Patti Soldavini

Archive for May 17th, 2011|Daily archive page

Hot Dog

In weimaraners on 05/17/2011 at 10:01 pm

"Do I LOOK like a HORSE?"

Did you know that weimaraners throw off so much heat that if you rub two of them together you can start a fire? When I first got Olive, I noticed that she was so warm to the touch, she was almost hot. I learned that because weims have so little fur, their skin is much more exposed than most dogs. So what you’re feeling is really just the dog’s normal temperature which is between 101-102.5 degrees. I’ve decided that this makes her feel like a horse to me. There is an advantage to this. She can heat up a room faster than a wood burning stove. In fact, maybe I can reduce my heating bill in the winter by getting a weim for each room. On second thought, that would be way more expensive. Walk out of any closed-door room that Olive is in then walk back in. “GOOD GOD OLIVE. IT’S LIKE A SAUNA IN HERE. AND IT STINKS TOO. OPEN THE WINDOW.” A wall of heat knocks me back on my heels. Olive raises her head from a sleeping position and looks at me like “WHAT NOW? Great, I think. I’ve got a dog that’s so hot I get second degree burns when I pet her and she leaves scorch marks wherever she’s been. ZHPEAJ98RRDH

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Circus Dog

In weimaraners on 05/17/2011 at 8:44 pm

"Oh, I have MANY hidden talents."

Last week, while visiting a friend, I learned, purely by accident, that Olive has been hiding at least one of her talents from me. Not only is Olive part beaver (She can whittle a railroad tie down to a toothpick faster than you can say “Pinocchio,”) but apparently she’s also part seal. Standing in my friend’s living room, I notice a baby blue balloon lying still on the floor. A crimped white ribbon is attached to it like an umbilical cord. The balloon is literally running out of gas, part shrunken, part shriveled, woefully in decline. It has no idea what’s about to happen. Sensing an opportunity for a bit of fun, or really always looking for an opportunity to observe the response to the question, “What Will Olive Do?” I pick up the balloon by its fetal cord and tap it upwards. Well, as I suspected, it was like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Olive is highly intrigued, but cautious. She starts “nosing” the balloon, testing its material properties. When she realizes that it moves erratically “on its own,” she reacts the way she usually does; she’s a bit frightened. She does the same thing when the wind sends a discarded plastic grocery bag dancing down the sidewalk. Or when the ribbons on the handle grips of a child’s bicycle playfully ripple in the breeze. And especially when she observes the gentle swaying of the giant inflatables tethered to suburban front lawns during the holidays. She’s seen them all. Giant nylon turkeys. An enormous Headless Horseman. Elves trapped inside a gargantuan snow globe. A jumbo pumpkin that almost took to the skies one morning. I think it’s the unpredictability of an object’s movement that freaks Olive out. It requires her to be more agile than she might feel capable of being. After more tapping of the balloon, Olive finally begins to engage, lunging and jumping at it, mouth wide open trying to capture it between her teeth. (She is standing next to me right now and she just burped in my face. Thanks, Olive.) However, her dog anatomy keeps getting in the way. As she tries to grab it repeatedly with her mouth, her snout just keeps pushing it higher and higher. My friend’s two-and-a-half year old son erupts into a fit of giggles. Olive has magically transformed herself into a trained seal. Batting the half-dead balloon around which occasionally rests on the tip of her nose. I feel like I’m at the circus. I also learned something else that night. It’s a fun and easy way of tiring her out quickly. Ah yes, for once I’ve outwitted Olive.

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