Patti Soldavini

The Goldilocks Effect

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/30/2011 at 11:17 am

"We were in the HAMPTONS?"

Who would have thought that the first nightmare I’d have about Olive would take place at a Gatsby-esque party in the Hamptons? And that I would be the host of this mid-afternoon outdoor soiree. I have no idea what it was for except there were oodles of impeccably garbed and coiffed people… and hundreds of grey weimaraners roaming the estate’s lawn. All of a sudden, I was struck with an intuitive feeling that Olive was gone. Missing. Nowhere to be found. I stopped chatting with guests in mid-sentence and began racing around the grounds looking for her, calling “OLIVE! OLIVE! OLIVE!” Having exhausted what I believed were all the hiding places on the flawlessly manicured property, I sat down on the marble-veined steps and sobbed. I was bereft at losing my best friend. I felt absolutely helpless. And I hated myself for failing to adequately protect her and prevent this from happening. What a terrible parent I was. One by one, each of the human guests came up to me escorted by a weimeraner and said the exact same thing. “IS THIS HER? IS THIS OLIVE?” And one by one, I’d look up through the tears I was choking on and say, “NO, THIS ONE’S TAIL’S TOO LONG.” Or, “NO, THIS ONE’S HEAD’S TOO SMALL.” “THIS ONE’S MUZZLE IS TOO SHORT.” ‘THIS ONE’S TOO FAT.” Each one was uglier than the next. And then, out of seemingly nowhere, Olive emerges form a giant cardboard box, shaking herself off, making one of my most favorite sounds in the world; when her ears slap against the sides of her head, it sounds like leather chaps flapping in a brisk wind. She yawns like she’s been sleeping next to Rip Van Winkle and casually makes her way toward me. I grab her close to me and am so happy, I burst into tears. My beautiful, perfectly-formed pooch has returned. Olive remains completely non-plussed, wondering what all the fuss is about. As I write this, it dawns on me that this is how my Mother must have felt when as a 6-year old, after school, I went over to a classmate’s house without bothering to tell her or anyone else. The neighborhood posse were out in their cars and on foot scouring the neighborhood for me. One finally found me as I nonchalantly started to walk home the 6 or so blocks from my friend’s house. I got home to find my Mother sitting inside on the steps leading upstairs crying her eyes out and wondered, “What’s the big deal? I was just down the street at Steven’s house.” Now I get it. But I do feel like I may have behaved like Goldilocks in my dream.

  1. I can picture Olive doing something just like that. Great picture! Hugs and nose kisses

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