Patti Soldavini

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.

  1. Olive is a hottie for sure! An I’ll be hilarious as well…

  2. It is such an accomplishment when we figure out something that actually taps and wears out some of that endless dog energy! : ) What fun to watch her antics with the balloon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: