Patti Soldavini

Archive for May 14th, 2011|Daily archive page

The Headless Wig

In weimaraners on 05/14/2011 at 9:12 pm

"Is this how the lambs FELT?"

As Olive and I walked past the Livestock Auction in Hackettstown (not a joke) the other day, I noticed that the headless long brunette wig with auburn highlights that we saw flattened in the grass this past summer was still lying undisturbed in the same spot. Matted to the ground directly across the stall where they keep the cows that are auctioned off each Tuesday. Which leads me to wonder…where did it come from? Who tosses away or loses a wig next to a livestock auction? Perhaps one of the cows was wearing it as a disguise and escaped. Maybe a thief tossed it off after fleeing the nearby Quick Chek. The possibility also exists that a drunken teenager used it as a barf bag on Halloween. I am fairly sure that NONE of these thoughts run through Olive’s head. She’s too busy, nose plastered to the ground or pointing to the clouds, inhaling all the scents you might imagine that emanate from a Livestock Auction. Cow pies. Sweaty lambs. Chicken scat. Horny bulls. Weathered old farmers. And the overpowering scent of hay. The silver livestock trucks pull up early on these mornings, squeaking and creaking like a New York taxicab stuffed with fat tourists. They remind me alternately of a school bus for animals and the old-fashioned Airstream trailers from the 1950s. Olive remains in a state of high alert as we walk past what is essentially the livestock version of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. We hear the distressed sounds the animals make as they are marched from their trailers onto planks that deposit them into the barn. Olive senses that they are about to have an explosive gastrointestinal attack and can’t get off the planks fast enough. Back to the wig. It could also belong to the drunken old lady Olive and I encountered one mid-Summer morning. Oh yeah. 7am and this woman, talky as only a walking bottle of whiskey can be, rambled on and on about how her “baby” wasn’t on the train (and she wasn’t talking about a child) and why didn’t I have two dogs so they could “get it on.” Actually, what she said was cruder than that, but I try to keep this blog as PG-13 as I can. I blushed…for Olive. I wanted to cover the ears of my innocent puppy. So as not to piss off the drunk and initiate further interaction, I made some innocuous comment and walked away with Olive as fast as I could without making it seem obvious. Although why I thought anything would be obvious to someone whose blood alcohol level was more alcohol than blood, I have no idea.

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Cinderella’s Sisters

In weimaraners on 05/14/2011 at 7:51 pm

"It's my JOB to watch you!"

Last weekend, Olive and I went to visit her mother Lacey, her sisters Gem and Crystal “The Pistol” and her Aunt Ava which makes this sound like a scene from a Christopher Durang play. Gem (already winning at shows) and Crystal are beautiful too, but they are slightly bigger and “doggier” than Olive. Unlike Olive, the Duchess of Weimbridge, they spend much of their time outdoors with the rest of their melodious pack. We arrive at the breeder’s house and Crystal and Gem are energetically racing back and forth inside their zoo-sized pen like two squabbling sister panthers. Or panther sisters. But NOT sister wives. I don’t think that Olive realizes that she is related to these dogs. All she knows is that they are dogs AND they look like her. Deborah puts Gem and Crystal in the house so Olive can have the pen all to herself while we sit at the picnic table on this bright, sunny day. Lacey and Ava are in separate pens nearby, quietly meandering around their pens. Ava who just delivered a litter of eight in March, is giving her nipples a rest. Good thing too, because they are hanging down so far, they may reach Cape Horn. Olive is disinterested. All she knows is that she has been separated from me. She’s not crazy about this ESPECIALLY when she can see me. As far as Olive is concerned, she is as alone as Papillon on Devil’s Island. “WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO.” She stops intermittently, presumably to catch her breath, or gobble up some dirt. God forbid I even look in her direction. It starts all over again. “WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO-WOO.” “OLIVE, FOR GOD’S SAKE. I’M RIGHT HERE. GO EAT A BIRD. LOOK! THERE’S A UNICORN.” Besides their beauty and brains they also have something else in common. A set of lungs the size of Peru.

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