Patti Soldavini

Cracker Jack Lawn Prizes

In weimaraners on 05/09/2011 at 10:07 pm

"Do NOT look in my mouth."

With the return of Spring, which is usually the briefest window between Winter and Summer in New Jersey comes a series of rituals. (Sneeze and you’ll miss Spring.) The grass begins its metamorphosis from impotent brown and yellow patches that spring to life as a lush emerald green carpet. And it grows. And grows. And grows and grows and grows. It’s like having to give an 8-year old boy a crew cut every 5 days. What does all of this have to do with Olive? It provides her with one of her favorite seasonal treats. Moldy clumps of grass that the mower’s tires leave behind. Olive gobbles them up as if they are chocolate coated baby sparrows. As I watch her using the power of her jaw and rear molars to crush the clumps into digestible pieces, I think to myself, “She looks like she’s standing in the middle of a baseball field chewing tobacco.” This is followed by another ritual. The one where I have to open her mouth and reach past her tonsils to retrieve what is now a string of pre-digestive slime in which the clump of moldy grass is now cocooned. Otherwise, she’ll just puke it up inside the house. I try asking Olive to fork it over first. ‘OLIVE. DROP IT. LOOK AT ME. DROP IT.” She lowers her head once or twice…still chewing. I get impatient and just reach into her mouth. I fish around like I’m searching for the prize inside a box of Cracker Jacks. EUREKA! I extract the patch of grass that now looks like creamed spinach and feels like a garden slug exploded. Little slivers of grass dot the inside of her mouth like flecks of dill. I fling the offending patch across the lawn. Only not far enough away. The trail of slime was not aerodynamically friendly. Seconds later, Olive tracks it down and tries to re-ingest it. I decide that if she really had to poop, she would have done so by now so I begin leading her back toward the house, criss-crossing a mine field of moldy grass clumps. My pooch pauses repeatedly to snatch each prize perched on the lawn as though they are dead fish lying in a dried up riverbed. I actually catch myself saying, “Christ I can’t wait until the lawn burns out in a few months.”

  1. Olive is stunning! Our dogs can do the oddest things…got to love them. : ) What is more odd is what we do to try and take care of them such as reaching into their mouths to pull out “treats” that should not be eaten! I look forward to reading more about your adventures with Olive.

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