Patti Soldavini

Great Expectations

In weimaraners on 04/12/2011 at 9:39 pm

"Can we go NOW?"

One of Olive’s favorite parts of our daily walks is stopping at the local “candy store.” It’s near the end of our walk and she tries to drag me in there every day. It’s not actually a candy store, but to Olive it might as well be. It is the local feed store, Tickners. Olive is welcome inside so we stop once a week to pick up her treats. Everything from the coveted bully stix that infiltrate her dreams to all-natural biscuits and the occasional toy. She pulls me inside, almost snapping her neck, trying to crane it to the left to see the cash register where the nice lady is stationed 15 inches from a jar of complimentary biscuits. Olive is checking to make sure she’s here before I pop her leash and guide her to the right. We begin perusing the shelves, me with my hands, Olive with her nose. There seems to be no end to the number of stinking anatomical treats: bones, pig ears, hooves, and yes, even 36” dried bull peckers. Really, are these aftermarket products from slaughterhouses? Olive’s nose is in overdrive and she’s pulling some especially fragrant products from the shelves with her teeth. We make our way to the register and Olive’s tail lights up and starts spinning. She knows the drill. After I pay for her treats, the nice lady comes out from behind the counter, tells Olive to sit and gives her a biscuit. Olive proceeds to devour the biscuit, crumbs flying in all directions like the spray from an automatic machine gun. In the blink of an eye as though she were Clark Kent magically transforming into Superman, she proceeds to vacuum up the microscopic crumbs and assorted bacteria resting on the commercial floor runner faster than a Dyson Turbinehead. I love this little ritual. It reminds me of summer afternoons as a child when my Grandfather used to take me (and his dog) to the neighborhood candy store to buy my silence. It worked. Handfuls of Pixy Stix, Chuckles, Necco Wafers, Candy Buttons, Lemonheads, Devil Dogs and the newest issue of 16 Magazine with Davy Jones on the cover was all it took for me to keep my piehole shut. Grandma would NEVER find out about Grandpa’s smoking. Not from me. That, and the afternoons shooting pool with my younger brother at the old man bar while Grandpa and his friends watched the Mets game and drank their Rheingold beers. Besides, there’s just something so innocent and childlike about Olive’s expectant behavior that it fills my heart with joy.

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