Patti Soldavini

Protecting Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 05/20/2012 at 6:56 pm


Have you even been pepper-sprayed? I have. Sort of. Standing in a group at the dog park Saturday morning, I was telling the other human companions why I carry a vial of pepper spray with me whenever I’m out with Olive. As I’m explaining that it makes me feel safer when Olive and I walk past some very aggressive-sounding dogs on our walks, I take out the vial and say “Maybe I should test this thing. It’s over two years old and I’ve never used it.” With that, I turn away from the group and into the gentle wind and spray. A tightly-focused dark orange stream shoots 20 feet through the air. The equivalent of a line drive. “Wow. This thing shoots far,” I remark. “Much farther than I imagined.” Of course, that could be good or bad depending on my aim. Now that my product demonstration is over, I pocket the vial. I glance around to confirm Olive’s whereabouts and listen to the conversation around me. I reach up to scratch an itch on my face. Then my neck. Now I feel like my lips are tingling…and not in a good way. Finally, it dawns on me that tiny particles of pepper spray must have blown back onto me courtesy of the wind. My face gets itchier. My lips are now burning moderately like a Girl Scout campfire. “Christ, I can’t believe I was that stupid,” I think. Apparently my head and face remain their normal size and I’ve not broken out in screaming red welts. In fact no one seems to notice. Olive’s using her nose to tunnel up a new dog’s behind. I think she’s looking for daylight. Me? I’m hoping the itching and burning does not get worse. In fact, I’m hoping it goes away before I have to go to my genealogy seminar in a couple of hours. I have no one to blame but myself. My impulsive nature has gotten the best of me again. “GEE OLIVE, YOU’D BETTER HOPE I NEVER REALLY NEED TO USE THIS. BECAUSE WHO KNOWS WHERE IT WILL END UP.”

  1. I’ve never tested my pepper spray because I’ve always been afraid that would happen to me!

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