Patti Soldavini

Genuinely Genius

In weimaraners on 06/01/2011 at 6:23 pm

"Just call me YODA."

At lunchtime today in the coma-inducing heat and spine-weakening humidity, I filled Olive’s little blue plastic pool with water and tossed her glow-in-the-dark ball in along with her raspberry pink Kong-like ring. Unlike last year, she now confidently thrusts her snout below the surface, sometimes right up to her amber and blue-ringed eyeballs to retrieve her drowned toys. She’s become a pro at plunging, snatching and running and seems to take great pleasure in her ability to do so with ease. And then something incredible happened. Purely by accident. I discovered today that Olive is capable of associating the right word with the right soundindependently of the sound being made. Standing outside the pool, staring at the pink ring lying at the bottom of the pool like she’s just discovered an unrecorded shipwreck, I say, “Olive, get the ring-ring.” To my astonishment, she raises her head sharply entering a state of “high alert,” looks around and frantically races to both ends of her pen searching for WHOMEVER IS AT OUR FRONT DOOR RINGING OUR DOORBELL. Now, I did not teach her to do this. Nor did I make the SOUND of a doorbell like “RRRIIIINNGG, RRRIIINNNGG.” I simply said “Get the ring-ring.” Thinking this was just a coincidence, I pick up the pink vulcanized rubber ring and toss it back into the pool. In the exact same way I repeat my command, “Olive, get the ring-ring.” Again, she takes off like an out-of-control locomotive, trying to get to the front door. Clearly, she wants to greet the guest standing on the welcome mat out front that says “Wipe your Paws.” I am momentarily struck dumb. She obviously associates the words ring-ring with the ringing of a doorbell. I knew Olive was intelligent, but now I look at her with as much awe as respect. I call the breeder today leaving this message: “Hi Deborah. I just wanted you to know that out of the litter of 11, you gave me the genius dog. I think I’m going to try to teach her Latin. Maybe I’ll send her to law school.” “OLIVE. STOP LICKING YOURSELF AND GO AUTOGRAPH YOUR HEAD SHOTS.” Now every time she looks at me, I wonder what the hell she REALLY’S thinking, because she’s thinking, that’s for sure.

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  1. This post made me laugh loudly! I even startled Miss Stella from her midmorning nap. : ) Olive is amazing!

  2. I discovered your blog via Weimaraner Addicts (I think!) and I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE reading about Olive’s shenanigans. 😀 I am mom to 5.5 yo weim Ellie and reading your posts is like taking a page out of the book of mine & Ellie’s lives! I can completely relate to SO MANY of your tales – like the “backhale” and the daily battle of wits and wills with these creatures!! When Ells and I met, it was love at first sight. I had just turned 28, just bought my very own house, and for the first time in my life had my very own yard with my very own fence and therefore I needed my very own dog! Like you, I had lots of people discourage me from getting a weim. Everyone seemed to think I needed a small dog, especially since I fully intended for it to be an inside pooch. No. I don’t like small dogs. I am a big dog person through and through and I have never regretted my decision to bring a weim into my life, not even for a nano-second. Sometimes I look at her and am in complete awe of my magical, intelligent, super-human pup and my heart swells with so much love as I think how lucky I am that she chose me and that she chooses to love me and trust me every single day of her life. People who have not had the great fortune of living with weims simply cannot understand their magic. They are not just dogs. They are people dressed up in dog suits. And they are our very best friends. A girl could not ask for more, in my humble opinion. Thank you for sharing Olive with us!

    • Wow. You sound much like me! I’m glad you enjoy reading about Olive. I LOVE writing about her. She really is exceptional. I look at her everyday and can’t believe she’s really mine. She’s laying at my feet right now. :>) She ran me ragged from the time I got her (10 weeks old) to about 9 months and I’m much older than you. I wasn’t sure I’d make it, but I like challenges. Now she’s 14 months old and still quite energetic but not as highly torqued. She makes my day every day!

  3. You go Olive…you keep showin’ ’em hot smarts you are. Hugs and nose kisses

  4. But of course Olive is brilliant – she can’t help it, after all she lives with the great Italian observer

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