Patti Soldavini


In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/28/2011 at 8:10 pm

"Be quiet, I'm PRAYING."

Well, Olive’s prayers must have worked. Hurricane Irene left Northwestern New Jersey relatively unscathed…so far. Although most of the rivers will crest many feet above flood stage by Tuesday morning. Olive and I slept on the extra-long microfiber couch in the living room last night. I didn’t want us to sleep in either the master or guest bedrooms upstairs in case a tree fell on the house. These rooms would take the brunt of the fall and I didn’t feel like waking up (maybe) pinned beneath the trunk of a soaking wet black walnut tree. For Olive, it was out of the ordinary to be sleeping outside her crate in the bedroom. First, she curled up like a little donut in the upholstered chair in the corner of the living room. Why this dog insists on circling her sleeping spot 25 to 30 times in rapid succession before dropping her legs beneath her is beyond me. It’s like watching the canine version of the fable, “The Princess and The Pea.” She stays there for 20 minutes which probably seems like two days to her.  Then, at around 11:30pm, as if  Jack Kerouac has been reincarnated, she gets up to aimlessly explore her other options. I see Olive’s “second wind” coming so I immediately get up and yank her fire engine-red Orvis donut bed off the top of her crate and place it flush against the couch I’m lying on. After she circles this expensive nest 25 times, she lays down and I say “GOOD GIRL OLIVE. GO NIGHT NIGHT.” Within seconds, she reveals her true intent. She jams as much of the fleece-like edging into her mouth and starts sawing away. ‘OLIVE. STOP IT. YOU ALREADY RUINED ONE BED.” I guide her back to the overstuffed chair and she climbs up and settles herself into the wide seat snugly, draping her head over its arm. Now I’m thinking, “WHERE THE HELL IS THIS STORM? NOTHING’S HAPPENING.” As if I had asked this of Zeus face-to-face, the response is immediate. The rain that comes down could only be described as a sustained assault. It is LOUD and POWERFUL. As it hits the roof of my wood-framed contemporary home with cathedral ceilings, the sound is somehow amplified. It has the distinct rhythm of a machine gun but the noise it makes sounds more like “BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM BAM.” This continues throughout the night uninterrupted. Sometimes softer, sometimes louder.  I see Olive faintly, bathed in the blue glow of the oversize digital clock below the TV. She raises her head and looks around the room whenever the sound gets louder. The look on her face says it all. ‘WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?”At around 2am, I’m still mostly awake. I watch Olive rise from the chair and saunter over to the couch near me. I gently pull her up and she hops on the couch. She sidles next to me, extending her lengthy frame against the back of the couch. I put my arm around her and close my eyes, knowing that as long as Olive and I are okay, we can deal with whatever comes our way.


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