Patti Soldavini

Archive for August 26th, 2012|Daily archive page

How I am Like My Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/26/2012 at 11:08 am

“Are we TWINS?”

Although I sensed early on that I got a breed of dog that was just like me, it has only become more apparent with the passing of time. We’re both smart and independent. This makes each day a battle of wits between us. Sometimes she wins, sometimes I win. I think the score currently stands at 8,456 to 8,458. I have an easier time picking up the chalk and writing on the blackboard, so I am the scorekeeper. Each of us is highly inquisitive by nature. She will jam her entire head down into a hole to see what’s there, or she’ll dive into a grocery store bag, tunneling to the bottom in seconds, searching for an edible treasure. I will jam my head deep into the refrigerator to evaluate my choices for dinner or plant my face inches from something odd I see on the sidewalk. Both of us get bored very, very quickly. Olive responds by chewing on soft fluffy things until they expire. Or she sharpens her teeth on the furniture. She likes wood so much, that sometimes I think she must be part beaver. We both require lots of intellectual stimulation. I will either read, write, escape to the movies or work on my genealogy. We also run neck and neck on the attention span scale. In fact, she may actually have a slightly longer attention span than me. And that’s not saying much. If there’s not a bright, shiny object or continuous activity in front of either of us, forget it, we’re mentally and physically gone. Both of us are foodies though. Although she has the same meals everyday, she will dine out by herself on gross and stinky things that I assume are tasty, because she consumes them with unabashed glee. I will go almost anywhere to experience interesting food at new restaurants. In the energy department, Olive clearly outperforms me. While I have a lot of energy for someone my age, I’m no match for a 29-month old weimaraner. So, to make sure she gets what she needs, we spend about 90+ minutes at the dog park after work every day. The irony is that I used to be very athletic. My career as an athlete was cut short in seconds during the quarterfinals of the High School Girls State Tournament Basketball Game when I blew out my right knee. If not for that, Olive and I would probably be jogging together daily instead of walking. And each of us can be a bit stubborn at times. Whenever one of us is given a command (her at home, me at work) and it seems ill advised, we both dig in our heels. She also one-ups me on the attribute of being graceful. While I’m no klutz by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve never been called graceful. To me, graceful infers a natural, ever-present fluidity of motion as one moves at all times. That’s Olive. When this dog moves, breathes, or just sits there, she’s as graceful as a ballerina. And this in turn contributes to the impression she creates that she is a member of the aristocracy. The closest I can come to that claim is that it appears that in the 1600s, ancestors of mine were mercenaries for the Duke of Milan. So, although we’re not totally alike, we are alike in many important ways. And although I underestimated many of the breed’s characteristics, somehow, intuitively, I picked the right breed for me. And I think Olive got the right human for her.

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The Ceiling Nipple

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/26/2012 at 9:57 am

“But why is it so HIGH?”

As I was taking a shower the other morning, Olive saunters into the bathroom. As a pup, she used to lie down on the rug and oh-so-patiently wait for me to finish before bolting out the door. She no longer lies down or waits patiently. She sits like a Buckingham Palace Guard on the napkin-sized throw rug in front of the sink and doesn’t move a muscle. She sends me a single thought telekinetically over and over and over. “ARE YOU DONE YET? ARE YOU DONE YET? ARE YOU DONE YET?” The other morning was different. I both sense and hear energetic activity that feels and sounds a bit frantic. I peek out from behind the shower curtain and there is Olive standing there staring fixedly at the brand new ceiling light. She twirls around and looks at it from different angles, never once taking her eyes off it. All of a sudden she leaps up toward the light. ‘OLIVE WHAT THE HOLY HELL ARE YOU DOING?” I figure she must be chasing a fly or something so I go back to my shower. Later that same day I’m sitting on the toilet and Olive bursts in, looks up at the ceiling light and just stares at it like it’s a giant Reese’s Cup. “Oh my God,” I say aloud. “You know the light is new.” Nothing gets past a weimaraner. Nothing. This behavior of hers continues unabated for the next couple of days. There’s something else at play here. The new fixture is pretty much the same but instead of having a brass ring and “nipple” keeping the glass dome in place, it’s bronze. Maybe she thinks the “nipple” is a big bug. I tell this story to some friends and show them a picture of the new fixture. Susan says “Well, from below maybe it looks like a giant eyeball to her.” “You’re right, it is kind of creepy when you look at it like that.” And this morning, the truth dawned on me. I’ve mentioned before that Olive was one of a litter of 11 and female dogs have 10 nipples. And I think that Olive didn’t get enough, so she is always searching for the “eternal nipple.” Inadvertently, I have given her the eternal nipple. Except it’s affixed to the ceiling about eight feet above her.

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