Patti Soldavini

Archive for December 30th, 2011|Daily archive page

Weimaraner Aristocracy

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 7:01 pm

"You can't see me CAN you?"

Olive impersonating a stunningly elegant French Provincial table.

The Ball Buster

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 6:49 pm

"So you want the BALL, do ya'?

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were filled with fun, food, family and friends for Olive and me. If Olive were writing today’s post, she would have listed food first. We started out each cold morning with a trip to the dog park. At 8am on Christmas morning, under a heavy, violet-tinted cloud cover, we found we had the entire park to ourselves. Olive would have been happier if her dog friends were there, but she is quite content to just run around, enjoying her freedom, stopping every five seconds to sniff something on the ground, brushing her wet brown nose up against some foul item of interest. Better to keep moving instead of standing still up here and being the only object to buffet 25 mph winds. I try to interest Olive in a game of fetch which is usually a waste of time. Like most weimaraners, Olive thinks “fetch” is a moronic way to spend her time. She might pick the ball up as if to announce “OF COURSE, I CAN GET THE DUMB BALL,” and then promptly drop it. “NOW WHAT?” Today, however, it’s the only game in town. I walk over to a once-yellow tennis ball whose fur has been savagely torn off in places and is caked with crusty bits of frozen earth and communal dog saliva (which I actually refer to as paste due to its unusually gluey quality). I bring my right leg all the way back, aim for the ball, and it goes racing along the ground like it’s been shot out of a cannon. Olive didn’t quite expect this. She scrambles from her stationary position and zig zags across the field like an all-terrain vehicle gone mad, chasing the ball and picking it up in her mouth before it ever comes to a breathless rest. “Christ,” I mutter to myself, thinking, I don’t want to walk halfway across this stadium-sized field for the ball. And then Olive starts trotting back with it. In what I can only describe as a calculated act of “intelligent defiance,” she casually saunters toward me and gently releases the ball…about 10 feet away from where I’m standing. Clearly, she has just thrown down the gauntlet. “FINE, YOU LITTLE BALL BUSTER. LET’S SEE IF YOU CAN DO IT AGAIN.” I repeat the exercise about six more times. Each time, Olive races out to retrieve the ball, trots back with it and drops it about 10 feet away from me. I am now certain that this is her way of saying: “HEY MUSHROOM TUCHES. IF I HAVE TO RUN ACROSS THE FIELD FOR THIS DISGUSTING BALL, THE LEAST YOU CAN DO IF WALK A FEW FEET TO RETRIEVE IT.” Now I get it. It’s her way of playing fetch with me. I shake my head as I obediently walk over to retrieve the ball and kick it toward the cloudy horizon one last time as she spasmodically tries to anticipate its trajectory. I marvel at the fact that somehow, a game that is supposed to be largely physical is actually more mentally challenging with a weimaraner. To be continued…

Good Will Hunting Roadkill

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 8:51 am

"He took MY pheasant."

As Olive and I stood in the front yard at 6:30 the other morning, she, contemplating just what tiny patch of the entire acre of property on which to deposit a healthy-sized brown gift, and me, feeling myself age like a mythological creature waiting for her to make a decision, a black pick-up truck slows as it drives past our house. Olive instantly abandons her quest for biological correctness and starts barking like a banshee. The truck stops just past our driveway. The neighborhood is treated to an early morning rendition of “WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO.” The first thing I see emerge from the truck is a day-glo orange knit cap. It is so bright it could cause retinal burn. The cap shines like an tree top ornament on a man dressed in green camoulflage. “MAYBE IT’S SOMEONE FROM THE POWER COMPANY, OLIVE. OR A HUNTER. BUT WHAT DOES HE WANT FROM US?” As he continues walking in the street at the edge of my lawn, he cheerfully calls out. “THERE’S A DEAD PHEASANT ON YOUR LAWN. I USE THEM TO CATCH RACOONS.” Doesn’t that seem backwards, I think? Isn’t the pheasant supposed to be the desirable catch? Here is the best part. As he says this with just a little too much excitement in his tone, he reaches down and picks up the dead pheasant by its limp green head and starts walking away with his trophy. I squint to confirm that yes, the dead pheasant is dangling from his ungloved, bare hand. Yeesh. I feel like I have to go inside and wash my hands after seeing this. Or my eyeballs. Even Olive has stopped barking. Maybe because she didn’t realize that this treat was sitting on her front lawn like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae and now a stranger has stolen Olive’s gamey little dessert. Or, she has simply witnessed the most spectacular opportunity that opposable thumbs present. As the human military ornament walks back to his car with an unmistakable spring in his step, I call out, “HEY. COME BACK ANYTIME. NEXT WEEK WE’RE SERVING FOX.”

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