Patti Soldavini

Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

Take Your Daug to Work Day

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/29/2012 at 4:56 pm

"I'm done filing. What's next?"

So, I must have mis-heard. I thought it was Take your daug, not Take Your daughter to Work Day last week. Besides, Olive is my daug-hter. And she has better manners than most two-year old humans. At least in public. “OLIVE?” STOP DRINKING OUT OF THE TOILET PLEASE.”

 

Weimaraner Practices Making Crop Circles

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/24/2012 at 8:45 pm

"I wonder what's down THERE?"

In the pre-dawn hours the other morning, when my cognitive abilities were just starting to awaken from their collective nighttime synapse, I hear a distinct KERPLUNK. This accelerates the firing of neurons in my sleep-addled brain. Olive Bo Peep has tumbled off the queen sized master bed like a 2-year old child who was confined to a crib the night before. I reach across the bed to turn on the table lamp and the flood of incandescent light reveals my sweet little pooch lying on the floor. She’s on her back sandwiched between the bed and her giant blanket-covered crate. All four paws are in the air. She looks up at me as if to say “HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?” I get her right-side up and she hops back on the bed. As is customary for Olive, she begins her ritual of creating not 3 or 4 but more like 14 circles both clockwise and counter clockwise before she’s finally satisfied and plops back down. “HEY OLIVE, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLOW SOME CROP CIRCLES IN THE CORN FIELD ACROSS THE STREET TOMORROW NIGHT?” She looks deeply into my eyes for a moment, sighs, closes her eyes and tucks her snout so closely to her tail that she looks likes a café au lait donut.

Unspun Q-Tip Head

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/23/2012 at 8:30 pm

"What was THAT all about?"

A few days ago, nearing the end of our morning walk, Olive and I encounter an old, scraggly man wobbling down the street. And when I say scraggly, I mean his snow white hair looks like an unspun Q-tip head. It announces his presence about four blocks before the rest of his body. And it’s quite a contrast to his seal brown leathery skin. I think he may be muttering to himself. His limbs seem to have separate lives of their own, each moving out of synchronization with the other. I tighten my grip on Olive’s leash, unsure of what to expect as we get closer. Suddenly, the geriatric scarecrow sneezes into a handkerchief. In a loud, slobbery sort of way. At least I hope that’s what I saw. Because if it’s not, then the alternative is that he sneezed into his hands and because of what comes next, I choose not to believe that. As Olive and I are about to pass the man, he reaches out while asking in painfully fractured English something like “Is the dog nice?” I am now torn between allowing a harmless old man to pet Olive with his potentially snot-stained hands and exposing her to Christ-knows-what while I silently gag many times over or being sort of rude and pulling Olive away from him. He’s so excited about petting Olive that I can’t bear to deprive him of this interaction. My eyes grow wide as he rubs his hands over the top of her head, her ears, snout and the sides of her mouth. As usual, my dog stands there enjoying the molestation. As he natters on energetically in his non-native language, I can no longer focus on anything but this: MUST GET OLIVE HOME IMMEDIATELY AND WIPE DOWN HER HEAD AND FACE. Yes, like Howie Mandel’s obsessive-compulsive fear of germs, I am now fixated on this thought. I gently start to pull Olive away as a means of signaling the end of the interaction. The cocooned old bean ambles away like a wind-up toy trying to move in at least four different directions at once. I turn to Olive and say, “OLIVE. DO NOT PUT YOUR PAWS ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR FACE UNTIL WE GET HOME.” I race home, wondering exactly how I would explain the need to go 50 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone to a Police Officer. I run into the kitchen, soak a paper towel and wipe down her head and face. I’ve never done this to Olive before so while she’s very obedient and allows me to do this, I can hear what she’s thinking. “IS THIS BECAUSE I LICKED MY ASS?”

The Inquisitor

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/23/2012 at 7:51 pm

"Is this for ME?"

What the hell is this? It smells pretty good. A slightly musky fragrance. I like the texture too. I could probably use this to floss my digestive track, not my teeth. Although I don’t want to end up with a “dangler.” I’ll look like a Christmas ornament at the end of a hook. This doesn’t make Patti happy. Tastes pretty good. A strong woody flavor with a delicate vegetable note. I may be over thinking this, but why do I feel compelled to make a nest out of it? And yet, there’s something a little disquieting about its presentation. “OH MY GOD, DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE A BUNCH OF GROUND UP SCARECROWS?” Holy agricide, I’m ‘outta here. 

Revenge of The Insects

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/20/2012 at 5:19 pm

"I think I see a BEE."

The insects have begun their seasonal invasion. The ticks are back. I’ve picked a tick off Olive’s daintily veined ear and pink undercarriage twice this week. I’ve also picked one off the back of my head. Gross. The carpenter bees are also back, buzzing back and forth across the deck, occasionally hovering in one spot like a helicopter above a rescue target at sea. Olive has taken notice of these plump, fuzzy, wood-chomping bees. She jumps up, opens her mouth, and tries to snatch them in mid-air. Because the male carpenter bees are stingerless (ouch!), they don’t present any danger to Olive so I happily just watch her eyeball them and lunge after one when it strafes her. She hasn’t caught one yet, but I’m betting she will soon. Then it will be interesting to see what she does with it. Will she spit it out when she feels it bouncing off her molars? Will she just swallow it whole like a velvet kibble? Or will she let it drop from her mouth and then start inquisitively pawing at it until it’s lying there dismembered and covered in spittle? I’m betting it’s going to be number one or number three. “LOOK OLIVE, HERE COMES A WHOLE BATTALION OF CARPENTER BEES!”

Sleeping Beauty

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/17/2012 at 8:10 pm

"It's my BIRTHDAY?"

As the spoiled Princess of Weim napped peacefully this morning on her queen-sized bed with memory foam topper, I, her loyal and dutiful subject, leaned over and gently sang “Happy Birthday” to her. She was largely unmoved by this display of affection. Perhaps she was expecting an orchestral arrangement. Maybe she just had gas. Sweet little Olive turned two today. It’s been an incredibly joyful two years with you Olive. I can’t imagine my life without you in it.

Goldilocks and The Three Beds

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/15/2012 at 9:10 am

"This one feels just right."

It all started with the October snowstorm when Olive and I had to bunk at our neighbor’s home. And Olive had to sleep with me on a small pull-out oversized chaise lounge bed. The only time she will not sleep in her crate is when there’s no cover and she can see me just a foot away from her. Not good enough. The whining and nose whistling will go on for hours until my will is finally broken and I let her out so she can sleep with me. It’s all somewhat ironic because I do this to put an end to the musical performance so I can get some sleep. However, while it’s nice to have her close to me, I get zero sleep because she has to push up against me so hard, it’s as if she is attaching herself to me like a parasitic twin. They don’t refer to weimaraners as “Velcro dogs” for nothing. Then, I let her sleep with me when she wasn’t feeling well and I wanted to keep a close eye on her. Then, it was because of the hurricane. Then it was because of the bear. You get the picture. Olive is now sleeping in the master bed with me every night. It used to be that I let her up on the bed for a half hour or so while I read and then I’d escort her back to her crate. Now, in the middle of the night, I am so exhausted from not being able to fall asleep that I have to pull her off the bed like a piece of Bazooka bubble gum stuck to the pavement on a hot summer day and march her into her crate. And then it starts. I wish you could hear the sounds she makes. A pitiful, plaintive moaning, like she’s been mortally wounded. I don’t know whether to cry or laugh. On the one hand, it’s so primal and sad sounding. On the other hand, because it varies so much in pitch, tone and melody, it’s as though she’s trying very, very hard to speak in broken, mangled English. It sounds as though she is performing the lead role in a melodramatic opera. That’s the best way I can put it. Olive is snoozing on the bed in the guest bedroom this morning. Christ, she’s like Goldilocks. She ends up on every bed in the house. “Oh, I think I’ll try this bed today.” I’m exhausted. I think I’ll go back to my own bed.

Shades of Grey

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/15/2012 at 8:28 am

"How redundant."

The grey ghost on a ghostly grey morning.

Are Weimaraners Narcicissts?

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/14/2012 at 9:40 am

"Yes, Olive, it's me...I mean you."

Does a bear s***! In the woods? When I am lying on the couch with my back toward this oversized photograph of Olive and she is sitting on the couch like a lawn ornament facing me, I see her eyes ever so casually glance upward in the direction of this photo. “ADMIRING YOURSELF OLIVE?” I say. Her eyes glance back down and look at my face just for a split second or two before she re-directs her gaze back above my head. She can’t help herself. I don’t blame her. She is beautiful.

Buffet For a Bear

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/14/2012 at 9:19 am

"Just doing my job."

At about 10pm the other night, I summoned Olive downstairs so we could make our last bio-trip outdoors. I hear the melodic tinkling of the five metal tags on her collar approaching. Standing in front of the sliding glass doors, I silently debate whether I want to let her out into her mostly dark pen alone or put on my shoes and jacket and leash her up to go outside. As fate would have it, those split seconds meant the difference between encountering a bear face-to-face in our driveway or in our backyard. As I tap the garage door opener and it begins to open, Olive shoots outside with explosive force, her flexi-leash unspooling like a fisherman casting his line. Except of course, most fisherman don’t have an impetuous 70-pound lure at the end of their line. As I’m being pulled into the driveway, Olive is straining at the end of her leash, barking and howling as though she’s just identified the Wolfman on her property. And she has. I glance to my right, and behind her pen, above the railroad tie retaining wall, I see a giant black object. While my brain doesn’t immediately process “bear,” I know by its immense size and color that that’s the only thing it can be. Standing in the driveway, we are about 25-feet from an adult black bear. Or at least a nice-sized teenager. Admittedly, I panic and start yanking on the leash with my bare hands pulling Olive toward me as fast as I can. I race back into the garage with her, pound the electric garage door opener, enter the house and slam the door, praying that the damn door shuts in time. I call my neighbors to tell them there’s a bear in my yard who seems to be just…sitting there. As they call our other neighbors, I call the Police who graciously come out with a huge light to chase “Yogi” away. Now I see what the bear was preoccupied with…my garbage…which is now strewn across the lawn. The first and only time I left a garbage bag out in the driveway next to the overstuffed trash can. And the last time. In the bear’s mind, he has just stumbled onto a buffet and he’s going to enjoy it even if he has to listen to a dog “yell” at him. Meanwhile, my bear-chasing dog is inside running around the house like her pants are on fire. Her long sustained woo-woo-woo howls run into each other until they sound like one long half-crazed siren. Even during an unexpected event like this, she can make me laugh. The bear, on all fours, lumbers across the rest of the property, disappearing into the night. The Police leave. I turn to Olive and say, “I’ll be right back Olive. I think I have to change my pants.” Olive looks over at me and says: “Good thing we weren’t part of the buffet.”

The Curse of Critical Thought

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/06/2012 at 9:56 am

"HOW high is the price of gas today?"

Leafing through an artsy-fartsy luxury catalog the other day, one product in particular caught my eye. For about $135, I could own a framed illustration of a dog with this message on it: Unencumbered by Critical Thought. I chuckled. Yes, I thought, if you don’t own a weimaraner. They are capable of critical thought. Anyone who’s ever owned one knows this. I look at this picture of Olive and I imagine she’s thinking about how high the price of gas is going to go and whether this will impact her trips to the dog park. (Don’t worry, Olive, it won’t.) And no, I didn’t buy the illustration. After all, it would be a lie to display it in my and Olive’s home.

Weimaraner Bends Steel with Bare Paws

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/06/2012 at 9:13 am

"Who, ME?"

The average person has no idea how strong weimaraners are. They are so muscular that when they slam into objects, the objects usually crumple like aluminum foil or bend pretzel-like into an entirely new shape. Today, I am still nursing a bruised bone and hematoma the size of a petite squirrel head on my shin about two inches below my right knee. At the moment of collision between Olive’s head and my leg, I was more worried about her because she stood there for a second apparently somewhat dazed. I felt as if I could actually see the cartoon birds (Birds. Can you believe it?) tweeting in circles around her head as though she were knocked silly. All this from rapidly snapping her head and body around less than two feet from where I was standing. It was like a speeding car slammed into a telephone pole. This is not new to my highly alert, sometimes-obsessed pooch. On occasion she exhibits the child-like habit of walking straight ahead with her head turned to one side. In the past, she has smacked her head into street signs, sidewalk trees and other such objects while ogling something across the street on one of our walks. Today, she effectively “ran with a stick” in her hand, although she has no hand per se and the stick was clenched firmly between her teeth. And then when she took off like a corvette, the stick got stuck momentarily in the chain link fence and stopped her in her tracks. She turned to look at me as if to say “How did THAT happen?” I walk over to her, put my arms around her and kissed the top of her little taupe head. “NOT AGAIN, OLIVE. YOU LITTLE NUTHATCH. ARE YOU OK?” And then I see the damage. The stick must have gotten caught on the wire band that attaches the chain link fence to one of the upright poles. It had been torn clear away from one side of the fence. “HOLY SHIT. OLIVE. COME OVER HERE.” Now I’m examining her with the frantic energy of a medic on a battlefield, looking for blood and/or a puncture wound or a missing tooth. After an invasive inspection of her mouth and neck that would make both a Dentist and an automotive detailer proud, I thankfully find nothing amiss. I breathe a sigh of relief as Olive, who has already forgotten the incident, takes off after a bird that’s just landed inside her pen.

Olive: The Master Manipulator

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/06/2012 at 8:38 am

"Do you like my impression of a HYENA?"

The vet just called, confirming what I suspected. Olive’s urinalysis is fine. Negative. Clear. Pristine. Possibly on par with non-sparkling water from an icy-blue stream at the foot of the Colorado Rockies. Essentially, I paid $59 to learn that my dog is a master manipulator. She does not have a bladder infection. She just pretends to so I have to let her in and out of the house 60 times a day. Is this why only I can hear her laugh?

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