Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘hunting dogs’

The Tortoise and The Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 06/02/2013 at 5:00 pm

'WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. THIS?"

‘WHAT. THE. HELL. IS. THIS?”

On our walk through the park today, Olive makes a beeline for something up ahead. As we get closer, I fear it’s a dead animal of some sort so I start pulling her back, not letting her get close enough to it and its cooties. And then I see a familiar but somewhat rare site. It looks like a dark green Army helmet lying in the sand. Olive has just discovered a snapping turtle. She approaches it tentatively which means she must know that it’s alive. She lunges toward it and then jumps back with the speed of a thunderclap. Since I don’t have any of Olive’s keen senses, I tap the turtle with the tip of my sneaker and sure enough it hisses like a snake. Olive rears back and almost jumps into my arms. Now, she goes on full predatory alert. She desperately wants to check out the turtle’s snake-like face, but I won’t let her. “NO WAY OLIVE. I DON’T NEED YOU LOSING YOUR NOSE TO THIS MIDGET DINOSAUR. GO TO THE OTHER SIDE.” I notice this reptile has a fairly long tail that seems to be stuck in the sand and I realize that maybe it’s laying eggs. Olive continues to lunge and retreat, lunge and retreat, lunge and retreat. I think she definitely wants to capture it but isn’t quite sure how. All of a sudden Olive jams her snout into the sand, scoops some out and flings it onto the turtle’s back. I am so surprised by this little maneuver because I’ve never seen her do anything like it before that it makes me shriek with laughter. I hold Olive tight on her leash while we both inspect the turtle very closely. I think we are both equally fascinated by it. It does look dinosaur-like. “C’MON OLIVE, LET’S GO. THIS IS BORING NOW. IT’S GOING TO TAKE A WEEK FOR IT TO MOVE THREE FEET. “My little “hare” ignores me, still staring fixedly at the turtle’s rear end. She’s probably waiting for breakfast.

 

 

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The Unexpected Gift

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/07/2012 at 8:45 pm

"I can't believe it either."

This is a true story. And not a pretty one. The other day, as Olive and I stood on the lawn on the side of my house, facing my neighbor’s country white split rail fence, we both noticed something odd at the same time. About 10 yards in front of us, on the other side of the fence was a large object on the ground. Olive barks at it. I stand there and think to myself “WTF?”  Holding Olive firmly on her flexi-leash, I make my way toward the fence, my steps slowing a bit as I get closer. “Christ. It’s another dead pheasant, Olive.” Mangled and frozen to the ground. “At least it’s not on our lawn this time,” I say to Olive who is now straining at the leash, desperate to investigate the carcass du jour. “Let’s go back in the house and call Ray and tell him he’s got lawnkill in his yard.” As I dial the phone (and why do some of us still say dial when rotary phones disappeared along with the Triceratops?) I mentally calculate the number of dead pheasants I’ve encountered since the Snoctober storm. Too many. For the first few weeks, they were skittering around the property like mice that had dropped acid. Since then, they’ve been dotting the property and the roadway like paint on a pointillist masterpiece. It isn’t over yet. The next morning, I release Olive from her crate as I always do. Except this time, she zips down the hallway, leaps down the stairs and races to the front door where she starts frantically sniffing the bottom of the threshold and scratching with both paws simultaneously at the draft blocker like a serial killer trying to claw their way out of hell. Great. A mouse must have gotten in the house I think. In retrospect, I should have been so lucky. I take Olive outside and as we pass the alcove by the front door, I can’t help but see a black object about the size of a small brown derby cake to the right of the doorway…exactly where Olive was scratching from the other side of the door. As I take this odd sight in and consider the possibilities, Olive is trying to pull me toward the object. “Not a chance, Olive. That looks way nasty even from here.” I bring Olive back in the house and return to the scene of the crime. I don’t know whether it’s dead or alive, but I’m pretty sure it’s some sort of animal. As I get closer and closer, I notice greasy black streaks leading up to the object. I am as close as I’ll get to it now and looking down, I observe the most revolting concoction of blackened feathers, bloody guts and God knows what else. Now I know what it is. Some animal, in the middle of the night, a fox or a coyote, ate too much of its prey and came to my front door to evacuate it out of one of its orifices. Thanks. And I used to think that cats bringing dead pink and grey little voles and headless mice was bad. This sets a new standard in vileness. And now I have to deal with it. I get a shovel from the garage and begin picking it up. As I do this, I can’t help but start to dry heave. I have never been good about cleaning up any type of vomit, dog or human. Multiply either of those by about 50 and that’s what I’m dealing with. I continually retch as I walk across the front lawn, across the street and dump it into the cornfield which has already been transformed into Our Lady of Holy Pheasants. The grass is littered with the corpses of about a dozen of these game birds. I back away and stand there for a second. I’ve stopped retching. I go back in the house and call my neighbor, Ray to tell him about this. Before I begin my story, he says, “Hey, you know that dead pheasant on my lawn yesterday? It was the damnedest thing. I picked it up, and everything was all there…except all its insides were gone.”

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