Patti Soldavini

Archive for April 10th, 2011|Daily archive page

Getting Olive

In weimaraners on 04/10/2011 at 9:22 pm


Next week is Olive’s first birthday. She will be 365 days old. I will have aged one dog year. In honor of this day I will be posting photos taken of Olive when she was a mere imp. A blur. A sonic boomlet. There aren’t too many of these photos because most of them are unfocused grey blurs where only a small part of her anatomy is in frame. The only time she was “kinetically-silent” was when she was passed out cold sleeping. Olive’s destiny as my spoiled pooch began last April when I psychologically made the decision to get a dog. This was 15 months after Idgy the Wonder Dog had passed on. I loved that dog with all my heart and it was heartbreaking to have to put her down. I sobbed while I held her and she took her last few breaths. Although I knew that day would inevitably come like the certainty of a late spring thunderstorm, I couldn’t believe it had finally arrived. It was shattering to take her to the vet’s office with the knowledge that she wouldn’t be coming home; knowledge that she did not have. The only consolation I had was that I believed the timing was right. A week earlier and it would have been too soon. A week later and it would have too late. Idgy sent very clear signals that she was ready; that it was now more painful to still be here than not. It took 15 months for me to stop feeling guilty about the idea of getting another dog. The first choice I had to make was whether I wanted a “single pedigree” or a “multiple pedigree.” Idgy was a multiple pedigree so that was a plus. But I also was inexorably drawn to both the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer.  I identified a few Weimaraner breeders in northern New Jersey and one informed me that she had a brand new litter of 11. Off I went. Flying up the Garden State Parkway North as if I were being chased by Tyrannosaurus Rex. I arrive and what to my wondering eyes should appear? 11 tiny Weimaraners. 11 perfect little replicas of their stunning parents, whom I also met that day. Observing the mother I think to myself, “She seems pretty calm for a Weim. Or, she’s just exhausted from nursing 11 puppies with just 6 nipples.” I glance over at the fence where the father is racing back and forth like a Bengal Tiger eyeing me, the intruder, while he barks as though he just discovered Osama Bin Laden hiding behind a nearby tree. How do you choose one when each looks indistinguishable from the next? How do you choose one when you’re watching 11 of them crawl all over each other like ants that have just found an unattended French baguette in the middle of the desert? “Let me think it over,” I say. “I’ll let you know. It’s a big commitment and I also want to look at some German Shorthaired Pointers.” I look back at the 11 pair of Paul Newman baby blue eyes tracking me while I make my way back to the car. In less than 10 minutes, I’m back on the Garden State Parkway. In less than 15 minutes I call the breeder. “I’ll take one. Pick out the one you think is right for me.” This is how Olive’s story begins…

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