Patti Soldavini

Little Miss Brown Nose

In Uncategorized on 03/06/2011 at 6:54 pm

Olive hates the rain. She hates it so much that she won’t even stay out long enough to go potty. She runs around, shaking herself off every few minutes. When she shakes, her entire body ripples with energy. It picks up velocity as it rockets from her head to her tail, finally spraying thousands of droplets behind her like a machine gun. Just as it looks like she is considering the possibility of dropping her dinner, she runs toward me to seek shelter under my Pantone Palace Blue umbrella. “GO POTTY,” I say a bit too loudly and impatiently. She runs off, shakes, runs some more and then heads straight back to the umbrella. This happens a few more times before I realize that she must not have to go that badly. Either that or she’s willing to defer her urge until it stops raining. I think that mostly she doesn’t like the sensation of the raindrops hitting her. Maybe she thinks the sky is falling. (Although in a way, it is.) She acts like she’s being pummeled by tiny cluster bombs being dropped by the Red Baron (who happened to be German, like Olive, so that makes no sense).

And yet, this is the same pooch who in the Summer frolicked in her wading pool bobbing for her ball and nylabone like a 5 year-old bobbing for apples at her first Halloween party. I tossed the ball into the pool. She ran circles around it like a billiards hustler eyeballing his next shot. The first few times she used her paw to drag the ball to the side until it was close enough to grab with her mouth. That was easy. The nylabone was a different story. It didn’t float. With her graceful but thumbless paw she tried dragging it across the pool and up the side. It was like watching a three-fingered blind man trying to pick up jello. However, she did succeed in getting it out this way. But you could tell by the displeasure on her face along with a symphony of associated little grunts and snorts that this was VERY inefficient. Way too much work and disgustingly inelegant.

As an intellectual challenge to my little canine brainiac, I fill the pool just a little more. Then I toss the bone back in. Olive stares at it deeply, immediately understanding the scope of the challenge. It is submerged in about 4 inches of water now. It might as well be the Titantic lying at the bottom of the ocean. I can see the wheels in her brain spinning. “HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO GET THIS?” But what you don’t see is the end of this thought… “WITHOUT SUBMERGING MY LITTLE BROWN NOSE UNDER THE WATER!” I intrinsically understood that this was the LAST thing she wanted to have to do. ANYTHING not to have to submerge her nose underwater. She ponders the dilemma for about 15 seconds and then literally “tests the water.” She’s trying to determine just how far a plunge is required. She steps back out, staring at the nylabone. Then in one carefully calculated move, she jumps back in plunges fully half her snout under the water like she’s drilling for oil, snatches the nylabone, jumps out of the pool and races around the yard like she’s just won the Indy 500. Mostly, I think she’s thrilled that she got the bone and didn’t drown.

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