Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘puppy’

Bee Killers

In weimaraners on 04/27/2011 at 8:38 pm

"The bees scared me."

While I enjoyed my breakfast out on the deck this morning, poor Olive kept running around like a nervous bride ducking the fat fuzzy carpenter bees menacing her. Of course she doesn’t know that they can’t sting her because the males are stinger-less. Ouch. Kind of like a eunuch bee. All buzz, no action. Perhaps she is confusing them with the wasps that stung her twice last summer when she was just 11 weeks old. Casually sauntering across the deck past the tomato and basil plants, I suddenly feel a sharp searing pain in my ankle. “SHIT! THAT HURT.” I can’t recall the last time I got stung by a bee but I don’t remember it hurting this much. Do some bee stings hurt worse than others? Bee, wasp, yellow jacket, whatever; same difference. The pain starts to subside as the toxins now create an unrelenting burning and itching. The next morning, we make our way past the plants just a little less casually. “GOD-DAM-SON-OF-A-BITCHIN-BEE,” I scream as a stinger plunges into my OTHER ankle. It feels like a miniature sword. WHERE IN GOD’S NAME ARE THESE BEES COMING FROM? The next morning Olive and I pass the plants much more cautiously. This time I get past them without being stung. “YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP! YIP!” Olive is running in circles frantically trying to shake the wasp still attached to her leg. At first I thought she was having some kind of seizure, until I saw the wasp. “HOW DARE YOU STING MY 3-MONTH OLD PUPPY. NOW YOU DIE.” I comfort Olive and bring her back into the safety of the house. I march back outside choking with the blood red fury of a parent about to confront the parents of the snotnose that bullied their child. A visual sweep of the underside of the deck reveals a thin-skinned grey paper maché balloon-looking nest attached to the bottom of one of the planks. DIRECTLY  below the tomato and basil plants. It is the size of a Winnebago. Big enough to make Winnie the Pooh pass out with feverish anticipation. And by the way, wasn’t Winnie the Pooh presented to us as male? With a name like Winnie??? Anyway, now that I have identified the enemy, I am even more enraged. Really, in a maniacal state of “loon.” Like an Aztec Warrior whose loincloth is way too tight. I emerge from the garage with a jumbo can of Wasp Killer and a very long-handled broom. My strategy is to beat the living crap out of the nest like it’s a piñata filled with gold while I constantly spray the pesticide. This strategy is simply called, “Italian.” I slam the nest and it explodes with a lot of very pissed off bees. I am blind to their anger. I WILL win. By the time I’ve destroyed the nest. I’ve only been partially stung once. I am very pleased with the results. The odds were not in my favor. It’s amazing how the human spirit can triumph. Even if it’s only over bees.


Getting Olive

In weimaraners on 04/10/2011 at 9:22 pm


Next week is Olive’s first birthday. She will be 365 days old. I will have aged one dog year. In honor of this day I will be posting photos taken of Olive when she was a mere imp. A blur. A sonic boomlet. There aren’t too many of these photos because most of them are unfocused grey blurs where only a small part of her anatomy is in frame. The only time she was “kinetically-silent” was when she was passed out cold sleeping. Olive’s destiny as my spoiled pooch began last April when I psychologically made the decision to get a dog. This was 15 months after Idgy the Wonder Dog had passed on. I loved that dog with all my heart and it was heartbreaking to have to put her down. I sobbed while I held her and she took her last few breaths. Although I knew that day would inevitably come like the certainty of a late spring thunderstorm, I couldn’t believe it had finally arrived. It was shattering to take her to the vet’s office with the knowledge that she wouldn’t be coming home; knowledge that she did not have. The only consolation I had was that I believed the timing was right. A week earlier and it would have been too soon. A week later and it would have too late. Idgy sent very clear signals that she was ready; that it was now more painful to still be here than not. It took 15 months for me to stop feeling guilty about the idea of getting another dog. The first choice I had to make was whether I wanted a “single pedigree” or a “multiple pedigree.” Idgy was a multiple pedigree so that was a plus. But I also was inexorably drawn to both the Weimaraner and the German Shorthaired Pointer.  I identified a few Weimaraner breeders in northern New Jersey and one informed me that she had a brand new litter of 11. Off I went. Flying up the Garden State Parkway North as if I were being chased by Tyrannosaurus Rex. I arrive and what to my wondering eyes should appear? 11 tiny Weimaraners. 11 perfect little replicas of their stunning parents, whom I also met that day. Observing the mother I think to myself, “She seems pretty calm for a Weim. Or, she’s just exhausted from nursing 11 puppies with just 6 nipples.” I glance over at the fence where the father is racing back and forth like a Bengal Tiger eyeing me, the intruder, while he barks as though he just discovered Osama Bin Laden hiding behind a nearby tree. How do you choose one when each looks indistinguishable from the next? How do you choose one when you’re watching 11 of them crawl all over each other like ants that have just found an unattended French baguette in the middle of the desert? “Let me think it over,” I say. “I’ll let you know. It’s a big commitment and I also want to look at some German Shorthaired Pointers.” I look back at the 11 pair of Paul Newman baby blue eyes tracking me while I make my way back to the car. In less than 10 minutes, I’m back on the Garden State Parkway. In less than 15 minutes I call the breeder. “I’ll take one. Pick out the one you think is right for me.” This is how Olive’s story begins…

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