Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘akc’

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?”

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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.

Ancestry.Dog

In weimaraners on 04/11/2011 at 8:06 pm

Olive's Mother

Olive’s family tree, emblazoned with an Official American Kennel Club seal, traces her ancestry back four generations. It hangs in the hallway on the Benjamin Moore Aura paint-colored wall aptly called… “Weimaraner.” It is surrounded by frames documenting her extended human family. A collection of sepia-toned and black and white photos of my grandparents, great grandparents, parents and cousins and color photos of younger generations, my brothers and sister, my nephews and my niece. Mostly Italians with a few Germans infiltrating the family ancestry.

While Olive’s family tree does not include photos, it is populated by dozens of evocative names. “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door. Legacy. Main Attraction. Moonlite Becomes You. Simply The Best. Go For The Gold. La Femme Nikita. Star Attraction. Just Do It.” And “Happily Ever After.” Quite a contrast to some of the names on my tree: “Narno. Donato. Grazia. Rosangela. Yolanda. John. Clara. Josephine. Andrew.” I wonder what my AKC name would be if I were a dog.  Possibly something that suggested equal measures intelligence and goofiness. “Einstein’s Clown?” “Bozo’s Philosopher?”

One thing is clear. Olive has good genes. Yesterday, we were stopped on our walk four times by passersby (and driversby). They all said the same thing. “Beautiful dog.” True, you don’t see Weims that often. But Olive is a beauty. She has clean lines, a gorgeous face, a just-right tail that proudly impersonates an exclamation point, and genetically perfect feet; like they could be the slender feet of a hand carved mahogany table. Which is why I can’t understand why she sometimes lays on my bed, stares at herself in the mirror and barks and growls at herself.  She’s probably bemoaning what she perceives as her imperfections. Or, it’s a coincidence and she’s just got gas.

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