Patti Soldavini

Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Aye Aye Captain Olive!

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 9:30 pm

“What the HELL is The Bermuda Triangle?”

Olive, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re shipwrecked. Your ship has run aground. In the middle of the woods atop a mountain in Northern New Jersey. Tell me the truth. You were distracted from your duties as Captain weren’t you? I’ll bet there are no rodents of any size – regular or unusual – left on that ship. Look, you have mouse fur stuck to the corner of your lip. Say something. “IT’S NOT MOUSE FUR. IT’S, IT’S, I THINK IT’S RAT FUR.” Not about the fur, and if that’s true, that’s disgusting. What do you have to say for yourself? “I HATE FISH?”  Tune in again next time for another of Patti and Olive’s ridiculous half-act plays.

Birds: Bush Candy

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 9:09 pm

“Is this a candy bush?”

H-o-w  m-u-c-h  l-o-n-g-e-r  d-o  I  h-a-v-e  t-o  s-i-t  h-e-r-e  l-i-k-e  t-h-i-s? LOOK AT ALL THIS CANDY. This must be candy. It smells like candy. It looks like candy. I didn’t realize that candy grew on bushes. Can I have some candy? Oh look, a bird. Please can I have some candy? I promise I won’t eat all of them. Hey, are there any birds in there? Wait a minute. Is this how birds are born? Do they start out as bush candy?

Olive and The Ice Cream House

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 8:53 pm

“A Blue Jay soft serve with Squirrel sprinkles, please!”

Since I can’t take Olive to The Gingerbread Castle (which actually exists in New Jersey), because she would eat it, I took her to the “Neighborhood Ice Cream House.” The store’s proprietors, Julia and Lizzie, served real ice cream to guests from the 20-square foot store. Alas, Olive walked away empty-pawed. And with her digestive system still intact.

Olive: Canine Good Citizen

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/17/2012 at 9:13 am

“Yeah, I passed.”

LAFAYETTE, NJ, JUNE 16, 2012 – Olive Pimento Soldavini successfully passed the requirements to earn her AKC-recognized Canine Good Citizenship, it was announced today by her owner. The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program is comprised of 10 tests for canines and a pledge for their owners. These tests include: 1. Accepting a friendly stranger. (Olive accepted the evaluator, even asking her out to lunch.) 2. Sitting politely for petting. (Olive sat politely but almost passed out from not being able to lick the evaluator repeatedly while being petted.) 3. Appearance and Grooming. (Olive’s ears were as pink as a baby’s bottom; her nails expertly manicured like a French tart’s and her coat so shiny, you would have thought I bathed her in Turtle Wax.) 4. Out for a walk/Walking on a loose lead. (Since Olive is so used to walking through street fairs and parades, this was a cake walk.) 5. Walking through a crowd. (Ditto.) 6. Sit and Down command and Staying in Place. (Olive is a pro at “sit,” needed some encouragement to “down,” which was shocking since we must have practiced it 60 times in the past week. I can only attribute this to the weimaraner’s classic stubborness. And, believe it or not, she’s pretty much a pro at “Stay” too.) 7. Coming When Called. (She was a little slower on the uptake than she usually is, but she came.) 8. Reaction to another dog. (This was touch and go but she managed to contain her pathological friendliness.) 9. Reaction to distraction. (Olive was alerted to the noise of the chair being dropped, but was non-plussed. You would be too if when you were less than a year old, you’d walk on Main Street and hear the 16-wheelers thunder by and the train come to a screeching halt in front of you on many mornings.) 10. Supervised separation. (As I left Olive with the evaluator and walked outside, out of sight, with a 3-minute timer in my hands, my little pooch just calmly waited for me. It may have been the longest three minutes of my life.) And so when Olive awoke this morning, I poked my head inside her crate and said “Good morning my little canine good citizen. Would you like chicken or turkey for breakfast this morning?”

The Post Hole Digger

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/13/2012 at 10:04 pm

“So THAT’S what the South Pole Looks Like!”

In answer to the question, how fast can a weimaraner dig a hole the size of its head? In less than 10 seconds. There are so many jokes running through my mind right now, I think I’ll just stop here.

 

Good Canine Citizenship

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 8:49 pm

“WHAT?? I have a TEST next week???”

Olive has been in training the past few days for her AKC Good Canine Citizen Test next weekend. Which means that I’ve spent what seems like hours (and it’s only minutes) each day putting Olive (and myself) though a series of repetitive tasks. For someone like myself who detests routine, this is absolutely mind-numbing. I’d rather set my hair on fire. But I don’t want to fail Olive and if she doesn’t pass, it won’t be her fault, it will be mine. She is very well-behaved, but remains highly spirited. I feel pretty good about her ability to pass most of the requirements. Except for one. Since she is uber-friendly and wears her heart on her sleeve, greeting a stranger while remaining in a “sit” is going to be challenging for her. Weimaraners adore people. To Olive, the world is full of friends whose crotch she hasn’t sniffed yet. Because weimaraners are such complex personalities, I find myself constantly intellectually challenged by her idiosyncrasies. I ask myself, “Should I take her for a walk or run before the test so she’s a bit calmer? Like a Category 2 hurricane instead of a Category 5? Or will that make her too tired and cranky?” I also have to make sure she eats before we leave so she’s not hungry and cranky like an infant awaiting its next warm bottle of milk. But then I also have to make sure I leave enough time so she drops her lawn cigars before we leave. This requires military precision timing. And God forbid she’s thirsty during the test. Because she will bark insistently until she’s given a sparkling clean bowl of filtered water. So I have to make sure the Princess has had a drink with enough time to pee before the test. This is what life is like with a weimaraner.  I don’t know who’s more OCD, me or Olive. Maybe that’s why a weimaraner ended up being the perfect dog for me. All I know is that sometimes when I look at her, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have her. Keep your paws crossed Olive. If I can make it through training for the rest of the week, you have a good chance of passing.

Weimaraner Bird Watches

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 7:59 pm

“Look. Dinner flying overhead.”

While it may look like Olive is communicating telepathically with a UFO overhead, she’s actually bird watching. More precisely, this is what she looks like seconds before she leaps into the air like a trapeze artist in an effort to snatch a hawk flying about 20 feet above her. Goofball dog.

Today on Olive’s Outtakes

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 7:43 pm

What does Olive think of this sign? Find out here.

Attack of The Powerwasher

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/08/2012 at 7:09 am

“But it’s MY deck and I like to sleep on it.”

“OLIVE? WHERE ARE YOU? OLIVE?” Where was my pooch to be found when the deck was being powerwashed on Saturday? As the powerful spray of soapy water soaked the sliding glass door, she flew out of the kitchen, legs sliding all over the tile floor like it was her first time on ice skates. A few minutes later, I call out to my goofy pooch: “OLIVE? WHERE ARE YOU?” I walk back and forth through the house checking all the beds, couches and overstuffed chairs. As I do this, somehow, I feel like Goldilocks. As I pass the darkened bathroom, there is Olive, standing in the corner, like a refugee from a third world country. The only thing missing is a babushka on her head. I notice a mild look of apprehension on her face, accentuated by her ever present pinpoint pupils. It is the same place that Idgy, my previous dog, used to retreat to whenever it started to thunder. A small room, in the center of the house with no windows. I’ll have to check with Olive, but this is probably the best place to go to in the event of a hurricane. After all, two out of two dogs used it as a “safe room.” I’ll trust their instinct over my book knowledge any day. I coax Olive out of the bathroom and lead her to the living room couch, where she immediately curls up and closes her eyes. They’ve stopped powerwashing. The noisy engines have been stilled. Peace has been restored, allowing Olive to get back to the business of dreaming about dog things. She looks so sweet when she’s sleeping, my heart grows two sizes larger as I quietly stare at her.

Squirrel Breakfast Sampler

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/08/2012 at 7:03 am

“Hey Rodent, here I come!”

Olive had squirrel for breakfast this morning. Well, almost. She came within a fur’s breadth of enjoying a nice gamey meal. As I opened the sliding glass door to let her out of the house, she shot over the threshold and across her pen with the speed of a rocket-propelled torpedo. The lazy, arrogant, stupid, or just careless rodent almost didn’t make it out of Olive’s pen. It frantically zig zagged across the lawn and scurried up the chain link fence. Olive was racing behind the squirrel, kicking up mud while she tracked it to the end of the fence and then opened her mouth and snapped at its quite furry grey tail just as it crested the top rail. Olive was so close, that I was simultaneously stunned and grateful that she did not turn around with it dangling from her mouth by its tail like a bowling trophy. I wasn’t in the mood to beat it to death with a miniature steel shovel because it bit Olive. As Olive trots back empty mouthed, I do feel badly for her. I wonder if this makes her feel unfulfilled. In my ignorant home sapien manner, I try to ease her disappointment by praising her: “GOOD GIRL OLIVE. YOU CHASED THE STUPID RODENT AWAY. I THINK THAT ONE WAS PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE. GOOD THING YOU LET IT GO.”

The Social Butterfly Hound

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/05/2012 at 9:55 pm

“No more autographs. I’m EXHAUSTED.”

It is an extremely surreal experience to walk down the street, through the neighborhood and be greeted by passerbys in this manner: “HI OLIVE. HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?” It’s not that I am bothered at being dismissed as the biological parasite attached to Olive by a three-foot leather leash. It’s that I don’t even know this person. It seems like everyone in town knows who Olive is. I’m sure I must have met this person during one of our daily walks, but we meet so many people—and their dogs—that I’d be hard pressed to remember. Oh, and the biological matter who greeted Olive? She was tethered to a cute if slightly rotund Jack Russell. Olive and the Jack Russell re-acquaint themselves via a simultaneous butt sniffing, forming a circle that spins ‘round and ‘round while their tails dance with joy. When I see dog’s tails behave this way, it reminds me of the fourth of July sparklers we used to wave around as kids. Crackling with energy and excitement and just the tiniest bit of fear. I stand there rather disconnectedly, trying to recall either the woman’s or Jack Russell’s name. No dice. Neither is surfacing to my prefrontal cortex. After the dogs have completed their biological shakedown, the four of us disengage and move on. Olive prances along like a drum majorette, experiencing all that this beautiful morning has to offer through her amazingly facile nose. I half expect paparazzi to jump out from behind a bush and thrust a pen and an autograph book into Olive’s face. “NOT YET, OLIVE. NOT QUITE YET. FIRST I HAVE TO WRITE THE BOOK. THEN YOU’LL GET TO AUTOGRAPH THEM.” I notice two other dog walkers up ahead, approaching us from opposite sides of the street. As we get closer, I chuckle as I hear, “HI OLIVE. HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?” Déja Vu.

Today on Olive’s Outtakes

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/01/2012 at 8:27 am

What could Olive possibly be doing? You’ll have to ask her.

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