Patti Soldavini

Posts Tagged ‘weimaraners’

The Little Narcissist

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 09/11/2014 at 10:46 pm

"ALL sides are my best side!"

“ALL sides are my best side!”

Yup. Olive’s very first selfie. It took her 10 minutes to strike just the right pose.

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I Feel Pretty

In animals, dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners on 06/15/2014 at 7:32 pm

"What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

“I feel pretty, oh so pretty. I feel pretty and witty and bright.”

Olive is now four years old and not a day goes by where a stranger doesn’t say, “She’s beautiful.” “I love the color of her coat.” And, “Her ears are so soft.” My replies are by now part of my standard Olive repertoire. “She knows it.” “It’s more taupe than grey.” “Like The Velveteen Rabbit.” And Olive stands there inquisitively sniffing the stranger’s clothes, jamming her nose into their netherbits and offering herself up for some extreme fondling. This breed simply adores people. And I’ve fallen in love, not just with Olive, but with the breed as well.

Obey The Weimaraner

In animals, dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners on 05/22/2013 at 7:05 pm

"Who, ME?"

“Who, ME?”

I was finally comfortably seated outside on the deck tonight when Olive summoned me to the sliding door yet again. Standing inside, tail wagging furiously, she barks commandingly in my general direction. “LET ME OUT.” I’m sure that’s what it means. That’s what it meant about 15 seconds ago. And 45 seconds before that. “FOR GOD’S SAKE OLIVE, MAKE UP YOUR MIND.” As I approach the door, it dawns on me. Owning a weimaraner may actually be a much more selfless commitment than owning a much less demanding dog. It would have been easier owning some lazy flop of a dog, content to lay on the couch for hours on end. Much easier. But no, I elected to share my home with a breed of dog that is scarily smart, highly energetic and sometimes a champion ball buster. This dog will not tolerate my ass being in a chair. She does this all the time. The minute I sit down to eat it starts. “WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF.” Or, when I go outside on the deck and she’s inside, or I come inside and she’s left all by her lonesome self, untethered outside about six feet away from me. “HOW MANY TIMES DO I GO UP AND DOWN ALL THE STAIRS IN THIS HOUSE EVERY DAY OLIVE? AT LEAST 20. AND HOW MANY TIMES DO I LET YOU INSIDE AND OUTSIDE? AT LEAST 10.” Who knows, maybe she’s trying to save my life. Because if I had a lazy ass dog, my ass would be the size of Jupiter. Sometimes, she will stand outside the slider and bark. I think she wants to be let in, but no, this is not what the weimaraner wants. I open the door and she immediately backs away; very clearly saying “NO, I WANT YOU TO COME OUT HERE” and executes two sharp barks. Translation? It means “OBEY THE WEIMARANER.” And as her graceful taupe-colored head remains cocked to the left, amber orbs fixed on me, my heart melts. What would I do without her? She is the most incredibly charismatic, charming being I know!

Weimaraner Centerfold

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/15/2012 at 2:47 pm

Playdog of The Month

Late one afternoon last week, I hear two medium-toned barks one right after the other from somewhere deep inside the house. They were not as sharp as they usually are when Olive wishes to summon me. They were more medium-toned, with a slightly softer quality. Half bark, half woof. More like a BOOF. “OLIVE. DO YOU HAVE TO GO OUT?” I glance around upstairs but she’s out of sight. I hear it again. BOOF. BOOF.  The BOOF is definitely coming from the basement. I go downstairs and stumble upon what could only be described as a photography session for Playdog magazine. There is Olive, in all her beauty and confidence, sprawled out the length of the couch like a Centerfold model. I shake my head and  say, “WHO ARE YOU WAITING FOR – THE PHOTOGRAPHER?” She cocks her head sideways and looks at me as if to acknowledge that she understands exactly what I am saying. “YES. WHERE IS HE? I’M GETTING BORED POSING.”

Take Your Daug to Work Day

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/29/2012 at 4:56 pm

"I'm done filing. What's next?"

So, I must have mis-heard. I thought it was Take your daug, not Take Your daughter to Work Day last week. Besides, Olive is my daug-hter. And she has better manners than most two-year old humans. At least in public. “OLIVE?” STOP DRINKING OUT OF THE TOILET PLEASE.”

 

Weimaraner Practices Making Crop Circles

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/24/2012 at 8:45 pm

"I wonder what's down THERE?"

In the pre-dawn hours the other morning, when my cognitive abilities were just starting to awaken from their collective nighttime synapse, I hear a distinct KERPLUNK. This accelerates the firing of neurons in my sleep-addled brain. Olive Bo Peep has tumbled off the queen sized master bed like a 2-year old child who was confined to a crib the night before. I reach across the bed to turn on the table lamp and the flood of incandescent light reveals my sweet little pooch lying on the floor. She’s on her back sandwiched between the bed and her giant blanket-covered crate. All four paws are in the air. She looks up at me as if to say “HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN?” I get her right-side up and she hops back on the bed. As is customary for Olive, she begins her ritual of creating not 3 or 4 but more like 14 circles both clockwise and counter clockwise before she’s finally satisfied and plops back down. “HEY OLIVE, HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO PLOW SOME CROP CIRCLES IN THE CORN FIELD ACROSS THE STREET TOMORROW NIGHT?” She looks deeply into my eyes for a moment, sighs, closes her eyes and tucks her snout so closely to her tail that she looks likes a café au lait donut.

The Inquisitor

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/23/2012 at 7:51 pm

"Is this for ME?"

What the hell is this? It smells pretty good. A slightly musky fragrance. I like the texture too. I could probably use this to floss my digestive track, not my teeth. Although I don’t want to end up with a “dangler.” I’ll look like a Christmas ornament at the end of a hook. This doesn’t make Patti happy. Tastes pretty good. A strong woody flavor with a delicate vegetable note. I may be over thinking this, but why do I feel compelled to make a nest out of it? And yet, there’s something a little disquieting about its presentation. “OH MY GOD, DO YOU THINK IT COULD BE A BUNCH OF GROUND UP SCARECROWS?” Holy agricide, I’m ‘outta here. 

Revenge of The Insects

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/20/2012 at 5:19 pm

"I think I see a BEE."

The insects have begun their seasonal invasion. The ticks are back. I’ve picked a tick off Olive’s daintily veined ear and pink undercarriage twice this week. I’ve also picked one off the back of my head. Gross. The carpenter bees are also back, buzzing back and forth across the deck, occasionally hovering in one spot like a helicopter above a rescue target at sea. Olive has taken notice of these plump, fuzzy, wood-chomping bees. She jumps up, opens her mouth, and tries to snatch them in mid-air. Because the male carpenter bees are stingerless (ouch!), they don’t present any danger to Olive so I happily just watch her eyeball them and lunge after one when it strafes her. She hasn’t caught one yet, but I’m betting she will soon. Then it will be interesting to see what she does with it. Will she spit it out when she feels it bouncing off her molars? Will she just swallow it whole like a velvet kibble? Or will she let it drop from her mouth and then start inquisitively pawing at it until it’s lying there dismembered and covered in spittle? I’m betting it’s going to be number one or number three. “LOOK OLIVE, HERE COMES A WHOLE BATTALION OF CARPENTER BEES!”

Are Weimaraners Narcicissts?

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 04/14/2012 at 9:40 am

"Yes, Olive, it's me...I mean you."

Does a bear s***! In the woods? When I am lying on the couch with my back toward this oversized photograph of Olive and she is sitting on the couch like a lawn ornament facing me, I see her eyes ever so casually glance upward in the direction of this photo. “ADMIRING YOURSELF OLIVE?” I say. Her eyes glance back down and look at my face just for a split second or two before she re-directs her gaze back above my head. She can’t help herself. I don’t blame her. She is beautiful.

Headless Bird Found on Cloudless Morning

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/25/2012 at 10:35 am

"So many birds and so little time."

Well, I guess it was bound to happen. How long do you think it would be before I would have to remove some dead animal carcass from my property? The answer? Not long. Upon waking, I took Olive out on a beautiful cloudless morning to empty her biological canisters. Because the weather has already been unseasonably warm, the birds are back. All of them. Thousands upon thousands of them. Ancestors, in-laws, illegitimate offspring, you name it. My yard backs up against the historic Morris Canal which nature has elegantly turned into an incredible organic aviary. You can hear bazillions of birds singing, tweeting, lyrically expressing themselves. It is actually incredibly beautiful. You’d think you were trekking through the amazon. Of course, this is titillating, frustrating and ironic for my biologically-bred “bird dog.” Poor Olive. There are so many birds zipping across the property, she doesn’t even know where to look first. Of course, this only heightens her ADHD-like attention span, distracting her endlessly from the task at hand. “OLIVE. PLEASE GO POTTY. I’D LIKE TO GET BACK IN THE HOUSE BEFORE THE NEXT SOLAR ECLIPSE.” On this particular morning though, Olive makes a beeline for some raised object on the front lawn. I can tell by the way she’s crouching like a tiger while advancing upon it, that it must be an animal of some kind. I tighten her flexi-leash so she can’t get to it before I can and lo and behold, it’s a dead robin. Wings splayed out to their sides, empty abdomen and…no head. “GOD, THAT’S GROSS,” I mutter aloud. Olive barely noses it before I pull her back. I bring her in the house and wipe off her nose and whiskers, hoping that there is no necrotic bacterial dust microscopically attached to her whiskers. I grab the “carcass” shovel and head back out to the front yard. As I scoop up the remains, I start looking around for the head by swiveling mine all around. I don’t need Olive coming back into the house with a cootified dismembered bird head in her mouth. I walk around in circles for a few minutes, before I decide that whatever killed the bird must have either taken the head as a trophy or eaten it as dessert. “I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU OLIVE, BUT SUDDENLY, I’M NOT AT ALL HUNGRY THIS MORNING.”

Olive Hides at The Dog Park

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 03/16/2012 at 7:19 pm

"Patti, where are you?"

“Olive. Where are you? I can’t see you.” The weimaraner’s neutral taupe color makes it easy for it to blend into its surroundings. Except snowscapes. There, they stand out like tiny deer sans antlers.

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?”

The Dirty Little Hole-Digger

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/25/2012 at 7:26 pm

"WHAT? No hole?"

Here’s my dirty little hole-digger. The dog who should have had the lead role in the Disney movie, “Holes.” Her 75’ x 20’ pen looks like a post-hole digging test site. I let Olive out to do potty and she distracts herself by digging holes and then stuffing her mouth with dirt, or when it’s available, grass seed. I often catch her in the act. She is not the least bit embarrassed. She stops digging and looks up at me indignantly as if to say “WHAT? WHAT? CAN’T YOU SEE I’M BUSY?” I knit my brows and just stare at the smudge of light brown soil on her darker brown nose, complemented by bits of terra firma resting on top of her snout and delicately perched atop her whiskers. “MY GOD, OLIVE. RIGHT NOW YOUR NOSE LOOKS LIKE YOUR REAR BLOWHOLE.” She could care less. She resumes digging, eventually frantically raking both front paws across the “pilot” hole to get the job done faster. Stand behind her and you’ll get an unforgettable dirt shower. The other day when I went into her pen to collect all the fecal nuggets, I find one that had so many grass seeds in it, it could have passed for a baby porcupine. I shake my head thinking, if they did an ultrasound on her now, they’d probably find a chia pet growing from the inside out. All of this explains why the water in Olive’s water bowl is the filthiest I have ever seen. Really. I have to change it at least three times a day. One, because it’s gross and two, because the Princess will not drink out of it unless it’s as clear as a Colorado mountain stream. There’s bits of wood, dirt, grass seed, insect corpses and God knows what else. I’m surprised there aren’t sea monkeys floating in it. Yes, weimaraners are champion hole diggers. You could probably train them to dig holes when you are planting shrubs or flowers. And if you don’t want them digging up your flowers, you’d better give them an area in which they can dig to their heart’s content. Maybe when it gets a bit warmer, I’ll put some peanut butter on a stick and bury it to see if she can find it. That might keep her busy for about 10 minutes. “ARE YOU FINISHED?” I ask Olive. She bolts into the house through the sliding glass door, rockets past me, and the next thing I know, I see dirty pawprints all over the rug. Not surprisingly, they lead to Olive standing near the foot of the stairs, with a big toothy Osmond-like smile on her face.

The Downton Abbey-Watching Dog

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/22/2012 at 6:06 pm

"Unbelievable."

“I cannot believe what I am seeing. Has Lord Grantham lost his royal marbles? Almost cavorting with a common house tart? And the honorable Matthew Crawley. He reminds me of an afghan – dog, not blanket – that I once knew. Nice to look at, but I wouldn’t follow it home. Except now that I think of it, maybe more like a blanket than I realized. They have similar personalities. OH MY GOD, I’M SPEAKING IN NARRATIVE FORM AND HAVE NOT INTERRUPTED MYSELF YET! What a dysfunctional pack of twits. I would never stand for such nonsense in my pack. EVER. Thank God I…oh wait a minute, I think I heard a fly fart…WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF! As I was saying, thank God, I can observe while perched regally on the couch at home, far away from such incestuous madness. PATTI, PLEASE BRING ME A GOBLET OF WATER. AND PEEL ME A GRAPE. Oh, no, maybe not a grape. Maybe a pheasant.”

Dog Impersonates Sulfur Factory

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/19/2012 at 6:49 pm

"The HUMAN did it."

Right now, there is ample olfactory evidence that a small but powerful sulfur factory sits beneath my glass desk.

Weimaraner Has Higher I.Q. Than Gifted Child

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/19/2012 at 6:32 pm

"I'm still deciding."

Usually, when I sit down to write, the story comes first and the title follows. Today, the title came first. On our walk this morning, as Olive and I passed by Centenary College, a car driving past slows down and calls out to us. “A weimaraner!!!” “Yes, a weimaraner,” I reply and I start to walk over to the car with Olive in tow. “Is s/he a rescue?” the woman asks. “No, I strongly considered it, but eventually got Olive from a breeder. All the stories online about how challenging this breed can be even when they don’t have behavioral issues sort of scared me off going the rescue route.” The woman informs us that she has two rescue weims and we begin a conversation that only the owners of weimaraners can have. We agree that they are not mere dogs. They’re not human either, but rather fall somewhere in between. You may often hear the word “rambunctious” used to describe their behavior and it is quite accurate. Rambunctious is described as being “uncontrollably exuberant, boisterous,” and “turbulently active.” And you should know that this is the “natural state” of the weimaraner. The rule, not the exception. When Olive races through the entire house like an Antelope on steroids, I just stand back, watch in amazement and amusement. On one or two occasions, she’s slid across a floor and slammed into a wall which stills her… for just a moment… while she collects her wits and then takes off again. Weimaraners are frighteningly intelligent as well. I feel like I am engaged in a battle of wits all day long with Olive. Somedays, I feel unarmed and like I am a weak contestant on “Survivor.” There are “Mexican standoffs” often throughout the day. “OLIVE. LET’S GO. WE’RE GOING TO THE STORE.” She stands there with her head slightly cocked, looking at me with her piercing amber eyes as if to say, “AND? WHAT STORE? WILL I BE ABLE TO GET SOMETHING?” In other words, she’s deciding if it’s worth going. This goes on for about 30 seconds before I begin to approach her. I have finally learned that if I approach too quickly, she pivots, takes off and races past me in a blur, waiting for me to find her in some distant corner of the house. The other day, during one of my very infrequent uses of the refrigerator’s water dispenser, I glance to my left and see Olive intently watching the water pour from the ”magic fountain.” “CRIPES,” I say to myself. “IT’S NOT GOING TO BE LONG BEFORE SHE STARTS DRINKING FROM HERE.” Maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to get stainless steel appliances. They look like her water bowl. Many of the weimaraner’s behaviors makes them seem very childlike. But childlike as in “gifted child.” This is the thought that occurred to me today while chatting with the other weim owner. I did see a bumper sticker online somewhere recently that said MY WEIMARANER IS SMARTER THAN YOUR HONOR STUDENT. I laughed. Only another weimaraner owner can appreciate the sentiment.

Olive Gets Propositioned

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 02/04/2012 at 11:40 am

"I'm not going ANYWHERE with 'hungry eyes.'"

On our walk the other morning, as Olive and I come to a quiet four-way intersection, a man rolls down the window of his car. Olive and I expect either one of two possibilities. We’ll either be asked for directions to a location about four blocks away or he’ll say something like “Beautiful dog.” It was neither. What he did say was this: “Hey, I’ll buy your dog from you.” It was a statement delivered in the form of a question. “Fat chance,” I reply with an unspoken acknowledgement of his back-handed compliment of Olive. “I just sold a litter last week,” he continues. I wonder what kind of response he’s expecting from me now. Finally, he’s basically pushed into the intersection by the car behind him and slowly chugs along his way. Olive and I cross the street and finish the last leg of our walk. It doesn’t occur to me until the next day that what the guy in the car was really suggesting was that he buy Olive to breed her so he can sell more litters. So, does that whole strange exchange mean he was propositioning Olive through me, her supposed pimp? I think I have to go take a shower now. “OLIVE? YOU’RE NEXT!”

Weimaraner Sphinx

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/18/2012 at 8:28 pm

"It MOVES."

As I sit here writing tonight, Olive is curled up like a 24-week old fetus on her brand new Bowser bed in the kitchen. She just came in here a few moments ago to check on me. Seeing that I was safe and had not been abducted by neighborhood vermin, she returned to her new “chocolate bones” microfiber bed. When I purchased this item at Well Bred Pet Store, the owner expressed surprise that I was getting a medium-sized bed for my weimaraner. “OH, THIS ISN’T HER REAL BED,” I say. “THIS IS JUST HER RESTING BED. IT’S SORT OF A COMFORTABLE WEIGH STATION WHILE I’M IN THE KITCHEN.” When I selected this bed, I wanted a fabric that was soft, a little fun or contemporary, wouldn’t clash with the new rug I want to get for the kitchen and was not too big. Well, three out of four isn’t so bad. I get the bed home and drop it in the corner of the kitchen and the thing is as big as a flying saucer. Twelve-hundred people could climb aboard and escape to the moon on it. Then, Olive climbs up on it, ready to sit down, but her legs are as unsteady as a drunken sailor’s. I don’t know what the hell is inside this bed, but it gives the impression that it’s an inflatable. It doesn’t really “give” that much. This is totally unacceptable to Olive. She now races around in a thousand circles this way and that trying to flatten her new “nest.” When this doesn’t work, she starts to maniacally scratch at it with her front paws as though she is digging to the earth’s core trying to find an earring she dropped in the bathroom sink. And then, finally, she gives up and just plops down. And now, I can’t get her up from it. This dog is a riddle wrapped in an enigma and cloaked by a sphinx.

Atomic Diarrhea

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/14/2012 at 2:35 pm

DO NOT DISTURB

Today, the plan was to drive down the Parkway to the Jersey shore to visit a boyhood friend of my father’s. I was going to interview him and his wife as part of my genealogical preservation efforts. This couple is but one of a handful of people still living who knew both my parents (now deceased) and whom I myself have memories of when our families got together over the years. I had planned on taking Olive with me as I take her everywhere that she is welcome. However, the trip had to be postponed as Olive is recovering from two days of atomic diarrhea. There was no way I was going to leave her at home crated for up to 8 hours under these conditions. Not for her safety and because I didn’t feel like turning her crate and the finished basement into a monochromatic Jackson Pollack painting. I also didn’t think it was fair to take a dog suffering from explosive bouts of diarrhea to someone else’s house. I mean, how do you apologize for that. “I’M REALLY SORRY SHE SPRAYED YOUR COUCH. DO YOU HAVE ANY BLEACH?” Besides, it would be a new experience for Olive and therefore, even a bit stressful for her which was the last thing she needed. It started on late Thursday afternoon, when Olive assumes the familiar “poop-crouch.” As she starts to push, it sounds like an explosion detonates. Neither of us expected this and Olive is so startled by the sound alone, that she jumps up, does a 180, and looks behind her as if to say “WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT AND WHERE DID IT COME FROM?” Really, if it wasn’t so pitiful, I would have laughed out loud. This happens again and again and while I am monitoring her for signs of dehydration, I am getting a little freaked out because it just deteriorates to the point that when she crouches, it looks like a garden hose spraying mud. What now, I think? This dog has a digestive system that is as sensitive as an exposed nerve. There is no apparent thread of consistency between situations when Olive experiences these episodes, which makes it just maddening. On Friday we go to the vet who admires my deftness in securing a non-contaminated sample of the diarrhea in a disposable plastic mealsaver. “ IT ACTUALLY WASN’T SO HARD TO GET,” I SAY. “I’M JUST GLAD I DIDN’T GET SPRAYED.” (I suppress the desire to tell her about Olive’s massive series of explosions on the carpeting in the basement yesterday which I still have to RE-clean. The funny thing was, Olive kept going into the two bathrooms just prior. My God, does she think that THIS is where she should go under these circumstances? This dog is so smart it’s scary.) We discuss what it could be affecting Olive, what it probably is, (irritable bowel syndrome) what we can do to help her right now and what next steps we should take. $261 later, my dog has been injected with fluids subcutaneously to keep her from dehydrating, she has three prescriptions for medication (Carafate, Metronidazole and Reglan), and her watered-down stool is being tested for Giardia. Oh, and she has an ultrasound scheduled for Monday morning. That’s $350. If I were someone going to med school for people, I think I’d rethink my career. Veterinary science and petcare doesn’t appear to have been compromised by insurance companies yet. Since I feel so sorry for Olive, and because I want to keep one eye on her, I let her sleep in bed with me last night. I didn’t sleep at all. She seemed to sleep fairly well until about 4am, when she just couldn’t get comfortable no matter how many times she spun around to change position. And now I hear her stomach gurgling like a backed-up sewer pipe. When I finally rise from bed a few hours later, Olive stays uncharacteristically curled up on the bed. I go over to her and kiss the top of her velvety-soft head and her beautiful amber eyes look up at me as if to say. “I’M NOT MOVING.” So, I leave her there and go about my morning rituals. At around 9:30 that morning, the vet calls to check on Olive’s progress and to report that the Giardia test came back negative. That’s a relief. Getting rid of Giardia is like trying to get rid of dandelions. By now, I have administered all three doses of medication to Olive and she actually seems to be feeling a little better. This sounds counter intuitive, but because a weimaraner’s energy level is always at 150 precent, when Olive’s not feeling well, it’s at about 120 percent, so it’s a little difficult to identify listlessness or lethargy. Today as I write this, I’m trying to keep Olive calm and relaxed. It seems to be working. Right now, she’s curled up in her sage-colored Orvis bed in my office and casually sniffing the dry heat being emitted from the electric baseboard heater. Once she gets up, she’ll do what she’s been doing for the last three days; staying so close to me while I’m walking that it’s as if she’s been sewn onto my pants leg. God, I love this dog.

 

Christmas Daze

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/07/2012 at 7:54 pm

"So, that's IT?"

“Christmas is over? I won’t be getting any more presents? I like Santa. I wonder if he tastes like chicken. Ppfffffftttttttt. Excuse me. I must have eaten one too many elves. WHERE IS MY NEW KNUCKLEBONE? Ouch, I think I just layed on my new dental toy with all those nice little plastic niblets that I love to floss my teeth with. Are there any other holidays like Christmas? Does this mean I’m catholic? By the way, that little baby in the manger by the tree? It was very tasty. It’s not my fault. Who the heck leaves a baby in a barn by itself next to a bunch of animals? Now, I’m thirsty. Do I smell lampchop? Is that me? Uh-oh, my stomach is making funny noises. HEY HEY HEY, I NEED TO GO OUTSIDE NOWWWWWWW!

Ring Around The Tail

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 01/07/2012 at 7:41 pm

"I win!"

Weimaraner Aristocracy

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 7:01 pm

"You can't see me CAN you?"

Olive impersonating a stunningly elegant French Provincial table.

Good Will Hunting Roadkill

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/30/2011 at 8:51 am

"He took MY pheasant."

As Olive and I stood in the front yard at 6:30 the other morning, she, contemplating just what tiny patch of the entire acre of property on which to deposit a healthy-sized brown gift, and me, feeling myself age like a mythological creature waiting for her to make a decision, a black pick-up truck slows as it drives past our house. Olive instantly abandons her quest for biological correctness and starts barking like a banshee. The truck stops just past our driveway. The neighborhood is treated to an early morning rendition of “WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO WOO.” The first thing I see emerge from the truck is a day-glo orange knit cap. It is so bright it could cause retinal burn. The cap shines like an tree top ornament on a man dressed in green camoulflage. “MAYBE IT’S SOMEONE FROM THE POWER COMPANY, OLIVE. OR A HUNTER. BUT WHAT DOES HE WANT FROM US?” As he continues walking in the street at the edge of my lawn, he cheerfully calls out. “THERE’S A DEAD PHEASANT ON YOUR LAWN. I USE THEM TO CATCH RACOONS.” Doesn’t that seem backwards, I think? Isn’t the pheasant supposed to be the desirable catch? Here is the best part. As he says this with just a little too much excitement in his tone, he reaches down and picks up the dead pheasant by its limp green head and starts walking away with his trophy. I squint to confirm that yes, the dead pheasant is dangling from his ungloved, bare hand. Yeesh. I feel like I have to go inside and wash my hands after seeing this. Or my eyeballs. Even Olive has stopped barking. Maybe because she didn’t realize that this treat was sitting on her front lawn like the cherry on top of an ice cream sundae and now a stranger has stolen Olive’s gamey little dessert. Or, she has simply witnessed the most spectacular opportunity that opposable thumbs present. As the human military ornament walks back to his car with an unmistakable spring in his step, I call out, “HEY. COME BACK ANYTIME. NEXT WEEK WE’RE SERVING FOX.”

Dog Laundry

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/29/2011 at 6:29 pm

"HEY, my laundry's done."

Yesterday, as a friend of mine gets into my car she loudly inquires, “DID THE DOG SHIT IN HERE? IT STINKS.” This is a friend that I have known for the better part of my entire life so I behave as I have been conditioned to behave under circumstances that I have come to know much too well over 35 years. I roll my eyes and say “NO, THE DOG DID NOT SHIT IN HERE. AND SHE HAS A NAME. DON’T REFER TO OLIVE AS SOME GENERIC CUR.” And then I pile on the rhetorical. “I DON’T SMELL ANYTHING.” Privately, I’m thinking that it’s probably the seat cover in the back that needs to be cleaned. After all, that’s where Olive’s dirty feet first touch down after we leave the dog park each weekend. Why spoil the fun and mention this to my friend. I’ll just let her enjoy the aroma that has ignited her delicate olfactory sense. So today, I march through the house like a disgruntled, underpaid maid, collecting all of Olive’s winter wear, bed linens and towels. Don’t forget the stinking car seat cover, I remind myself as I casually sniff her parka and wonder, “WHY THE HELL DO ALL HER THINGS SMELL LIKE DAY-OLD LAMBCHOP?” I gag slightly as I pull my nose away from her expensive red wool sweater. How ironic that I love the taste of lamb but cannot stomach the smell of it cooking. It must be a weim thing. This is what I imagine, my tiny-furred pooch smells like when she sweats. Jesus, I better be careful when I’m out with her at night. If she smells like a lambchop to the coyotes that freakishly scream at the moon every night, I might as well just put Olive out on a platter. (Don’t worry Olive, Patti will always protect you from four-legged and two-legged boogeymen just like she protects you from yourself every waking minute of every day.) As Olive’s coat, sweater, car seat cover, towel and fleece blanket are drying, I have a  flashback to high school days; doing the laundry at home and accidently throwing my mother’s sweater in the dryer. She wasn’t too happy when she needed a magnifying glass to find it. It was so small, it would be a tight fit on a cabbage patch doll. Excuse me while I go retrieve Olive’s $40 red sweater from the dryer.

 

The Tree Sitter

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/27/2011 at 6:33 pm

"WHO goes there?"

Olive, standing guard at a friend’s house, tree-sitting. My dog nonchalantly creates the appearance of steadfastly guarding the Christmas tree and its bounty underneath. Either that, or she just ate a trespassing elf (Burrrpppp!) and is looking for another tasty lilliputian tidbit.

 

Dog Flag

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/22/2011 at 6:26 pm

"QUICK. Which country am I?"

When I tried taking this shot, all I was interested in was getting a new series of photos of Olive against an interesting background. I’m running out of options inside the house and am limited outside because she always has to be on a leash or she may take off for the moon. (We haven’t been to off-leash training yet.) When my dog starting composing this shot, she began squirming all over the towel just like she does when she comes in from the rain. This is the “drying off towel,” and she loves to wrestle with it in an attempt to dry her wet seal-like fur. On these occasions, I stand there like an idiot and just keep dropping the towel over her head and body and she goes mental tearing it away from herself. When she layed down on the towel, like you see here, it immediately struck me that what I was looking at looked like a flag. Largely I’m sure, because of the horizontal alternating orange and yellow stripes. If you look at the composition sideways, it looks like she has formed the number 4. My dog is probably sending me some sort of secret message, but if one of us is the genius John Nash portrayed in the movie, “A Beautiful Mind,” it’s Olive.  Or, it’s simply Olive’s artistic interpretation of the flag of Weimar, otherwise known as Germany. Not only is my beautiful dog a work of art, she also creates art.

Spot The Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/21/2011 at 7:55 pm

"Are we DONE yet?"

This is what a weimaraner looks like in suspended animation. Can’t you just tell from the look on Olive’s face that she’s humoring me? ‘FOR GOD’S SAKE, DO YOU HAVE TO TAKE MORE PICTURES OF ME?” “ACTUALLY, I DO,” I reply, “BECAUSE THERE IS AN INSATIABLE NEED FOR NEW PHOTOS FOR YOUR BLOG.” As I command Olive to stay, I can feel every fiber in her body on tensile alert with the aching desire to RUN, RUN, RUN. But she sits obediently, waiting for me to release her from this excruciatingly dull three minute session. You would think I had asked her to empty the dishwasher. When Olive wants to hide from me, she runs downstairs into the finished basement. In the dark. And stands there half-hiding like an 8-year old playing tag with her friends in the backyard on a hot summer night. She waits for me, the giant silhouette at the top of the stairs, to approach her so she can zoom past me and thunder up the steps in a show of both bravado and joy. If at this moment she could speak, I am confident that she would squeal “NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH, NAH.” This time, I am somehow quick enough to catch her near the cheap cotton drapes downstairs. “OLIVE, SIT. NOW LOOK AT ME.” She hates looking at me when “she’s lost” the chase, but eventually she does it. I guess she figures that the quicker she complies, the faster she can initiate another chase. Eventually, she does thunder up the stairs past me and stands perched at the top of the landing like a Valkyrian victor. Her look of triumph is made somewhat less serious by the appearance of her ears, which are both flipped back, exposing their pink labyrinths and making her distinctly resemble a Townsend’s Big-Eared Bat.

Lambchop

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/20/2011 at 2:39 pm

"I do NOT smell like day-old lambchop."

“Yes you do.” “No, I don’t.” “Yes you do.” “No, I don’t.” “Yes you do.” “No, I don’t.” “Yes you do.” “No, I don’t.” “YES you do.” “NO, I don’t.” “YES you DO.” “NO, I DO NOT.” “Would you like some mint jelly?” “WHAT is a lambchop anyway?”

The Great Bearded One

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/10/2011 at 8:15 pm

"Who, me?"

“Olive, meet Santa Claus,” Santa meet Olive.” This is Olive’s first encounter with the great bearded one. We drove out to K-Nine Coaching in Olde Lafayette Village last weekend for Olive’s photo session with Santa. On the way in, we run into Luna and her owners. Luna is a sweet, beautiful blue weimaraner and a friend Olive met during her training classes last year. Other dogs and their owners are milling about; a trio is getting their picture taken as we speak. It’s Olive’s turn and she confidently strides over to where the giant red and white “fleece toy” is sitting. “That’s Santa, Olive,” I quietly inform her. Beverly Burke, the photographer, approaches Olive to meet her but Olive has her famous orbs trained on Santa. I imagine that Olive is wondering whether this red-and-white-furred-object is man, beast or something else. She circles the set, passing the klieg lights with the nonchalance of someone used to having the paparazzi stalk them. She noses the small Christmas tree and finally walks over to Santa. Leave it to my dog to circle the action from the perimeter before deciding to engage. Now getting her to sit still is something else entirely. Of course, my little scent hound is exploring Santa from shiny black boot to thick white beard. Santa grabs Olive’s collar and I move in and command her to SIT. The photographer’s camera snaps away. After her session, we go next door to the specialty pet store and I fall in love with a wool sweater designed like the sock monkey! I would have gotten it for Olive in a heartbeat except I was pretty sure she’d never stand for the attached hood with monkey ears. And there was no way I’d be able to walk my regal-looking pooch wearing that thing without feeling like a freak. We both have too much dignity to do that. Today, we went back to Lafayette to pick up Olive’s photo. It was a bright, beautiful crisp winter day. A great day for a drive with my dog along peaceful, open country roads, listening to Bruce Springsteen’s “Outlaw Pete,” some classic rock and even Christmas Carols. We watched people at cut-your-own Christmas Tree Farms tie their freshly cut douglas firs, scotch pines and fraser firs to the roofs of their cars. We passed clusters of aging farm silos standing side by side all by themselves, having seen better days long ago. For some reason, this music is the perfect soundtrack to the peaceful rural farmland that we’re driving through. They didn’t name this town “Tranquility” for nothing, I think to myself. I pick up Olive’s 8×10 glossy of her and Santa from the passenger seat and look at it again. “NICE PICTURE OLIVE. NO ONE WOULD HAVE ANY IDEA THAT YOU ARE SUCH A GOOFBALL AT HEART.” For once, Olive is ignoring me. She’s staring out the window watching the exquisite scenery pass by.

Olive’s Poetry

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/10/2011 at 8:15 am

"TAKE the picture."

It amazes me how many of the photos I take of Olive feel like visual poetry. Really, I may have a better eye than many amateur photographers, but Olive is so beautiful, so graceful, so full of personality that she was made for the “point and shoot” camera. This is also the dog that planted her front paws on my rear end this morning as I crouched down with my head inside her 48-inch crate trying to find her beloved “yellow dog” which had apparently been swallowed up by the whale of the winter comforter that forms a toasty nest inside her den. She was trying to retrieve her tattered stuffed orange duck which I had just placed on top of her crate. (Although it was taxing to have this 60-pound dog using me as a step ladder, it did make me laugh.) What a picture that would have made. Dog using ass to reach toy stranded on crate roofline. It is the one toy that she’s had since she was a puppy that she did not eviscerate and empty of its faux organs. Until now. While rearranging the comforter (yes, I was “making” Olive’s bed), I picked up “orange duck” and noticed the stuffing had been exposed at its frail, limp neck. Unfortunately, because Olive likes to eat some of the stuffing, smacking her lips as though trying to gum a cloud, I have to take the toy carcasses away from her. Last night while we were watching TV, I caught her chewing on a squeaker, which she no doubt would have eaten. “OLIVE, IF YOU SWALLOW THAT, WE’LL HAVE TO TAKE YOU TO THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL WHERE THEY WILL HAVE TO OPEN YOU UP LIKE YOU OPEN YOUR STUFFED ANIMALS. ” She stops chewing for a second, sensing some discussion of importance, and I use this opportunity to extract the tooth-riddled clear plastic squeaker from her mouth. Most days it feels like I have 19-month old child and not a dog. Weimaraners are great training for anyone thinking of having a baby.

Weimaraner Lovebirds

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 12/07/2011 at 10:25 pm

"Am I DREAMING?"

Olive fell in love this past weekend. It was love at first sniff. She jumped up on the love seat (how appropriate) and sidled up next to my niece whom she met for the very first time. The two of them layed side by side while I, the proverbial third wheel, occupied the couch across from the lovebirds. “BIRDS, OLIVE. DID YOU HEAR THAT? YOU ACTUALLY ACTED LIKE A BIRD.” Within minutes, Olive drifted off to sleep, secure enough to stretch her long graceful body out fully and throw her front paws across Jennifer’s lap. While my dog was spooning my niece, occasionally opening a single amber eye halfway to make sure I hadn’t left the premises, I took a moment to appreciate Olive’s amazing open-heartedness with all members of the human race. She races up to strangers we encounter with a friendliness that is so genuine and enthusiastic that most people immediately reach out to her, fearlessly acknowledging her loving nature. She is instantly rewarded by these people with a very vigorous petting that once in awhile borders on the questionable. This makes her ecstatic of course. She twists and twirls her body around, offering every angle up for human contact. Earlier that evening, Olive accompanied Jennifer, my sister and me to the local Christmas celebration on Main Street. As we walked up and down the sidewalk, stopping to listen to the children standing on the steps of a local church singing Christmas Carols and taking note of all the people lined up for carriage rides, Olive reveled in all the energy that bounced off the people around us. Surrounded by a constantly shifting amoeba-like crowd of endorphin-jazzed adults and children, all squealing with delight when they see Olive, they all ask, actually plead with me, “CAN I PET YOUR DOG?” So there Olive stands, tail wagging furiously while multiple pairs of hands pet her simultaneously. It’s so unbelievable. You can actually feel people’s hearts beat a little quicker, their spirits rising with each stroke of Olive’s back or head. How apropos. It is so cool that while my dog gives me great joy, apparently she has so much left over, she shares it with everyone she meets.

Tick Tock Tail

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/30/2011 at 7:08 pm

"Stop STARING at my tail."

The world’s cutest tail. Resting.

Canine Couture Challenges

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/28/2011 at 8:45 am

"My shadow is BIGGER than yours."

Trying to find a stylish parka that properly fits a Weimaraner is like trying to find a diamond in a turd. Impossible. 99 percent of the “outerwear” for dogs are made for small Hummel-like flat-chested dogs with much larger bellies. Against my better judgment, I ordered a smart-looking citron-colored winter parka for Olive. It was distinctive, just like Olive. Why an artificial dog coat? The last time Olive and I were at the dog park, she was noticeably cold. I can tell by her non-verbal behavior. When she’s either had enough or she’s cold, she trots over to me and just stands at my side, idling quietly like a Prius. And it was cold that day. About 34 degrees. It wouldn’t be so bad if the dog park weren’t at the top of a mountain that based on a confluence of scientific factors, makes it so windy, it feels like you’re at the top of the North Pole. In fact, on occasion, I think I glimpse an elf squatting in the nearby woods. It is at least 10+ degrees colder at the dog park than anywhere else around it. “LET’S GO OLIVE. IT’S SO COLD UP HERE I THINK MY INTERNAL ORGANS ARE TURNING INTO MEAT-FLAVORED ICE POPS.” I feverishly anticipate the arrival of Olive’s new winter coat and when it comes, I tear open the bag like a heroin addict. I am not disappointed by the color; it is striking. But, my excitement is deflated as I lay it over Olive and try to secure it. Now here is the fundamental problem and a new business opportunity for some dog clothier. Certain dog breeds, like Weimaraners, Greyhounds, Boxers, etc. have deep barrel chests and tiny child-like waists. Most dog outerwear doesn’t account for this, so trying to close the Velcro straps around Olive’s chest is like trying to squeeze a training bra onto Marilyn Monroe. And the Velcro straps around Olive’s waist dangle like a hooker’s earrings about six inches below her. It’s maddening. I finally found a dog parka that fit Olive at Tickners, the local feed and farm store. They had a limited palette of earth tones, but at least this brand got the function part of the design right. Adjustable straps. Genius. “WHICH COLOR DO YOU LIKE OLIVE? NAVY BLUE OR CHOCOLATE BROWN?” “DO YOU REALLY HAVE TO ASK?” she drools. “THE BROWN ONE,” said Olive. It fits perfectly and it does not restrict her ability to run like a pronghorn around the dog park. If only I could say the same for the dog “neck hoodie” I put on Olive. It fit fine, but within seconds, I realized it was not a good idea to wear this accessory to the dog park. The other dogs immediately picked up on this vestigial accoutrement as something to seize on when playing. Just like children on the playground, they immediately zero in on a point of vulnerability and go on the offensive. Animals. I quickly tear the hoodie off Olive and restore her super powers. “FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET. MORE POWERFUL THAN A LOCOMOTIVE. ABLE TO LEAP TALL BUILDINGS IN A SINGLE BOUND. LOOK UP IN THE SKY! IT’S A BIRD! IT’S A PLANE! IT’S SUPER OLIVE!”

Weimaraner Hood Ornament

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/23/2011 at 8:11 pm

"Yeah, looks like you're wearing dog ears."

When I first got Olive, I’d put her in the cargo area of my Saturn Vue. I thought this was the best place for her. Until two things happened. One, she would often bark and bark and bark and drive me insane. Two, for some reason, I got paranoid about the hatch latch popping open while I was driving and Olive would tumble out onto the roadway. Maybe the second reason was a conveniently manufactured solution to reason number one. The minute I removed Olive from the cargo area and treated her like a living being instead of a suitcase, she immediately stopped barking. The back seat now felt like First-Class. I realized pretty quickly, that she was simply happier being in close proximity to me. And I admit, I liked it too. I try to keep her seated or lying back there but she’ll occasionally venture closer poking her head between the two front seats and putting her front paws on the aisle box to get a better view out the front windshield. When she does this, I admire her profile. “OLIVE. YOU LOOK LIKE A HOOD ORNAMENT. GET BACK DOWN.” And for a second, her sleek graceful appearance reminds me of the hood ornament on the 1951 Pontiac Chieftan I was told my Mother used to drive when she was in her 20s. For those of you not familiar with it, it is an amber-colored Indian Chief head that lights up. How cool is that? Hood ornament design during that time was truly a work of art. I mean, they called it an “ornament” for a reason. An element of style that sadly is missing from most cars today. Now at best, we have cold, soul-less chrome logos welded onto the hoods of ridiculously expensive luxury cars. Olive knows none of this, so she really can’t appreciate what a beautiful hood ornament mold she’d make. However, she does respond immediately to the burger I am about to take a bite of. Like a contortionist with a Native American Indian’s talent for approaching silently, she gently tries to nibble at the end of the exposed burger bun. Mind you, at this point, part of it is in my mouth (and yes, I’m driving), and I swear she thinks she’s being polite as she makes a delicate approach. My hand snaps back like a fly swatter creating a barrier between my vulnerable burger and her porcelain chiclets. I immediately flash back to when, on family drives, my Dad used to half turn around while he was driving with the back of his arm and hand raised, threatening to smack my brothers and sister and me if we didn’t stop fighting. All it took was the threat. It was very effective. Olive looks at me quizzically as if to ask, “WHAT?” I return her gaze with an incredulous look that says, “REALLY?” We know each other’s non-verbal expressions so well, it’s a bit frightening. I now wonder if when I put my small black earmuffs on and she gently starts nibbling on them like she’s nibbling on another dog’s ears, does she think they are small burgers or that I am wearing another dog’s ears?

I Am Olive

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/23/2011 at 6:50 pm

"I could have been called CRICKET?"

While I was straightening up my office the other day I came across the sheets of paper I used when considering what to name Olive. I couldn’t help but think now that I know Olive, did I choose the right name? Is there a name on this list that might have been better based on who she is turning out to be? To my delight, the answer is “No,” but it was fun to run through the list which included: Skye, Sienna, Cricket, Zooey, Willow, Luna, Addy, Snowpea, Harpo, Rocket, Scout, Oreo, Orbit, Rider, Jade, Inky, Echo, Giggles, Gumby, Haley, Hope, Autumn, Juno, Brioni, Quince, Luca, and Cleo. And then a friend suggested “Olive,” and for some reason that just felt right. Call it kismet. Which would also be a cool name for a dog. “OLIVE. PLEASE BRING A SNOWPEA TO THE CRICKET STANDING UNDER THE WILLOW TREE DRESSED IN A BRIONI SUIT EATING AN OREO COOKIE WHILE WAITING FOR THE ROCKET TO IGNITE.” (That was fun.)

Pheasantopia

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/19/2011 at 4:37 pm

Welcome to Pheasantopia. Home of the thousands of cage-raised pheasants that escaped from the Rockport Pheasant Farm after the Snoctober storm. They are EVERYWHERE. In my back yard, on my front lawn and across the street in the recently plowed corn fields. The males seem to outnumber the females and walk around with their burnt umber chests proudly thrust forward, a perfectly even white band separating their green heads from their brown necks. They are much more beautiful than I imagined and look as though they stepped out of a Norman Rockwell illustration. Perhaps that’s because Thanksgiving is almost upon us. They are however, not the brightest of birds. How do I know this? Because dozens of them now dot the roadway flattened like Milk Duds. Standing in the front yard at 6:30 yesterday morning, I actually heard a THUD as a car flew by. “THERE GOES ANOTHER ONE, OLIVE.” Except, to our surprise, this one had apparently just been clipped by the car as it rose high and flew across my neighbor’s yard coming to rest on their driveway. Not the best place to land. Privately, I wondered how many lives this bird actually had left. Perhaps this is the same doofus who caused the early morning silence to be rudely punctuated by two drivers laying on their car horns as though they’d slumped over their steering wheels unexpectedly. Thanks, doofus. Now I’m awake. And now that Olive knows I’m awake, she’s awake too. Whether indoors or outdoors, Olive remains transfixed by Pheasantopia, her pin dot pupils radiating intense interest at whatever offenders are trespassing in our yard. The only thing funnier than watching Olive watch the pheasants is listening to Olive watch the pheasants. Hear for yourself. Turn the volume up to hear Olive perfecting her “pheasant whine.”

Nik-Nik Days

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/11/2011 at 8:56 pm

"Can we GO now?"

“Nik, nik, nik, nik. Nik, nik, nik, nik, nik, nik.” This is a sound that Olive hates. It’s the sound of me tapping the keys on my keyboard. Sometimes I tap so fast, that the sound reminds me of a psychotic poodle’s toenails clicking across a just polished marble floor. She hates this sound because it usually means that I am working for hours on end. Hours that she could be spending in the backyard digging holes and eating fistfuls of clay-packed dirt infused with creepy crawlies. Hours that she could be spending chasing birds, rabbits and pheasants across the fecally-fertilized lawn. Hours that she could be outside walking sniffing the naughty bits of strange dogs… and people. Or hours that she could be spending at the dog park with her dog friends racing around the park’s perimeter at 140 miles per hour. Which by the way, she wasn’t too happy about last week when two Greyhounds, the breed that Olive is routinely and embarrassingly mistaken for, outran her. Olive is not used to being outrun at the dog park. She implicitly understands that her speed is her single biggest advantage over most other dogs. When it’s a “Nik Nik,” day, Olive’s day is more sedate and boring. If she’s behaving, I let her have the run of the house and she usually winds up stretched across the back of the living room couch, gazing out the front window, occasionally barking. If she’s already shown any indication of having a moderate case of “ants-in-the-pants-itis,” running around chewing on anything she can find, then I corral her in my office, where she snuggles up in her bed next to my chair waiting for the moment when I turn to her and say, “Who wants to go for a walkie?” She looks at me with the most transparent expression of yearning I have ever seen. As she cocks her head, her pupils dilate and her tail snaps back and forth with such force that her whole body begins to shake. She’s so excited that I’m afraid if I don’t get her out of the house in 30 seconds, she’s going to self-combust. And then the weim fun and games begin. Downstairs, as I go to put her Frankenprong collar on, she runs away from me. Now she wants to play tag and I should run around the house like an idiot chasing her. When I have a micron of patience, I sit down and wait for her to come to me. She takes her time, the stubborn, independent little beeyotch. Other times, I cheat and hold up a tiny treat and she runs toward me as though I were Pavlov. “Sometimes, Olive, you are very predictable.” This dog would turn her colon inside out just to get a treat.

Working Weimaraner

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/11/2011 at 8:04 pm

"Where the hell is my PENCIL?"

This is Olive doing an impression of me at work. Funny Olive, But not half as funny as you are going to look when you have to use a stall in the ladies room. Try not to eat all the toilet paper before you go.

168 Hours

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/07/2011 at 7:59 pm

(no comment)

7 days without power. 168 jaw-clenching hours. Over 10,000 minutes spent curbing a hair trigger temper. “I DON’T CARE IF YOU HAVE NO LEGS. GET. ACROSS. THE. STREET. NOW.” No cable. No internet. No landline. Nothing but my street mattered right then anyway, but it would have been nice to see or hear the local news. Except for the local politicians who everytime they opened their blowhard mouths, just confirmed their idiocy. Oh, and no water. Because when you live in a beautiful rural area like me, it means you are the owner of a private well…that runs on an electric pump. The loss of heat is nothing compared to the loss of water. Flush the toilet? Fuggedaboutit. Wash your hands? No dice. You have to use antimicrobial baby wipes. Shower? “HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.” Only if you are a Comfort Inn VIP Guest or you have a friend lucky enough to have a generator. And because the power lines went down when colossal wet snow-covered tree branches cracked in the dead of night, crushing them and snapping telephone poles in two in the process, the road is closed. Which also means that your newspaper won’t be delivered and your garbage won’t be picked up. But FedEx, UPS and the USPS did not let a “Road Closed” sign deter them from their missions. They delivered. But it gets worse fast. Gas stations within a 5-mile radius are simply “out of gas,” because people lucky enough to own generators are sucking them dry down to the earth’s core. Area restaurants ranging from Panera to 4-star bistros are standing room only, densely-packed hives overpopulated by cranky, angry bees with a bad case of “Bee-O”. Laundromats, never a good place around which to loiter, are veritable tinder boxes, just waiting for the spark that will ignite a brawl. All the local hotels, motels and bed & breakfasts’ are bursting at the seams. Even the roads that are open aren’t immune to this locust-like event. The traffic is spectacular. You’d think people were out Christmas shopping already. EVERYONE is out on the road because NO ONE wants to be inside their cold, pitch black home where their toilets have been transformed into indoor outhouses. The only thing missing is graffiti on the walls of the bathroom that say things like, “Here I sit so brokenhearted, tried to shit and only farted. Yesterday I took a chance, saved a dime and shit in my pants.” (My all-time personal favorite which was scrawled on the inside of a bathroom door at a real campground in Maine.) For the past 7 days, Olive and I might as well have been living inside a tent in Calcutta. She probably minded all of this less than I did, but it severely disrupted both our routines, filling every day with dozens of minor, irritating inconveniences, many of which you don’t even imagine until you’re in a situation like this. I am happy to report that Olive was quite the trooper. Especially since she was essentially tethered to me for 7 days while we traipsed about neighborhoods throughout Northern New Jersey like Monty Python searching for the Holy Grail. We slept at our neighbor’s who lives behind us. We’d get up in the morning and go back to our house, check on things there, I’d feed Olive and let her out, then I’d get changed in the dark, trying to balance a flashlight in one hand and my pants in the other, and then we’d both go into the office. After work, we’d go over to a friend’s house, shower, have dinner and hang out there awhile. Then we’d make our way over to another friend’s house where I did a giant load of laundry and then it was back to our neighbor’s to sleep and start the insane routine all over again. I think what made it all worthwhile for Olive was that she got to sleep in the single pull-out bed with me for five nights. She’d sleep soundly, curled up next to me, never getting up once. Although it was funny to watch her expressions when people walked “above us.” Her head would jerk up and you could tell she was getting ready to bark, trying to determine what was making the noise and whether it was a threat to our safety. Her head cocked slightly, teeth barely exposed as half of her lip curled, and her pupils microscopic, frozen with interest. I would quietly plead with her to keep her bird hole shut. She’d look at me somewhat incredulously and then sink back down into the bed, safely tucked close to me. Since she doesn’t normally sleep in my bed, it was a nice, comforting treat, and a nice way to end each shitty day. Only I had to go to bed every night disturbed by the knowledge that the fact that this country relies on toothpicks strung together with dental floss to create its power system is a national disgrace. Olive, just snored contentedly next to me. We worry about different things.

The 7 Weimaraner Dwarfs

In dogs, humor, lifestyle, pets, weimaraners, writing on 11/06/2011 at 9:14 pm

"What the hell is a DWARF?"

Okay, after giving it much thought, here’s what I would name the 7 Weimaraner Dwarfs: Farty, Jumpy, Barky, Chewy, Sniffy, Diggy and Sneaky. And I’d add two more: Smarty and Goofy. Olive has signaled her agreement with a moderate blast followed by a tiny sulfur-scented mushroom cloud.

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