Patti Soldavini

Archive for February, 2013|Monthly archive page

Olive vs. The Tennis Ball

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 02/17/2013 at 8:15 am

"Don't even think about it."

“Don’t even think about it.”

In the pre-dawn hours this morning, I could hear Olive quietly but persistently licking some part of herself. Maybe her leg. I should have known better. When she licks this long, there is one of only two things wrong. Since I can’t see what she’s licking, I assume it’s either a) she’s trying to express one of her bloated anal glands or b) she’s about to barf. She finally hops off the bed, walks over to the gated doorway and fixes her soul-piercing amber eyes on me. “OH ALRIGHT, I’LL GET UP.” And I do. Just in time. I start hearing her retch and quickly drag her off the carpet onto the tile floor in the bathroom after flinging the bath rugs into the tub as though they were Frisbees. And there it comes. “GAAAKKKKKKK.” A pool of yellow bile-like liquid is expelled. And in the middle of it? A piece of the inside of a tennis ball about the size of a quarter. 100% undigested. It’s Olive’s favorite snack when she’s at the dog park. “GAAAAKKKKK.” A smaller pile of puke. “GAK.” The last bit, just a dot the size of a half dollar. ‘OH OLIVE, I TOLD YOU THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU EAT TENNIS BALLS.” I run around the dog park like an idiot trying to get Olive to give up the bits and pieces she either finds that Laszlo the German Shorthaired Pointer-Spaniel mix has torn to pieces, or that she herself has dismembered. For her, it’s a scavenger hunt combined with the thrill of treasure hunting. For me, it’s exhausting. I could offer her a plump fresh rabbit thigh and she will not part with the half-eaten tennis ball clenched between her teeth. ‘THAT’S IT. I GIVE UP. ARE YOU ENJOYING IT? BECAUSE YOU WON’T BE SO HAPPY WHEN YOU TRY TO EXPEL THE ALIEN TOMORROW MORNING.” About 100 feet away, the mischief-maker stands with her weight evenly distributed just looking at me. The ball remains trapped between her incisors. The tail wags about 100 miles an hour as if to say, “HA, HA, HA, COME AND GET ME!”


Snow Beast

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/10/2013 at 10:07 am



This is what I had to listen to for 45 minutes as I shoveled the driveway yesterday. You see it’s not enough for a weimaraner to see you and be a few feet away from you. Olive would have been happier to be my back-pack or shoveling alongside me.

Concrete Bumper

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/10/2013 at 9:50 am



I am mostly used to having Olive sleep on the bed with me now. Mostly. If only she would stay parallel to me and not perpendicular. (And this from someone who got a ”D” in geometry in high school. Hated geometry, loved algebra. Go figure.) And she’s got such loooooonnnnnngggggg Supermodel legs that when she stretches out across the bed, she’s almost hanging off it. So, my sleeping area becomes truncated; I have only the top two-thirds of the bed to maneuver around. If I were a midget, it wouldn’t be a problem. I’m not tall by any measure, but I need more of the bed than Olive gives me. And I twist and turn a lot. And guess what? So does Olive. She gets up, twirls around, twirls around and plops back down. I try using my legs to guide her to one side of the bed and surprisingly, this usually works. I guess because body language speaks louder than words to dogs. Then she settles in, nudging up against me. I’d say I get the head about 25% of the time, usually it’s the ass. And while emotionally, it feels nice to have her close to me, physically, it’s like sleeping next to a concrete parking space bumper. This dog is 110% muscle. I’m surprised I don’t wake up with bruises. It would be pretty funny to go to the store with your dog to make sure you get the right size bed. “NOPE. THE QUEEN IS TOO SMALL. WE’LL TAKE THE KING SIZE.”


Flying Food

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/10/2013 at 9:25 am



You should see Olive snatch popcorn out of the air like an All-Star center-fielder. If there was a Canine Baseball League, Olive would definitely play center field. She wouldn’t have to be a home run hitter. She could hit hard line drives or screaming grounders and race around the bases before the ball ever bounced into a Terrier’s glove. Unless of course, she catches the tail wind of some delectable scent. Then all bets are off. And if she gets bored between second and third base, well, she might stop to eat third base. Or at least chew it until it resembles a twisted piece of rawhide. (And speaking of rawhide, that means no ball would be safe.) “OH LOOK OLIVE, THE PITCHER IS A GERMAN SHORTHAIRED POINTER. HE’S JUST GOING TO POINT AT THE CATCHER. STEAL THIRD!!!” (This story is starting to sound more interesting than the one I had to intended to write.) Back to the popcorn. Hearing the popcorn pop in the microwave, Olive trailed me into the kitchen. She stares at the source of these unusual, erratic sounds, cocks her head, and once in a while, jumps back a little as if one of them is going to rocket towards her. She trails me downstairs into the living room, close on my heels as though she is my Secret Service Agent. I lie on the couch, she jumps up and assumes a regal “sit.” She stares at me so longingly, there is a scent of pathos in the air. I launch a kernal in her direction and watch her head jerk in about six different directions at once in the space of a nanosecond, her brain trying to calculate the potential trajectories of the kernal. SNATCH. It’s gone. CRUNCH. CRUNCH. Her head returns to its pre-launch position, scanning the horizon for the next kernal. RELEASE. SNATCH. OOPS. It bounces off either the tip of her nose or her opened mouth and lands right back into the bowl, next to the unspent artillery. Being Howie Mandel-like, I am somewhat aghast. “CRIPES. DOG COOTIES.” It wouldn’t be so bad if Olive didn’t spend half the day licking both of her netherbits. I scan the bowl, still mostly full. There is no way I could identify the errant grenade. “OLIVE, IF I GET SOME PARASITE FROM YOU, I’M NOT GOING TO BE HAPPY.” We continue playing this game and when it’s over, I think to myself: “But of course.  My dog loves birds and food, why wouldn’t she like any food that flies through the air. And when you think about it, that’s what birds are to her, flying food, right?

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