Patti Soldavini

The Doubleheader

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/23/2013 at 6:37 pm


Today was a doubleheader for Olive. We went to the dog park and the human park. It was overcast with sunshine peeking through every now and then and pretty chilly, but at least it was dry. Some days after a lot of snow melts or it’s rained quite a bit, the dog park resembles a mud wrestling pit. On those days, after Olive races from one end of the park to the other, her undercarriage is splattered with mud, requiring a bidet-like cleansing when we get home. Which she detests. Alone at the dog park, I alternately toss her canvas Frisbee as far as I can and she chases it ardently, often snatching it right out of the air. And because I detest picking up the filthy bacteria-laced tennis balls, which are now the color of dark brown moss, I pull my leg back, bring it forward and kick the tennis ball to the moon. I have inadvertently trained Olive to chase “grounders.” Most of the time, after she catches one she nonchalantly drops it right where she’s standing as if to say. “WELL? WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO DO WITH IT?” And although watching her legs kick up dirt while she pivots clockwise and counter-clockwise keeping up with the ball while it changes its trajectory erratically, bouncing above and over her head and then jettisioning off the curve of a half-dug hole or a small sharp-edged stone, it’s way more fun watching her chase down the Frisbee. Just pull your arm back and she’s already off and running, scanning the sky for it, often twirling in circles and stopping to face me just as it sails past her. She falls for it every time. She gets even with me though. Sometimes I’ll throw it and she doesn’t move. She casually watches its turbulent flight until it crash lands and then looks at me as if to say, “NOPE. NOT INTERESTED.” After about 40 minutes at the dog park, Olive is bored with the ball, the Frisbee and ostensibly me, so she begins to engage in one of her favorite past times. Eating dirt. Tunneling her nose through pasty clumps of mud to get at who knows what. “THAT’S IT OLIVE. C’MON, WE’RE GOING.” She looks at me, and begins to trot over after I offer her some water to cleanse her palate. We get in the car and make our way to the human park not far down the road. Now on her flexi-leash, we head toward the lake. Olive is busily inhaling the 4,567 scents I don’t smell. Thank God for small favors. I can’t imagine living in a world where I experienced every scent at 1,000 times its potency. The flowers must smell great. All the animal shit, not so great. There is a small man-made beach hugging one side of the lake. Olive gallops across the beach in a manner that makes me think she likes the way the sand feels between her toes. We walk one of the trails and I stop to sit on a worn wooden bench for a few minutes. The wind is a little brisk; it comes and goes, sometimes quietly, sometimes not. I look around and absorb all around me, always overwhelmed by nature’s beauty and grace. It’s just breathtaking. Even when it’s cold, the trees are leafless, and the grass an anemic yellow-brown. Olive and I return home. Within minutes, she’s asleep on the bed snoring. She’s so worn out she doesn’t even open her eyes when I reach out to pet her. I notice I feel refreshed but tired too. Must have been the wind. Another awesome day with my dog.


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