Friday, August 17, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 28
August 17, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey! Well, we have been having some seriously sunny summer weather here in the Great Metropolis of New York and I have been putting in some major park time. But before I discuss my excellent Central Park adventures, I want to let everyone know that I will be in the New York Post (, probably this Sunday. Pet correspondent Julia Szabo is doing a story with me in it.

I also want to give everyone who might be in the City a heads-up that on September 15th the American Kennel Club is having a Responsible Dog Ownership- Meet the Breed Day from 11-3pm in Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. It’s free and Yours Truly will be available to chat and drool at the Bloodhound Table.

My human Maria will also be on hand to tell people how wonderful it is to live with a bloodhound. Elizabeth, a friend of hers, says that this is true only if one doesn’t mind the drool, the stink, and the mass destruction of one’s possessions--not to mention the need to spend endless amounts of time being towed by an exuberant, baying hound. Of course Elizabeth is used to dealing with docile breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, so her opinions don’t count. No one else’s opinion actually counts either, but that is another of the joys of being owned by a Hound. Elizabeth will also be at the Meet the Breed Table—she is going to handle me and is under the sad delusion that she will make me behave if I chose not to. Why she should believe this, I have no idea—it’s never been possible before. But then I have observed that humans seldom learn from their experiences the way we Hounds do.

Things an experienced Hound has learned from experience:

When people say “How Cute!”-- lean on them and look adorable—there will be snacks or plastic bottles forthcoming.

When your human start cooing at you in a particularly unctuous way—hide. There is certain to be ear cleaning solution or nail clippers involved.

The sound of a running bath is not your friend.

Humans are frequently distracted in the kitchen and turn their backs on delicious, eminently stealable pieces of food. Be patient and pretend to be taking a harmless snooze on the kitchen floor.

Be alert to any signs of a wardrobe change-- used underwear will eventually appear.

The degree to which you make humans laugh is directly proportional to antics you will be able to get away with (Wimsey’s Theorem).

But anyway, speaking of endless hours of walking, last Sunday I really outdid myself. My humans intended to take me for a measly two hour Central Park and by the time I was done with them, the walk stretched to six (count ‘em) hours. It might be a new Wimsey record for coercive Park walks. (“I don’t know where the time went; Wimsey just didn’t seem to allow me to leave the Park.”)

Wimsey’s Excellent Park Adventure (for info on Central Park see

11:30 am-12:30 pm: Maria took me to EJ’s Luncheonette where I usually noisily “find” Elizabeth on Sunday mornings, employing much triumphant and ear splitting baying. Then we all walked around Central Park before Maria left to go to brunch.

12:30pm-1:30pm: Elizabeth and I ensconced ourselves on a shady rustic bench in the Ramble where tourists on their way to and fro from Belvedere Castle stopped to admire me, chat and take my picture. The spectacle of a giant hound sitting on a rustic bench in the midd
le of a major city is not a sight you see every day, regardless of where you are from.

1:30pm-2:30pm: Elizabeth and I take a stroll through the Ramble. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Central Park, the Ramble is a heavily wooded area with twisty paths designed to get humans lost so they “ramble” whether they want to or not. Generally they don’t want to ramble or at least not for the length of time that they end up doing so. As humans in company of a dog, my people are frequently called upon to help people find their way out. The good news is that my humans know how to do it, the bad news is that it is impossible to give coherent directions (“Turn left at the tree with the funny shaped branch and make a right at the big bush where Wimsey likes to pee…”) So I am frequently called upon to escort stranded persons to the edge of the forest. I think this should qualify me as a search and rescue dog.

Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with all the pathways of the Ramble, it can be a challenge to find your way out. When you are in my company it is also a challenge to find your way out because I have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the paths and permutations that lead out of the Ramble and I simply refuse to go those ways. I love the Ramble—it is cool and shady and is filled with delicious small, succulent animal smells that I follow by charging off the paths. My humans call this off roading. (“Don’t let Wimsey off road again—the last time he smelled like skunk”). And because the Ramble is in a somewhat natural state, it is also an abundant source of a substance that is truly a gift from the gods: dirt. What can I say: bloodhounds and dirt—perfect together.

Now although I am a short haired dog I have a considerable amount of surface area and hair layers in which to secrete and ferry dirt from where it belongs (Central Park) to where it doesn’t (my humans’ apartments). I am in fact the Ultimate Dirt Caddy. Even Elizabeth who covers her furniture in sheets when I come over has given up—she finds dirt and hair under the sheets (“Do you think Wimsey has magical powers to transport dirt—kind of like Harry Potter?”) But really, we Hounds are just very resourceful when it comes to innovating mess. The other great thing about all the dirt in the park is that it mixes with my drool to become a colloidal suspension. This adds an entirely different dimension and appearance when I engage in drool flinging. And humans do so like to wear light colored clothes in the summer—I create lovely Jackson Pollock-like drool art with this enhanced medium, achieving wonderful new variations in both color and texture. We Hounds are after all, all artists by nature (escape artists, con artists, etc.).

2:30pm- 3:30pm: Now Elizabeth finally dragged me out of the Ramble (dragging a large hound who is headed in the opposite direction is no easy feat, by the way) and was absolutely determined to go home, at least for a little while, but I decided I needed a little water first. Noticing a drinking fountain in a grassy area opposite Bethesda Fountain, we headed over for what Elizabeth had every intention of being a quick drink. But I flopped down in the cool grass under a tree and looked so comfortable that she soon joined me. Then we passed the time entertaining yet more tourists. Now because Elizabeth has learned how to say “bloodhound” in a bunch of languages, she is under the illusion that she actually speaks these languages.

Italian Family: Bella! Bella! Bella! (they were not talking about Elizabeth, by the way) He is what kind?

Elizabeth: He is a Cane di San’Uberto.

Italian Family: stare blankly. Then one says: Si! Si! Cane di San’ Uberto, Cane di San’ Uberto.

Of course Elizabeth was under the impression that that is what she had just said using her best Italian accent (acquired from watching Felini movies in college, which I hardly think counts as language training).

3:30pm-5:30pm: Maria calls in to find out if I have been kidnapped and whisked off to be forcibly shown in Rio or something. Elizabeth is embarrassed to admit that she is still in the Park with me. (‘I think we must have encountered a hole in the space-time continuum.”) Anyway, Maria decides to join us and entertain the tourists too for a while.

Because I am a veritable canine weather vane (I always point my nose into the oncoming air currents) the ladies then engage in an endless amount of extremely fascinating conversation, making remarks such as “Oh look, Wimsey’s nose has swung to the south southeast; I wonder if it will rain.” And so forth. I think they are planning to measure the barometric pressure using the degree my hair fluffs up as a gauge. And they wonder why, in spite of my best efforts, they are single.

Anyway, when the ladies were through discussing the variability in the wind patterns, we all took a walk through the Park’s southern loop; I finally returned home at 5:30pm, had a snack and climbed into Maria’s bed for a long dirt and kibble fueled snooze. (She knows better than to change the sheets when I have been for a long walk in the Park). I rested happy in the notion that I had once again prevented Elizabeth from getting anything done. She so likes to get things done that it is one of my life’s missions to prevent it. (My mission with Maria is to prevent her from reading, watching TV, using the computer or talking with her friends—bad habits, all). But Elizabeth is now blaming me for distracting her during business meetings. After last week, when I proposed accompanying her to meetings, she claims she cannot see a large, polished conference table without imagining me standing in the middle of it. I am sure this inspires her, particularly as the whole purpose of the meetings is to close a deal so she can purchase the large gift basket that I have been promised.

Anyway, we have another beautiful weekend coming up and I am hearing talk about a picnic. So I get my six hours in the park plus get to stick my nose in food. Ain’t life grand?

Until next time,

Wimsey, New York’s Premier Park Ranger

Addendum: It appears I was NOT in this Sunday's NY Post. I will keep you posted.


Princess, Tank and Isaac: The Newfs of Hazard said...

Hi Wimsey! We like your style! You could even out chew us! Our dad grew up in NY but we've never been there. We're kind of glad 'cause we like to run and those manhattan homes sound so small! We like to train our dad, too!

Jilly said...

Hello Wimsey,

Interesting to read about the Italians you met and what they called you. Here in France, all hounds with long ears seem to be called a St. Hubert - of course I'm a Bruno de Jura, as you know and a relative of yours. Not well at the moment cos I've got abscesses under my ears. They come up every four months since my ear operations but 'she' looks after me pretty well - oh and 'she' says thanks for the sympathy re throwing away books on Postcards from PM.

Woof woof - or ouah ouah, as the French dogs say -Beau xxx

Gus said...

Wimsey: I like your blog. I get lots of good tips on how to handle my humans. Muzzer thinks you are cute.


Tasha & Eva said...

We admire the control you have over your humans, Wimsey! We aspire to be just like you. Six hours at the park is quite the accoplishment. We are also very good at bringing in dirt and various forms of plant material into the house. We have a huge willow tree in our back yard, parts of which pile up everywhere inside! Belly Rubs, Tasha & Eva.

Nanook and Pooka the Newfoundlands said...

Wimsey we looked for your article but couldn't find it!

Anonymous said...

Dear Whimsey,
Hello from Clifford, Lizzy and Jacques, the three country bloodhounds. We all drool over your city adventures.

nm said...

Wimsey, I thought my moms had it bad, but now that they read your blog from sunday, they are going to be super nice to me.

Smooches and sling the drool high doode.

Ernest the puppy