Friday, April 20, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 13
April 20, 2007

Hello Everyone! It’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the rain soaked Northeast. Now as a robust outdoor breed I don’t mind the rain as much as some other breeds I could name (pit bulls

you know who you are). Heidi, a pit bull friend of mine, is such a delicate flower that she walks in the rain like she is walking on hot coals, it’s all “Eek! Eek! Oh no! My little feet are getting wet! Help! Help!” and she takes her rain walks plastered against the sides of buildings so as to take advantage of the two inch dry strip that surrounds them. Of course if you dare to try and put booties on her, then she turns back into the fierce pit bull (it once took two humans twenty minutes to successfully put just a single booty on her and it took just two seconds for it to end up in her mouth—the place where pit bulls generally like to store things).

And Elizabeth (a friend of Maria’s, my human) reports that some mighty fierce looking shelter pits turn into some distinctly cowering wimps in the face of a few raindrops—one of them looking at her in a particularly accusatory manner, as if she were personally responsible for him getting wet. Now granted she usually is personally responsible for things they don’t like (you mean I have to walk next to you???!!)—a sentiment with which I can truly sympathize-- but still, it seems hardly fair to blame the nor’easter on her. As perhaps the world’s most non-fierce looking canine (sigh) I do derive a measure of satisfaction from knowing that on at least some level, (even if it is only disdain for rain), I am tougher than the tough guys. Of course my human Maria would probably prefer me to mind the inclement weather, so as not to be dragged about in it, but deference to human comfort is not the Strong Suit of the Hound. It is a well known fact that The Strong Suit of the Hound is in fact The Hound.

But anyway I am happy to report that the drainage in Central Park is excellent so Maria only had to scrape copious quantities of mud off of me for a few days. And of course all the damp has given my coat an extra fragrant aroma. Now my strong smell has always been a point of contention with Elizabeth “I don’t even live with Wimsey, so why does my apartment and all my clothes smell like him??!!” But then she realized that although she finds my pugent-icity objectionable, other species with more refined tastes find it thoroughly irresistible. She reports that even the most rambunctious shelter canine will often come to a complete halt in mid-rambunct, as it were, once they get wind of the delightful scent with which her pants are habitually impregnated. So even though I am not a forceful canine myself, it is nice to know that my scent can stop a grown Rottweiler in its tracks. It stops humans in their tracks too but not exactly for the same reason.

And speaking of pants, Elizabeth has now acquired a Maria-approved (although not yet Wimsey- inaugurated) pair of green pants for the show ring. Elizabeth says they make her back side look like the back end of a barn (Maria concurs, though in much more circumspect language “Well, your back end is rather prominent and those pockets are not at all placed in a helpful location”), but the important thing is that they look good against me! Now Elizabeth is trying to figure out how to gait me running sideways so as not to display her posterior, but I think she will have a hard enough time just trying to gait me the regular way. o she will just have to take one for the team. Of course everyone has to take one for the team, except me. Taking one for the team violates the sacred Principles of Houndship. Hounds must persuade others to take one for the team while never in fact taking one themselves. In reality, we are always the team for which one is taken.

Now Maria is much happier with the fit of the pants on her as she feels she could use some help in the derriere department, but she still complains that while there is a dent in the side of the couch where she sits and there is none on my side. She of course forgets that I spend most of my couch dwelling time draped across her like a drooly boa. But unlike my humans I am completely happy with my more than generous rump—I couldn’t possibly body slam effectively without it. But seriously, can you just imagine if dogs got depressed because, say, their tails weren’t long enough or fluffy enough or set high enough (“No, I don’t want to go for a walk, this humid weather is making my tail frizz” or “You shot the bird, so go get it yourself—swimming makes my tail look fat”). I myself have a fantastic tail by the way—quite long and well shaped and capable of inflicting great pain and damage when in full wag. (“Run!’ Wimsey’s wagging his tail again!” “No Wimsey, not the Tail!”) Of course my long ears are pretty useful in this respect also. Now technically the bloodhound has long ears help to gather the scent but really they are used most often to ear whip adjacent humans. This is great fun as it entails lots of delightful shrieking (am I the only one who thinks humans make superb squeaky toys) especially when I move in to apply soothing drool to the resulting welts.

You know, human seem to have so many issues and Hounds so few that it occurs to me that they could profit by applying a few of the Rules of Houndship to their daily lives. Perhaps I should write a self help book like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus and Hounds are from the Planet Where They Get What They Want.” or “Seven Habits of Highly Effective Hounds” or “Who Moved My Rawhide.” Now a serious book on Houndly Wisdom would occupy many erudite volumes, but the basics are pretty simple:

Self Esteem: Not an issue for Hounds. It is our job to make others question theirs (“My life revolves around a Hound, am I an idiot?”)

Focus: When on the trail of something you want, ignore everything else, especially humans shouting obedience commands.

Determination: Persistence pays. Trust me, I know. We Hounds are great fans of Winston Churchill: “Never give up, Never give up Never give up!” (“Wimsey, wasn’t Winston Churchill talking about fighting the Nazis not stealing the yoghurt?”)

Innovate: If you can’t get something one way, try something else—having trouble stealing that sock? Use a diversionary tactic like peeing on the sofa.

Wealth: We Hounds don’t need to earn a living; we persuade others to do it for us. We find it works out better that way.

Artful Deception
: When in doubt, look cute and play dumb “I can’t imagine what happened to all those brassieres you can’t find.”

Health: Eight hours of walking a day and you will either be healthy or too tired to notice if you’re not.

Make an Impact: Of course being an enormous, drooly, stinky, baying Hound helps a bit with this one.

Success: You’re entitled. If not you, who? The cat?

OK, so the other big news around here (apart from the Nor’easter and the fact that it was still cold enough for Elizabeth to be wearing her drool encrusted down jacket—which is green, by the way-- the Official Wimsey Color) is that the ladies, against their better judgment, have actually signed me up for a dog show. Now Maria and Elizabeth are very reluctant to make public the details of the show for all the obvious reasons, but I am under no such constraints, as I will be having fun regardless. The beauty of showing is that nothing is ever my fault—it is always the fault of the handler—(“Wimsey is such a beautiful dog, too bad his humans don’t know how to show him.”) a concept so hound like it makes me wonder who actually created these rules. So for any of you interested I will be showing Sunday May 6th at Mercer County Park in West Windsor Township, NJ at a show sponsored by the Trenton Kennel Club ( I’ll be the handsome dog being handled by a confused looking redhead wearing smelly green pants.

Well onto more weighty matters. This week my learned and well trained friend Nanook the Newfy presented a lengthy and impressive list of vocabulary words that he knows. Now although my humans think that I know exactly zero words, this is not strictly speaking true. I do in fact know a vast number of words; they just don’t mean the same things to me as they do to them. A few examples from the extensive Wimsey Lexicon:

Sit: This means you have something that I am going to want to eat, so I rush at you to get it.

Stay: See “sit.” In fact all obedience commands have pretty much the same meaning, so use them at your peril (except of course “come.” In my experience no good can come of coming, so I like to nonchalantly stroll away whilst keeping a sharp eye out for nail clippers, ear cleaning solution, hound gloves and the like).

Drop: This means that I have got hold of something really good. Good luck getting it back.

Want to go for a walk?:
This means you want to go for a walk and that if I run away you will have to chase me to put on my equipment. (Did I mention I like to be chased?)

Wimsey, stop that!: This means that something I am doing is having a really big impact, so it behooves me do more of it.

Wimsey get your nose out of there: Now, I am a Bloodhound so this is a really low percentage (like zero) command.

Wimsey stop towing: Humans often say things that they don’t mean, and the ladies know that without the towing they would be in worse shape than they already are. They are merely venting at being forced to exercise.

Wimsey stop baying: Hard to do when I enjoy it so much and so many humans smile at the sound—the other night a runner told me she heard me on 103rd street while we were on 92nd, a half a mile away. Of course, however delightful my resonant baying is at a distance it is certainly a conversation stopper at close range. It’s also a little hard on the ear drums. But I must say I have been in particularly fine voice this week. It must be the humidity.

Wimsey get off of me: Naaw, I don’t think so. This means I am comfortable and you are not. So, no problem.

Dinner: Yawn. I am a picky eater.

Pizza: OK, so this one I know. This means charge the pizza delivery guy and terrify him into dropping the pizza.

Well just as a final general rule, we Hounds are so successful because we have a laser like ability to focus on the things that are important to us and a corresponding ability to ignore the things that are important to you.
It works for us.
Until next time.


Peanut said...

Wimsey I always learn so much from you. Thanks

Tasha & Eva said...

Hi Wimsey, Eva here. Glad to hear you made it through the storm OK and you were able to get into lots of mud! Good luck at humiliating your humans at the dog show. I'm sure you will be great! We handle obedience commands about the same as you. If it seems to be good for us, we do it. If there's even a chance of a brushing, nail clipping, or medicating, you can forget about any cooperation! Belly Rubs, Eva

Sophie Brador said...

Wimsey, If ever a hound deserved a publishing deal, it is you. I think Maria and Elizabeth are wasting your time in the New Jersey show ring, when you could be doing Ellen and Oprah and Jon Stewart. I'm not sure which green room would have the best snacks, but the colour should certainly appeal to your agents, who could still wear their butt enhancing green pants, so long as the shade of green matched with the set design.

Nanook The Newfoundland said...

I think perhaps I've been missing out on a great deal of free food. Evidently there's something in this house called the Nothing for Free program which is enforced on all the males. The girls, on the other hand, get whatever they want, whenever they want it.

I wonder if I could argue that I deserve female Everything is for Free status since my neutering?

Nanook The Newfoundland said...

And hey, Wimsey - let me know what you think of the Timberwolf, won't you?

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

I think you would show most wonderfully if your "handlers" wore schoolbus yellow.

Bussie Kissies

Tadpole said...

Oh, if only I lived closer to NJ. I would come to the show and scream for you. I don't bay like you, but I have a scream that is perfectly discernable from VERY long distances.

the dogsayeview dogs said...

Hi Wimsey! We just found your blog. 'Course, we've never been to NYC (dogmom has), so it took us a while.

Opie talks a lot... they say he has some hound in him. (We should get the DNA results soon, so we'll know for sure.)

Wanna trade links? Come visit us at and leave us a comment if you do!

Wuf Ya!
Gomer & Opie