Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘OCD’

Unspun Q-Tip Head

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/23/2012 at 8:30 pm

"What was THAT all about?"

A few days ago, nearing the end of our morning walk, Olive and I encounter an old, scraggly man wobbling down the street. And when I say scraggly, I mean his snow white hair looks like an unspun Q-tip head. It announces his presence about four blocks before the rest of his body. And it’s quite a contrast to his seal brown leathery skin. I think he may be muttering to himself. His limbs seem to have separate lives of their own, each moving out of synchronization with the other. I tighten my grip on Olive’s leash, unsure of what to expect as we get closer. Suddenly, the geriatric scarecrow sneezes into a handkerchief. In a loud, slobbery sort of way. At least I hope that’s what I saw. Because if it’s not, then the alternative is that he sneezed into his hands and because of what comes next, I choose not to believe that. As Olive and I are about to pass the man, he reaches out while asking in painfully fractured English something like “Is the dog nice?” I am now torn between allowing a harmless old man to pet Olive with his potentially snot-stained hands and exposing her to Christ-knows-what while I silently gag many times over or being sort of rude and pulling Olive away from him. He’s so excited about petting Olive that I can’t bear to deprive him of this interaction. My eyes grow wide as he rubs his hands over the top of her head, her ears, snout and the sides of her mouth. As usual, my dog stands there enjoying the molestation. As he natters on energetically in his non-native language, I can no longer focus on anything but this: MUST GET OLIVE HOME IMMEDIATELY AND WIPE DOWN HER HEAD AND FACE. Yes, like Howie Mandel’s obsessive-compulsive fear of germs, I am now fixated on this thought. I gently start to pull Olive away as a means of signaling the end of the interaction. The cocooned old bean ambles away like a wind-up toy trying to move in at least four different directions at once. I turn to Olive and say, “OLIVE. DO NOT PUT YOUR PAWS ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR FACE UNTIL WE GET HOME.” I race home, wondering exactly how I would explain the need to go 50 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone to a Police Officer. I run into the kitchen, soak a paper towel and wipe down her head and face. I’ve never done this to Olive before so while she’s very obedient and allows me to do this, I can hear what she’s thinking. “IS THIS BECAUSE I LICKED MY ASS?”

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