Patti Soldavini

Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

How I am Not Like My Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/04/2012 at 7:32 pm

“We converted ANOTHER one!”

Oh this is easy. Olive genuinely likes people more than I do. I was once told by a Boss that I preferred the world of ideas to the world of people. A very sharp observation. In fact, one that made me more self-aware. And you can add dogs after ideas. Then people. The world can credit Olive with making me a little more social. See, you can teach an somewhat mature human new tricks. Especially, if you’re being taught by a weimaraner.

 

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Napping With Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/04/2012 at 6:53 pm

“This is called a NAP?”

All week I haven’t felt quite well. A low grade headache and maybe even a fever? But the best (sarcasm) is the feeling of having a pile of damp sand sitting at the base of my throat. Or is that my “cough box?” You know, the one that decides to wake up and go to work in the middle of the night. The one that cranks up the rusty machines and manufactures enough sandpaper to make an army gag. Ugh. And to feel this way when it is constantly damp and humid outside makes it even worse somehow. Even though I am indoors most of the time. It’s the typical East Coast time of year when nature tests our constitution to see just how much ragweed, pollen, and other of nature’s dander we can take. I thought I had a sinus infection and that it might run its course without intervention. But by last night I’d had it with the headache and fever, so I went to the doctor today. And you know what happened? The minute he said I had bronchitis, it gave me permission to feel worse. So I got the prescriptions filled, went home, walked in the door and announced: “C’MON OLIVE. WE’RE TAKING A NAP.” So I take one of the antibiotics, and crash on the guest bed which for some reason is my favorite place to nap when I don’t feel well. Probably because it’s the coldest room in the house, hence I refer to it as the “ghost bedroom.” Olive jumps on the bed and lies next me. Circling only a few times before she decides not to rest her ass on my face. “THANKS OLIVE FOR NOT GIVING ME THE TAIL.” Ahhhh. I love taking naps. (I probably should have been Mexican or French.) I love them even more with Olive beside me. Especially when I don’t feel well. It feels very “meatloafian.”

Weimaraner Wisdom

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/02/2012 at 7:19 pm

“Be quiet. I’m thinking DEEP thoughts.”

I am a lucky dog. Literally and figuratively. I sit at the feet of my pack leader on this fine Saturday afternoon observing the world around me both four-legged and two. The leaves are falling again. Some may see this as evidence of Summer weeping, but not I. Leaves are simply nature’s way of announcing change. People come and go. Some tall, some tiny. They are a curious bunch. They stop and point at me and say nice things. There is a gentle breeze today. I feel it on the ridges of my ears. It transports a variety of scents that waft past my nose in delicate waves. Yes, this is the life. When humans say, “It’s a dog’s life,” this is what they mean. I live in the present at all times. I don’t worry about what’s ahead and I don’t mourn what’s past me. I sit here, relaxed, in the company of my pack leader, in a state of sublime peacefulness. Unlike my pack leader, I am unburdened by many responsibilities. I have one. To protect my pack leader. It keeps me very focused. At least as focused as I can be. The funny thing about living in the present is that it makes time stop. It allows me to enjoy the smallest moments in my day, one at a time. Maybe that’s why I feel so content. Because instead of each moment rushing by in a blur or stuck somewhere in the past, I experience each moment fully. So, even though our lives do not measure the same number of years as the humans who love and care for us, I think we live our lives more fully. Thank God, I’m a dog.

Slumber Party Animal

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/01/2012 at 9:50 am

DO NOT DISTURB

This is what Olive looked like when she returned from her first overnight stay at Dog Camp. She snored like a wildebeest. It was probably a combination of factors that led to her state of near-exhaustion—which is a state of nirvana for a weimaraner. On the upside, she got to spend every other hour playing with lots of other dogs. On the downside, it was the first night she slept somewhere unfamiliar without a human that she knew. I’m sure Olive adjusted much better than I did to this separation. My separation anxiety was worse than hers. When I first dropped her off, one of the “Camp Counselors” took her leash from me and Olive strained to return to me. I think I actually felt the umbilical cord snap. Returning home, when I walked through the door of the house without Olive, I will admit I felt ever so slightly “free.” This feeling was very short-lived as it immediately cascaded into a deep feeling of guilt which arrived like a stake through my heart. Luckily, I had so much work to do, it kept my mind off Olive for a few hours. But later on, after dinner when I sat down on the couch to watch TV, I started to realize just how much Olive keeps me active. I didn’t have to get up five times to let her out or find her bone, or answer a summons for a bully stick. I was shocked at just how lazy I might be without her. I tried not to think of Olive. At 8pm I realized they’d be putting her to bed. A strange bed. But a toddler’s mattress with a blanket inside a small horse stall. (Really) So that was comforting. I finally went to bed around 10pm and slept fitfully until 3:30am. “Is Olive okay?” I wondered. “Is she sleeping?” Probably. I go back to sleep. And then the nightmares begin. I dream that I go to pick Olive up and they return the wrong dog to me. “THAT’S NOT MY DOG,” I say with a mixture of indignance and anger. Then they bring out some other dog. It’s not even a weimaraner and it’s all twisted and deformed. “THAT’S NOT OLIVE,” I say with mounting anger. “Oh, don’t worry, she’ll be alright when she straightens out,” they say. Now I am starting to freak out wondering if my dog is gone. And then I see Olive. And she’s standing there, her beautiful little face looking forlorn and she’s holding up a front paw and her knee is totally wrecked, exposing a splintered ball and joint and it’s hollow inside; there’s no blood whatsoever. It’s just empty. At that moment, I awaken a bit shaken. It’s 6:30am. I pick up the phone and call the Dog Camp and say: “This is Patti Soldavini. Please give Olive her complimentary bath. I’m picking her up in an hour.” I get up, shower, run to Panera for a coffee and start speeding down the county highway. When I arrive 20 minutes later, Olive is led out the door into the reception area where I await her presence like an anxious parent awaiting their child on her first day of Kindergarden. Out she comes wagging her tail at 100 miles an hour. She is perfectly fine and very happy and as we pull out of the parking lot to head for home, I swear I see her glance back wistfully as though she won’t be back until next Summer.

Spot The Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/01/2012 at 8:56 am

“Olly olly home free!”

Where in the world is Olive?

How I am Like My Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/26/2012 at 11:08 am

“Are we TWINS?”

Although I sensed early on that I got a breed of dog that was just like me, it has only become more apparent with the passing of time. We’re both smart and independent. This makes each day a battle of wits between us. Sometimes she wins, sometimes I win. I think the score currently stands at 8,456 to 8,458. I have an easier time picking up the chalk and writing on the blackboard, so I am the scorekeeper. Each of us is highly inquisitive by nature. She will jam her entire head down into a hole to see what’s there, or she’ll dive into a grocery store bag, tunneling to the bottom in seconds, searching for an edible treasure. I will jam my head deep into the refrigerator to evaluate my choices for dinner or plant my face inches from something odd I see on the sidewalk. Both of us get bored very, very quickly. Olive responds by chewing on soft fluffy things until they expire. Or she sharpens her teeth on the furniture. She likes wood so much, that sometimes I think she must be part beaver. We both require lots of intellectual stimulation. I will either read, write, escape to the movies or work on my genealogy. We also run neck and neck on the attention span scale. In fact, she may actually have a slightly longer attention span than me. And that’s not saying much. If there’s not a bright, shiny object or continuous activity in front of either of us, forget it, we’re mentally and physically gone. Both of us are foodies though. Although she has the same meals everyday, she will dine out by herself on gross and stinky things that I assume are tasty, because she consumes them with unabashed glee. I will go almost anywhere to experience interesting food at new restaurants. In the energy department, Olive clearly outperforms me. While I have a lot of energy for someone my age, I’m no match for a 29-month old weimaraner. So, to make sure she gets what she needs, we spend about 90+ minutes at the dog park after work every day. The irony is that I used to be very athletic. My career as an athlete was cut short in seconds during the quarterfinals of the High School Girls State Tournament Basketball Game when I blew out my right knee. If not for that, Olive and I would probably be jogging together daily instead of walking. And each of us can be a bit stubborn at times. Whenever one of us is given a command (her at home, me at work) and it seems ill advised, we both dig in our heels. She also one-ups me on the attribute of being graceful. While I’m no klutz by any stretch of the imagination, I’ve never been called graceful. To me, graceful infers a natural, ever-present fluidity of motion as one moves at all times. That’s Olive. When this dog moves, breathes, or just sits there, she’s as graceful as a ballerina. And this in turn contributes to the impression she creates that she is a member of the aristocracy. The closest I can come to that claim is that it appears that in the 1600s, ancestors of mine were mercenaries for the Duke of Milan. So, although we’re not totally alike, we are alike in many important ways. And although I underestimated many of the breed’s characteristics, somehow, intuitively, I picked the right breed for me. And I think Olive got the right human for her.

The Ceiling Nipple

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/26/2012 at 9:57 am

“But why is it so HIGH?”

As I was taking a shower the other morning, Olive saunters into the bathroom. As a pup, she used to lie down on the rug and oh-so-patiently wait for me to finish before bolting out the door. She no longer lies down or waits patiently. She sits like a Buckingham Palace Guard on the napkin-sized throw rug in front of the sink and doesn’t move a muscle. She sends me a single thought telekinetically over and over and over. “ARE YOU DONE YET? ARE YOU DONE YET? ARE YOU DONE YET?” The other morning was different. I both sense and hear energetic activity that feels and sounds a bit frantic. I peek out from behind the shower curtain and there is Olive standing there staring fixedly at the brand new ceiling light. She twirls around and looks at it from different angles, never once taking her eyes off it. All of a sudden she leaps up toward the light. ‘OLIVE WHAT THE HOLY HELL ARE YOU DOING?” I figure she must be chasing a fly or something so I go back to my shower. Later that same day I’m sitting on the toilet and Olive bursts in, looks up at the ceiling light and just stares at it like it’s a giant Reese’s Cup. “Oh my God,” I say aloud. “You know the light is new.” Nothing gets past a weimaraner. Nothing. This behavior of hers continues unabated for the next couple of days. There’s something else at play here. The new fixture is pretty much the same but instead of having a brass ring and “nipple” keeping the glass dome in place, it’s bronze. Maybe she thinks the “nipple” is a big bug. I tell this story to some friends and show them a picture of the new fixture. Susan says “Well, from below maybe it looks like a giant eyeball to her.” “You’re right, it is kind of creepy when you look at it like that.” And this morning, the truth dawned on me. I’ve mentioned before that Olive was one of a litter of 11 and female dogs have 10 nipples. And I think that Olive didn’t get enough, so she is always searching for the “eternal nipple.” Inadvertently, I have given her the eternal nipple. Except it’s affixed to the ceiling about eight feet above her.

Olive Meets Andy & Simona

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/19/2012 at 9:54 am

“Are you KIDDING me?”

WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON? Why is everyone but me in MY basement? I smell another dog. No, I smell TWO dogs. I want to meet them. NOW. C’mon, I’ve never met a Shar-Pei before. I promise I won’t scare them. Pleeease? You know I’m not going to stop barking until I get to meet them. And smell them. And possibly lick them. And yes, I might even try to steal some of their food. Who am I kidding. Of course, I’m going to steal some of their food. They smell so….fresh. As in brand new. What are their names? “ANDY AND SIMONA.” Hey Andy, c’mon over here. You’re on my turf and I need to check you out. Dude, did you just get out of bed? You have “bed body.” You need to be ironed. Hi Simona, I’m Olive. Oh look, you have “bed body” too. I thought you guys were young, what’s with all the wrinkles? Do you like my house? And my backyard pen? Don’t eat my sticks out there, especially the black walnut 2012. I’d like to sniff your butts but you haven’t had all your vaccinations yet so I can’t. Oh yes, getting shots is FUN. “OLIVE, YOU’RE SUCH A LITTLE SNOT.”

Condensation Ghosts

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/19/2012 at 9:24 am

“Did you not SEE that?”

Olive was not happy yesterday morning. I think she was actually perturbed to witness something so threatening so early in the morning, just after she had awoken from her beauty sleep. As we cross the front lawn, she tenses up, digs her heels in and starts barking like a banshee at the front windows. Why? Because they are covered in cloud-like formations of condensation. Because I like to keep the house as cold as an igloo in the Summer months. This is completely unacceptable to Olive. They don’t belong there. I (and the neighbors) are now listening to non-stop barking. Punctuated with an occasional low gggggrrrrrrrrooowwwlllllll. This dog cracks me up. I assure Olive that this is nothing to worry about and gently pull her flexi-leash to guide her to the side of the house. “OLIVE. GO POTTY. THERE ARE NO CONDENSATION GHOSTS HERE.” She does what she normally does when she’s serious about going. She starts prancing very, very quickly and suddenly stops to crouch. At least she goes this morning. Sometimes, she teases me and stops and crouches and then she decides she doesn’t have to go. But this morning, she goes. She does the “dog flush,” which is what I call it when they are finished and use their hind legs to scratch the ground a few times as though they are covering up what they’ve left behind.” ‘LET’S GO OLIVE. BACK INSIDE.” As we make our way to the front lawn, Olive starts to slink around the corner like a tiger approaching an innocent doe. She hasn’t forgotten. Sure enough, the condensation ghosts are still on the front windows. They have not retreated. Although she has anticipated their presence, she seems somewhat startled or indignant that they are still there. And the barking aria begins anew.

Olive The Velcro Dog

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/14/2012 at 7:55 pm

All is Right in Olive’s World.

Olive almost wet her pants with excitement when my brother, his wife and my nephew arrived from Florida. Olive raced over to them, her tail literally spinning in anticipation of meeting new people (and seeing my nephew once again.) Olive’s entire body is radiating pleasure as she leaps up to greet each person. Yes, this is one bad habit of hers that I have yet to break. As usual, I announce, “Just ignore her until she calms down. Don’t pet her. Don’t even look at her.” But it’s hard for most people to ignore the unconditional happiness Olive directs their way. They really want to reach out and acknowledge the greeting of this beautiful creature with a tactile greeting of their own. Olive finally calms down, remains on all fours and tracks everyone throughout the house like they are walking, talking bully sticks. I am certain that at this moment, what she is saying to herself is this: “MORE HANDS TO PET ME! MORE BUTTS TO SNIFF, MORE FACES TO LICK! MORE PEOPLE TO PLAY WITH ME, YEA!” Olive spends the rest of the evening reclining on the floor at my brother’s feet like some little geisha doll, laying atop the back of the couch above my nephew like a mini-Cleopatra, and sidling up to Di like an attention-starved child for more innocent canoodling. For the most part, she ignores me as though I am just another piece of furniture that she knows well enough. Occasionally, she glances sideways at me just to make sure that I’m not going anywhere. “DON’T WORRY OLIVE, MY LITTLE VELCRO CUR. I’M STILL HERE. GO CHECK OUT ALL THE NEW PEOPLE.” I love to see her light up with excitement when the house hums with activity. On the occasions when guests visit, it’s like Christmas morning and all the new people are presents that she has received. Each one is a surprise waiting to be revealed to Olive. Early the next morning, though not as early as Olive’s 4:30am awakening, my brother appears at my bedroom doorway in the near darkness as a large hulking silhouette. Olive, lying on my bed by now under her tartan throw goes batshit. She lets loose with a foundation-shaking bark that scores higher on the decibel meter than a firehouse siren. “WWWWWOOOOOOOOFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF” It was impressive. I’m sure that at the very least, it made the hairs on the back of my brother’s neck stand up for just a second. At worst, it may have scared the morning “BM” out of him. It also made me laugh. Actually, I probably cackled with glee. Later that day, we make our way to PetSmart to buy a crate, bed, bowls, toys, etc. for the two new Shar-pups. Only my family could walk into a store on that sort of mission and as if we are contestants on “Beat The Clock,” be finished and at the check out in under 10 minutes. We are a decisive bunch. With impulsive notes. And a dash of ADHD. We load up the Chrysler Towne and Country rental van and off we go to the breeder’s. To be continued…

Shar-Pei Bookends

In dogs, humor, pets, writing on 08/14/2012 at 6:28 pm

“Hey, Where ARE we?”

Meet Andy and Simona, 10- and eight-weeks old respectively. Here, they are impersonating bookends.

 

Detailing a Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/09/2012 at 7:01 pm

“I smell like an air freshener.”

Weimaraner recently detailed. Smells like fresh red raspberries. Exhausted from being bathed and buffed dry. Not for sale.

The Countdown Begins

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/03/2012 at 7:38 pm

“Hey, who’s THAT?”

Olive and I anxiously await the arrival next week of my nephew’s new Shar-Pei pups. Or, Shar-pups. This should be interesting.

A Love Letter

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/03/2012 at 7:19 pm

“I got MAIL?”

This is the face of the dog that routinely gets me up at 5am to feed her and take her out. This is the face of the dog that quickly sidles up next to me at the dog park when things get tense between two dogs. It’s the face of the dog whose bright amber eyes plead with me when she either desires food or a way out of the vet’s office. It’s also the face of the dog that grimaces when snacking on rabbit scat as though it’s the equivalent of “sour patch” candy. It’s the face of the dog that makes me laugh out loud when she considers whether the command I’ve given her is worthy of being obeyed. It is the face of the dog that looks like an angel when she’s sleeping, her eyes closed and shaded by her taupe-colored eyelashes. It’s also the face of the dog who cocks her head sideways whenever I utter a phrase I know she’s been longing to hear. (Usually it’s food-related.) It’s the smiling face of the dog whose joy is palpable when she meets new people. And it’s the face of the dog who is so smart that she stops me in my tracks to consider just how smart she really is. It’s the face of the dog who is at times insistent, demanding, stubborn, and high maintenance but also inquisitive, playful, energetic, loving, fiercely protective and funny as hell. I love this face. I love her beautiful eyes, her perfectly symmetrical features, her velveteen vein-lined ears and her sweet brown nose. I especially love the distinctive little “cowlick” that softly interrupts the fur on the bridge of her nose. I love the way she drinks out of her bowl and drips water like a running faucet when she lifts her head. I love the sound her ears make when she shakes, like a cowboy’s leather chaps flapping in the brisk wind. I love to listen to her crunching her food contentedly. I love her confidence, her grace, her eternal optimism, her sense of humor and her athleticism. At least once a day, I find myself feeling so grateful to have this remarkable dog in my life. I love weimaraners. And yes, I just may be in love with Olive.

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/01/2012 at 6:26 pm

“Well, what did you EXPECT?”

So yesterday, my beautiful ever-alert little loon barked repeatedly at a ’57 Chevy as it exited a parking lot and merged into traffic behind us. I know why she did this. It was noticeably different from its surroundings. Like a square peg in a round hole. Give a weimaraner a test asking them to recognize “What’s wrong with this picture?” and they’ll score higher than a gifted eight year-old child.

This Temper

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/29/2012 at 9:57 am

“Is that thunder? Or the END of the world?”

“Why am I getting a shot?” said Olive. “I don’t have a temper.” “Ha-Ha,” I replied. “Just because you’re so articulate Olive, doesn’t mean I’m dumb.” It’s time for your distemper shot again. And so that’s how Olive’s morning began this past Thursday. As we rise to greet a brand new morning, I look outside and see a storm front passing overhead. The clouds, the color of warm putty, cloak the sun completely. “Geez,” this doesn’t look very promising Olive, let’s hurry up and get to the vet.” Olive interprets this statement as an oxymoron. Her pleading amber eyes are as wide as the opening to one of the Lincoln Tunnel tubes. I glance out the front window, certain I just saw the Cowardly Lion scurrying through the cornfield seeking shelter. It’s a double whammy today for Olive at the vet’s office. Distemper shot and nails clipped. Her nails are so long she could probably eviscerate an African elephant in seconds. And thunder is surely on the horizon. For Olive, it is a “perfect storm” of a day. What I don’t understand is why after her first two years of life without incident, now, all of a sudden she is petrified of thunder. This just started happening in the last week or so. I hear her barking downstairs in the windowless bathroom in the basement. In the dark. She comes out once in a while only to pant, pace and shiver. I feel badly for her, but I won’t make the same mistake I did with Idgy. I tried comforting Idgy, swaddled her up in a blanket, played soft jazz music and sat with her in the bathroom for a while. Later on, I learned that all I did was reinforce her fear that something bad was about to happen. So, as much as I hate doing this, I ignore Olive. I act like there’s nothing to be afraid of and let her work it out herself. I’ve tried distracting her with food and toys, but no dice. This dog’s focus will not be broken. Something tells me, this is going to take a while. I don’t want to have to medicate her; the whole world — people and pets — are over-medicated these days. In the long run, it’s not good for either. I’ve seen the “Thundershirts” advertised for dogs and wonder if they work. It seems like bullshit. But, if it was designed by Temple Grandin, then I’d buy it without hesitation. Finally, the storm subsides. Olive is sitting on the couch next to me still on “high alert.” Her posture is ramrod stiff and her pupils are the size of ticks. It creates an expression of barely controlled panic. In fact, she looks slightly catatonic. Or, is that dogatonic? I place one hand on her side and feel tiny waves of fear rippling across her body. Her heartbeat, once pounding like hoofbeats across the Great Plains has now slowed to a near normal level. She finally drops into a “down” position and rests her head on my legs. In seconds, she’s sleeping and snoring like Rip Van Winkle. I gently pet her head and watch the sides of her mouth slowly puff in and out as she breathes. For some reason, I love watching this. I find it both gratifying and amusing.

Rockin’ Weim

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/28/2012 at 12:24 pm

“YES. I am a Rock Star!”

Remember. It’s part of my contract. ALL brown M&M’s. Perrier in my bowl. And a massage.

The Circle of Life

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/25/2012 at 9:40 pm

“I did NO such thing. That I can recall. At this time.”

The other morning, as Olive was perched on the crispy brown lawn depositing bio-cigars, she ever so gently (so as not to disturb the process) craned her neck down – and forward just a little bit – so she could begin snacking on the tic tac-sized rabbit pellets that lay in front of her without moving out of position. I couldn’t believe it. The first thought that popped into my head was “recycling.” I have an environmentally sustainable dog. Who knew?

 

Tailscaping

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/19/2012 at 9:01 pm

“NO superfluous fur here.”

Yes, it means what you think it means. First came the term landscaping, then manscaping. And now, tailscaping. If you Google the definition of manscaping, you might be quite surprised at what you find. My favorite was this: To groom a man; shaving, waxing, cleaning up superfluous fur.” I love the sound of it. You might not believe that Olive requires some delicate tailscaping now and then. One look at her and you see the sort of beauty that comes from perfect symmetry. Beautiful lines, a deep chest, long graceful legs and… an ornamental tail. And then you might see just a tiny bit of superfluous fur protruding from the tip of her otherwise perfect tail. It is the only imperfection and to anyone with OCD, you’ll know exactly what I mean when I tell you that it must be corrected instantly. I can no longer think about anything else until I remove this asymmetrical imperfection. It looks messy; out of place. I pull the scissors out of the kitchen drawer. The minute Olives sees her reflection in the shiny blades, she starts backing away like she just recognized an old boyfriend at a party. In that instant, I feel like a remorseful Sweeney Todd. She continues backing up until she almost stumbles backward over her bed. Her body language gives everything away. She curls up on the bed like a fetus unwilling to give up the womb and tries desperately to hide her tail. I swear if she could unscrew it and stick it up her behind she would. Now I feel even more guilty. At this moment, I wonder if it brings back the neo-natal memory of having her tail docked. I can’t even think about it. I coo some nonsense to her softly while I gently reach down, pull her tiny taupe-colored crank towards me and swiftly clip a micron of superfluous fur off its tip. As I straighten up, I can feel Olive’s relief. I gently blow the bits of superfluous fur off the bed and observe her tail. “PERFECT, OLIVE,” I marvel. “JUST LIKE YOU.”

For The Love of Dog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/16/2012 at 11:16 pm

“Let me close my eyes first.”

As I sit here in front of my aging iMac, illuminated by the tungsten amber glow of the mission-styled desk lamp, Olive sleeps peacefully in her crate. She should be tired. After spending much of the early evening scooting her bottom along the grass at the dog park, she spent the past 40 minutes licking her rear end. Without interruption. It drove me insane. And it stank. So, I braved the inevitable and pulled on a fresh pair of vinyl gloves. You know. The kind that proctologists and gynecologists everywhere use. And I threw on a cheap windbreaker just in case. In the past, I tried expressing Olive’s anal glands from the exterior. This is how that bastion of unimpeachable and curated information otherwise known as Youtube, demonstrated how to do it. It didn’t work. Either because it’s the ineffective coward’s method or because Olive is backed up from here to the moon. She just had her anal glands expressed by the Vet about 10 days ago. At this time, the Vet inquires: “Would you like to learn how to do this yourself?” Instead of saying, “Well, it’s never actually been on my bucket list,” I hear a disembodied voice saying, “Okay.” She cautions me to stand back and I think, this is not inspiring confidence. She explains the following while I stare wide-eyed throughout her live demonstration: “The anal glands are almond shaped and pea-sized sacs that sit inside her rectum at about 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock. Insert a gloved finger and using your index finger and thumb, press on them outward to expel the material.” Well, it doesn’t look like it’s that hard to do I think. And frankly, I don’t want to have to pay the Vet every 10 days to do this. So I saved myself a few bucks tonight. I took her into the bathroom downstairs with the easy-to-clean linoleum floor. I whip out a pair of vinyl gloves and go to work. At first, I’m rooting around inside like I’m looking for a black cat in the dark. I think I feel the sacs and I’m pressing but nothing…wait a minute…I just heard a squirt. Thank God it just dropped to the floor and didn’t shoot across the room! I am ecstatic with my success. I feel empowered. I am also reeling from the stench. Hopefully, I can express the other one before passing out. Hallelujah! Success again. I almost can’t believe it. Now, I just have to maneuver her out of the way so I can clean it up before she licks it or steps in it. I have never been so happy that I wanted to vomit.

Postcard From Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/15/2012 at 4:04 pm

“LOOK at how high I am!”

I try to take Olive with me wherever I go. Of course, this is somewhat dependent on where dogs are welcome. Since this is not France (or California), we are prevented from dining together. Retail stores don’t like us so much either. Except for the pet stores. On this particular broiling Sunday a week ago, Olive and I picked up our friend Jill and took a long drive along a scenic byway tracking the Delaware River in New York State. Olive reclined in the back seat, taking in the scents along the way and providing some of her own. I didn’t notice, but Jill kept rolling down the passenger side window every 30 minutes or so and taking note of Olive’s fragrant bursts of air. I’d drive a little further looking for a safe spot to pull over and let Olive empty her canisters, but most of the time she’d sniff all around, as though she were reading the 100-year history of the county. And then… nothing. “GET BACK IN THE CAR, NUT. I’M NOT STANDING HERE ALL DAY WHILE YOU TAKE ME FOR A WALK. IT’S TOO HOT.” On one occasion, Olive, the Olympian hole digger and hole finder, jams half of her head through tall tick-infested brittle weeds into a giant hole. “HOLY SHIT OLIVE,” I exclaim as I yank her leash to pull her head above terra firma. “ARE YOU CRAZY? YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MIGHT BE DOWN THAT HOLE.” We get back in the car and continue driving. My ears start popping, so do Jill’s and for all I know, Olive’s too. We end up smack in front of the entrance to the High Point Monument in Montague, New Jersey. It is the highest elevation in New Jersey at 1,803 feet and the highest peak of the Kittatinny Mountains. The monument was built in 1930 to honor war veterans. If you know where you are looking, you can actually see three states from this point: New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. So, to all those who picture New Jersey as a dung hole because you are familiar only with Newark Airport, the Turnpike and those idiots on Jersey Shore, you have no idea how beautiful much of New Jersey is. So, we park and make our way toward the monument. While it’s as hot as the devil’s cojones, there is a very stiff (but warm) breeze at the top. We’ll take it on this blistering hot day. Olive races ahead, always the first to enthusiastically explore anywhere she hasn’t been before. As usual, the people we encounter all want to pet Olive. We are now at the look-out level at the base of the monument. It is beautiful. Olive, runs ahead of me on her flexi-leash. She wants to go inside the door to the monument and presumably up the spiral staircase winding its way up the inside of the structure like the DNA double helix. “No, Olive, I don’t think so. They don’t allow dogs up there sweetie. And there’s no way in hell I’m going up there either.” After we take some pictures and enjoy both the view and the breeze, we start making our way down. While Olive probably isn’t thrilled at being back in the car, I know she’s happy just to be with me. Ditto.

Weimaraner Centerfold

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/15/2012 at 2:47 pm

Playdog of The Month

Late one afternoon last week, I hear two medium-toned barks one right after the other from somewhere deep inside the house. They were not as sharp as they usually are when Olive wishes to summon me. They were more medium-toned, with a slightly softer quality. Half bark, half woof. More like a BOOF. “OLIVE. DO YOU HAVE TO GO OUT?” I glance around upstairs but she’s out of sight. I hear it again. BOOF. BOOF.  The BOOF is definitely coming from the basement. I go downstairs and stumble upon what could only be described as a photography session for Playdog magazine. There is Olive, in all her beauty and confidence, sprawled out the length of the couch like a Centerfold model. I shake my head and  say, “WHO ARE YOU WAITING FOR – THE PHOTOGRAPHER?” She cocks her head sideways and looks at me as if to acknowledge that she understands exactly what I am saying. “YES. WHERE IS HE? I’M GETTING BORED POSING.”

Cranky Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/15/2012 at 2:14 pm

“HEY, where’s my tall cool glass of lemonade?”

What the hell is lemonade anyway? Does it taste better than water? I was the only one at the dog park this morning. I mean the only dog. I made Patti walk to all four of the farthest corners to pick up my lawn cigars. (PANT, PANT, PANT) I don’t think she was too happy. The grass, now brown and crunchy under my paws, was so dried out that if I launched an air biscuit, the entire park would have gone up in flames. We didn’t stay very long. All my friends must have been at home drinking lemonade. (PANT, PANT, PANT) Can I go out and roast on the deck for a few minutes? Maybe if I act like I’m passed out, that filthy ground hog will come closer and I’ll catch him. Cripes, he’s so big, he looks like a beaver. Oh, look, a nice juicy little bunny is on the neighbor’s lawn. (DROOL, DROOL, DROOL). Nice. Juicy. Bunny. Hungry. Okay, now I’m hot. OPEN THE DOOR. OPEN THE DOOR. OPEN THE DOOR. I am not cranky. I’d like some ice water to drink and would you please bathe my paws in some cool H2O please?  Ahhhhhhh…Yes, I think I like air-conditioning. I’ll be waiting on the couch.

The Eye Drop Dance

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/11/2012 at 8:45 pm

“Is that the WHITE bottle I see?”

It’s just a small white plastic vial. About 2 inches from tip to seat. But to Olive, it’s as big as a Kenmore refrigerator. It’s her eye drops and she’s not happy to see them approaching. How do I know this? Because both ears, in perfect unison, rise at their base and pull slightly away from her head. It is a perfect display of surprise and something close to revulsion at the same time. “OH NO, NOT THOSE AGAIN!” says Olive. “OH YES,” I reply. And then the dance begins. She rises from her fetal-like position on the master bed where she’s been napping like a Kardashian and makes a half-hearted attempt to hide on the bed. I reach out with one hand and grasp her collar. She tries to wiggle out of it. I now get her head in a gentle arm lock. She closes her eyes. All I see are taupe-colored eyelashes that look like they are sewn together. I spread the first eyelid apart. She leaves me an opening no wider than a needle. Two drops. “MY GOD OLIVE. WAS THAT SO BAD?” And then it starts all over again. It never ceases to amaze me just how much emotion some dogs are able to convey with just their ears. Human actors primarily use their face as a canvas for their emotions. Dogs use their ears and their tails in much the same way. Except what dogs convey is much more authentic. “HEY, HELEN MIRREN, GET OVER HERE. IT’S TIME FOR BREAKFAST. BE GLAD I’M NOT GIVING YOU A COLONIC.”

Weimaraner Alarm System

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/07/2012 at 11:00 am

“Is someone making an UNAUTHORIZED entrance?

I bit the bullet and purchased a home security system. As a back-up to Olive. That’s right, my baritoned barker is my primary alarm system. And she’s damn good. If any human, rodent, transportation vehicle or other form of nature comes even close to our home, I hear a very comforting “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF.” That’s the “There’s something approaching the perimeter of our house and you need to come take a look” bark. If the object is very close to our house or if it’s something out of the ordinary like a truck parked in the front or a bear walking out back, the bark becomes louder, more sustained and close to a siren-like howl. “WOOFWOOFWOOFWOOF.” This is Olive’s version of the goofy robot in the old sci-fi TV comedy “Lost in Space,” who routinely warned “Danger. Will Robinson. Danger.” To a stranger, I imagine Olive’s bark would sound quite intimidating. When I approach Olive to see what she’s observing, she runs toward me like a three-year old as if to say, “SEE. SEE MOMMY. I TOLD YOU SOMETHING WAS THERE.” And then once I observe the situation and confirm there is no danger, I calmly walk away and Olive, who has usually stopped barking by this time, looks up at me with an expression that says. “THAT’S IT? ARE YOU SURE?” So actually, the new expensive home security system is to protect Olive. The funny thing is, the system has accidently “trained” Olive. At night now, when I set the alarm before going to bed and it beeps multiple times before the Stepford-wife voice announces “Alarm Set, Stay,” Olive immediately goes into her crate in the bedroom to go to sleep. I kid you not. It has also trained her to recognize an authorized vs. an unauthorized entry into the house. For example, prior to having the security system, Olive would walk into her crate downstairs, I’d shut the door and leave. No drama upon my leaving or re-entering the house. Now, it’s different. I notice that when I’ve set the alarm and return to the house and de-activate it before entering, she’s fine. No barking. However (and it’s happened a few times now), when I don’t set the alarm because I’m only out for 15-20 minutes, upon my return, as I pull the car into the garage, I can hear her barking her head off. Because she doesn’t hear the beeping and robo-voice upon my entering the garage, somehow she recognizes it as an unauthorized entry. It makes my head hurt just trying to figure this out. Geez, this dog is too smart for her own good. Now, if only I could get her to take the garbage out. Without eating it.

To Catch a Bun Thief

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/05/2012 at 7:46 pm

“Look at all those BUNS!”

Olive loves going to my cousin’s home for the holidays. Especially holidays that are celebrated outdoors, where the food is more accessible and the humans more distractible. As the humans clustered together on the deck in search of any slivers of shade on this oppressively hot and humid day, the three dogs – Olive, Hunter and Oliver – who usually race around the yard like Lamborghinis – mostly stood around like dog mannequins, panting non-stop. Even this did not stop my little cur from trying to score some human food. “DON’T WORRY, ALL SHE GOT WAS A HOT DOG BUN,” said MaryAnn. “Yeah, great,” I say to myself. I think that’s her fifth one. Thank God it’s just bread. This is the same dog I gave 1 (as in not two; as in single, solo and 3 minus 2 equals) potato chip to the other day and she had Montezuma’s Revenge for the rest of the day. Some people don’t believe me when I say that Olive has a digestive system that’s as delicate as a Fabergé egg. I did laugh though when someone else told me that Olive actually “nosed” the hot dog out of the bun before streaking away with said bun gently nestled inside her mouth perpendicular to her snout. (Wow. I don’t think I‘ve ever used the phrase “perpendicular to her snout” before.) Now, what does this mean? Is this proof that Olive knows that hot dogs are not exactly “health food?” Did she turn her nose up at it because it was not the natural and organic food she was raised on? Does she prefer them ungrilled? Maybe she just doesn’t like hot dogs? Or, maybe it was bad and she knew it. I can’t possibly police my foodie pooch while I eat, so I take my plate of food and my dog and go into the nice, arctic cold kitchen to eat and keep Olive from diving headfirst into all the bowls and plates of food outside. She’s not happy. She watches me eat and stands there and barks at me. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? YOU HAD FIVE HOT DOG BUNS…OR MORE… AND IT’S NOT NEAR YOUR DINNER TIME YET. KEEP YOUR FUR ON.” Now that I’ve stolen some of the coolness in the house for as long as I can without being rude, I take Olive and we go back outside to join the other guests. Soon, dessert is served and the table loads up with homemade blueberry pie, peach pie, devil’s food cake with whipped cream and fresh strawberries and the strawberry graham cracker ice cream cake I brought from Coldstone Creamery. I can actually feel the energy expelled by the salivary glands dancing inside Olive’s mouth.  I turn my head for just a brief second to respond to someone’s question and immediately I hear the familiar shriek, “OLIVE. NO!” And then the sound of feet racing over to the table to extricate Olive’s extremely pink tongue from the side of the Coldstone’s ice cream cake. This dog is a smarty pants. At least she picked the right dessert to molest today.

Sexy Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/05/2012 at 7:08 pm

No. Words. Needed.

To Board or Not To Board?

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/04/2012 at 10:16 am

“But will I have my OWN bed?”

Last weekend, Olive and I took a ride out to Four Paws Playground to tour the facility and meet the owners. One of the “Dog Moms” at the local dog park recommended Four Paws as a great place to board your dog. Since I’ve had Olive, I have never left her for more than a day or two and always in the hands of her trainer or friend. I performed some cursory research on local “kennels” and was largely unimpressed. Most seem like nothing more than “dog warehouses,” and little attention seems to be given to dog behavior. I was pleasantly surprised with Four Paws. It’s run by a husband and wife team who live on premises and who clearly understand the needs and behaviors of dogs and their breeds. The wife trains the staff who, while young caretakers, seemed to go about their business with a maturity unusual for their age.  Dogs that are boarded sleep in small horse-like stalls with beds, not crates. They are given free run outdoors in fenced-in areas according to their size. And most impressively, their day is structured so that they are inside for an hour, outside for an hour, etc. throughout the day. A great way to allow the dog to rest, and minimize the opportunity for anything from heatstroke to fights. While the owner says they run it like a daycare center, it actually seems like it’s run more thoughtfully than your average daycare center. In order to bring Olive on the tour, I had to present proof of vaccinations and a negative Giardia test. If I ever want to board Olive there I have to fill out a lengthy application and then prior to her boarding, take her there for a day so they can observe Olive’s behavior and get to know her. Brilliant. The dogs are treated as individuals not just as a species. It’s hot as hell as Olive and I walk into the front door. We are greeted by the wife and both Olive and I hear what sounds like many dogs barking behind a door. They obviously smell a new guest. The tour begins as we walk through the door and into a sea of dogs barking. Barking so loudly that the caretakers wear the sort of sound mufflers that the jet jockeys on airport tarmacs wear when guiding planes into and away from gates. There must be 50 crates full of dogs barking. Most seem to be large breeds. These are the daycare dogs who are inside during their “hour in.” It is a bit intimidating for me and more so probably for Olive, who is now both viewed by the crated dogs as fresh meat and fresh meat off leash. Olive tries to make herself small, by slinking low as we wind our way through this maze of canines. I ask if they have experience with Weimaraners and am told “yes,” as the owner points to a large crate occupied by both a grey and blue Weimaraner. Unbelievably they are not barking, just observing the intruders with laser-like intensity. We emerge on the other side where we see more dogs running around the fenced in areas and splashing around in the wading pools. Olive seems to feel much more comfortable out here and approaches the fence to greet the dogs outside. The owner and I chat a little more and then it’s time for Olive and I to make our way back through “Dog Hall,” and out the front door. I am very impressed with how the owners operate their business. They seem to have created something very unique and special. Olive’s had enough stimulation for the day though. As she usually does, she signals that she’s ready to leave by starting to bark insistently. Very subtle this dog. About as subtle as a fart.

The Mushroom Couple

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/04/2012 at 9:23 am

The Sun Worshipper.

Another hot, steamy day. The kind of day that makes you fantasize about skiing. Snow skiing. The central air conditioning unit kicks on and off, then on again moments later. If it were human, you’d hear it sighing and groaning throughout the day. The ceiling fan blades slice through the air in every room at high speed. I’m surprised the house doesn’t take off like an Airbus A380. All the lights are off and the blinds are drawn. Olive and I have been living like mushrooms deep inside a tropical forest. I am surprised that we have not encountered the Mad Hatter or Alice herself. I have changed my name to Shiitake. Olive has changed hers to Portobello. It is one of those days that remains eerily quiet because everything and everyone has been stilled by the heat. I remember well these Summer days as a child. No one was outside, nothing moved. The sun seemed to rest on the nape of your neck. The song of the cicadas continued unbroken throughout the day. It was one of the rare days where we stayed inside to watch baseball games with my Grandfather. We might venture out to the corner candy store to stock up on Bazooka Joe bubblegum, MAD magazine, Devil Dogs and baseball cards and walk home quickly. On these days, it was about the candy, not the walk. Usually, it was the walk itself that was the most fun. As I write this, I hear Olive downstairs sloppily drinking out of her shiny metal water bowl. I love when she lifts her head and the water just drips from all sides of her mouth like Niagara Falls. This beautiful, flawless animal stands there looking like a child whose face has just emerged from a basin of water filled with bobbing apples. As I crank the thermostat down to 68 degrees, I look out the window and can see Olive happily roasting on the deck outside like a pig on a spit.

Weimaraner Hyenas

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/04/2012 at 8:17 am

“Do we look like a couple of HYENAS or what?”

Olive and her friend Luna, a blue Weimaraner who visited recently. After chasing each other around the yard, drinking out of the wading pool they walked into and out of and repeatedly knocking over the bottled water and iced tea the humans placed on the side table, they shared a laugh.

Aye Aye Captain Olive!

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 9:30 pm

“What the HELL is The Bermuda Triangle?”

Olive, I hate to be the one to tell you this, but you’re shipwrecked. Your ship has run aground. In the middle of the woods atop a mountain in Northern New Jersey. Tell me the truth. You were distracted from your duties as Captain weren’t you? I’ll bet there are no rodents of any size – regular or unusual – left on that ship. Look, you have mouse fur stuck to the corner of your lip. Say something. “IT’S NOT MOUSE FUR. IT’S, IT’S, I THINK IT’S RAT FUR.” Not about the fur, and if that’s true, that’s disgusting. What do you have to say for yourself? “I HATE FISH?”  Tune in again next time for another of Patti and Olive’s ridiculous half-act plays.

Birds: Bush Candy

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 9:09 pm

“Is this a candy bush?”

H-o-w  m-u-c-h  l-o-n-g-e-r  d-o  I  h-a-v-e  t-o  s-i-t  h-e-r-e  l-i-k-e  t-h-i-s? LOOK AT ALL THIS CANDY. This must be candy. It smells like candy. It looks like candy. I didn’t realize that candy grew on bushes. Can I have some candy? Oh look, a bird. Please can I have some candy? I promise I won’t eat all of them. Hey, are there any birds in there? Wait a minute. Is this how birds are born? Do they start out as bush candy?

Olive and The Ice Cream House

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/27/2012 at 8:53 pm

“A Blue Jay soft serve with Squirrel sprinkles, please!”

Since I can’t take Olive to The Gingerbread Castle (which actually exists in New Jersey), because she would eat it, I took her to the “Neighborhood Ice Cream House.” The store’s proprietors, Julia and Lizzie, served real ice cream to guests from the 20-square foot store. Alas, Olive walked away empty-pawed. And with her digestive system still intact.

Olive: Canine Good Citizen

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/17/2012 at 9:13 am

“Yeah, I passed.”

LAFAYETTE, NJ, JUNE 16, 2012 – Olive Pimento Soldavini successfully passed the requirements to earn her AKC-recognized Canine Good Citizenship, it was announced today by her owner. The AKC’s Canine Good Citizen Program is comprised of 10 tests for canines and a pledge for their owners. These tests include: 1. Accepting a friendly stranger. (Olive accepted the evaluator, even asking her out to lunch.) 2. Sitting politely for petting. (Olive sat politely but almost passed out from not being able to lick the evaluator repeatedly while being petted.) 3. Appearance and Grooming. (Olive’s ears were as pink as a baby’s bottom; her nails expertly manicured like a French tart’s and her coat so shiny, you would have thought I bathed her in Turtle Wax.) 4. Out for a walk/Walking on a loose lead. (Since Olive is so used to walking through street fairs and parades, this was a cake walk.) 5. Walking through a crowd. (Ditto.) 6. Sit and Down command and Staying in Place. (Olive is a pro at “sit,” needed some encouragement to “down,” which was shocking since we must have practiced it 60 times in the past week. I can only attribute this to the weimaraner’s classic stubborness. And, believe it or not, she’s pretty much a pro at “Stay” too.) 7. Coming When Called. (She was a little slower on the uptake than she usually is, but she came.) 8. Reaction to another dog. (This was touch and go but she managed to contain her pathological friendliness.) 9. Reaction to distraction. (Olive was alerted to the noise of the chair being dropped, but was non-plussed. You would be too if when you were less than a year old, you’d walk on Main Street and hear the 16-wheelers thunder by and the train come to a screeching halt in front of you on many mornings.) 10. Supervised separation. (As I left Olive with the evaluator and walked outside, out of sight, with a 3-minute timer in my hands, my little pooch just calmly waited for me. It may have been the longest three minutes of my life.) And so when Olive awoke this morning, I poked my head inside her crate and said “Good morning my little canine good citizen. Would you like chicken or turkey for breakfast this morning?”

The Post Hole Digger

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/13/2012 at 10:04 pm

“So THAT’S what the South Pole Looks Like!”

In answer to the question, how fast can a weimaraner dig a hole the size of its head? In less than 10 seconds. There are so many jokes running through my mind right now, I think I’ll just stop here.

 

Good Canine Citizenship

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 8:49 pm

“WHAT?? I have a TEST next week???”

Olive has been in training the past few days for her AKC Good Canine Citizen Test next weekend. Which means that I’ve spent what seems like hours (and it’s only minutes) each day putting Olive (and myself) though a series of repetitive tasks. For someone like myself who detests routine, this is absolutely mind-numbing. I’d rather set my hair on fire. But I don’t want to fail Olive and if she doesn’t pass, it won’t be her fault, it will be mine. She is very well-behaved, but remains highly spirited. I feel pretty good about her ability to pass most of the requirements. Except for one. Since she is uber-friendly and wears her heart on her sleeve, greeting a stranger while remaining in a “sit” is going to be challenging for her. Weimaraners adore people. To Olive, the world is full of friends whose crotch she hasn’t sniffed yet. Because weimaraners are such complex personalities, I find myself constantly intellectually challenged by her idiosyncrasies. I ask myself, “Should I take her for a walk or run before the test so she’s a bit calmer? Like a Category 2 hurricane instead of a Category 5? Or will that make her too tired and cranky?” I also have to make sure she eats before we leave so she’s not hungry and cranky like an infant awaiting its next warm bottle of milk. But then I also have to make sure I leave enough time so she drops her lawn cigars before we leave. This requires military precision timing. And God forbid she’s thirsty during the test. Because she will bark insistently until she’s given a sparkling clean bowl of filtered water. So I have to make sure the Princess has had a drink with enough time to pee before the test. This is what life is like with a weimaraner.  I don’t know who’s more OCD, me or Olive. Maybe that’s why a weimaraner ended up being the perfect dog for me. All I know is that sometimes when I look at her, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have her. Keep your paws crossed Olive. If I can make it through training for the rest of the week, you have a good chance of passing.

Weimaraner Bird Watches

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 7:59 pm

“Look. Dinner flying overhead.”

While it may look like Olive is communicating telepathically with a UFO overhead, she’s actually bird watching. More precisely, this is what she looks like seconds before she leaps into the air like a trapeze artist in an effort to snatch a hawk flying about 20 feet above her. Goofball dog.

Today on Olive’s Outtakes

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2012 at 7:43 pm

What does Olive think of this sign? Find out here.

Attack of The Powerwasher

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/08/2012 at 7:09 am

“But it’s MY deck and I like to sleep on it.”

“OLIVE? WHERE ARE YOU? OLIVE?” Where was my pooch to be found when the deck was being powerwashed on Saturday? As the powerful spray of soapy water soaked the sliding glass door, she flew out of the kitchen, legs sliding all over the tile floor like it was her first time on ice skates. A few minutes later, I call out to my goofy pooch: “OLIVE? WHERE ARE YOU?” I walk back and forth through the house checking all the beds, couches and overstuffed chairs. As I do this, somehow, I feel like Goldilocks. As I pass the darkened bathroom, there is Olive, standing in the corner, like a refugee from a third world country. The only thing missing is a babushka on her head. I notice a mild look of apprehension on her face, accentuated by her ever present pinpoint pupils. It is the same place that Idgy, my previous dog, used to retreat to whenever it started to thunder. A small room, in the center of the house with no windows. I’ll have to check with Olive, but this is probably the best place to go to in the event of a hurricane. After all, two out of two dogs used it as a “safe room.” I’ll trust their instinct over my book knowledge any day. I coax Olive out of the bathroom and lead her to the living room couch, where she immediately curls up and closes her eyes. They’ve stopped powerwashing. The noisy engines have been stilled. Peace has been restored, allowing Olive to get back to the business of dreaming about dog things. She looks so sweet when she’s sleeping, my heart grows two sizes larger as I quietly stare at her.

Squirrel Breakfast Sampler

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/08/2012 at 7:03 am

“Hey Rodent, here I come!”

Olive had squirrel for breakfast this morning. Well, almost. She came within a fur’s breadth of enjoying a nice gamey meal. As I opened the sliding glass door to let her out of the house, she shot over the threshold and across her pen with the speed of a rocket-propelled torpedo. The lazy, arrogant, stupid, or just careless rodent almost didn’t make it out of Olive’s pen. It frantically zig zagged across the lawn and scurried up the chain link fence. Olive was racing behind the squirrel, kicking up mud while she tracked it to the end of the fence and then opened her mouth and snapped at its quite furry grey tail just as it crested the top rail. Olive was so close, that I was simultaneously stunned and grateful that she did not turn around with it dangling from her mouth by its tail like a bowling trophy. I wasn’t in the mood to beat it to death with a miniature steel shovel because it bit Olive. As Olive trots back empty mouthed, I do feel badly for her. I wonder if this makes her feel unfulfilled. In my ignorant home sapien manner, I try to ease her disappointment by praising her: “GOOD GIRL OLIVE. YOU CHASED THE STUPID RODENT AWAY. I THINK THAT ONE WAS PAST ITS EXPIRATION DATE. GOOD THING YOU LET IT GO.”

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