Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘bully sticks’

Frankenstorm and Bully Sticks

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/28/2012 at 10:14 am

“What’s a FRANKENSTORM?”

Olive is paying rapt attention to the discussion among the humans at the dog park about the approaching “Frankenstorm.” Yes, that’s actually what the local paper splashed across the front page in monster-sized type on Friday. “The Rise of Frankenstorm.” It has certainly succeeded in whipping New Jersey and New York residents into a tornadic fever. There’s not a “D” battery, jug of bottled water or generator to be had in the two states about now. I had more important things to do. I had to race to the local feed store (the “candy store” to Olive) and purchase a half dozen bully sticks and a giant knucklebone. If Olive is going to have to be confined indoors for the next 24-36 hours, then this is a must or the two of us will go crazy. Indoors, the bully sticks seem to be Olive’s favorite way of burning off some of her energy. She lays on the floor in a sphinx position, stick between her paws, gnawing at that thing with the concentration of a St. Benedictine Monk transcribing ancient scrolls. She barely moves. In fact, if you saw her from the back, you might think you were watching a canine Rabbi performing a circumcision. I think she’s gotten even more protective of her treat lately because she knows that once it gets down to about three inches, I take it away from her. I used to ask her to drop it. She would reluctantly lower her head a few times and finally release it. I’d scoop up the sticky, gooey remnant and race up the stairs to dispose of it. Olive would run alongside me, jumping up repeatedly trying to snatch it from my hands. I finally wised up. Now, I just yell “biscuit,” she comes running to wherever I am, and stares at me with the bully stick hanging out of her mouth like a Havana cigar. She’s waiting to see the evidence. I hold up the biscuit. She drops the fully masticated bully stick and races toward the biscuit. “GOD, OLIVE, SOMETIMES YOU ARE SO PREDICTABLE.” I try to grab the bully twig off the floor in the same fell swoop that I offer her the biscuit, so she doesn’t see me and change course. When she’s done gobbling down the biscuit, her head richochets back and forth around the dining room looking for her bully stick, like “HEY, WHERE THE HELL DID MY BULLY STICK GO?” I’m sure one day, she’ll stop falling for this deception, but for now it still works. A week or so ago, Olive vomited downstairs and as I went to clean it up, I watched something fairly large tumble out of her mouth. It was a 2.5 inch saliva-coated bully stick that was basically teal in color, probably from being attacked by the antacids in her stomach. This is why I need to be more careful. Now, I have to watch her the way a security guard at Wal-Mart watches potential shoplifters. When the bully stick gets to about four inches, I start to rise from the chair and this is Olive’s visual cue to activate “flight” mode. She takes off like a bat out of hell.

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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…

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