Patti Soldavini

Archive for April 23rd, 2011|Daily archive page

Ode to Idgy

In Uncategorized on 04/23/2011 at 9:42 pm

Idgy The Wonder Dog (1993-2009)

By some weird twist of fate, my beloved Idgy’s birthday was like Olive’s, also in April. So as I have unconsciously paused to remember Idgy throughout this month, it occurred to me the other day how different Olive is from Idgy. And, how much alike they are. On many levels, I am comparing apples to oranges. Sheep to penguins. Or mice to men. I didn’t meet Idgy until she was two years old, just past the puppy stage that Olive is still in. And what is freshest in my mind are the years Idgy spent in decline. Idgy was a “multiple pedigree” pooch while Olive is a “single pedigree” pooch. Idgy was white with caramel colored spots, Olive is grey with taupe highlights in the right light. Idgy was content to curl up into a tiny fetal ball and lay on her donut bed. Olive likes to fully stretch out and recline on top of the BACK of the couch until she is lodged between the couch and the wall. Idgy had saucer-like chocolate brown eyes that exuded kindness. Olive’s striking amber eyes exude a barely controlled mania. Idgy loved being part of what was going on, including dressing up for Halloween. Olive thrives on being around people and activity but prefers at this stage to eat her Halloween costume. Idgy was unfailingly protective and loving. So is Olive. Idgy was inquisitive and when she cocked her head to look at me while I was speaking, it created the distinct impression that she was listening attentively… and comprehending. In fact, a stranger once remarked about Idgy, “That dog looks like it can talk.” I think what was inferred was that Idgy looked intelligent. She was. In fact, I fell in love with Idgy the day she spoke to me. Standing in my friend’s kitchen, she looked directly into my eyes and then slowly turned her head to stare at the kitchen faucet. And then she slowly turned her head back to me, fixing her big brown eyes on mine. “MY GOD, SHE SPOKE TO ME. SHE WANTS A DRINK OF WATER.” The realization came with the swiftness of a bolt of lightening. That was all it took. After that I was totally connected to that dog. Olive looks at me in a similar way when I speak to her. The only difference is this. I look into Olive’s eyes and I “see” her mentally considering how to outwit me. One of my other favorite memories of Idgy is her very humanlike reaction to seeing a dead deer on the side of the road, (which if you live in New Jersey, dot the roadways like inflated brown traffic cones) just a few feet from her as she stood with her front paws planted on the passenger seat armrest, her head out the window elevated above the roof line like a hood ornament. Looking at her from the driver’s seat, in the space of seconds, I saw her ears express surprise and shock while her body simultaneously recoiled, expressing revulsion at what she saw…and smelled. Her reaction was priceless. I’m not sure how Olive would have reacted. She’s still at the stage where she runs away from plastic bags blowing in the wind. I know one thing for sure. My heart is bigger because of both Idgy and Olive.

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Leaf Shower

In weimaraners on 04/23/2011 at 7:51 am

"Is it DOG? Or a UFO?"

My daily walks with Olive are filled with as many transcendental moments as goofy ones. My all-time favorite so far is the “Leaf Shower” we experienced this past Fall in front of the entrance to Centenary College. As we casually approached a majestic-looking Ash tree on the college campus, its small yellow leaves began cascading down upon us in a steady stream as if someone had just turned on the shower. Olive and I stood under it for a few minutes allowing the beauty and peacefulness of nature to wash over us. It literally “rained” leaves continuously as though the leaves were tears expressing sadness that Summer was indeed over. I wish I had had my movie camera with me. It was a very memorable moment, really unlike any I had experienced before. Of course, as I stood there looking upward and stretching my arms wide as though it were snowflakes and not leaves falling, Olive was acutely focused on snapping up the leaves that were falling. “SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP.” Hearing Olive’s jaw open and snap close loudly with the rhythm of a machine gun and watching her head pivot omni directionally like Linda Blair’s in “The Exorcist,” always makes me laugh. She also rears up on her hind legs like a wild stallion while she’s doing this and when her front paws start flailing, she looks like Mohamed Ali pummeling an opponent. While the leaves continue falling, Olive and I begin walking away. “Save yourself Olive,” I say. “We have no idea what we’ll run into next.”

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