Patti Soldavini

Archive for November 23rd, 2011|Daily archive page

Weimaraner Hood Ornament

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/23/2011 at 8:11 pm

"Yeah, looks like you're wearing dog ears."

When I first got Olive, I’d put her in the cargo area of my Saturn Vue. I thought this was the best place for her. Until two things happened. One, she would often bark and bark and bark and drive me insane. Two, for some reason, I got paranoid about the hatch latch popping open while I was driving and Olive would tumble out onto the roadway. Maybe the second reason was a conveniently manufactured solution to reason number one. The minute I removed Olive from the cargo area and treated her like a living being instead of a suitcase, she immediately stopped barking. The back seat now felt like First-Class. I realized pretty quickly, that she was simply happier being in close proximity to me. And I admit, I liked it too. I try to keep her seated or lying back there but she’ll occasionally venture closer poking her head between the two front seats and putting her front paws on the aisle box to get a better view out the front windshield. When she does this, I admire her profile. “OLIVE. YOU LOOK LIKE A HOOD ORNAMENT. GET BACK DOWN.” And for a second, her sleek graceful appearance reminds me of the hood ornament on the 1951 Pontiac Chieftan I was told my Mother used to drive when she was in her 20s. For those of you not familiar with it, it is an amber-colored Indian Chief head that lights up. How cool is that? Hood ornament design during that time was truly a work of art. I mean, they called it an “ornament” for a reason. An element of style that sadly is missing from most cars today. Now at best, we have cold, soul-less chrome logos welded onto the hoods of ridiculously expensive luxury cars. Olive knows none of this, so she really can’t appreciate what a beautiful hood ornament mold she’d make. However, she does respond immediately to the burger I am about to take a bite of. Like a contortionist with a Native American Indian’s talent for approaching silently, she gently tries to nibble at the end of the exposed burger bun. Mind you, at this point, part of it is in my mouth (and yes, I’m driving), and I swear she thinks she’s being polite as she makes a delicate approach. My hand snaps back like a fly swatter creating a barrier between my vulnerable burger and her porcelain chiclets. I immediately flash back to when, on family drives, my Dad used to half turn around while he was driving with the back of his arm and hand raised, threatening to smack my brothers and sister and me if we didn’t stop fighting. All it took was the threat. It was very effective. Olive looks at me quizzically as if to ask, “WHAT?” I return her gaze with an incredulous look that says, “REALLY?” We know each other’s non-verbal expressions so well, it’s a bit frightening. I now wonder if when I put my small black earmuffs on and she gently starts nibbling on them like she’s nibbling on another dog’s ears, does she think they are small burgers or that I am wearing another dog’s ears?

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I Am Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/23/2011 at 6:50 pm

"I could have been called CRICKET?"

While I was straightening up my office the other day I came across the sheets of paper I used when considering what to name Olive. I couldn’t help but think now that I know Olive, did I choose the right name? Is there a name on this list that might have been better based on who she is turning out to be? To my delight, the answer is “No,” but it was fun to run through the list which included: Skye, Sienna, Cricket, Zooey, Willow, Luna, Addy, Snowpea, Harpo, Rocket, Scout, Oreo, Orbit, Rider, Jade, Inky, Echo, Giggles, Gumby, Haley, Hope, Autumn, Juno, Brioni, Quince, Luca, and Cleo. And then a friend suggested “Olive,” and for some reason that just felt right. Call it kismet. Which would also be a cool name for a dog. “OLIVE. PLEASE BRING A SNOWPEA TO THE CRICKET STANDING UNDER THE WILLOW TREE DRESSED IN A BRIONI SUIT EATING AN OREO COOKIE WHILE WAITING FOR THE ROCKET TO IGNITE.” (That was fun.)

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