Patti Soldavini

Archive for February, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Dirty Little Hole-Digger

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/25/2012 at 7:26 pm

"WHAT? No hole?"

Here’s my dirty little hole-digger. The dog who should have had the lead role in the Disney movie, “Holes.” Her 75’ x 20’ pen looks like a post-hole digging test site. I let Olive out to do potty and she distracts herself by digging holes and then stuffing her mouth with dirt, or when it’s available, grass seed. I often catch her in the act. She is not the least bit embarrassed. She stops digging and looks up at me indignantly as if to say “WHAT? WHAT? CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY?” I knit my brows and just stare at the smudge of light brown soil on her darker brown nose, complemented by bits of terra firma resting on top of her snout and delicately perched atop her whiskers. “MY GOD, OLIVE. RIGHT NOW YOUR NOSE LOOKS LIKE YOUR REAR BLOWHOLE.” She could care less. She resumes digging, eventually frantically raking both front paws across the “pilot” hole to get the job done faster. Stand behind her and you’ll get an unforgettable dirt shower. The other day when I went into her pen to collect all the fecal nuggets, I find one that had so many grass seeds in it, it could have passed for a baby porcupine. I shake my head thinking, if they did an ultrasound on her now, they’d probably find a chia pet growing from the inside out. All of this explains why the water in Olive’s water bowl is the filthiest I have ever seen. Really. I have to change it at least three times a day. One, because it’s gross and two, because the Princess will not drink out of it unless it’s as clear as a Colorado mountain stream. There’s bits of wood, dirt, grass seed, insect corpses and God knows what else. I’m surprised there aren’t sea monkeys floating in it. Yes, weimaraners are champion hole diggers. You could probably train them to dig holes when you are planting shrubs or flowers. And if you don’t want them digging up your flowers, you’d better give them an area in which they can dig to their heart’s content. Maybe when it gets a bit warmer, I’ll put some peanut butter on a stick and bury it to see if she can find it. That might keep her busy for about 10 minutes. “ARE YOU FINISHED?” I ask Olive. She bolts into the house through the sliding glass door, rockets past me, and the next thing I know, I see dirty pawprints all over the rug. Not surprisingly, they lead to Olive standing near the foot of the stairs, with a big toothy Osmond-like smile on her face.

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Polar Bear Spotted in Westminster Ring

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/22/2012 at 6:41 pm

"A BEAR?"

“No Olive, it’s not a polar bear,” I inform my TV-loving pooch. But look at it. Can you blame her? I saw this thing and it made me crave both a Coca-Cola and a York Peppermint Pattie. Olive finds the television exceptionally engaging. Some dogs don’t. Like the dog a friend of mine had for many years. A fawn-colored Labrador who I’m sure was put on this earth to make us realize that yes, like people, dogs can be intellectually challenged as well. Steve (yes, that was his name) never, as in ever, glanced at the TV screen in his 15 years on this planet. Not a hint of awareness in the flickering images. Zero interest in the cacophony of sounds spilling out of the “idiot box.” He would walk by it a thousand times a day as if it were an inanimate object. Just another piece of furniture. Steve was a good dog, just not one of the brighter ones. In fact, my last and most enduring memory of Steve is when he returned home after running off (probably chasing a cloud or a shadow). Gone for hours, he shows up at my friend’s front door, all tuckered out and drooling. Smiling, with a peanut-butter coated English muffin stuck to the roof of his mouth. Stuck. To this day, I can’t figure out why he didn’t or couldn’t eat it. While he may have had no thumbs, he did have paws. As a counterpoint to Steve, I have a dog that is an avid TV watcher. Last night, Olive actually barked at the pheasants she heard on Downton Abbey. She chases the Golden Retriever chasing the VW Beetle in a commercial. She barks at doorbells ringing on pizza commercials, figure skaters gliding across the ice, cartoon dogs and cats acting silly, and dogs engaged in canine combat on “Dog Whisperer.” I have even watched her chase a marathon runner on TV. I guess the 51-inch screen makes it all seem incredibly real to Olive, but something tells me that even if the screen were much smaller, she wouldn’t notice it any less.

The Downton Abbey-Watching Dog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/22/2012 at 6:06 pm

"Unbelievable."

“I cannot believe what I am seeing. Has Lord Grantham lost his royal marbles? Almost cavorting with a common house tart? And the honorable Matthew Crawley. He reminds me of an afghan – dog, not blanket – that I once knew. Nice to look at, but I wouldn’t follow it home. Except now that I think of it, maybe more like a blanket than I realized. They have similar personalities. OH MY GOD, I’M SPEAKING IN NARRATIVE FORM AND HAVE NOT INTERRUPTED MYSELF YET! What a dysfunctional pack of twits. I would never stand for such nonsense in my pack. EVER. Thank God I…oh wait a minute, I think I heard a fly fart…WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF! As I was saying, thank God, I can observe while perched regally on the couch at home, far away from such incestuous madness. PATTI, PLEASE BRING ME A GOBLET OF WATER. AND PEEL ME A GRAPE. Oh, no, maybe not a grape. Maybe a pheasant.”

Dog Impersonates Sulfur Factory

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/19/2012 at 6:49 pm

"The HUMAN did it."

Right now, there is ample olfactory evidence that a small but powerful sulfur factory sits beneath my glass desk.

Weimaraner Has Higher I.Q. Than Gifted Child

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/19/2012 at 6:32 pm

"I'm still deciding."

Usually, when I sit down to write, the story comes first and the title follows. Today, the title came first. On our walk this morning, as Olive and I passed by Centenary College, a car driving past slows down and calls out to us. “A weimaraner!!!” “Yes, a weimaraner,” I reply and I start to walk over to the car with Olive in tow. “Is s/he a rescue?” the woman asks. “No, I strongly considered it, but eventually got Olive from a breeder. All the stories online about how challenging this breed can be even when they don’t have behavioral issues sort of scared me off going the rescue route.” The woman informs us that she has two rescue weims and we begin a conversation that only the owners of weimaraners can have. We agree that they are not mere dogs. They’re not human either, but rather fall somewhere in between. You may often hear the word “rambunctious” used to describe their behavior and it is quite accurate. Rambunctious is described as being “uncontrollably exuberant, boisterous,” and “turbulently active.” And you should know that this is the “natural state” of the weimaraner. The rule, not the exception. When Olive races through the entire house like an Antelope on steroids, I just stand back, watch in amazement and amusement. On one or two occasions, she’s slid across a floor and slammed into a wall which stills her… for just a moment… while she collects her wits and then takes off again. Weimaraners are frighteningly intelligent as well. I feel like I am engaged in a battle of wits all day long with Olive. Somedays, I feel unarmed and like I am a weak contestant on “Survivor.” There are “Mexican standoffs” often throughout the day. “OLIVE. LET’S GO. WE’RE GOING TO THE STORE.” She stands there with her head slightly cocked, looking at me with her piercing amber eyes as if to say, “AND? WHAT STORE? WILL I BE ABLE TO GET SOMETHING?” In other words, she’s deciding if it’s worth going. This goes on for about 30 seconds before I begin to approach her. I have finally learned that if I approach too quickly, she pivots, takes off and races past me in a blur, waiting for me to find her in some distant corner of the house. The other day, during one of my very infrequent uses of the refrigerator’s water dispenser, I glance to my left and see Olive intently watching the water pour from the ”magic fountain.” “CRIPES,” I say to myself. “IT’S NOT GOING TO BE LONG BEFORE SHE STARTS DRINKING FROM HERE.” Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to get stainless steel appliances. They look like her water bowl. Many of the weimaraner’s behaviors makes them seem very childlike. But childlike as in “gifted child.” This is the thought that occurred to me today while chatting with the other weim owner. I did see a bumper sticker online somewhere recently that said MY WEIMARANER IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT. I laughed. Only another weimaraner owner can appreciate the sentiment.

Too Sexy For Her Leash

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/12/2012 at 10:38 am

"Oh Look, there's my ride!"

On our walk last week, Olive and I encountered a lipstick red hot dog truck sitting in the parking lot of an auto body shop. “LOOK OLIVE. IT SAYS HOT DOGS.” EITHER THEY MEAN THE NITRATE-LACED TUBE MEATS OR SEXY DOGS LIKE YOU.” Olive looks at me as though she recognizes that this is a teaching moment. I stand there and stare unapologetically at the bright red truck because like a 5-year old, I am always entranced by bright, shiny objects. I did try mightily to get Olive into this picture, but the truck was too tall, and it was parked between two other badly beaten vehicles, so I couldn’t get a wide view. And then there was the matter of who would hold her three-foot leash while I took the picture. I could have had someone Photoshop her into the picture but all the photos on this blog are neither “Photoshopped” or cropped, so I didn’t want to start doing that. Besides, I think everyone who reads this blog gets the visual pun. Off we go. As we approach the corner of this quiet back road, Olive starts pulling just a bit to see if the big white German Shepherd is in his yard. He usually springs up and pops his polar bear head over the stockade fence to ogle Olive. We call him “Kimba The White Lion.” “NOT TODAY OLIVE. SORRY. KIMBA IS PROBABLY IN THE KITCHEN TEARING OPEN A PACK OF BALL PARK HOT DOGS.” As we get closer to Main Street, I see that the political wingnut has planted himself in front of the local Post Office again. He’s standing behind a small card table flanked by posters of President Obama on which he’s drawn Hitler’s mustache. Really? Whatever your political views, is this really an acceptable way to portray any sitting President? “YOU KNOW WHAT OLIVE? I THINK THE NEXT TIME WE WALK BY, WE’RE GOING TO EACH BE WEARING A HITLER MUSTACHE.” How funny would that be? Of course, I’d have to apply and remove our mustaches quickly so passersby don’t get the wrong idea. And there’s no guarantee that you wouldn’t eat yours before we got to the corner. As expected, the wingnut senses an opportunity to engage me in conversation because I’m walking a dog. I’m not in a rush and politely listen. I’m open-minded. Maybe I’ll learn something new. When he started to talk about going to Mars as a way to re-boot the U.S, economy, I said. “YEAH, WELL I HAVE TO GO BECAUSE I HAVE TO TAKE MY UFO IN FOR A TUNE-UP. BYE.”

Olive’s Intuition

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/11/2012 at 10:50 am

"Oh yeah. THAT'S the one."

Last night, Olive did something that truly amazed me. And this has inspired me to write today. I was sitting on the couch hunched over my iPad whose incredibly cool lime green magnetic cover was, I noticed for the first time, sticking to my copper coffee table. “What the heck?” I mutter to myself. Olive, my velcro companion, was lying beside me on the couch, snoring like a little Matchbox locomotive. As I sit, self-absorbedly reading everyone’s nonsense on Facebook, I hear a deep and very sustained growl from Olive. “GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR” In fact, this may be the first time I’ve ever heard her make this sound. It serves its purpose. It gets my attention. I look over in Olive’s direction and note that she’s now raised her head and is directing her serious bear-like growl with laser-like intensity at the television. I look at the TV and lo and behold, what do I see that she’s growling at? A black and white police sketch of a criminal suspect. I kid you not. I laughed my ass off. Either this guy is so evil that Olive picked up on it through the television screen, or she simply knows how to recognize bad people. I find the former possible and the latter comforting as Olive is so uber friendly that I’m afraid if she encountered a serial killer, she’d just start licking him like she does everyone she meets. Thanks, Olive. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this story already. You are one smart little goofball.

Olive Gets Propositioned

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/04/2012 at 11:40 am

"I'm not going ANYWHERE with 'hungry eyes.'"

On our walk the other morning, as Olive and I come to a quiet four-way intersection, a man rolls down the window of his car. Olive and I expect either one of two possibilities. We’ll either be asked for directions to a location about four blocks away or he’ll say something like “Beautiful dog.” It was neither. What he did say was this: “Hey, I’ll buy your dog from you.” It was a statement delivered in the form of a question. “Fat chance,” I reply with an unspoken acknowledgement of his back-handed compliment of Olive. “I just sold a litter last week,” he continues. I wonder what kind of response he’s expecting from me now. Finally, he’s basically pushed into the intersection by the car behind him and slowly chugs along his way. Olive and I cross the street and finish the last leg of our walk. It doesn’t occur to me until the next day that what the guy in the car was really suggesting was that he buy Olive to breed her so he can sell more litters. So, does that whole strange exchange mean he was propositioning Olive through me, her supposed pimp? I think I have to go take a shower now. “OLIVE? YOU’RE NEXT!”

The Lamb of Dog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/04/2012 at 11:03 am

"BAA. BAA."

The other evening, as I was bending down headfirst in Olive’s dog food container, scooping the little brown kibbles into her bowl, it hit me like a runaway freight train. The odor of lamb was so pungent, it finally ignited the circuitry in my brain. In an instant, I flashed back to that moment when I asked myself, “Why does my dog always smell like day-old lambchop?” DING! DING! DING! DING! BINGO!” This is why my dog smells like day-old lampchop. Because she eats lamb everyday. I guess she must secrete it through her pores. Sort of how a friend of mine always smells like a walking, stinking clove of garlic. Because she eats so much of it, it has to escape from her body sub-cutaneously. Her pores await the tsunami of garlic that rushes toward them, using these microscopic portholes as escape hatches. I guess the same thing happens to Olive. Maybe she’s eating too much lamb. Maybe she’s turning into a lamb? I wonder what she’d do if she came nose to nose with a real, live one? Thank God I don’t feed her groundhogs. I don’t know what they smell like, but it can’t be good. Too bad chocolate is harmful to dogs. I wouldn’t mind if Olive walked around the house smelling like a chocolate Easter Bunny.

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