Friday, September 28, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Mahhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 34
September 28, 2007

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you direct from the summery shores of New York’s Hudson River. Summer seems to have returned this week, which is a little disappointing since I am gearing myself up for a very frisky autumn season. Last autumn I was so frisky that I was demoted to the Gentle Leader. I don’t know if this fall’s friskiness will rise to those exquisite heights again, as I am after all a much more mature Hound this year, but my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are keeping a close watch for any signs of incipient friskiness. (“Look! Wimsey’s ears are forward and his tail is up. Do you think he is about to experience a bout of friskiness?”)

I always look forward to the fall season though and the abundant availability of pee-able Central Park leaf piles. I am sure the Park’s gardeners wonder about what to attribute the annual disruption of their tidy leaf piles—nothing is more fun than joyously kicking leaf piles about with my hind legs while doing a 360. I am sure one day they will use surveillance cameras to catch me in the act and then I will be hauled off to Hound Court to pay for my infractions.

Hound Court Judge: Bailiff please read the charges against the accused Hound.

Bailiff: Wimsey, one Bloodhound of Manhattan County is charged with maliciously interfering with the gardening efforts of the City of New York.

Hound Defense Attorney: We object your Honor, we believe that Wimsey should more accurately be known as The Bloodhound of Manhattan County. We cite as evidence the actions of Pedi-cab tour guides who point him out to visiting tourists along with the other famous monuments of Central Park

Judge: Sustained. Bailiff please amend the charges to reflect the change. How does your client plead.

Hound Defense Attorney: We plead not guilty by reason of being a Hound.

Prosecuting Hound Attorney: But we have surveillance footage of your client not only decimating numerous leaf piles but relieving himself on them as well!

Hound Defense Attorney: But how do you know it was him? Isn’t it true that you believe that all Hounds look alike? Could you positively swear that the culprit wasn’t a renegade coonhound for instance? Or even a basset hound. My client is frequently mistaken for a wide variety of hounds. It is a well known fact that humans have trouble distinguishing one hound from the next.

Prosecuting Hound Attorney: No, it was him all right—he left a lot of saliva that we used for DNA testing.

Hound Defense Attorney: Is it not true however, that Hounds are widely known to be massively destructive.

Prosecuting Hound Attorney: Of course.

Hound Defense Attorney: Then would you not say that it constitutes both gross negligence as well as entrapment to have left enticing piles of unattended leaves directly in my client’s path? We cite the cases contained in The State of New York v. Hounds, volumes 1-26 as constituting ample precedent of the destructive power of the Hound. Did anyone consult these volumes before negligently and wantonly electing to leave unattended leaf piles in full view of a rampaging Hound?

Prosecuting Hound Attorney: No.

Hound Defense Attorney: Your Honor we move to have all charges dropped.

Hound Judge: So moved. Now who is going to pay for the bench your client ate during the proceedings?

But seriously, Fall is a wonderful time in New York. My humans sit in endless rapture in front of the TV watching the new shows whilst I sit on them, hunt the wily remote and shred the TV Guide. There is much for a Hound to enjoy in the whole human-TV love affair, especially as, in contrast to their use of the computer, their hands are free for countless happy hours of hound stroking. And then there is the endless procession of TV snacks of which I take my fair cut. All in all, a Hound could do worse than to participate in the fall TV season. However, as Chairman of the Wimsey TV Network I have some ideas for some new show improvements:

Houndlight: This is a show in which a detective turns into a Hound when the moon is full. Unaware of his condition, he wakes up once a month on a chewed up couch to find he has mysteriously tracked down a host of perpetrators. An enduring mystery is the origin of the yellow stains splashed on his walls.

Pushing Hounds: A gifted Hound has the ability to bring dead vegetation back to life. He then only has one minute to pee on it before it dies again.

The Bionic Hound: In an experimental laboratory a Hound is given powerful artificial legs and super sensory vision. It makes absolutely no difference as the Hound was always able to smell, hear and see better than his humans and to run faster and topple them effortlessly. The scientists conclude that the non-bionic Hound is powerful enough.

Kitchen Nightmares: A Hound is loose in the kitchen.

Hound or No Hound: Contestants open cases with a variable number of Hounds and negotiate with a mysterious breeder to try and obtain the minimum number of Hounds. Winners leave the show with no Hounds, losers get the entire litter.

Dirty Sexy Hounds: A documentary on Hounds.

Wimsey: a nerdy Hound overhears all the secrets of his humans. He doesn’t tell anyone.

Are You Smarter than a Hound? A group of human game show contestants are humiliated to find out that the answer is no.

Curb Your Hound (in your dreams): An irate New Yorker tries to bully a Hound toting human into having the hound eliminate on the curb. The Hound pees on him instead.

Well, I am happy to report that the weather has turned a bit cooler today so I need to obtain sufficient rest for a frisky evening walk. Elizabeth’s Hounding schedule (i.e. the amount of time she devotes exclusively to me) is being cut short by the continuing saga of her Indian deal so I need to make the most of the short times we have together—her right arm is starting to look quite short--almost the same length as her left one, a situation that calls for drastic remedies. But before I retire to my couch I want to do something a little different with this week’s Houndart: I call it Wimsey’s Homage to Warhol.

I am just as beautiful as Marilyn and aspire to be a pop icon also, so it is only fitting.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Frisky One

PS: Maria and Elizabeth think I look like a Klingon when I nap.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 33
September 21, 2007

Hello Everyone. Wimsey here, reporting from the City that Never Sleeps (kind of like me when my humans want me to). Well, Wimsey Bath Night went off without a hitch except for my nose mysteriously making its way into the post bath takeout chicken tikka
masala, but my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth had a wonderful time admiring their handiwork—to wit, me. So being the object of intense admiration, even though I was rendered chicken tikka masala-less—was pretty good. Also, I have left behind plenty of mementos of Wimsey bath night, as Elizabeth discovered that conventional cleaning products are apparently no match for my wet spiky hairs—trying to clean with them only results in moving the hair around instead of getting rid of it. Elizabeth wants to write to Proctor and Gamble and suggest that they develop a Hound Hair Bathroom Cleaner.

Then on Saturday Pet Chauffeur took us all down to Madison Square Park for the AKC Responsible Dog Owner Day where I got to represent The Bloodhound. My humans marched up to the check-in desk and announced that “we are the bloodhound.” Now seldom have I heard anything more ridiculous come out of their mouths (which is saying something, I can tell you when you are used to hearing things like “Wimsey would you like a cookie?” when , yes, I bloody well would like a cookie seeing as how I have my nose in the cookie pouch). Anyway, Maria an
d Elizabeth are manifestly not the bloodhound, so their use of the first person plural was both silly as well as being inaccurate. Neither of them can bay, fling drool or even smell anything properly. Their ears are ludicrously short, their heads don’t come to a point and they are singularly incompetent at getting what they want, particularly in the presence of an actual bloodhound. Also people don’t constantly tell them how beautiful they are when they walk down the street. But clearly their desire to be “the bloodhound” is aspirational and one cannot fault them for wanting to be me, seeing that I am absolutely perfect and they, sadly, are not.

Of course there really should be a Responsible Human Owners Day so that we canines can demonstrate our mastery of responsible human ownership.

The Agility Ring: see humans leap over tables chairs and beds as they attempt to catch the Hound who has just stolen their new Italian leather gloves.

The Obedience ring: see owners come when called, and obey such non-verbal commands as feed me, walk me and give me a belly rub.

There could be lots of toy and treat booths demonstrating how we get our humans to spend their money responsibly and such healthful contests such as “human towing” and “naughty hound chasing” that keep humans strong and fit.

Anyway, once established at my table I was in fine voice and bayed pretty much continuously throughout the whole event. I got to meet lots of nice people (none of whom is likely to acquire a bloodhound after I got through sliming them with drool and breaking their ear drums with my singing) and sniff many bottoms-- mostly canine. There was also juggler of rubber balls who came by regularly because she said I was such an appreciative audience and of course everybody enjoyed watching me watch the juggler. And then there was a lovely female Black Russian Terrier next to us who was also a show dog and I was very keen to impress her, although since she too was unfixed no one was letting me get anywhere near her (they even put me in jail ((really my crate, but it is jail to me)) for a while)! But I am convinced that one day I will put my much maligned testicles to their approved use and produce a bouncing crop of baby Wimseys. And then we can all take over the world, one susceptible human at a time. We will be like the Wimsey Soprano family and I can be the bloodhound don:

Don Wimsey: Come my little Tony Hound—give your papa’s butt a sniff and drool on my paw. I am sending you to the Old Country (Illinois) where you will be in control of the Midwest region. I want you to corner the market on kibble so it becomes much more expensive to feed us than steak. Also I want you to promote the healthful effects of cheese on the digestive system of the Hound.

Salvatore Hound: The Midwest is mine!

Don Wimsey: No resource guarding Salvatore. There is plenty of territory for everyone to mark. Anyway, I want you to be boss of the West Coast. We are having problems with this pesky upstart called Cesar Millan—I want him whacked. Preferably with your tail but I give you permission to use your ears too if you get a chance. Also, get yourself adopted by Brangelina and infiltrate Hollywood. I want a bloodhound in every mansion and starring roles for bloodhounds in every movie.

Silvio Hound: What do I get Papa?

Don Wimsey: You Silvio are headed East to New York. I want you to go to Wall Street and create a run in the market for Hound Futures. I want the power of Wall Street in the paws of The Hound. I want a rawhide bone tax applied to all stock trades. Also I want starring operatic roles written for bass baritones hound voices with performances at Lincoln Center.

Carmella Hound: Is there any role for me papa?

Don Wimsey: Yes, we Wimseys don’t let the gender of a Hound interfere with our plans for world domination. I want you to go to Paris and insure that all perfume smells like Hound. Also I want you to use your design skills to make Hound Distressed clothing the toast of the catwalk.

Well, you can see how fun it would be if a Wimsey clan ran things our way. So I am ever on the lookout for a lady friend who wants to create world dominating puppies.

Well the other new thing here in New York is that the Metropolitan Museum of Art—one of the world’s great art museums-- is having a Rembrandt exhibition. So as an homage, this week’s hound art is by Rembrandt (with a little assistance from Wimsey).

The Night Watch (Rembrandt van Rijn, 1642, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam) Now this painting was commissioned by the captain of a civic militia guard and is famous for its colossal size (11ft by 14 feet) and its use of light and shadow and the creation of motion. However, you can immediately see that there is a problem with the painting: all of the guards are handicapped—they can neither hear intruders nor smell them and they are missing two legs. Also, like most humans, they would have problems detecting the small movements created by approaching malefactors. But with the addition of a Hound sounding the alarm, all these problems are obviated and the militia can have a successful night watch. (The Wimsey Watch)

Well, it’s time for me to go shred a Chinese takeout menu that someone has foolishly slid under the door. I myself am preferring Indian these days.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the responsible human owner

Friday, September 14, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #32
September 14, 2007

Hello everyone. Wimsey here. Well, I am certainly feeling very frisky as the weather has started to cool down a bit. I am getting a bath tonight and have every intention of maintaining my frisky demeanor throughout my impending ablutions.

During my last Wimsey Bath Night I amused myself by hopping in and out of the tub to the immense discomfiture of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who were doing their ineffective best to try and immobilize me---and they got spectacularly soaked for their troubles, I might add. But my view is that if I am to be rendered soaking wet they too must share in the pleasure. We Wimseys are nothing if not generous. Nevertheless, it takes a strong arm, nerves of steel and a lot of waterproof clothing to undertake Wimsey Bath Night.

Getting ready for Wimsey Bath Night is very much akin to planning the Normandy Invasion—first, Elizabeth has to make sure everything is very clean as her apartment is the base operations. This is a trial in and of itself as domestic science is not conspicuous among her skill set. But cleaning up after me as well as dealing with any pre-existing grime is a synergistic hygienic nightmare (think Augean Stables). I fling sticky wet hair about with wild abandon—if I achieve an exceptional amount of rotation I can even hit the ceiling! And of course all possessions that one does not wish to have coated with copious quantities of sticky, spiky wet hair and/or gelatinous drool must be safely hidden from my view.

Next all my laundry must be done—sheets to protect the furniture and a fluffy stack of towels to dry me since I strictly forbid hair dryers (they rank just under nail clippers in the Wimsey Pantheon of Terrifying Implements.) In addition, a supply of turkey must be laid in to keep me occupied during the actual bathing process and a new supply of shampoo must be made up. The ladies favor something called the Grime-inator from Double K Industries (“the ultimate deep cleaning pet shampoo”) for obvious reasons. The shampoo causes a temporary cessation in my ability to emit delectable hound fragrance, but it does make my coat quite soft and lustrous, which encourages a lot of petting, so there is at least some compensation for my unnaturally odorless state. Anyway, after the shampoo is prepared a double row of rubber mats is placed in the bath tub to give me better traction (so I don’t slip when hopping in and out to escape) and a large rubber mat is placed on the tile bathroom floor for similar reasons. Then of course supplies for post bath entertainment must be secured (rawhides and bully sticks for me, cocktail making materials for them).

Now all this is in aid of me being presentable for my appearance tomorrow as Bloodhound–in-Chief at the AKC’s Responsible Dog Owner—Meet the Breed Event (11-3 Madison Square Park, 23rd and Fifth if you are around). I think if people really want to meet the breed, I should be allowed to be my stinky, drooly musical self. However, I think Maria is too embarrassed to admit that she voluntarily lives with a creature of my description so a “sanitized” (in more ways than one) version of me is to be presented:

Wimsey’s Book of Houndly Translation

Wimsey is a very affectionate animal (Wimsey crushes internal organs when he sits on you; also he likes to bite your nose)

Wimsey is an enthusiastic greeter (Wimsey knocks you down, tail whips you and attempts to crack your nose with his muzzle while trying to kiss you).

Wimsey has a fine voice (Wimsey shatters your eardrums whenever he wants something)

Wimsey loves other dogs (Wimsey will cause you to go flying though the air when he takes off to say hello)

Wimsey is a picky eater (only about his own food)

Wimsey can sometimes be a little stubborn (sometimes?)

Wimsey has wonderful tracking ability (Wimsey can find and shred your dirty underwear wherever you hide it)

Wimsey loves the outdoors (good luck dragging him indoors)

Wimsey has a lot of personality (he's a maniac)

Wimsey does enjoy chewing so he is given rawhides (ask Maria what happened to her cookbook collection)

Wimsey is very sweet (Wimsey is magnanimous in victory)

Wimsey is very cute (Wimsey is very cute).

There is sure to be a run on bloodhounds after the event. And of course, no mention will be made of the perpetually gunky state of bloodhound ears--- I am accumulating an impressive array of ear cleaning and drying products. And my humans made good on their threat last week to put my ears up in a scrunchy—allegedly to air them out—but really to make me look silly. But don’t worry, I will have my revenge—it is Wimsey Bath Night after all.

Anyway, Fall in New York is a veritable Festival of Festivals—New York Fashion Week just ended (my humans think New York Fashion Week is the arrival of the autumn LL Bean catalog) and although Hound walking clothes were not a feature of the catwalk this year, Marc Jacobs apparently stole my fashion ideas with designs that looked like I had been at them. Also on tap is the New York Film Festival where New Yorkers go to demonstrate their serious intellectual nature by getting depressed in a wide variety of the world’s languages. I think they could better spend their time by attending the Fall Hound Festival where they could learn about such useful subjects as:

Cooking for your Hound: Recipes to make his mouth water (more)
Dressing Your Hound: Don’t
Dressing for Your Hound: Wild and Waterproof new fall looks
The Art of Hound Massage: How to relax your hound after his stressful day of napping
Technology Seminar: The incredible edible remote control
Christmas Gift Ideas: Ten disgusting things your Hound can stick his nose into
Food Stealing: an innovative approach to combating human obesity

Plus a preview of best places to enjoy Fall Leaf Peeing and an array of doggy toilet facilities all shaped like Cesar Millan.

Yes, fall is quite an exciting time here in New York. But I will miss the major summer activities like trying to drag my humans into the fountains of Central Park and rescuing desperate tourists lost in the Ramble (“Look there’s a bloodhound—maybe he can find a way out!”) and interposing my magnificent self in everyone’s souvenir photos—I am after all one of the major tourist attractions of the city.

But anyway, before I take leave of you for contemplation of summer’s joys, it is time for another visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. This week we only have one masterpiece to discuss because it is perhaps the most famous painting in the world:

Mona Lisa (Leonardo Da Vinci, 1503-07, Musee du Louvre): Now this painting, although probably of the wife of a Florentine business man, is thought to depict an ideal of feminine beauty. It was purchased from Leonardo by the French King Francois I—a man who was also a connoisseur of Chiens de St. Hubert (bloodhounds), so he really knew something about beauty. In addition to speculation about Mona Lisa’s identity, the thing that has most puzzled art historians through the ages is the nature of her smile. Why is she smiling??? But see how we can instantly solve the mystery by the judicious insertion of a hound! A woman with an affectionate Hound head in her lap can hardly resist smiling—such is the joy and admiration that the Hound elicits among mere mortals. Mona Wimsey

Anyway, today is a short post as I have to keep my energies in reserve for tonight’s festivities. However, you can always go back and read (or re-read) two of my favorite posts in the Wimsey archives: #8 and #16.

Until next time

Wimsey the (temporarily) non-stinky Hound

Friday, September 7, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #31
September 7, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey. Well, we have been having spectacular weather here in New York City, which means I have been spending quite a bit of time out and about, especially in Central Park. I just hope the weather is this nice on September 15th when I will be in Madison Square Park (23rd Street and Fifth Avenue) for the AKC’s Responsible Dog Ownership Day. If you are around from 11-3 stop by the bloodhound table where I will be holding court and you can hear firsthand from my human Maria what it is really like to live with me. If you are lucky she will show you a few of my more exciting bruise art creations. Her friend Elizabeth will be there as well and will be, as usual, on Hound Control Duty-- you can wish her a lot of luck with that one.

Well because of the upcoming event I was taken to the vet’s this week to make sure my shots were up to date. Now I know that a lot of my fellow canines do not especially relish going to the vet, but I always enjoy myself. First I get up on my hind legs to check in—a process which always elicits squeals of delight and fistfuls of biscuits. Then I am offered a bowl of water with which to make a mess. (On this last visit I also discovered that I could increase the mess quotient by sticking my tail in the bowl). I get to sit up on a chair next to my human attendant for some serious scratching (it’s the guilt thing you know) and receive tribute and admiration from the other patients “Look, Wimsey’s sitting just like a person!”—actually, I am sitting just like Wimsey, but they are not to know that). Then the doctor runs his or her hands over me exclaiming over how fit I am and remarking on the fine condition of my coat (I highly recommend dirt baths in Central Park to stay lustrous). On this last visit Elizabeth’s cuddling of my head was interrupted a couple of times by an annoying needle in my tush, but that just brought some extra scratching and turkey. Anyway, I have always thought that I would make an excellent physician:

Tails from Dr. Wimsey’s Medical Practice

Dr. Wimsey : Tell me what seems to be the matter?
Patient #1: I have a headache.
Dr. Wimsey: Those can be very painful. I suggest you reduce the pain by getting out in the fresh air and have a large Hound tow you around the park. Next.
Patient #2: I seem to have a cold—I can’t breathe.
Dr. Wimsey: Here let me listen (I am a Hound—we don’t require stethoscopes). Ah, you are congested. I prescribe the application of a large warm Hound on your chest. The weight of the Hound combined with his body heat will clear the congestion. Next.
Patient # 3: I threw my back out.
Dr. Wimsey: A common problem. If you lie on a nice hard floor with a Hound sitting on your stomach it will pop your back into place. Next.
Patient #4: I have a stomach ache.
Dr. Wimsey: You are eating to much food and consuming it too fast. You must give your Hound one piece of food for each one that you eat. Next.
Patient #5: I have a rash.
Dr. Wimsey: I have found that the application of copious quantities of drool is highly efficacious. Stimulate the necessary drool production by feeding bits of roast turkey.

But one of the best things about my vet visit, was that I got to go home afterwards with Elizabeth and foil her attempt to read newspapers. I always enjoy doing this-- I sit on her and threaten to shred the paper with my massive bear claws and my fine set of choppers. My presence is wholly incompatible with newspapers, and if I don’t shred them I make them all blurry with drool. I never understand why humans want to read newspapers in the first place, though. All the news in them seems to be bad and has nothing to do with Hounds.

The Wimsey Hound Tribune
Editor in Chief, Wimsey

International News: French President Sarkozy creates St. Hubert’s day as a national holiday to honor les Chiens de St. Hubert. He further announced that anyone referring to them as “Les Bloodhounds” will be deported to England.

National News: Hound ties Newf in hotdog eating contest (see

Music Review: Wimsey reviews latest CD from the Three Hounds. Spanish Hound bays too sharp he opines.

Hound and Home: How drool dirt and fur can improve the look (and feel) of your home.

Cuisine: Five tips for stealing the best meal of your life

Technology: 2007’s most edible electronics.

Business: Hound related injuries cripple US economy, cause panic on Wall Street.

Horticultural: Chief horticultural expert Wimsey writes about the most satisfying plants on which to pee. Also a top ten list of most delectable grasses.

Automotive: Top tips for driving with a Hound. (Tip #1: don’t let him steer).

Sports: Hounds replace ballboys-- US Open in chaos. Federer claims chasing Hounds for punctured balls detrimental to game.

Anyway all my newspaper activities are very well and good, but Elizabeth snuck off on Thursday to what she said was a biotechnology conference. She goes to these from time to time but I think she would find them much more interesting if they were Hound Technology Conferences. It could feature such important subjects as:

Food Stealing Seminar: strategy and tactics
Innovations in Drool-is viscosity really the key?
Laptop management-- or how to defy the laws of physics and occupy occupied space
Interbreed relations: the challenge of the non-hound
Landscaping for beginners
Game theory: how to win without intimidation
Bath Avoidance
Hound Control: the myth behind the dream

I certainly think she would have a better chance of staying awake if I were in charge of the conference agenda. Of course, I would also be giving her helpful nips when she fell asleep and gently shattering her ear drums with my fine voice. But speaking of agendas, last week I promised that we would pay regular visits to the Professor Wimsey’s Institute of Houdish Art, so here are this week’s masterworks:

American Gothic (Grant Wood, 1930, Art Institute of Chicago): Now this is one of the most iconic of all American paintings. It depicts the artist’s sister and his dentist, in a formal, stiff pose reminiscent of the style of northern renaissance paintings. It has always been unclear whether the painting is glorifying or mocking Midwestern culture. However, in either case, I have always felt that this painting is seriously lacking the one iconic element that would make it complete. The front porch looks disturbingly empty, a situation which I was able to rectify with a simple addition. Wimsey Gothic

Dejeuner sur l’Herbe (Edouard Manet, 1863, Musee d’Orsay). OK, so this picture created an outcry when it was first exhibited because of the presence of nude women and clothed men. People imagined all kinds of things could be going on, but you see how the insertion of a Hound (nude of course) instantly gives reassurance that nothing untoward will happen to the women. The painting depicts the moment before the picnickers notice that a Hound is about to eat their food. And notice how the graceful curves of the Hound echo the graceful curves of the human figures. Wimsey sur L’Herbe

Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte, (Georges Seurat, 1864, Art Institute of Chicago). This is one of the most famous pictures painted in the pointillist style—pointillists believed that their optical theories, which involved painting using dots, would make colors more brilliant than regular brush strokes. In this painting Seurat concentrates on color, light and above all form. But there seems to be a jarring, empty space in the middle of the picture which I think detracts from its splendor. See how the presence of a Hound immediately creates more visual interest and a focal point (as Hounds always are) for the painting. Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Wimsey
Of course all afternoons are afternoons of the Grande Wimsey. So its time for one of my favorite afternoon activities: The Nap. Personally, I think it is one of the great failings of the human race that they spend such an appallingly small amount of time napping. If they napped more they would have a lot less time for making mischief. Of course, being a Hound I am capable of both frequent naps and making mischief, but that is the all part of the Genius of the Hound.

Until next time,

Wimsey, art critic and pin cushion.

PS: the vet suggested lifting my ponderous ears to aerate them when I sit on a park bench. Elizabeth is threatening to put them in a scrunchy!