Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘walks’

Nowhere to Hide

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 04/29/2013 at 8:25 pm

"Do I know these people?"

“Do I know these people?”

Olive is getting to be so well known locally, that she can’t even hide in the middle of the woods. She’s going to have to start to wear Ray-Bans. Or one of those plastic black glasses with the big Caucasian flesh-colored Roman nose and Groucho Marx mustache. Yes, last weekend, as Olive and I strolled through the trails at Schooley’s Mountain Park, we come upon a young couple, their grade school-aged daughter and their little dog. We exchange some pleasantries and start to move on. “Come on Olive, let’s go,” I say in a slightly unhinged, “Isn’t-it-such-a-beautiful-day” sing song voice. And then I hear it. From the Mother of the group. “EXCUSE ME. DO YOU WRITE ABOUT OLIVE?” And a smile begins to stretch across my face. “Why yes, I do,” I reply. And then the coolest thing happens. She and her husband start to laugh in the slightly giddy way that people do when they encounter a celebrity. And the woman says, “Our friend Rosemary sends us your posts sometimes.” And now it’s my turn to chuckle. “Rosemary is one of my dearest childhood friends” I reply. During this exchange, Olive is up ahead, staring at me as though the truck-sized peeled grape she has imagined and telepathically communicated is about to materialize right in front of her salivating mouth. “So Olive, do you have any idea why you are so well known in these parts? Because the blog you rarely contribute to is called Life with Olive. Maybe it’s time you started a blog called Life with Patti and I’ll contribute to it whenever there’s a full moon. She just stares at me in that uniquely weimaraner sort of way. Part adoring, part mischievous, part goofy. This dog just lights up everything around her.

 

 

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Frosty Paws

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/23/2012 at 8:23 pm

"WHERE are my damn boots?"

Yes, there still are kind people in the world in which we live. On the last leg of our walk yesterday, following a weather pattern that dropped five inches of snow on the ground, Olive starts raising one of her hind legs. As high as the Radio City Rockettes. She’s still walking, but the right rear leg is drawn high up off the sidewalk. I bend down and start rubbing her paw with my gloved hand, brushing the snow from her foot and possibly salt crystals. I am as careful as I can be when walking her in the winter. Mindful of the anti-litigation salt crystals people toss across their sidewalks like chicken feed, I try to steer Olive away from obvious blue clumps and direct her to walk on the snowy lawn. I figure this way, her paws get a brief respite and are possibly somewhat cleansed by the snow. She puts her foot down, walks a few feet, lifts the same leg and then LAYS DOWN IN THE SNOW in obvious discomfort. “Shit,” I mutter. It must be the salt crystals burning her pads. Not thinking, I try to pick her up in my arms so all four feet are off the ground and within seconds I realize that I have to put her back down. What do I think I am, a weight lifter? She’s almost 70 pounds and there’s no way I can really hold her. I might as well try to lift a burlap bag filled with wet cement. As I’m trying to mentally calculate my options, a black SUV rolls to a stop across the street and the driver calls out: “Do you need any help? My dog does that sometimes too.” I reply: “Thanks. I think it must be the salt. We’re OK. We only have another block or two. I think we’ll make it.” “Boy, that was nice, huh Olive?” I pick up both Olive’s back feet and vigorously rub her frosty paws for about 10 seconds. She’s upright now on all dainty fours, but looking at me a little unsure of what to do next. “We don’t have much further to go Olive. Walk on the snow instead of the sidewalk and I promise I’ll rinse your paws off in nice warm water when we get home.” She seems to instinctively trust me or figures she has no other choice because English is not her first language. We continue on our walk, me on my two feet, her on all four of hers. When we get into the car and I turn the key in the ignition, I notice that the temperature is just 21 paw-chilling degrees. Yikes. I realize it was probably just the cold that was flash freezing Olive’s pads. This happened once or twice last year during her first winter. In case you’re wondering, I did ask the vet about possibly getting booties for Olive and he said not to baby her. (Who me?) She’s a dog, her feet have to get used to it. Now, if I could only find where I put the container of Musher’s Secret I bought for Olive this past Summer. I can only imagine that trying to apply it to her paws will be like trying to apply it to the heels of an acrobat.

Velvet Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/22/2011 at 9:07 pm

"What the hell is VELVET?"

As Olive and I approached the crosswalk in front of the local middle school the other day, the crossing guard enters the street with arms extended protecting us from morning traffic and says, “Whenever I see her coming down the street, all I see is velvet.” “Her” of course, is Princess Olive, the unofficial symbol of the United States Velvet Council. Olive hears this and somehow understands that she’s just been paid a compliment in an indirect, complex manner. She responds physically. Her tool of choice? Her proud unyielding tail. It starts snapping back and forth, creating a stiff breeze. Inevitably, she starts becoming more and more animated. It creates the impression that someone has used her tail as a crank to wind her up. The whole scene reminds me of the animated children’s classic TV show, “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,” when Rudolph, expressing his joy that the young doe likes him, takes off into the air and flies for the first time. And then, upon his less than graceful landing, his black prosthetic nose pops off to reveal his red blinking honker. When we reach the other side of the street, Olive does what she always does in situations that she is not ready to leave. She jumps up on me, placing her paws on my chest in a subtle display that says “HEY. WAIT A MINUTE. STOP. I WANT TO STICK AROUND HERE FOR A FEW MORE MINUTES.” It is the equivalent of having a three-year old child tugging on the bottom of your coat to stop you from passing the candy store. As much as I always hate doing this, I brush her aside back onto all four feet and say, “HEY NUTCRACKER, LOOK! THERE’S AN OBESE FINCH WITH A BROKEN LEG.” You can actually see the switch in Olive’s brain being re-directed as her head pivots 360-degrees searching to locate this bright yellow delicacy. She’s forgotten the crossing guard.

Crazy Eyes

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 10/08/2011 at 7:26 pm

"I'm staring into your SOUL right now."

As Olive and I walked leisurely across the grounds of the local college early yesterday morning, we crossed paths with a student on his way to class. “Good Morning,” I said. “Good morning. How are you?” said the young stranger with the characteristic idealistic tone that only the young and newly independent can enthusiastically muster. “Fine thanks,” I replied. “MAN, YOUR DOG HAS CRAZY EYES,” he noted as we passed. I chuckled. “Ya’ think?”

Ancient Annie Hall

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/26/2011 at 8:10 pm

"Whoa. What the HELL was that?"

Today, Olive and I witnessed a most unusual sight at a local mailbox. As we were getting into the car after our morning walk, out of the corner of my eye I see an ordinary looking car pull up to the mailbox. And out steps Annie Hall. Old Annie Hall. Annie Hall as she might look in her early 70s. Dressed like Annie Hall from the ‘70s. When she was in her 20s. “HOLY CRAP OLIVE, LOOK. IT’S ANCIENT ANNIE HALL.” And there before us is a woman, clearly a long-term member of AARP, standing at the mailbox depositing a letter. Her long platinum blonde hair is framed by large, dark sunglasses. It’s also partially entombed by a black wool beret. Her hair comes to rest just below her shoulders in a limp loose curl. It gets better. She wore a temperately inappropriate wool suit; a long-sleeved golden graham-colored jacket with a matching skirt that thankfully was car-length. While the combination of her age and couture caught my eye, it did not register until now just how weird it was that she was essentially wearing winter clothes on a morning where the temperature had already climbed to 70+ degrees. Geez, maybe we just witnessed a terrorist act of some sort. Although Old Annie Hall better fit the profile of an overly ripened female Soviet Spy as opposed to a female Muslim extremist. And while her outfit wasn’t quite “Annie Hall,” that was the immediate impression it created. It was a striking sight. Neither bad nor good, just odd. High contrast on so many different levels. I finished wrangling Olive into the back seat of the car, releasing the leash from her Frankenprong only when she was safely inside. I look at the old woman once more and look back at Olive who is wondering why in God’s name all my attention is not focused on her and her alone. Olive looks at me with her incredibly sweet, innocent face, ready to believe anything I tell her. “SEE OLIVE, THAT’S WHAT BULLY STICKS LOOK LIKE JUST BEFORE THEY’RE PROCESSED.”

Acorn Shower

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/15/2011 at 8:04 pm

This morning, Olive and I were treated to a pre-autumnal acorn shower. Standing under a skyscraper of an oak tree on the grounds of the local college campus, acorns rained all over us, slipping through the canopy of leaves with a musicality that was impressive. I wish my iphone would have picked up this sound better, but you can imagine how frequently they dropped just by observing the movement of Olive’s ears.  This symphony of nuts is interrupted only by a car door being shut, but keep watching for when Olive realizes that these things are falling from above and looks up into the abyss of the tree. It was all very cool.

School Daze

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/14/2011 at 8:42 pm

"They're BACK!"

It’s back to school time and Olive is as thrilled as an unopened jar of fingerpaint. During our morning walk, we pass by the local middle school and Centenary College. This gives Olive two opportunities to seek out oohs, aahs and friendly groping by both small and tall humans. As we approach the red brick entrance to the quintessential 1950s America-style Middle School, first we encounter the crossing guard who will walk into the middle of the street to stop oncoming traffic to allow Olive to pass safely as though she is another child. Olive stops to offer a thank-you lick. Up ahead to the right, all the children have gathered, chatting noisily in small groups like bees at a summer picnic. Sometimes a parent or a teacher will stop to chat and pet Olive. Some of the children stare longingly at Olive, their desire to pet her palpable. But, most are engaged in important conversations about all the things that were important to us at that age. You know, the things we can’t even recall today. We continue walking, passing mostly Victorian-style homes. The morning air is punctuated by the sounds of dogs barking from all directions, cars passing by, cement workers demolishing rapidly deteriorating stone front steps and often, the bell at Centenary College tolling seven times to let us know that it’s seven o’clock. We pass the home of the hyperactive tiny dog that rushes out to the front porch of its unique octagonal home (once the local post office) to bark non-stop crazy at Olive. Olive ignored it for many months and then got sick of it. Now, I watch for the exact moment when the hair on her neck and back rises and she utters a low growl that I’m sure means “SHUT THE F UP YOU BATSHIT DOG.” Inevitably we hear batshit’s owner yell at him and he stops. A few more blocks and we pass the “dancing teacup,” the miniature black and tan Doberman Pinscher, who tethered to his porch, races out toward Olive on the sidewalk, barking like someone just lit his tail on fire. We’re not done yet. Another few blocks and we pass “The Crazy Westie,” the white West Highland Terrier who hurls himself at the windows of his house while barking at Olive. What is it with these tiny dogs and their obsessive barking? As we round the corner, we can see the gleaming gold dome atop Centenary College. Sometimes we stop to rest on the front lawn of the campus. I check my iphone while Olive lays next to me gnawing on a branch she’s found. After a few minutes, we rise, and Olive quickly focuses on the students crossing campus on their way to classes. Yesterday, one of the students hangs out his car window to ask me: “I HEAR THOSE DOGS ARE GASSY. IS THAT TRUE?” “ONLY AFTER SHE’S HAD A FEW BEERS, AND PUKED UP CHEETOS ON HERSELF WHILE WATCHING A FOOTBALL GAME,” I reply. That’s what I want to say. Instead I say, “Not really, but sometimes her stools are really loose.” Have a nice breakfast, I think.

GreyDog’s Anatomy

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/13/2011 at 9:44 pm

"Is that a NIPPLE!"

It happens every day. On our walks, Olive and I are inevitably greeted by a passing pedigree-ignorant stranger with, “Is that a Greyhound?” By now, after encountering 18-months of this, I probably either scowl or chuckle without realizing it. “Actually, she’s a Weimaraner. German. A hunting dog. Go ahead, lay down on the sidewalk and she’ll bring you over to me in her mouth.” I never verbalize the last part, I just think it. I used to think that the reason why Olive gets mis-identified as a Greyhound is because she is grey and she’s a hound. But I’ve come to realize that it’s more complex than that. One of my friends pointed out that it might be because Olive is so tall. Even when she’s not in her Jimmy Choos. I also think it’s because Olive has a deep barrel chest, well developed “brisket,” AND a very high “tuck up.” In non-dog and non-medical terms, it is an elegant, accentuated upward slope of her undercarriage. I can’t believe  it’s taken me this long to so eloquently articulate this. (Heavy sarcasm) “OLIVE. GET OVER HERE. I NEED TO CHECK YOUR UNDERCARRIAGE.” “NO WAY. YOU JUST WANT TO COUNT MY NIPPLES AGAIN.” She’s right. I have been obsessed with this ever since I realized that dogs have only 10 nipples. (I can’t believe I just said ‘only.’) What is the significance of this? It means that Olive’s mother Lacy, who had a litter of 11, was one nipple short. And to this day, I’m convinced that Olive was the pup shortchanged by this genetic fact. Why do I think this? Because my dog will spot a nipple of any kind from as far away as Neptune. Any kind of nipple. The nipple on a baby bottle. On a balloon. On an exercise ball. On a tire. On a swim tube. Poor Olive, always chasing the eternally missing nipple.

Barbie Crime Scene

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 09/09/2011 at 7:31 pm

"Now THIS is interesting."

I think the photo above cries out for some creative captions. Got any? This is the treasure Olive found during our walk this morning. She uncharacteristically dragged me across the sidewalk onto someone’s lawn to check this out. I can’t imagine what she thinks of it. A tiny, naked human, lying stiff in the grass. I’m hoping it piqued her interest because it was something she saw as opposed to something she smelled. She was very interested in it, nosing around it from all angles while I was desperately trying to get a good picture and talking on the phone at the same time. I should have let her pick it up in her mouth as the photo would have been priceless, but since my brain was otherwise taxed trying to hypertask, I didn’t think of it. I’ll bet when we pass by tomorrow it will still be there. Maybe we’ll get a second chance. Wouldn’t that be funny, if we came by tomorrow and Ken was lying there naked too? Who knows, maybe some demented neighborhood child is staging some kind of crime scene. Great. That would mean that a Jeffrey Dahmer- or Ed Gein-in-training is living nearby. Olive and I continued on our walk past the house on the corner with the most amazing lawn in the tri-state area. Really, the guy who lives here must have been a groundskeeper at Giants Stadium or a local golf course. It has not one weed in it. Perhaps this is why Olive always wants to pee here but I don’t dare let her. We cross the street and continue our peaceful early morning walk. “SO, WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH THE NAKED BARBIE DOLL?” asks Olive. “HOW THE HELL DO I KNOW?” I reply. “I JUST HOPE YOU DIDN’T LEAVE ANY NOSEPRINTS OR DNA ON IT.”

Bologna Tongue

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 08/19/2011 at 9:09 pm

"WHAT'S bologna?"

This is Olive doing an impersonation of a tube of fresh Italian bologna. Actually, she hasn’t pulled out all the stops yet. Usually, when she’s really hot, sweaty and stinky from our 60-minute walk, her tongue hangs out so far I think it might actually slide out of her head. When I start to see it grow like Pinocchio’s nose, we stop and I give her a drink from a bottle of Nestlé Pure Life water. I try to hold the plastic bottle in a way where the H2O just drips out but sometimes it drips like an I.V. bag. Olive gets supremely impatient and responds like someone who was just offered a peanut butter sandwich after having wandered the desert for the last 33 days without water. She starts grabbing the tiny neck of the bottle with her molars as though she is actually trying to twist the bottle open. I tip the bottle at a  30-degree angle and water starts pouring into her mouth like an infant geyser. She starts choking a bit but she won’t stop drinking. I pull it away after she’s gotten a mouthful and we continue on our walk. Olive goes back to scouting the sidewalk with her nose and the thought occurs to me, “If dogs have super olfactory powers and can smell its master’s DNA from miles away, then why do they shove their nose right into a lawn cigar or bird shit or whatever foul smelling object they find?  When dogs do that with their super powers, it must be an incredibly overpowering experience for them. They must become intoxicated from drawing in a multi-note bouquet with a nose that can suck shingles from a roof. I imagine that our walks everyday must feel like an olfactory treasure hunt to Olive. I wonder if she excitedly anticipates what scents she’ll encounter on each walk, much like a child anticipates going to the toy store. ‘LOOK MOM! A ROASTED DEAD FROG. CAN I SMELL IT? HUH? HUH? (And yes, we did encounter a flattened dried out frog on the sidewalk the other morning.) Olive also seems to be unusually attracted to the intestinal splatter from birds. (Big surprise.) I wonder if she knows it’s bird shit. I usually let her casually sniff each object without getting too intimate with it, but today I drew the line at a suspicious looking purple balloon, inflated with what may have been one and a half breaths of fetid air. “FORGET IT OLIVE. IT LOOKS LIKE SOME COKE HEAD’S STASH. MAYBE IT DROPPED OUT OF HIS COLON.” Olive looks at me for a second like I’m crazy, then continues marching forward. She can’t wait until we pass the strip mall down the street where she’s sure to find the back-end of a tossed burrito or some other cheap fat and cholesterol-laden jewel that escaped some human’s piehole.

Turd Tote

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/17/2011 at 7:29 am

"Hey, I MADE that."

There’s nothing like carrying your dog’s poop in a plastic bag while you are walking to make one feel like an idiot. As I pass by school kids, crossing guards and other pedestrians, I try to hide the presence of the little fecal purse by being very animated. Perhaps this will divert attention from the little green bag dangling by my side as if it’s a parasitic twin. Olive prances ahead, head held high as if to proclaim, “Where for art my bag of crappeth? Being carried by my loyal subject of course!” As our walk continues, while Olive has her medium-sized brown nose criss-crossing the terrain like a tiny hovercraft, my eyes criss-cross streets lined with Victorian homes, searching desperately for a garbage can on the sidewalk or one that’s accessible to me without being arrested for trespassing. “Cripes. Garbage Day was yesterday. I’m going to have to carry this thing for miles.” Most of the cans are forest green, so they blend into the surroundings. And then, there are the new “charity cans,” bright, Barbie-pink trash cans that support breast cancer. I already donate to a number of cancer charities, but when I see these cans I think. “My God, I’d donate $1,000 just not to have this eyesore in front of my house.” The other morning, I looked out the kitchen window and saw what I thought was a person down the street, just standing idly in front of a neighbor’s driveway like a buoy. “That’s weird,” I thought. Until I take out my binoculars and confirm that it’s not a person. It’s one of these ridiculous garbage cans. Really, isn’t the world we live in today noisy enough without added “visual noise” like this? Olive and I live in a fairly rural area and these pink cans stand at attention at the end of driveways like giant erasers visible from hundreds of feet away. Can you imagine what they’d look like in urban areas? By now, I’m so tired of carrying the turd tote, I feel like just flinging it into the air like it’s a skeet target. And all of a sudden, a nasty-looking trash can, one whose lid looks like it has been seriously nibbled away by squirrel-beavers, stands before me on the sidewalk in front of a home that is either (sadly) occupied by very old people or a band of drugstore cowboys. The house is in grave disrepair. Another few years and it looks like it will have to be condemned. Whomever lives here is neither going to notice or care that I’ve dropped a bag of dogshit into their garbage can. I use just my pinky to gingerly open the rodent-bitten lid, toss the bag in, and gag momentarily before letting the lid drop. Olive just watches. She looks up at me as though I’ve just given away her left kidney. “Don’t worry Olive, you’ll make more.”

Stranger Biscuits

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 06/09/2011 at 6:34 am

"Do I LOOK like an easy mark?"

As Olive and I were on the last paw of our morning walk, we passed the discount gas station we pass every morning. Usually we just say “Hi” or “Good Morning,” to the gas jockeys. On this morning though, one of the gas jockeys approaches me to ask if he can give Olive a biscuit. At least he asked. Because he was holding up, not a complete biscuit, but half of one. That wouldn’t have been so bad but for two other bits of information. One, the artificial red coloring looked like the biscuit had been dropped into a can of brick-colored paint. You could distinctly see the “layer” of manufactured coloring on the biscuit. But the worst part was that I think this guy had been CLEANING OUT HIS CAR. Typical male. He probably thought to himself, “Hey, look, half a dog biscuit,” never stopping to think that it may have been trapped in the bowels of his dirty car amidst all the greasy junk food wrappers, crumpled empty cigarette packs, and God knows what else for the last three years. Yes, most people have good intentions. This is what we say when people don’t stop to think before they act. I look at the biscuit which seems to be decaying in front of my eyes, probably wrinkling my brow and curling my upper lip and say, “Uh, thanks, but she’s got a really sensitive stomach.” I can’t recall exactly what he said next, but it was something to the effect of “Are you sure?” I look him in the eye this time and say “Yeah, I think I’ll pass. I already have to pick up her poop with a straw.” He chuckles and backs away. I walk away thinking, am I THAT paranoid or was there about 4 things wrong with this situation? And just for the record, I half lied. Olive does have a sensitive digestive tract, but only a third to half of her poops resemble cow pies, but that’s a whole different story. Can you imagine my organic foodie pooch eating this petrified biscuit? The dog who won’t even drink out of her water bowl if there is any whisker dirt or kibble floaters present? Olive and I walk away and I am tempted to turn around to see if this guy eats the half biscuit himself.

Busted!

In weimaraners on 05/30/2011 at 7:21 pm

"You can kiss me now."

On our walk yesterday, it was so hot that I was afraid that one of us would spontaneously combust. If it were Olive, I had only a tiny plastic turd-sized bag with me. If it were me, I knew for sure that Olive had no bag at all with her. So, to prevent such a dogtastrophe, Olive and I stopped where we usually do when we’re seeking some respite from the blazing sun. On the Centenary College campus, there’s an impressive old tree whose massive grey trunk is surrounded by a spacious hexagonal wooden bench. The bench is canopied by the tree’s remarkable boughs whose thicket of leaves offer substantial shade. I sit on the bench while Olive pokes around nearby. I’ve tried to get her to sit on the bench with me but so far she hasn’t accepted my invitation. She continues to inhale all the scents she uncovers in the desert rose-colored stones that carpet the area under the tree. Occasionally, nature’s allergans overpower her and she starts to “backhale,” sucking air in like a clogged vacuum hose. In a relaxed moment of affection, I pull Olive closer to me and sprinkle her with a bunch of tiny kisses. Just then I hear, “Hi.” I look in the direction of the greeting and see this guy climbing into his car. The first thing that comes to mind is the truth. “You caught me makin’ out with my dog.” He made some comment whose tone sounded friendly and understanding, but I couldn’t hear a thing. Not only was I slightly flustered because I had just been caught in the act of kissing my dog in public, but to make matters worse, this guy was really cute. Olive didn’t give two shits of course. He didn’t have a tail, so she wasn’t all that interested. It only bothers her when I hand out her business cards to people we meet on our walks. How do I know this? Because when I pull one out of my pocket, she promptly tries to eat it.

The Headless Wig

In weimaraners on 05/14/2011 at 9:12 pm

"Is this how the lambs FELT?"

As Olive and I walked past the Livestock Auction in Hackettstown (not a joke) the other day, I noticed that the headless long brunette wig with auburn highlights that we saw flattened in the grass this past summer was still lying undisturbed in the same spot. Matted to the ground directly across the stall where they keep the cows that are auctioned off each Tuesday. Which leads me to wonder…where did it come from? Who tosses away or loses a wig next to a livestock auction? Perhaps one of the cows was wearing it as a disguise and escaped. Maybe a thief tossed it off after fleeing the nearby Quick Chek. The possibility also exists that a drunken teenager used it as a barf bag on Halloween. I am fairly sure that NONE of these thoughts run through Olive’s head. She’s too busy, nose plastered to the ground or pointing to the clouds, inhaling all the scents you might imagine that emanate from a Livestock Auction. Cow pies. Sweaty lambs. Chicken scat. Horny bulls. Weathered old farmers. And the overpowering scent of hay. The silver livestock trucks pull up early on these mornings, squeaking and creaking like a New York taxicab stuffed with fat tourists. They remind me alternately of a school bus for animals and the old-fashioned Airstream trailers from the 1950s. Olive remains in a state of high alert as we walk past what is essentially the livestock version of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City. We hear the distressed sounds the animals make as they are marched from their trailers onto planks that deposit them into the barn. Olive senses that they are about to have an explosive gastrointestinal attack and can’t get off the planks fast enough. Back to the wig. It could also belong to the drunken old lady Olive and I encountered one mid-Summer morning. Oh yeah. 7am and this woman, talky as only a walking bottle of whiskey can be, rambled on and on about how her “baby” wasn’t on the train (and she wasn’t talking about a child) and why didn’t I have two dogs so they could “get it on.” Actually, what she said was cruder than that, but I try to keep this blog as PG-13 as I can. I blushed…for Olive. I wanted to cover the ears of my innocent puppy. So as not to piss off the drunk and initiate further interaction, I made some innocuous comment and walked away with Olive as fast as I could without making it seem obvious. Although why I thought anything would be obvious to someone whose blood alcohol level was more alcohol than blood, I have no idea.

Leaf Shower

In weimaraners on 04/23/2011 at 7:51 am

"Is it DOG? Or a UFO?"

My daily walks with Olive are filled with as many transcendental moments as goofy ones. My all-time favorite so far is the “Leaf Shower” we experienced this past Fall in front of the entrance to Centenary College. As we casually approached a majestic-looking Ash tree on the college campus, its small yellow leaves began cascading down upon us in a steady stream as if someone had just turned on the shower. Olive and I stood under it for a few minutes allowing the beauty and peacefulness of nature to wash over us. It literally “rained” leaves continuously as though the leaves were tears expressing sadness that Summer was indeed over. I wish I had had my movie camera with me. It was a very memorable moment, really unlike any I had experienced before. Of course, as I stood there looking upward and stretching my arms wide as though it were snowflakes and not leaves falling, Olive was acutely focused on snapping up the leaves that were falling. “SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP. SNAP.” Hearing Olive’s jaw open and snap close loudly with the rhythm of a machine gun and watching her head pivot omni directionally like Linda Blair’s in “The Exorcist,” always makes me laugh. She also rears up on her hind legs like a wild stallion while she’s doing this and when her front paws start flailing, she looks like Mohamed Ali pummeling an opponent. While the leaves continue falling, Olive and I begin walking away. “Save yourself Olive,” I say. “We have no idea what we’ll run into next.”

Snake Guy

In weimaraners on 04/19/2011 at 7:20 pm

"Is he WEARING a SNAKE?"

Olive and I meet all kinds of people on our daily walks. Most are very friendly, some approach us directly to pet Olive, others just feel obligated to be polite, and a few are out-and-out closeted psychopaths who when I say “Hello,” stare blankly ahead as though walking away from a horrific crime scene. They say nothing. They do not even acknowledge our presence. And then there’s “Snake Guy.” On one bright sunny day, as Olive and I walked down the sidewalk toward a guy who appeared to be in his mid-twenties, she starts to approach him. Olive is an “attention whore.” She’ll take it from anyone who’s giving it out. We start to chat while he bends down slightly to pet her. Olive melts into her usual state of ecstasy and begins reciprocating by licking every exposed area of skin on his body. After she’s done giving him a “French whore’s bath,” we disengage and say goodbye. Then for good measure, she rams her nose into his crotch. And it’s only at that moment that I look more closely at this guy and there’s a giant snake coiled around his neck. WHOSE HEAD IS NOW RAISED AND HISSING AT ME. He’s wearing his pet like a scarf. The thoughts that immediately race through my mind are (in the following order) 1. Gross. 2. Thank God Olive didn’t notice and bite its head off. I’m not sure I have “snake coverage.” 3. Thank God it didn’t bite Olive. 4. That guy was probably surprised that I wasn’t grossed out. 5. “HOLY CRAP. AM I BLIND OR WHAT? Who knows, maybe next time we’ll meet someone walking their pet ant eater by wearing it as a hat.

Weisenheimer Weimaraner

In weimaraners on 04/15/2011 at 6:35 am

"I LOVE duck."

“Is that a Vizsla?” an older woman asked me yesterday as Olive and I passed by the car she and her husband sat in, in the parking lot of a liquor store. “Well, she’s similar to a Vizsla but no, she’s a weimaraner.” “A weisenheimer?” the woman queried. “Yes, a weisenheimer,” I replied. Little did she know. Olive was both a weimaraner and a weisenheimer. My little smart aleck. Actually, Olive might be smarter than the old woman. She’s definitely more sober. Especially at 11 o’clock in the morning.

Spank The Human

In weimaraners on 03/29/2011 at 6:11 pm

"I don't know WHAT you're talking about."

Have you ever been spanked by your dog? With a stick? I have. I swear, I don’t make this stuff up. I may exaggerate a little, but it all stems from a truth. As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, Olive has a love affair with sticks. The dog must have a stick in her mouth while walking. Kind of like a cigarette smoker who cannot drive without sucking on a cigarette. Orally fixated, kinetically expressed.

Olive is not intimidated by the size of the stick. I’ve seen her pick up a fairly large-sized limb from a tree and try dragging it behind her. I usually have to perform an emergency amputation of the branch that is already in her mouth and we walk away with that and she seems satisfied. Until she sees the next desirable stick. I have yet to figure out why she finds certain sticks attractive and others do not merit even a second sideways glance. Thank God telephone poles are “vertically planted sticks.”

Yesterday though, she spanked me. With a stick. Repeatedly.

During our daily walk, Olive picks up a stick about the size of a drum majorette’s baton. Slightly shorter in length, but the circumference looked about right. Not a wimpy stick. A handsome one too if it could be said that a stick is handsome. The Brad Pitt of sticks.

She’s walking on my right, slightly behind me and she begins gnawing on the far right end of the stick. This places the bulk of the stick strategically behind…my behind. As she chomps down on the stick with all the vigor of Paul Bunyon, the left end of the stick bats my ass. This act repeats itself about a half dozen times and picks up a distinct rhythm, sounding like one of the songs from Paul Simon’s “Graceland” album. With each chomp, I can sense Olive becoming frustrated that my ass is preventing her from fully enjoying her stick gnawing experience. CHOMP. SWAT. CHOMP. SWAT. CHOMP. SWAT. CHOMP. SWAT. CHOMP. SWAT. CHOMP. SWAT.

It creates the distinct impression to passersby that my dog is spanking me.

Field of Dog Dreams

In Uncategorized on 03/21/2011 at 9:55 pm

"E=MC Squared. Mere child's play."

I wonder what went through the tick-sized brain of the low flying hawk that encountered Olive and me last week on one of our walks. As it approached us in cascading circles, gliding through the bright blue sky, Olive, ever the alert pooch, promptly reared up on her hind legs like a mustang that had just been goosed, and GROWLED (not barked) at the hawk. Olive’s reaction was notable for both its sustained growl and the length of time she was bi-pedal. In a strange way it was like watching the evolution of man fast-forward through time-lapse photography. The hunched over ape begins to walk upright as a man. Except of course, it were really evolution, the ape would turn into a woman, right Olive?

I suspect that Olive was getting ready to do battle with the hawk; making herself appear more threatening and possibly slightly crackers. It must frustrate her immensely that she cannot fly. I mean when you think about it, isn’t being a bird dog sort of a cruel twist of fate? It’s like pitting Aquaman against Superman. One swims, the other flies. Any bird dumb enough to get caught by a dog deserves to be removed from the gene pool.

What does run through a dog’s mind? Is it driven just by biological sensation? BIRD. HUNGRY. EAT. What about when Olive is just sitting on the lawn like a silent sentry observing the world around her through all her senses? WET. RAIN. DEPRESSED. Or, DEER SCAT. BLACK PEARLS. NECKLACE. Maybe we don’t give dogs enough credit. Maybe like someone suffering from schizophrenia or an autistic child, they simply interact with the world with their own logic, converse in their own language. Maybe dogs do have complex thoughts and we’re the ones who haven’t figured it out yet. When you think about it, while humans use their brain to figure out stuff like the theory of relativity, dogs use their nose to sniff out cancer cells. So, who’s really smarter?

Adonis Genes

In weimaraners on 03/10/2011 at 8:52 pm

Guess what? I went for something called a hike on Saturday! At a neat park in the middle of the woods. It was so nice and stinky. Here a stink, there a stink, everywhere a stink, stink. So many great stinks I almost passed out from olfactory overload. Did you know that Alexander Graham Bell’s poodle once urinated by a tree in this park? I also uncovered a petrified hairball coughed up by King Tut’s filthy hairless cat. And you won’t believe this, but did you know that bears actually do shit in the woods? Geez, the TV is loud right now. Why isn’t Animal Planet on? How come there are no dogs on American Idol? I want to see the Pedigree commercial again! Deep into the woods, we run into the strangest looking Collie I’ve ever seen. It looks like he’s wearing a Dingo’s coat. Or the coat of an Australian Cattle Dog. Or maybe its just an old lady in some rotting carcass of a raccoon coat. Anyway, the Dingo’s human looks straight at me and says, “Is that a show dog?” YES! WINNER! WINNING! I HAVE ADONIS GENES AND TIGER BLOOD! Oh look, some deer scat. I think I’m hungry. Is this what having the munchies is like? Sigh. Sometimes being a Weimaraner can be such a burden. I always have to look beautiful. Thank God I don’t have to wear lipstick. Or bras. I think I have six nipples. Did I just hear a bird? I guess they’re defrosting. What is ADHD?

Boxzilla

In Uncategorized on 02/13/2011 at 6:49 pm

Yesterday morning on our daily walk through town past the local college, a sustained gust of wind propelled an empty cardboard box toward Olive and I as if it were a tumbleweed. Olive, alerted to the approaching intruder assumes a hair trigger fight or flight stance. She reminds me of a track and field athlete in starting position awaiting the sound of the gun to release her. Leave it to Olive to vogueishly “strike a pose” in response to a cardboard monster. This is going to be good, I think. If it heads straight for us, my dog is going to put on a display worthy of a Cirque du Soleil performance. I stand alongside Olive waiting to see what comes next. The box continues to tumble toward us, end over end, side over side. It reminds me of the feather in the movie Forest Gump and the plastic bag in the movie “American Beauty.” Olive doesn’t move a muscle. To my dismay, the box tumbles to the left and past us, but not before Olive executes a spasmodic little jig never taking her eyes off Boxzilla. Thanks for another chuckle today Olive. It was almost as funny as watching you try to take a poop later that day and finding it difficult to get traction on the ice. You looked a little like a constipated Kristi Yamaguchi spinning out of control.

Hydrant

In Uncategorized on 01/02/2011 at 11:13 am

"Go ahead, try to take a picture of me not moving."

 

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