Patti Soldavini

Archive for October 28th, 2012|Daily archive page

Dog Sitting Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/28/2012 at 6:42 pm

“Can I EAT this thing?”

A couple of weekends ago, 10 friends and relatives and I trekked down to historic Eastern State Penitentiary to experience their annual Terror Behind The Walls Halloween event. I had wanted to do this for years but wouldn’t go by myself and can’t stand driving to Philly. I feel safer driving around New York. Downtown Philly is a convoluted maze of one-way streets, roads as narrow as the birth canal, and really crappy signage. But acting as the group’s social director, I talked everyone into forking over $37 for a ticket and taking a two-hour ride. Since Olive had only recently gotten over her kennel cough, I wasn’t keen about leaving her anywhere. Luckily for me (and Olive), Katie, one of my good friend’s twenty-something year old daughter agreed to dog sit Olive. I made little trick or treat bags for everyone, filled with everything from plastic spiders and witches’ fingers to candy corn, M&M’s and topped off by one plump nutritious Royal Gala Apple. I also included a green glow necklace in each bag. In hindsight, this was a brilliant addition. By wearing them, we were able to immediately spot each other in the dark no matter where we were inside the penitentiary. Suffice to say, Terror Behind The Walls is an incredible experience. We screamed and laughed the whole way through and are still talking about it. I have been ruined. There is no way I can ever go to any other “Haunted House,” as it will never live up to this experience. Every so often, when we are standing in line, waiting to gain entrance to the “exhibit,” Olive pops into my head. I wonder what she’s doing right now. Is she behaving? Or is she barking like a nut? If you guessed the latter, you would be correct. I arrive home around 11:30pm and as I open the door to the house, am greeted by my tired but still alert poochie. “Hi Katie. Thanks for watching Olive. How was she?” “She barked a lot.” “Yeah, that’s my little nut,” I say while I drape my green glow necklace around Olive’s neck which she immediately tries to eat. She races upstairs, leaps onto the bed and closes her eyes. She’s glad I’m home. And I’m glad to see her. “Goodnight Olive.” “Goodnight Patti.”

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Jockey Itch

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/28/2012 at 10:21 am

“What is this PARASITE on my back?

“NO, YOU DO NOT HAVE JOCKEY ITCH OLIVE, THAT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE. THIS IS YOUR HALLOWEEN COSTUME.”

Frankenstorm and Bully Sticks

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/28/2012 at 10:14 am

“What’s a FRANKENSTORM?”

Olive is paying rapt attention to the discussion among the humans at the dog park about the approaching “Frankenstorm.” Yes, that’s actually what the local paper splashed across the front page in monster-sized type on Friday. “The Rise of Frankenstorm.” It has certainly succeeded in whipping New Jersey and New York residents into a tornadic fever. There’s not a “D” battery, jug of bottled water or generator to be had in the two states about now. I had more important things to do. I had to race to the local feed store (the “candy store” to Olive) and purchase a half dozen bully sticks and a giant knucklebone. If Olive is going to have to be confined indoors for the next 24-36 hours, then this is a must or the two of us will go crazy. Indoors, the bully sticks seem to be Olive’s favorite way of burning off some of her energy. She lays on the floor in a sphinx position, stick between her paws, gnawing at that thing with the concentration of a St. Benedictine Monk transcribing ancient scrolls. She barely moves. In fact, if you saw her from the back, you might think you were watching a canine Rabbi performing a circumcision. I think she’s gotten even more protective of her treat lately because she knows that once it gets down to about three inches, I take it away from her. I used to ask her to drop it. She would reluctantly lower her head a few times and finally release it. I’d scoop up the sticky, gooey remnant and race up the stairs to dispose of it. Olive would run alongside me, jumping up repeatedly trying to snatch it from my hands. I finally wised up. Now, I just yell “biscuit,” she comes running to wherever I am, and stares at me with the bully stick hanging out of her mouth like a Havana cigar. She’s waiting to see the evidence. I hold up the biscuit. She drops the fully masticated bully stick and races toward the biscuit. “GOD, OLIVE, SOMETIMES YOU ARE SO PREDICTABLE.” I try to grab the bully twig off the floor in the same fell swoop that I offer her the biscuit, so she doesn’t see me and change course. When she’s done gobbling down the biscuit, her head richochets back and forth around the dining room looking for her bully stick, like “HEY, WHERE THE HELL DID MY BULLY STICK GO?” I’m sure one day, she’ll stop falling for this deception, but for now it still works. A week or so ago, Olive vomited downstairs and as I went to clean it up, I watched something fairly large tumble out of her mouth. It was a 2.5 inch saliva-coated bully stick that was basically teal in color, probably from being attacked by the antacids in her stomach. This is why I need to be more careful. Now, I have to watch her the way a security guard at Wal-Mart watches potential shoplifters. When the bully stick gets to about four inches, I start to rise from the chair and this is Olive’s visual cue to activate “flight” mode. She takes off like a bat out of hell.

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