Patti Soldavini

Archive for the ‘dogs’ Category

The Little Narcissist

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 09/11/2014 at 10:46 pm

"ALL sides are my best side!"

“ALL sides are my best side!”

Yup. Olive’s very first selfie. It took her 10 minutes to strike just the right pose.

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German Land Dog

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 06/16/2014 at 7:09 am

"You're kidding, right?"

“You’re kidding, right?”

I have tried everything to get this dog into a pool. Mostly so I could teach her how to safely get out of one if she ever fell in. When she was a puppy, I held her gently, walked into my neighbor’s pool, cooing as I walked about with her in my arms. After a few minutes, I’d face the stairs and gently release her where she’d paddle like a crazed kayaker until she got her footing on the stairs. Out she went, shaking herself off repeatedly as though she had been dunked in something too foul for words. There, standing on the concrete, she’d look down at me with her big amber eyes as if to say, “WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR?” I did this on about three separate occasions. In hindsight, maybe that wasn’t a good idea. I also tried introducing her to a wading pool. She takes the concept of a wading pool very literally. She will wade into it with all four paws and retrieve her toys which lie at the bottom like sunken battleships, but mostly she will drink out of it. To Olive, any container, no matter how large or small that is filled with water is simply a water bowl for her to drink from. Yes, this means that the toilet seat must be in the down position at all times.

I Feel Pretty

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 06/15/2014 at 7:32 pm

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

“I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bright.”

Olive is now four years old and not a day goes by where a stranger doesn’t say, “She’s beautiful.” “I love the color of her coat.” And, “Her ears are so soft.” My replies are by now part of my standard Olive repertoire. “She knows it.” “It’s more taupe than grey.” “Like The Velveteen Rabbit.” And Olive stands there inquisitively sniffing the stranger’s clothes, jamming her nose into their netherbits and offering herself up for some extreme fondling. This breed simply adores people. And I’ve fallen in love, not just with Olive, but with the breed as well.

The Tortoise and The Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 06/02/2013 at 5:00 pm

'WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. THIS?"

‘WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. THIS?”

On our walk through the park today, Olive makes a beeline for something up ahead. As we get closer, I fear it’s a dead animal of some sort so I start pulling her back, not letting her get close enough to it and its cooties. And then I see a familiar but somewhat rare site. It looks like a dark green Army helmet lying in the sand. Olive has just discovered a snapping turtle. She approaches it tentatively which means she must know that it’s alive. She lunges toward it and then jumps back with the speed of a thunderclap. Since I don’t have any of Olive’s keen senses, I tap the turtle with the tip of my sneaker and sure enough it hisses like a snake. Olive rears back and almost jumps into my arms. Now, she goes on full predatory alert. She desperately wants to check out the turtle’s snake-like face, but I won’t let her. “NO WAY OLIVE. I DON’T NEED YOU LOSING YOUR NOSE TO THIS MIDGET DINOSAUR. GO TO THE OTHER SIDE.” I notice this reptile has a fairly long tail that seems to be stuck in the sand and I realize that maybe it’s laying eggs. Olive continues to lunge and retreat, lunge and retreat, lunge and retreat. I think she definitely wants to capture it but isn’t quite sure how. All of a sudden Olive jams her snout into the sand, scoops some out and flings it onto the turtle’s back. I am so surprised by this little maneuver because I’ve never seen her do anything like it before that it makes me shriek with laughter. I hold Olive tight on her leash while we both inspect the turtle very closely. I think we are both equally fascinated by it. It does look dinosaur-like. “C’MON OLIVE, LET’S GO. THIS IS BORING NOW. IT’S GOING TO TAKE A WEEK FOR IT TO MOVE THREE FEET. “My little “hare” ignores me, still staring fixedly at the turtle’s rear end. She’s probably waiting for breakfast.

 

 

Weimaraner Tricks

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/25/2013 at 11:03 am

"Bet you didn't think I could do THAT!"

“Bet you didn’t think I could do THAT!”

Olive’s latest magic trick. Fitting a car tire in her mouth.

Natural Beauty

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/25/2013 at 10:50 am

"How's this pose?"

“How’s this pose?”

“I am cute, aren’t I? Patti took this when I was about three months old. She was trying to take the picture and I was waiting for the biscuit to drop from her hand. We both got what we wanted.”

Obey The Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 05/22/2013 at 7:05 pm

"Who, ME?"

“Who, ME?”

I was finally comfortably seated outside on the deck tonight when Olive summoned me to the sliding door yet again. Standing inside, tail wagging furiously, she barks commandingly in my general direction. “LET ME OUT.” I’m sure that’s what it means. That’s what it meant about 15 seconds ago. And 45 seconds before that. “FOR GOD’S SAKE OLIVE, MAKE UP YOUR MIND.” As I approach the door, it dawns on me. Owning a weimaraner may actually be a much more selfless commitment than owning a much less demanding dog. It would have been easier owning some lazy flop of a dog, content to lay on the couch for hours on end. Much easier. But no, I elected to share my home with a breed of dog that is scarily smart, highly energetic and sometimes a champion ball buster. This dog will not tolerate my ass being in a chair. She does this all the time. The minute I sit down to eat it starts. “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF.” Or, when I go outside on the deck and she’s inside, or I come inside and she’s left all by her lonesome self, untethered outside about six feet away from me. “HOW MANY TIMES DO I GO UP AND DOWN ALL THE STAIRS IN THIS HOUSE EVERY DAY OLIVE? AT LEAST 20. AND HOW MANY TIMES DO I LET YOU INSIDE AND OUTSIDE? AT LEAST 10.” Who knows, maybe she’s trying to save my life. Because if I had a lazy ass dog, my ass would be the size of Jupiter. Sometimes, she will stand outside the slider and bark. I think she wants to be let in, but no, this is not what the weimaraner wants. I open the door and she immediately backs away; very clearly saying “NO, I WANT YOU TO COME OUT HERE” and executes two sharp barks. Translation? It means “OBEY THE WEIMARANER.” And as her graceful taupe-colored head remains cocked to the left, amber orbs fixed on me, my heart melts. What would I do without her? She is the most incredibly charismatic, charming being I know!

From Olive to Nash

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 05/18/2013 at 6:45 pm

"THAT'S my half brother!"

“THAT’S my half brother!”

This month’s WCA Weimaraner Magazine arrived yesterday with some exciting news on the cover. Olive’s half-brother GCH Doc N’ Camelot’s Heaven Can Wait AKA “Nash” is a “Best in Futurity, Best in Maturity and now all breed Best in Show Winner. Nash is currently the #1 Weimaraner, all systems.” Nash and Olive share the same sire (father), GCH Camelot’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. Olive would like to wish Nash a very hearty Congratulations!

 

Giant Otter Spotted

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/12/2013 at 8:11 pm

"What the HELL?"

“What the HELL?”

Olive and I spotted a giant otter today. Walking on two spindly legs down the sidewalk. It was about five-and-a-half feet tall. I’m not kidding. Well actually I am. As we neared the last leg of our 45-minute walk this bright, beautiful, but windy morning, I spot a very lanky person up ahead of us, dressed in a dark brown hoodie with matching brown pants. The hood was up and tightly cinched, giving the impression that this bulbous head did not have a human face. Admittedly, we only saw it from the back, but the image of an otter was the first thing that came to mind. “LOOK OLIVE, IT’S AN OTTER,” I softly remark aloud. And because whenever I say the word “LOOK” out loud to Olive with a sense of urgency in my voice, her head spins around looking for SOMETHING. The otter crosses the street in front of us, continuing in the opposite direction. We round the corner and up ahead is a gigantic white dog. From far away it looks like an albino bison. Olive is starting to get very excited. A potential new rump to sniff. “GEEZ, WHAT’S GOING TO BE AROUND THE NEXT CORNER?” I wonder. A giant blue yak? I look at Olive and the expression on her face is a priceless mix of quizzical apprehension and intense biological interest. “SO OLIVE, DID YOU LIKE YOUR TRIP TO THE ZOO TODAY?” She doesn’t hear me. She’s genetically tuned-in to the odorless scents wafting from the bison’s behind.

Bumper Dogs

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/12/2013 at 7:24 pm

"Great. T-boned."

“Great. T-boned.”

The canine version of bumper cars. That’s Laszlo the pointer mix t-boning Olive.

 

Olive Copperfield

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/12/2013 at 7:18 pm

"Abracadabra make my head disappear!"

“Abracadabra make my head disappear!”

That’s right, my dog can make her head disappear. And I’ll bet you’ve been staring at her tail. Yeah, that’s how all the magicians do it. Attention-diversion tactics.

 

Tie Score

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 05/12/2013 at 7:01 pm

"I see TICKS."

“I see TICKS.”

It’s only mid-May and the score is tied: Olive 2 and Patti 2. So far, I have picked two ticks off the soft pink underbelly of Olive and one off my leg and the other off the back of my head last night. (Gross.) Thankfully, none of the four were sucking the lifeblood out of either of us.  I am however, not inclined to continue using the mass market flea and tick killers any more. Olive hates when I apply Frontline to her. She behaves as though it burns or itches and I’m guessing that it burns like hell. She tries desperately to rub it off, getting on her back and wriggling all over the carpet and sidling up to the base of the couch and stretching her back alongside it. Really. Could there be any more clear sign that it bothers her? When she was a pup, the first few times I applied it, I would actually see her skin “shudder” while she was sleeping under my desk. Let’s call these “medications” what they really are: pesticides. Pesticides. Pest as in “bug/insect” and “cide” as in “kill” or “slay.” Capable of killing living things. Toxic. It doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to consider that the cause of diseases like lymphoma in dogs may in fact be the result of years and years of applying pesticides to their skin which is absorbed into their bloodstream and probably slowly breaks down their immune system. Like a slow acting poison would.  I’m done with the mass market products. Although we live in an area that is “tick-rich,” and that makes the risk high, I think Olive’s risk is counter-balanced by a few things. First, she’s had a lyme vaccination. 2. She has short fur and hardly any underneath, making it pretty easy to spot ticks (Although the other day I thought the tick was a nipple.) 3. At bedtime, I roll her on her back and inspect her like a Border Crossing Guard. “SHOW ME YOUR ARMPITS OLIVE. NOW LIFT YOUR LEGS.” She seems to find this exercise mostly unusual and partly annoying, but she tolerates it. So this week, I am going to start applying Buck Mountain Organic Parasite Dust. The instructions are to “sprinkle the dust from head to tail along the spine and brush against the hair to bring the dust into contact with the skin.” I already consulted with Olive’s veterinarian who replied as I thought he might (and as I might if I were a Vet), “It’s safe to use. Will it work? I don’t know.” On balance, I think I’ll try this low risk alternative. Better than treating my dog like she’s a patch of lawn I’m applying pesticide too.

Big Dog

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 04/29/2013 at 9:16 pm

"Is this my walk-on?"

“Is this my walk-on?”

As Olive plays “Peekaboo” in the woods, I can’t help but ask myself if she actually “parted the trees.” Upon seeing this image now, it reminds me of the poster for the Tim Burton film, “Big Fish.”

Weimar-Marine

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 04/29/2013 at 8:39 pm

"MOVE. FASTER. NOW."

“MOVE. FASTER. NOW.”

Olive barking orders at me in the park. This dog must have been a marine in a previous life. Maybe I was too. This explains everything.

Nowhere to Hide

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 04/29/2013 at 8:25 pm

"Do I know these people?"

“Do I know these people?”

Olive is getting to be so well known locally, that she can’t even hide in the middle of the woods. She’s going to have to start to wear Ray-Bans. Or one of those plastic black glasses with the big Caucasian flesh-colored Roman nose and Groucho Marx mustache. Yes, last weekend, as Olive and I strolled through the trails at Schooley’s Mountain Park, we come upon a young couple, their grade school-aged daughter and their little dog. We exchange some pleasantries and start to move on. “Come on Olive, let’s go,” I say in a slightly unhinged, “Isn’t-it-such-a-beautiful-day” sing song voice. And then I hear it. From the Mother of the group. “EXCUSE ME. DO YOU WRITE ABOUT OLIVE?” And a smile begins to stretch across my face. “Why yes, I do,” I reply. And then the coolest thing happens. She and her husband start to laugh in the slightly giddy way that people do when they encounter a celebrity. And the woman says, “Our friend Rosemary sends us your posts sometimes.” And now it’s my turn to chuckle. “Rosemary is one of my dearest childhood friends” I reply. During this exchange, Olive is up ahead, staring at me as though the truck-sized peeled grape she has imagined and telepathically communicated is about to materialize right in front of her salivating mouth. “So Olive, do you have any idea why you are so well known in these parts? Because the blog you rarely contribute to is called Life with Olive. Maybe it’s time you started a blog called Life with Patti and I’ll contribute to it whenever there’s a full moon. She just stares at me in that uniquely weimaraner sort of way. Part adoring, part mischievous, part goofy. This dog just lights up everything around her.

 

 

Psychic Encounter

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 04/17/2013 at 9:27 pm

"Someone is reading my MIND right now?"

“Someone is reading my MIND right now?”

Yes, they are Olive. They are hearing all your unspoken and unheard thoughts. And apparently, you are quite the chatterbox. Olive and I encountered the Hackettstown version of the Long Island Medium today. As we wait in line at the feed supply store where Olive and I stop at the end of our walk to get “candy” for Olive (Translation: Bully Sticks and Biscuits), the woman in front of me wheels around on her heels looks at Olive and then very emphatically says to me: “She really, really loves you and wants you to know that you take awesome care of her.” She follows that with, “I’m a psychic, I communicate with both people and animals.” And then something to the effect of, “I can’t help it, she (points to Olive) keeps talking. She wants you to know that her collar is too tight.” And I’ll be damned, but I reach down and it is a little too tight. And you can’t really tell that by looking at it, and she said it so quickly, it seemed genuine. I look at Olive and instantly I feel like Sherman to her Mr. Peabody. The Psychic natters on like a magpie and I keep staring at Olive. I feel confused, unable to hear her thoughts and thinking that I should see the words tumbling out of her mental cauliflower. The Psychic wants to give Olive a big biscuit, but I decline and make the fatal mistake of offering TMI (too much information) by saying that Olive has a fragile digestive system. The Psychic takes out a crystal hanging from the end of a silver chain or some sort of amulet and begins swinging it gently like a pendulum over Olive’s head. By now, even I’m transfixed. “She needs food without wheat in it. That will be better for her tummy.” Kim, the woman behind the counter has a strange look on her face. Like she’s embarrassed for me because I’m being subjected to this public “reading” of my dog. I didn’t mind. How could I? It made my day to hear that Olive loves me and thinks I take such good care of her. The Psychic pulls out her business card and hands it to me. Olive and I exit the store and climb in the car. “I love you too Olive and I want you to know that you take very good care of me.”

Olive’s World

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 04/15/2013 at 10:05 pm

"Are you getting this?"

“Are you getting this?”

Just how smart are weimaraners? Here’s Olive re-enacting Andrew Wyeth’s “Christina’s World.”

 

 

Olive’s Surprise

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 04/15/2013 at 9:32 pm

'WHAT. WAS. THAT?"

‘WHAT. WAS. THAT?”

Early Sunday morning as I sat at the dining room table reading the newspaper, Olive lounged across the couch in the living room below. As she always does, she drapes herself across the back of the couch in front of the windows as though she is a rare and beautiful object on public display. Which when you think about it, is true. All of a sudden I hear a loud THUD. I don’t even look up because I know exactly what it is. Another brainless bluejay bully ricochets off the window. This happens at least monthly in the Spring and Summer. Startled, Olive flies off the couch like a projectile that’s been launched by a slingshot, quickly trots upstairs and seats herself next to me. And doesn’t move a muscle. My heart melts. It’s my job to protect Olive. Even against kamikaze bluejays.

 

Car Wash Shame

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 04/06/2013 at 7:49 pm

"Talk to the tail."

“Talk to the tail.”

There I stood outside the car wash this fine brisk morning, watching the cleaning jockeys vacuum all the fine taupe-colored half-inch long dog hairs threaded through the carpeting and filling the leather nooks and crannies of the seats. There must have been enough fur back there to cloak a bison. So much so that you would have thought that I was driving the world’s largest bristle brush. And that was nothing compared to all of Olive’s nose paste that they had to chip off the inside of all the windows. I had waited so long to clean the car that Olive’s nose paste now coated the windows like an opaque layer of DNA. The cleaning jockeys are scrubbing the windows so furiously, I think I actually hear the windows moan. How embarrassing. They have to work twice as hard to clean cars like mine. I’m surprised they don’t charge a premium for “Dirty Dog” cars. I think to myself, do I have to leave a $20 tip? Red-faced, I turn away and go inside to observe the process which is like watching an old Rube Goldberg contraption in action. I am always intrigued by this mechanical process but I have no idea why. Maybe it’s because we rarely see any mechanical processes up close any more. My car inches into the commercial shower stall. It is so dirty, it resembles a concept car designed to look like a giant clot of dirt on wheels. And poof! Like magic, a bright, shiny car gets spit out on the other end. The dirty dog smell is gone. It’s been replaced by this unique complex, multi-layered scent of windex, dirty dish rags, stale water and…dirty dog. I gag reflexively while the driver side window completes its journey South. I wonder if Olive will appreciate being able to see outside the cataract-free windows again. Maybe next time I won’t let the car get that dirty before I get it washed. And then I remember, I tell myself the same thing every time.

Weimaraners Rule

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 04/06/2013 at 7:20 pm

"The world IS my oyster."

“The world IS my oyster.”

Speaking of oysters, where the hell is the buffet? I was told there would be a buffet.

Jackpot!

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/30/2013 at 7:27 pm

"May I have a napkin?"

“QUICK. Get me a napkin!”

Twice in one week. I can’t believe it. Olive captured in mid-lick AGAIN! She looks a little looney in this picture doesn’t she? How can anyone not laugh seeing that bright pink tongue peeking out from below her dark brown nose? I can’t decide if it looks like Nicki Minaj’s lips or a mustache made out of bubblegum.

Caught in Mid-Lick

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/24/2013 at 7:45 pm

SLURP!

SLURP!

If I were a professional photographer, I know exactly what type of photos I’d make my signature style. Dogs caught in mid-lick. That’s right. Just like Olive in this picture. I don’t know why I find “mid-lick” photos so hysterically funny, but I do. When I accidently catch one, I feel like I just found the prize at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.

The Doubleheader

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

"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

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.

Doggie in The Window

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/20/2013 at 7:27 pm

"There's a pea under the mattress."

“There’s a pea under the mattress.”

How much is that doggie in the window? Laying across the microfiber throne? Not for sale. I paid $1,800 for the privilege of calling her my own and $5,400 in veterinary care over the last three years. For that much Olive, you should be laying golden eggs. Jumbo size.

Sleeping It Off

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/19/2013 at 7:59 pm

Burrrrrrrrrppp.

Burrrrrrrrrppp

Olive caught napping and burping after the St. Olive’s Day party. Oh look! A poof of white smoke erupts with Vesuvian force from under the canopy of her tail. RUN EVERYONE! RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN!

Happy St. Olive’s Day

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/17/2013 at 6:58 pm

"You may kiss my bowtie."

“You may kiss my bowtie.”

I tried telling Olive that it was St. Patrick’s Day and not St. Olive’s Day but she turned a deaf ear towards me. Remember, this is the world according to the weimaraner.

The Olive Codicil

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 03/16/2013 at 5:39 pm

(Dreaming of Fat Birds)

(Dreaming of Fat Birds)

This is the picture of a dog sleeping peacefully with the knowledge that should anything happen to me, she is the first one to get her paws on my estate and the person named to legally care for her gets the icing on the estate cake to care for Olive for as long as she lives. This is New Jersey. You have to make everything legal.

The Fleecing

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/16/2013 at 5:31 pm

"LOOK into my eyes."

“LOOK into my eyes.”

So much for an open mind. The Animal Communicator pulls back the curtain to allow Olive and I to enter the tiny makeshift “reading room.” A small round table draped with fabric of some kind, upon which sits a large white crystal with pink highlights and a large round candle. As Olive frantically checks out every square inch of the room (normally serving as storage space) with her nose, the Animal Communicator (hereafter known simply as “The AC”) says “I’m getting hunting. Does this dog hunt?” I swear I can hear Olive guffaw. “Well, the breed is a hunting breed,” I say, “But I don’t take her hunting for prey.” Strike One I think to myself. She obviously knows about the breed. “Olive tells me she likes to play with you when you come home from work,” says The AC. “I actually work from home,” I reply “and am with her almost 24 hours a day.” Strike two. Now I’m wondering what else I might have spent my $29 on. “I’m seeing Olive in a jeep, like she may have served in the military in a previous life.” Did Olive just snort with derision? I almost hear the words “Why, because she is German?” rat-tat-tat out of my mouth. Now I feel like the world’s biggest sucker and wonder if I can get through the rest of this session without laughing out loud. “She says she’s very happy and wants to thank you for taking such good care of her.” Ok, I’ll take that. “And she loves going to the dog park. She feels very free there.” Strike three. I ask The AC if Olive knows about Idgy, my previous dog. “No, I’m not getting anything. But Idgy wants you to know that she has not left this world; she has stayed behind to be your Guardian. And she wants you to know that she thanks you for taking such good care of her, better care than anyone else would have given her.” And I swear The AC has tears in her eyes. Now this takes me off guard. Because as Idgy began to deteriorate near the end of her life, losing control of her bladder and bowels, losing her senses one by one, and wasting away from 70 to 35 pounds, I did everything I could to make her comfortable, never for one moment resenting the Herculean effort it took. And when she clamped her mouth shut one morning refusing to eat, I knew it was her way of saying she’d had enough. And I was there beside her when her soul left this world. It would be no other way. She deserved that. So, that got to me. And when The AC emphatically stated “And you two, (meaning Olive and me) are joined at the hip.” She said this with complete certainty as though a giant, bright, shining physical manifestation of our bond had just appeared before her. I thought, “Well, she got that right too.” Our session is over. I pay at the register, while Olive obsesses herself with the next dog and owner waiting to be fleeced. “I hope you said whatever you wanted to say to me Olive because this little bonding experience cost us about six bully sticks.”

 

Olive Can You Hear Me?

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 03/09/2013 at 1:35 pm

"We're doing WHAT tomorrow?

“We’re doing WHAT tomorrow?

Tomorrow, Olive and I have an appointment with a local Animal Communicator. This should be fun. When I first opened the email from the local pet store, I thought “What a crock of shit.” But by the end of the day, I had completely changed my opinion and thought “Why not? What a delightful way to waste $29.” Perhaps Olive was already communicating telepathically to me. I’ve since been very excited about this opportunity and have decided to view this 20 minute session as just another bonding experience between Olive and myself. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Animal Communication, here’s a description from She Knows Pets & Animals: Put simply, animal communication is a silent, telepathic language that functions via deepened intuition. Animal communicators are very much in tune with this ability and use it to have a dialogue with an animal. Animal communication is not about deciphering an animal’s body language or behavior, though. It’s an actual exchange of information between the communicator and animal in the form of words, mental images, feelings and more. Horse. Dog. Cat. Rabbit. Skunk. Bison. Whatever. The invitation promised “Learn what your pet wants you to know.” Well this will be interesting. If I had to guess what Olive wants me to know, I’d say it would have something to do with either food or exercise. I read some tips on how to work with an Animal Communicator so we’re good to go. Now I just have to come up with two questions – what do I want to learn from Olive and what do I want Olive to learn from me? You could say that believing in things like animal communicators and animal communication is like believing in Santa Claus and I choose to believe, but I’m also a huge believer in the power of intuition. I live my life intuitively. I may gather information about a topic, but my intuition always makes the decision, not my head. And since Olive cannot speak (yet), I have to believe that she does communicate telepathically. I just don’t always hear it. “Olive can you hear me?”

 

Mirror Image

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/06/2013 at 8:53 pm

"My GOD, I'm cute!"

“My GOD, I’m cute!”

I monkeyed (obviously) with this grainy photo to bring you Olive caught in the act of staring at the 20×24 framed photo of herself on the wall. Yes, weimaraners are narcissists. It’s part of their charm.

Peeping Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/06/2013 at 8:41 pm

"What the HELL is going on?"

“What the HELL is going on?”

Yup, that’s my dog. Peeping out the bedroom window seeking to identify some activity that only her bionic ears have detected. It was probably a bird fart. I only wish I were outside my house observing Olive in the window like this. I’m sure it’s worth a chuckle.

 

Keyboard-Playing Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/06/2013 at 8:28 pm

Olive's Bohemian Rhapsody

Olive’s Bohemian Rhapsody

There I am this November-like morning sitting in the waiting room of a Doctor’s office, laughing out loud, even snorting, as I watch a video of Olive “playing” the keyboard. I watch it on my iphone. Again. And again. And again. Each time I titter more and more. I was motivated to sprinkle some Old Mother Hubbard Bitz across the keyboard more in an effort to amuse myself while occupying Olive’s active mind the other day. Between the bone-cold raw days, rain and all the extra hours I’ve been working the past 9 months, Olive has been feeling a little neglected. Which if you know me or Olive personally, is sort of ridiculous because she spends the entire day with me. But, like a three year old human child, wants my active attention more than I can give it some days. It reminds me of when kids yell in an adult’s direction, “HEY. LOOK. WATCH ME. WATCH ME DO THIS. WATCH. ME.” I believe Olive tries to retaliate by barking indignantly as though she needs to drop a lawn cigar whenever A) I begin talking on the phone and B) The minute my rear end grazes the chair cushion to eat a meal. “BARK. MOM. I NEED TO GO OUT. BARK, NOW. BARK, BARK.” Inevitably, I get up to let her out and then she either races toward my plate or runs into another room. Anyway, as she gobbled up the Bitz while making her way across the keyboard, there were a few spots where it actually started to sound composed. And at the end, after the last morsel has been hoovered up, she walks away, turns around quickly and comes back to check for more, punctuating her little concerto with a deliberately powerful sting. At this point, I’m crying with laughter.

 

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

'WOO WOO WOO WOO."

‘WOO WOO WOO WOO.”

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

"Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

“Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz”

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

"I'm WAITING."

“I’m WAITING.”

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?

Bridge to Nowhere

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 01/26/2013 at 10:31 am

"You guys know this is a bridge to NOWHERE, right?"

“You guys know this is a bridge to NOWHERE, right?”

Olive the observer, always investigating before participating.

Dog Tag

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 01/26/2013 at 10:25 am

"Hey guys, I'm 'IT' AGAIN?"

“Hey guys, I’m ‘IT’ AGAIN?”

Olive playing tag with her friends at Four Paws Playground.

Home Sweet Home

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/26/2013 at 10:12 am

"May I stop POSING now?"

“May I stop POSING now?”

What a month. Between my Mom being ill, the bone-cold weather we’ve been having, my real job consuming 12 hours of my day and being on-call for two weeks for jury duty (in Trenton of all places), this month just disappeared. The only bright spot was (as it always is), Olive. While I was out of town visiting my Mom, Olive got to stay at Four Paws Playground, the Hotel W for dogs. Now that she’s stayed there a few times for a week or more, I find the idea of her well-being doesn’t intrude upon my thoughts constantly when I’m away. I trust that Olive is well taken care of there. But then I feel guilty that I’m not thinking of her often enough. So, I look forward to when I return home and pick her up. My plane lands, I bolt home like a Superhero, run out the door and start the drive to Four Paws. It is the best drive ever. I’m going to bring my little nut home. She of course, is oblivious that her vacation is about to come to a close. She’s always a bit non-chalant in the car on the way back home. I can’t figure out if this is because she’s shocked that I came back or shocked that she’s leaving all her canine friends and is about to miss the hotly anticipated scavenger hunt that was planned for that evening. Once she’s home, she invariably heads for her water bowl, takes a drink then starts racing through the house like a spooked antelope. She’s back. One of the things I especially love about Olive is that her tail wags at 180 mph all the time. I view this as a barometer of her overall happiness. (And mine.) During this month, we did get to the local park every few days. I did this for Olive, not for me. Standing on top of a mountain being the only object to buffet 25 mph winds where it’s 15 degrees, was not my idea of fun. However, to Olive it was great fun. Especially since she was wearing her new winter coat. Although she’s not too crazy about the jockstrap-like straps that criss-cross her behind when you put her legs through them. For the first few minutes, she walked like she had a load in her diaper. Then she kept swiveling her head ahead to see just what was back there. Finally, she was able to ignore it as she ran around the park chasing her friends. I chuckled to myself when I saw her from behind and noticed one of the straps sort of riding up very close to where it shouldn’t be. Olive trots over and stands next to me quietly. That’s my cue to take her home. Home sweet home.

Waiting For The New Year

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 12/31/2012 at 12:13 pm

"I'm WAITING."

“I’m WAITING.”

Yes, I’m waiting. And you know me. I won’t wait much longer. Oh look, someone dropped a piece of….

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