Patti Soldavini

Archive for the ‘lifestyle’ Category

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!

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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!

 

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.

 

 

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.

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 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.

Weimaraner Musician

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 12/31/2012 at 11:16 am

"I'm a WHAT? A DIVA?"

“I’m a WHAT? A DIVA?”

If you own, have owned or have frequent contact with a weimaraner, you’ll know what I mean by the title of this post. During the first few weeks I had Olive, I’d walk throughout the house wondering how exactly a small bird got inside…looking up at the ceilings as if they were great canvases of endless sky, sure I would spot one in mid-flight. Until I was standing in front of Olive. The source of the delicate chirping. “MY GOD OLIVE. THAT’S YOU? HOW CAN YOU SOUND LIKE A BIRD, YOUR ARCHNEMESIS?” Sure, other dogs may “nose whistle,” but only when a weimaraner does it, does it sound exactly like a bird. Last week, I received a gift from someone that Olive apparently decided was a musical instrument. A small sage-colored glazed terra cotta vase with the tiniest neck at the top. Immediately noting that this was a new addition to the room, Olive walks over to it, blows on it a few times and produces distinct whistles. This dog cracks me up. Satisfied with her impromptu musical performance, she backs away and exits the room confidently like the diva she is.

The Princess of Weimar

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 12/25/2012 at 11:24 am

"You MOVED my chair?"

“You MOVED my chair?”

The Princess of Weimar noting the unauthorized migration of her throne from one side of the dining room to the other to make room for the dwarf Christmas Tree. To her credit, she simply trotted over to the chair, looked at it for a half second while considering its suitability and then hopped up to take her rightful place in the universe. “IT’S THE SAME CHAIR OLIVE. NOW YOU JUST HAVE A DIFFERENT VIEW FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS.” She looks away, out the window, and starts barking at the SUV flying down the neighbor’s driveway. This dog lives in a constant state of Defcon 1. I’m surprised that she doesn’t detect molecular movement and bark at that.

The Christmas Olive

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 12/25/2012 at 11:06 am

Where in the world is Olive?

Where in the world is Olive?

You’ve heard of the Christmas Pickle? Well, here is the Christmas Olive. Nestled between the downy blue-green branches of this year’s Christmas Tree, it’s been strategically placed near the top so my ever-alert pooch cannot reach it in case she mistakes it for food. Merry Christmas to all!

Heartbroken

In dogs, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 12:47 pm

(tears)

(tears)

Olive and I did not want to let today pass without sharing our grief about the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. What happened is beyond comprehension and is so deeply heartbreaking to everyone whose life is enriched by the light, joy, innocence and magic of a child. We have friends whose six-year old daughter was in the first grade at Sandy Hook and by the grace of God, little Ella is okay and safe at home. We are so grateful that Ella will have the chance to continue to light up people’s lives for a long time to come and we are incredibly heavy-hearted about the deep, deep loss that so many other parents, siblings, relatives and friends are feeling; one that they will unfortunately endure for their lifetimes. No words explaining why this happened will ever be adequate to comfort those suffering. I wish there were some way we could ease the pain of those who suffer. In that sense, we feel helpless. The best we can do is keep all those affected in our thoughts and prayers.

Waiting For Santa

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 12:17 pm

"Of course I BELIEVE in Santa."

“Of course I BELIEVE in Santa.”

Poor Olive. This is her at my cousin’s house after being bitch slapped by her cousin Oliver, a Tibetan Terrier. Oliver thought it was Olive standing on his tail, when it fact it was my 80-year old Aunt. Olive quietly retreated to the living room and made herself at home on the love seat next to the Christmas tree. One of the more endearing characteristics of dogs is that they don’t hold grudges. Olive waits patiently for Santa.

Mirror Image

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 11:13 am

"CHEESE."

“CHEESE.”

A friend of mine and I laugh hysterically at this photo ever since she pointed out that Olive and I have the same expression on our faces – both showing a little teeth.

Story Time

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 11:03 am

"But where ARE the sugarplums?"

“But where ARE the sugarplums?”

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a weimaraner. Moments later, Olive dove headfirst into the book to retrieve the biscuit that was between my thumb and the page.

Olive’s Nightmare Before Christmas

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 10:37 am

"Is that really ME?"

“Is that really ME?”

It’s you Olive. And you are doing a terrific impersonation of a deer. A two-headed deer, but a deer nonetheless. Don’t feel bad. I have a giant orb sticking out of the back of my head. I promise, this is the last shot we do today.

Mistlecheese

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/16/2012 at 10:25 am

"Is that a big ball of CHEESE?"

“Is that a big ball of CHEESE?”

Yes Olive, it’s called mistlecheese. Now pucker up.

Olive and Santa

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/01/2012 at 8:15 pm

Olive and Patti

Olive and Patti

Is this dog photogenic or what? Here is the first of six or so shots and the one that will grace the Christmas cards I send out this year. Inside it says, Hey it’s you! Here’s hoping your holiday is filled with joy and laughter. And treats. Patti and Olive. As my cousin mentioned when she saw Olive in this shot, “She is magnificent.” And she is. I can’t stop looking at Olive in these photos. Not only is she beautiful, but she’s so much fun, so smart and so sweet. She brings great joy to my life. I am so happy I didn’t let anyone talk me out of getting a weimaraner! It is moments like these that I can’t believe she’s actually mine!

Celebridog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/29/2012 at 9:49 am

“I’m an INSTIGATOR???”

Yesterday, Olive and I went to visit Blue, the “celebridog” made famous by local author Kim Kavin in her new book, “Little Boy Blue,” and Blue’s new companion Ginger, another rescue dog. While Olive is always well-behaved, she is quite rambunctious. I’ve said this many times before; she literally thunders through the house like a small antelope during mating season. And while she has a very sweet, loving temperament and is always eager to please, her level of exuberance cannot be matched even on the Richter scale. I love this about her because it is such an innocent manifestation of her joy simply to be alive, and be a dog. In some ways, it is a reminder about how we might live our own lives; to be happy, have fun and live in the present. But sometimes, Olive’s exuberance makes her a little instigator – thrusting and parrying with other dogs, nipping at their ears and necks in an effort to get them to chase her. It can be a little intimidating to any dog who is a bit fearful or submissive and it doesn’t help when Olive starts to vocalize. It sounds like a cross between a low, sustained growl and a trilling and sounds I admit, a bit intimidating. While I am confident that she wouldn’t hurt the other dog, the other dog doesn’t know that, so I always go on high alert when Olive starts to “sing” like a frustrated loon. I’m actually afraid that Olive is going to get bit one day while playing this “game.” But luckily, on this day, with Blue whom Olive knows, and the more cautious Ginger who she met for the first time, Olive was very playful. While Kim and I chatted, Olive, Blue and Ginger raced around the fenced-in snow-covered backyard like three first-graders who were just told that school was cancelled for the day. While I sat inside, the thought did occur to me, “This is great. Olive gets to play with other dogs and run around and I don’t have to stand outside at the dog park and freeze.” About an hour after we arrived, my often predictable dog goes to the front door of the house and barks repeatedly. This is Olive’s way of signaling that she wants to leave – and probably eat. She is quite clear about her needs and expressing them, more so than most people. “LET’S GO. I WANT TO EAT NOW. NOW. NOW. NOW.” “Well, I guess we’re leaving because my little wolverine has to eat.” To learn more about Blue and his story, you can check out his Facebook page and order Kim’s book here.

Weimaraner Angel

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 11/26/2012 at 8:07 pm

Amen.

A halo. Undeniable proof that Olive is an angel.

Dog Manners

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/26/2012 at 7:58 pm

“Where are the NAPKINS?”

So, if Olive wipes her mouth along the bottom of the couch after she’s done eating, is that evidence of good behavior or bad? I mean, she’s using the couch as a napkin. The fact that she feels the need to wipe her mouth means she has good manners, right? I just wish she’d stop using the couch. She must have read my mind, because now she does not limit herself to the couch. Now, she alternates between the couch, the side of the mattress and for the first time, I saw her wipe her mouth using the coats dangling on hooks downstairs. To Olive, any piece of fabric is a napkin, ergo the world is Olive’s napkin. This dog cracks me up.

Olive’s Christmas Card

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/19/2012 at 7:36 pm

“Are we done yet?”

This year, I thought it would be fun to sit for a photo session with Olive to create this season’s Christmas card. Of course, the conventional “two-shot” of human and pooch would not do. It would have to be more creative. I considered different ideas and a variety of props. Antlers for Olive were out of the question. She flings anything off her head like a slingshot. And while they fit better on a human head, there was no way I was going to wear them. Shamefully, I admit, we tried both anyway. Olive does look better in them than I do. Let’s start with the basics. “Olive, where is your fire engine red cable knit sweater?” It was easier to figure out what Olive would wear; her wardrobe is much smaller than mine. I run out to Wal-Mart for some holiday “props,” and return with four boxes of colored Christmas lights, three sets of white snowflake Christmas lights, two big gold glitter bows, and a dead partridge in a pear tree. Just kidding about the last one. At home, I clumsily rummage through the plastic containers of seasonal décor which I have yet to yank out of the closet. Within reach is a cheap Santa’s hat, soft fuzzy brown antlers with small reindeer heads at their apex, and William Wegman’s “The Night Before Christmas” book. Not bad. These will do. I call my friend Jill and ask her to come along because I think she’ll have fun and she can be the principal “dog wrangler.” I thought this shoot might be a bit more challenging than Olive’s glamour session last year because in this session, she’d be going through more costume changes than Lady Gaga. It was going to be important to manage Olive’s patience and her desire to eat all the props. Inside the studio, under the hot lights, I remove Olive’s virgin wool sweater and ignore her question about what’s a virgin wool. It’s a good thing I “buffed” her before leaving the house. Too lazy to give her a shower before we came, I took the easy way out and gave her what some refer to as a “French whore’s bath.” I tore off a few paper towels, wet them under the bathroom faucet and ran it over her face and torso. For some reason, I felt compelled to clean her little pink armpits as well. Then, I had the brilliant idea of buffing her with a brand new chamois cloth. “My God Olive, I think it’s working. You actually look shinier.” It did work. Jill arrives at my house and the first words out of her mouth are “Olive looks absolutely radiant!” Kismet. “Maybe that’s because her AKC name is Watchpoint ‘n Camelot’s Radiance.” Yes, True ‘Dat. At the shoot, we try lots of different scenarios and props. Olive as always is curious beyond measure but unfailingly well-behaved. She looks good in anything. I can’t say the same for me. I feel like Mrs. Claus’s fatter sister. Olive starts to get antsy at about the 75-minute mark. What a trooper. She now looks like she does in the photo above with Tracy, her professional personal photographer. Like she’s just eaten a sour patch kid and is still constipated. We try one more set-up and believe it or not, this one will probably yield the best pictures. But you’ll have to wait to see those. Now I have to figure out how to allow Olive to autograph them. And P.S., that’s who I named Olive after, the little dog in the book and movie, “Olive, The Other Reindeer,” because I liked the name and it was a nod to the late Idgy, the Wonder Dog who actually looked like the cartoon Olive.

Take Out Food

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/19/2012 at 6:48 am

“WHERE is the PRIZE?”

Olive, who sometimes behaves like a wolverine when it comes to food, simply cannot wait for me to refill her food container, bring it upstairs and prepare her dinner. I guess to her, this is Take Out.

Reading Dogs Minds

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/18/2012 at 7:21 pm

“Are you talkin’ about ME?”

At the local dog park the other afternoon, Andy, a dog park “regular,” turns to me and says “Hey. I think Olive is about to ‘go.’ I can tell by the look…” “YOU CAN TELL BY WHAT, THE LOOK ON HER ASS?” I say. Actually, you can tell by the look on Olive’s ass when she is getting ready to drop a lawn cigar. Her docked tail actually becomes a little more erect and she starts walking very fast but taking very tiny steps as she does it. Then, BOOM. She finds the magic spot and leaves a package. Which I then have to retrieve…like a dog. And I learned very quickly to pre-open the poop bags the minute we get to the park so I don’t have to struggle with them like the plastic bags at the grocery store. You know, the ones that take MINUTES to open after rubbing your thumb and index finger against them so hard and so long that you fear it will ignite in a ball of flames? This way, I can minimize the time I spend standing over the aromatic pile of freshly baked brownies Olive’s just served up.

The Joy of Dog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/18/2012 at 7:00 pm

“THAT was a funky smell. Even to me.”

One of the best things about going for walks with Olive in the Fall is watching her unabashed joy at leaping through countless piles of fallen leaves. This dog, the one who loves to jam her head into holes and dark crevices of any kind, thrusts her snout into these delicate man made mountains and barely comes up for air. As she runs through the pile, I am reminded of my own childhood, when my brother and our friends did the same thing. We’d actually bury ourselves under piles on the lawn and jump into and out of them for hours. It was such great simple fun. This memory is so strong, it actually brings back a “scent memory.” I close my eyes and I recall a very woody, chestnutty scent. “ARE YOU HAVING FUN OLIVE?” She hesitates a second or two to look at me, then returns to prancing through the pile, using her nose alternately as a vacuum cleaner and a rabbit-turd detector. I love experiencing her joy as she experiences it herself on this unseasonably warm, sunny afternoon in the park I used to play in as a child. In moments like these, I feel like I’ve come full circle.

 

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