Entry # 44
December 7, 2007
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey. Well it’s been rather an up and down week here. As is so often the case in life, things started out really well and then seemed to go downhill from there. The weekend was quite exciting as on Sunday we had the first snowfall of the season. I was pretty pumped I can tell you—there are few things as thrilling to a Hound as snow and this year was especially glorious as the snow fell on the late falling autumn leaves. Snow+leaves=canine ecstasy. The peeing was fantastic.
Anyway, all this was very fortuitous since by Wimsey Fiat Sunday is almost entirely given over to hounding—my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth take me to Central Park for much of the day. Unfortunately since Elizabeth does not actually have a death wish, a decision was made to keep me on my halti. But the good news is that when a large hound wants to frolic in the snow, the halti is no match for his exuberance. So Maria was forced to walk next to my 20 foot leash at all times—ever vigilant as to the need to grab hold when Elizabeth seemed in imminent danger of losing her footing, which if I do modestly say so was fairly frequently. Elizabeth is scheduling a trip to the sporting goods store to yet again search for high traction mountaineering boots. Seeing how this weekend’s score was Wimsey 1 and Halti 0, I am looking forward to pitting my skills against these new boots, assuming that Elizabeth can even find ones with the requisite traction. Maria, however, is a fatalist (a common trait among serial owners of bloodhounds)-- she has long ago resigned herself to periodically hitting the deck—she just hopes for abrasions rather than broken bones. But Elizabeth has an abiding, if foolish, belief in the power of technology to solve life’s problems--even me--so I am looking forward immensely to proving her wrong yet again. After all, technology is no match for the iron will of the Hound and whereas designers of advanced mountaineering boots may have scaled K2 they have never taken me on a winter walk in Central Park. As an undefeated Hound, I therefore embrace the challenge!
Wimsey Match Statistics
Wimsey vs. The Prong Wimsey
Wimsey vs. The No-pull Sensation Harness Wimsey
Wimsey vs. The Choke Chain Wimsey
Wimsey vs. The Gentle Leader Wimsey
Wimsey vs. The Halti Wimsey
Wimsey vs. The Show Collar* Walkover
*I call this piece of equipment “the string”
Anyway I had so much fun in the snow that my muzzle looked like I had a serious cocaine problem (I do, but without the cocaine). I resembled Al Pacino in “Scarface”. And then there were my many forceful and daring impressions of Lipizzaners—I executed multiple and astonishing levades, courbettes, and caprioles—leaping, kicking and prancing much to the delight of passersby (“Look at that big bloodhound pretending to be a Lipizzaner! You see everything in New York!”) and to the frustration of Maria and Elizabeth (“Wimsey stop that—there are no black and tan Lipizzaners”). And I cannot even speak of the joys of etching the snow with vibrant yellow streams nor of kicking snow into Maria’s face each time she bent down to pick up my poop. If it were up to me there would be snow every day—the only downside being the time my humans would have to spend in the emergency room.
Well after that fantastic start to the week, the perfidious Elizabeth snuck off to San Francisco and Boston (I wonder if she is seeing another Hound) and missed all but one of my evening walks! As a Hound of importance I require my full entourage for my evening walk and I was pretty cheesed off, I can tell you. No matter how much time I spent looking at the door or dragging Maria off to the coffee shop where Elizabeth hangs out on Sunday, Elizabeth failed to appear. The one evening when I did see her, I sat upon her and drooled on her and tried to stick my tongue into her mouth—what could possibly be so compelling that she would willingly forgo these pleasures? Personally, I blame Maria. Things that go wrong are generally her fault as a matter of principle. I am pretty sure she is also responsible for the crisis in the Middle East and global warming. Anyway, next weekend I will once again sally forth into the show ring and if my humans expect any cooperation from me, they are sadly mistaken. En route I anticipate increasing my supervisory driving activities that so bedevil Maria—from the giant Hound head in her rear view mirror to my forays onto the front seat. Once at the show I intend to bay, pace, sniff, unstack, gallop and generally make Elizabeth look as foolish as possible (“will the handler of Hound #8 please control her animal”).
The show is to be held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which I think is quite seasonally appropriate (will there be Three Wise Judges, I wonder). Although we have never had an actual Christmas tree (I leave it to your imagination as to why) I always enjoy reading Christmas literature.
Wimsey’s Night before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a Hound.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there before the Hound could shred them.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of Hounds danced in their heads.
And mamma in her shredded ‘kerchief, and I in my chewed up cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap with the Hound.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what the Hound had gotten into now.
Away to the window I flew—stepping over the Hound-- like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen yellow snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer being chased by a Hound.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick (he had to be to get away from the Hound),
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than Hounds his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Wimsey and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall where the Hound can’t get to us!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As peed on leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew away from the Hound,
With the sleigh full of rawhides, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof and a lot of loud baying.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a Hound.
He was dressed all in fur (The Hound thought he was a stuffed toy), from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot and drool.
A bundle of rawhides he had flung on his back trying to keep it from the Hound,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled as he looked at the Hound! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as yellow as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth to keep the Hound from stealing it,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed at the Hound, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself and the fact that the Hound had stolen his hat!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread (I live with a Hound, what more is there to dread).
He spoke not a word—he was speechless--, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk as the Hound poked him in the tush.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose as the Hound chased him!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, let’s get away from that giant smelly dog
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle after a Hound has sneezed on it.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to the Hound a good-night!"
Personally I have always felt that getting a hold of someone in a Santa suit could be very entertaining. As it happens I have to settle for stealing people’s Santa hats—they are right up there with plastic water bottles on the Wimsey Theftability Index. Last year I paraded all over the Upper West Side with a stolen Santa hat-- amazing the number of people who were convulsed by the sight of a giant Hound firmly in possession of a stolen Santa hat. Humans are so easily amused. And speaking of amusement, it is now time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art.
Once again we return to France for our inspiration, this time to a place famous for fun and frolic, The Moulin Rouge.
At the Moulin Rouge (Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1892, Art Institute of Chicago). Now the Moulin Rouge was a cabaret built in 1889 and famous for all kinds of notorious goings on, including professional ladies dancing the can-can, sometimes sans underpants. We know a lot about this place largely because Toulouse-Lautrec produced paintings and illustrations that brought it to such stunning life—so identified was he with this decadent aspect of Parisian life that he was known as the “soul of Monmartre” the district where the cabaret was located. In any case, however accurate a depiction of the club that this painting aspires to, there is one puzzling feature. There is a table with an unmolested water bottle. Now surely the whole scene is much more realistic with the inclusions of a demimondaine Hound about to filch it. Wimsey At the Moulin Rouge.
Well time to go unwrap the Christmas presents Maria thinks I don’t know about. I do so love to shred seasonal paper, ribbons and packaging—it’s the best part of a gift!
Until next time,
Wimsey, Santa’s large stinky helper
PS: Note to New York City: Lock up your Santa hats!
Friday, December 7, 2007
Entry # 44
Posted by Wimsey at 9:04 PM