Friday, December 28, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 47
December 28, 2007

Hello everyone, Wimsey here. Hope you all had a good Christmas—I myself got a bath and an assortment of toys, including the first of two giant (read: Wimsey sized) rawhide bones. My human Maria’s friend Elizabeth got an apartment full of wet dog hair and a couch full of drool. We Hounds can be so generous.

Can you believe that this is the last post of 2007! And naturally with the end of the year my New Year’s Resolution is to be a better Hound. This of course means more drool, more loud singing and much more towing. (Elizabeth, by the way, is fast becoming the Imelda Marcos of outdoor footwear-- she has been accumulating an alarming array of shoes and boots all guaranteed to defeat The Wimsey in snowy conditions. I wish her a lot of luck with that one, especially as we are having a very mild winter so far. I think all the things she bought would make much better chew toys and I have definitely resolved to raid her shoe closet at the earliest opportunity--no one can tell me that those big fuzzy Ugg boots were not designed for houndly chewing pleasure). Anyway, all this emphasis on Hound control puts me in mind to design a new video game:

Xtreme Hounding v.1.1 (Wimsey: A Lethal Weapon On the Move)

New in 2008! The gaming sensation guaranteed to waste the maximum number of hours per day—why you won’t even notice that the day has passed! Forget those pesky jobs, chores, and errands. Enter the world of Xtreme Hounding and you will never want to actually move again!

Hook yourself up to the strongest, most willful, most power-hungry Hound yet and attempt to successfully navigate a circuit around New York’s scenic (yet deceptively dangerous) Central Park.

Beware of high velocity turns and unpredictable obstacles (especially when the Hound searches for a place to poop) as your Hound charges, lunges and bays his way through New York City’s most treacherous terrain--taking you with him!

Battle the random appearances of fellow canines—the friendly off-leash ones who will tempt your leashed Hound into an arm dislocating game of chase (you must complete the circuit with two functioning arms in order to move to Level Two) and the Foes (some of whom craftily appear friendly) who want to rip your Hound (and failing that, you) apart. Both you and your Hound must remain unblemished to earn maximum tier points and advance.

Navigate the obstacle course of dog walkers—some with dog packs, some with coffee, some with flexis, some talking on their cell phones and some who have it all!

Master geometry whilst increasing your agility as you scoop poop from the impossible places your wily Hound has deposited it for you.

Keep your Hound from knocking down undersized, curious children, chasing screaming running ones and totaling the elderly population (some with walkers!), all of whom want to pat your Hound on the head.

Resist as your Hound tries to wrap you around trees, drown you in the Park’s many lakes and fountains and filch personal property from stray tourists.

Avoid fist flights with malevolent strangers whose designer togs have been slimed and whose toned derrieres have been goosed. You must remain cool in the face of belligerent pop ups who hurl abuse at you because your Hound has testicles or because he lives in New York (and not in “the country” far away from them).

And of course when your Hound embarks upon a scent trail, you must keep up, no matter what the terrain or looming obstacles!

Note: choose your equipment and apparel wisely—rainstorms, mud holes, slick grass and loose footing abound.

Succeed in Your Mission and move on to the next level where you will have to cope with heavier and more numerous Hounds as you try additionally to defeat city streets, pet shop visits, the show ring and meals at sidewalk cafes!

Well anyway, even without my new video game, the coming year is going to start off with a bang here at Hound Headquarters. My human received the news this week that I will once again be allowed into the hallowed precincts of The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (will they never learn: 12 hours of benching =12 hours of Wimsey singing) to display my houndly charms. And guess what—I know you will all be as amused as I was—I will be handled by Elizabeth!

Maria gave Elizabeth the entry acceptance in her Christmas present. Talk about a lump of coal! The fact is that I am the Master of the Unstack and the Grandmaster of The Pace. All of which means I decline to leave my feet where they have been so carefully placed and I don’t trot, I pace (an ugly but thoroughly enjoyable gait wherein I use both legs on the same side of my body—makes me look like FrankenDog and very few Hounds have mastered it to my extent). Then of course, there is the “trop” my signature gait, in which you can’t actually tell whether I am trotting or pacing!

Anyway, Elizabeth is once again digging out those annoying trotting poles that I thought I had seen the last of (did you know that you can actually gallop through these) and we are to have trotting and stacking practice in the evenings. And once again my humans will be trying to come up with some innovative ways to get me to stand and to trot (poles, clickers, liver, squeals of delight at my performance, cries of “Trot Wimsey Trot”) and once again I will do just what I please. Aren’t intelligent people supposed to learn from their mistakes? The show is February 11th and 12th and I will be providing more details as they become available. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is off to Bloomingdales on a frantic hunt for festive clothing that will flatter my color and shape (Saleswoman: “Madam are you looking for clothes for an apple or a pear shape?” Elizabeth: “Really more of a tube sock with four legs, actually.”) After those ugly green show pants this summer, I can hardly wait.

Anyway, this is a short holiday post because I have lots of work to do on my giant rawhide and I need to save my strength for tonight’s pacing practice (I also need to save my strength for the extensive amount of baying that I do throughout the practice because I know that Elizabeth has a pocketful of turkey and I want it; she thinks she uses the turkey to reward my trotting, but I know it is really to reward my baying).

But before I pace off, I do want to pay our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. This week we are looking at a famous painting of rural life:
The Gleaners (Jean-Francois Millet, 1857, Musee d’Orsay). Millet was one of the most renowned painters of the Barbizon School—named for a village near the Forest of Fontainebleau in France. These painters were interested in painting nature in a more realistic style than had previously been done. Nevertheless, Millet’s painting shocked the art critics when it was exhibited. The monumental and dignified appearance of the peasants was apparently unheard of and the act of gleaning or picking up what was left after the harvest smacked of socialism. Well, the terms “monumental” and “dignified” define The Hound, and we hounds are all about taking stuff from the rich (as well as from everyone else too). But see how more dramatic the painting is with the insertion of a monumental and dignified Hound, helpfully defending the rights of the gleaners whilst engaging in a little gleaning himself. Who would dare interfere with them when they are in the presence of such a handsome and imposing animal? (I myself do quite a bit of gleaning—I glean dirty socks from the laundry bin and chunks of food from the dining room table). The Gleaning Hound

Well time to give Wolf Blitzer another interview on the state of my tush, which seems to be slowly improving. Probably they would be happier with a more dramatic headline such as “Wimsey’s Tush-- Inflamed!”

Happy New Year,

Wimsey, The Xtreme Showdog


Randi said...

Oh Wimsey! You are gonna be at Westminster? That's doggone awesome! Can you please let everyone know how you do? & I don't mean winning..I mean how many drool towels you'll go through, how many slobber goobs you'll leave on strangers & how many groins you'll poke with your super sniffer..its bound to be a fablulous day for you!

Love & Licks,

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

Congratulations on getting to Westchester! I hear Connecticut is a great place! Oh wait. Westminster! You are a top dog! Can we have your pawtograph? Will there be Wimsey art tee shirts? Wimsey dog cookies? A commemorative version of Wimsey Pace Picante sauce?

Biggie-Z said...

WOWOWOWIMSEY! Congratulations!! I don't think my daddy is making it to Westminster this year. He and my mommy was too busy making puppies (I was an accident) and so I don't think he made it to very many shows last year.

I think your pace looks quite spectacular and shows off your big muscles so nicely. I will look for you and send my Mommy off tofind you in February.

P.S. Trotting is easy, I have a very nice trot but Mommy says we are too lazy for the ring. I prefer to be a specutator. Congrats again and I think the video game sounds like a great idea.

Biggie-Z said...

P.P.S. But my sister Spirit is going to start showing soon and my big brother Dani is going to keep working on his championship, if he doesn't drive Mama Clare crazy first with all his marking. Do you mark? I'm just learning how. Orange traffic cones are good practice.