’s suddenly popped, approach the TV with her metronome tail wagging furiously, waiting for a chance to formally “greet” the pooch on TV. She’ll start to sniff the TV screen in the approximate direction of the dog’s uniquely aromatic rump and I begin praying that she doesn’t decide to jump up and rake her nails across the screen in an alpha attempt to mount the pixilated pooch. Olive is about 55 pounds now and it’s 55 pounds of pure muscle and bone. When she slams into something, it’s like being hit by an NFL-branded sack of wet cement. The only thing funnier than watching this half-reality/half virtual interaction is watching the expressions on her face and her ears when she’s bearing witness to warfare in the animal kingdom. “GRUNT. BARK. (DROOL) SQUEAL. (BITE) YELP. BARK, BARK. GROWL.” As the animals begin tearing into each other, Olive’s bright, captivating amber eyes completely dilate, her lips curls ever so slightly, revealing a few bottom teeth and you can actually watch her emotions cascade across her ears. Their rapid, but subtle micro movements convey a complex mix of curiosity, fear and disgust all once. Meryl Streep would be impressed. I think it’s the equivalent of rubbernecking past an accident on the highway. Olive is repulsed but feels compelled to watch. Besides, she has to be on high alert just in case the animals pounce into our living room. I’m so glad I didn’t let anyone talk me out of getting a Weim. I love Olive’s intelligence, her energy and her goofy sense of humor. “OLIVE, WHERE THE HELL IS MY SWEATSHIRT?”

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