Patti Soldavini

My Dog The Diva

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/28/2012 at 7:56 pm

"Are we done? I'm EXHAUSTED."

As I sit here writing this post tonight, Olive is downstairs in the living room, splayed out in front of the pellet stove’s roaring fire and intermittently kvetching. Not a whine, not quite a bark. Something in between. Something meant to communicate her displeasure that I am upstairs and not giving her my full attention. She’s exhausted from the fashion show today. And when she’s tired, she can become quite pissy. If we’re out and it’s past 8pm, she’ll start to piss and moan relentlessly until we leave. She stops only when we get home. She races upstairs, leaps onto the bed like a pole vaulter, executes a few “nesting circles,” then plops down and conks out like a serial drunk. Initially, she lays there curled up like a street vendor’s hot pretzel, ultimately untangling her supermodel-long limbs and stretching out the full length of her frame, squeezing every last molecule of stale air out of her lungs. Occasionally, she might open one eye partially, and catch me staring at her. She goes right back to sleep. Today, at around 10am, we arrived at K-Nine Coaching in Old Lafayette Village for Olive’s fitting. There are already about eight dogs there, most of them the size of an infant’s teaspoon, save for one big-boned boxer who didn’t look very happy to be there. I think he might have felt emasculated by the gigantor bow that was attached to his collar. It was so big it looked like it had sprout from the side of his fawn-colored head like a parasitic twin. Like some “what the Christ were they thinking” accoutrement appended to the cleavage of some Hollywood starlet’s mermaid-like gown. It’s Olive’s turn to be fitted, so she marches forward with her usual unbridled enthusiasm and curiosity. Two dressers are strapping a violet-colored winter coat with a repeating pattern of blue paw prints on it over her head and around her undercarriage. She’s not too crazy about having her head plunged through a small fabric hole, but it’s performed quickly without clumsiness so she doesn’t panic. Meanwhile, she stands there fixated on some small white fluff of a dog wearing pink goggles. “DON’T WORRY OLIVE, YOU WON’T BE WEARING ANYTHING THAT RIDICULOUS. IF YOU’RE GOING TO WEAR ANY GOGGLES, THEY’LL BE PRADA BRAND.” Olive’s friend Luna, a blue weimaraner, arrives. They proceed to act like long-lost Siamese twins separated literally and figuratively for much too long. I know this sounds crazy, but I swear they understand that they are the same breed. Not species, breed. It’s uncanny. Olive behaves differently around Luna, almost as though they came from the same litter (which they did not.) Now it’s time to move Olive to the staging area with the other dogs. We enter an empty storefront which might be 12’ x 10’. It contains dog crates and adjustable fences that would fit properly in a space twice the size. Dogs, dog handlers, dressers and owners are also squeezed into this coffin-like space. Dogs are barking (including my champion barker), dressers are frantically dressing the models, handlers are coming in and out exchanging dogs; it is controlled panic. But this is probably what a human fashion show feels like behind the curtain, I imagine. Meanwhile, I stay close to Olive in her crate because in this atmosphere and because she’s so powerful, I don’t want her accidently escaping in the middle of all this unfocused hysteria. Olive is pissed at me; barking so incessantly that I’m almost getting sprayed by spittle. “I’M RIGHT HERE, OLIVE. KEEP YOUR PANTS ON. IT’S ALMOST YOUR TURN.” Thankfully, finally, it’s Olive’s turn to be led down the runway in the building next door. Flashbulbs pop and I proudly watch my pooch walk down the runway surrounded by strangers ogling her. She loves all the attention. She deplanes from the runway and is returned to my arms. “YOU MEAN I WAITED IN THAT CRATE ALL THIS TIME FOR THIS 90 SECOND WALK? YOU OWE ME,” admonishes Olive. “YEAH, YEAH, YEAH. YOU SEE THAT COAT YOU’RE WEARING? YOU GET TO KEEP IT. WE’RE EVEN.” Olive climbs in the car, lays down across the rear bench seat and sleeps the entire 30-minute ride home. What a rough life this dog has. Now, she’s standing in front of the TV barking at figure skaters doing a dance routine. This is a first. Maybe modeling isn’t challenging enough for her.

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