Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘dog behavior’

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.

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Discovering Olive’s Paw Preference

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/10/2012 at 10:37 am

"Is she KIDDING me?"

I have come to the conclusion that Olive is right-pawed. As opposed to left-pawed or the even rarer, “quad-pawed,” which would make her doubly ambidextrous. How do I know this? Not from watching her try to pick things up with her paws, although she tries valiantly. Sometimes I can sense her utter frustration at not having thumbs. Like when she tries to pick up a ball when the Frisbee is already clenched between her teeth. I swear I can hear her yell, “WHY THE HELL DON’T I HAVE THUMBS!!!” She reluctantly drops the Frisbee, snatches the ball and then tries to jam the Frisbee into her mouth at the same time. Then she drops the ball, retrieves the Frisbee and the circus starts all over again. It is comical. No, I discovered Olive’s paw preference much more organically. When she comes inside after having been out in her pen digging for buried treasure, I march her straight into the downstairs bathroom, prod her into the shower stall and rinse off her perfect little feet. “GIVE ME THIS PAW OLIVE. NOW THAT ONE. LIFT UP THIS ONE. ONE MORE PAW AND WE’RE DONE.” More times than not I noticed, three of the paws are moderately dirty. But the fourth paw? The right front one? Filthy. I can spray it for days and there are colonies of dirt still present. So I conclude, that must be the paw that she prefers to use to do all the excavating. Now that I know this, I am going to find ways to validate her paw preference. Maybe I’ll ask her to say the pledge of allegiance, which of course requires her to put her right paw over her heart. Or perhaps, I’ll ask her to swear on a bible to “tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” while raising her right paw. “OLIVE. WOULD YOU PLEASE OPEN UP THIS BOTTLE OF DIET STEWART’S ROOT BEER FOR ME?”

Bookends

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/11/2012 at 4:42 pm

"WHAT did you expect?"

If it’s not one, it’s the other. As Olive and I jauntily approached the entrance to the dog park last Saturday morning, I spot a Great Dane the size of a thoroughbred trotting around the perimeter of the fence. “NOT GOOD NEWS, OLIVE. THE BIG BLACK BUFFALO IS HERE TODAY.” This means that for Olive’s safety, we have to remain quarantined in the small dog area. Not Olive’s favorite. “Black Buffalo” is one of three Great Danes that visit the park somewhat regularly. One is fawn-colored and the other, a Harlequin Dane. Usually the trio arrive at the same time with their java-junkie owners who remain in a tightly curled clique by themselves. While the Danes appear very friendly, their size (150+ pounds) makes them potentially dangerous to other dogs. Twice now, Olive’s been trampled by two of them, spinning end over end with dirt and pebbles flying, yipping throughout the ugly collision which seems to occur in agonizing slow-motion. It makes me mental to watch. It’s like watching an 18-wheeler roll over a sedan. While I understand there was no aggression involved, my dog could have been hurt and it seemed that only luck prevented her from being injured. It’s hard not be angry at the Danes and yet you can’t blame them. Clearly, the wreck was unintentional. In fact, I kind of like the Danes; they have better manners than their owners who never stop to ask, “Is your dog alright?” Now, flash forward 24 hours. Olive and I are at the dog park on Sunday morning enjoying the bright winter’s day and the company of the other medium-sized dogs and their owners. After about 45 minutes, a woman shows up with a 7-month old ball of black fur that was so small, it looked like a fleece dog toy without stuffing. ‘HOLY CHRIST. ARE YOU KIDDING? SHE’S BRINGING THAT TINY SOCK IN HERE?” I mutter mostly to myself. “Tiny” comes bounding in and to her credit seems completely non-plussed by all the much larger dogs surrounding her, lining up for turns to sniff her naughty bits. However, my dog seems unusually fixated on this ball of fluff and while Olive does not have an aggressive temperament at all, she is by breed, a hunter of small animals and has a “strong, instinctive prey drive.” People desiring to own a weimaraner are cautioned in skyscraper-size type that weims may “tolerate” cats but many may “chase and kill small animals.” As I watch Olive routinely attempt to place her mouth around Tiny’s microscopic neck, I figure I better intervene before my dog starts shaking it by the neck as though it’s a toy. That would not be good. So I grab Olive by the collar, who is desperately trying to resist my attempt to leash her, and say, ”THAT’S IT OLIVE. WE’RE DONE FOR TODAY. THE LAST THING WE NEED IS FOR YOU TO COMMIT A HOMICIDE IN BROAD DAYLIGHT.”

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