Patti Soldavini

Archive for March 25th, 2012|Daily archive page

Headless Bird Found on Cloudless Morning

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/25/2012 at 10:35 am

"So many birds and so little time."

Well, I guess it was bound to happen. How long do you think it would be before I would have to remove some dead animal carcass from my property? The answer? Not long. Upon waking, I took Olive out on a beautiful cloudless morning to empty her biological canisters. Because the weather has already been unseasonably warm, the birds are back. All of them. Thousands upon thousands of them. Ancestors, in-laws, illegitimate offspring, you name it. My yard backs up against the historic Morris Canal which nature has elegantly turned into an incredible organic aviary. You can hear bazillions of birds singing, tweeting, lyrically expressing themselves. It is actually incredibly beautiful. You’d think you were trekking through the amazon. Of course, this is titillating, frustrating and ironic for my biologically-bred “bird dog.” Poor Olive. There are so many birds zipping across the property, she doesn’t even know where to look first. Of course, this only heightens her ADHD-like attention span, distracting her endlessly from the task at hand. “OLIVE. PLEASE GO POTTY. I’D LIKE TO GET BACK IN THE HOUSE BEFORE THE NEXT SOLAR ECLIPSE.” On this particular morning though, Olive makes a beeline for some raised object on the front lawn. I can tell by the way she’s crouching like a tiger while advancing upon it, that it must be an animal of some kind. I tighten her flexi-leash so she can’t get to it before I can and lo and behold, it’s a dead robin. Wings splayed out to their sides, empty abdomen and…no head. “GOD, THAT’S GROSS,” I mutter aloud. Olive barely noses it before I pull her back. I bring her in the house and wipe off her nose and whiskers, hoping that there is no necrotic bacterial dust microscopically attached to her whiskers. I grab the “carcass” shovel and head back out to the front yard. As I scoop up the remains, I start looking around for the head by swiveling mine all around. I don’t need Olive coming back into the house with a cootified dismembered bird head in her mouth. I walk around in circles for a few minutes, before I decide that whatever killed the bird must have either taken the head as a trophy or eaten it as dessert. “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU OLIVE, BUT SUDDENLY, I’M NOT AT ALL HUNGRY THIS MORNING.”

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Weimaraner Confronts Giant Fossil Bug

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/25/2012 at 9:48 am

"Yikes!"

Olive’s first encounter with organic sculptures that resemble oversized insects.

The Dog Park Application Odyssey

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/25/2012 at 9:36 am

"Was all THAT really necessary?"

What a week. I spent an inordinate number of hours trying to get Olive “approved” for membership to one of the local dog parks. The one in the wealthy, snobby town with property taxes that exceed $20,000 a year for most of the homes that dot its landscape. First, I had to apply for a dog license for Olive in the township we live in. The only reason I didn’t do this when I first got her was that you can’t apply before a dog has had its rabies shot. Olive didn’t get her first rabies shot until she was about 5 months old, which is fairly standard. But according to the township paperwork, Olive would have had to have another rabies shot two months later just to meet their administrative requirements. “SCREW THAT,” I thought. “I’M NOT DOUBLE-DOSING OLIVE JUST SO SOME CLERK HAS AN EASIER JOB.” So, Olive has remained license-free until now. Besides, many weims have adverse reactions to vaccinations and while I’m lucky that Olive has not, I didn’t know that at the time. So, I fill out the paperwork, provide proof of rabies vaccination and mail it to the township. In a few days, Olive’s dog license arrives. One down, one to go. I pull the dog park application down from the website of the other township. My eyes widen as I review it and the attached legal waiver. They require so much evidence that after I’m done reading the application, I’m surprised they don’t want to paw print her and perform a cavity search. It’s starting to look like it would be easier to get Olive admitted to the bar. Not only do I have to demonstrate proof of rabies, spaying, distemper, bordatella, but I also have to show proof that she’s on heartworm medication and that she’s had a negative fecal test for the infamous giardia in the past six months. Then, Olive’s veterinarian has to sign the application. I also have to have a witness sign the liability waiver. Maybe the New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles should take a page out of this book. In the end, I don’t really mind, although it doesn’t stop people who are not members from bringing dogs who don’t meet all these criteria to the park. No township in their right mind wants to “staff” a dog park because they might as well just hold up a sign (especially in the culturally litigious state of New Jersey) that says “Referee for lawsuits.” I drop off the application at the Vet’s for signature, pick it up the next day and then take it to the neighboring township’s municipal building where I am presented with yet another metal dog tag to place on Olive’s collar. There are now so many tags on her collar that she sounds like she’s playing the xylophone whenever she moves.

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