January 26, 2007: New York City
Hi there! It’s me, Wimsey, the gi-normormous upper west side bloodhound and this is my first blog—or bloodhound log, as I am sure the word was intended to mean.
Well, things are really heating up here in my little upper west side canine kingdom. I am going to be shown at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and my human, Maria, and a friend of hers called Elizabeth are both in quite a dither about getting me ready. I am going to be judged along with a huge class of 15 other bloodhounds to see which one of us is best. Personally, it doesn’t matter what the judges say, I know who is best, and that would be me. Consequently, I have put less than my full degree of attention (if I can be said to have any degree of attention at all) into these frenzied preparations. Apparently I am supposed to trot up and down the ring. Well, I don’t like trotting much—I think the “pace” is a much nicer gait (pacing is where I move forward with the front and rear leg on the same side of my body, instead of the opposite sides as in a trot) and it gives me a nice solid lumbering gait, which causes my humans to shriek “he’s pacing, he’s pacing!!!” repeatedly. Well of course I am pacing, I like to do it and I am a big believer in always doing the things I like to do. Anyway, the “cure” for all this heinous pacing is apparently to put poles in my way—these incredibly annoying things my humans refer to as cavalettis—which unfortunately forces me to trot. The good news is after the humans are done yelling “trot Wimsey, trot” at me, they feed me pieces of turkey.
And then I go back to pacing.
It’s all colossal good fun. Humans are supposed to be so smart; you would have thought that they would have learned long ago that trying to get me to do anything that I don’t want to do is pretty well impossible. In any case, I thought it would have been obvious that if I started trotting all the time it would be the end of all the turkey feeding. I find it pretty amazing that human managed to take over the planet. Maybe there is a secret group of really smart ones.
Anyway, when they are done with the trotting thing, they then attempt to get me to stack. Now in my opinion, the only things that should be stacked are inanimate objects like cans of dog food and such. Definitely not an actual dog. Well, stacking me involves trying to get me to stand still (right) and stay in this really weird position with my legs pulled out behind me. They say it shows off my top line. I say it is perfectly obvious that I have a straight back without getting into some anatomically convoluted position. Well, of course as soon as they put my feet in the “stacked” position, I move them back into the “Wimsey” position. This elicits wails of “he’s not stacking!” Very observant there, ladies. May I suggest working with cans of dog food.
Now because of my lack of cooperation in the show preparation area, this Sunday I am apparently going to be carted off to my show handler’s house in New Jersey so she can see just how difficult I am being. Diane is a famous handler and a formidable lady, and I am busy deciding whether it would be more fun to behave perfectly just to tease Maria and Elizabeth or whether I should make her crazy too. Stay tuned…
All of this does not imply, by the way, that I in any way object to showing. Being in a ring with all eyes and attention focused on me—what could be better or more appropriate. Although I must say that at first the judge squeezing my testicles did give me pause, but now I have come to enjoy this admiration and attention being paid to one of my favorite parts of my anatomy. After all, no one really stops my humans on the street and squeals “Oh what a lovely dog—he’s got such beautiful testicles!” (although from to time some construction worker type guys do admire their generous proportions and prominence. Eat your hearts out, guys). And no one says “Oooh, Wimsey, let me give your testicles a nice scratch, although they seem to be very enthusiastic about scratching the rest of me. And of course in New York City it is apparently politically incorrect to have a dog with testicles at all. Poor Maria is always having to deal with people recoiling in horror screeching: “That dog has testicles!! Why does that dog have testicles!?” Now, deficient as my education has been, it has always been my impression that the possession of testicles is rather part and parcel of being a male mammal, so I never understood what all the fuss was about (especially as the judges seem to find them so attractive). In any case, all this hooha means my humans are always on the defensive to justify this testicular presence as I simply can’t be shown without the usual complement. Chalk up another plus for the show ring! And of course, testicles, in addition to being aesthetically pleasing, are very useful and would come in rather handy should I ever be bred (a concept of which I highly approve, by the way). This potential breeding activity is a constant source of discussion between Maria and Elizabeth: Maria being favorable to the idea and Elizabeth opining that one Wimsey is more than sufficient and that unleashing a litter of additional Wimseys is simply unfair to the human race. “A little Wimsey goes a long way” she always says as she heads for the gin bottle after a session with me. So the long and the short of it is that judicial admiration to my nether parts has turned out to be a rather pleasant perk of the show ring.
However, the ring action is only one part of the fun of Westminster. I get to stand next to my human while the general public make a huge fuss over me and she has to smile and agree with them about what a wonderful dog I am (one day her nose is going to be as long as mine, although never as majestic and powerful)—conveniently forgetting the black eye I gave her a few weeks ago during a wrestling match as well as various other sundry failings, such as eating her chair cushions. Did I mention, by the way, that I am an avid wrestler? Interspecies wrestling is one of my very favorite activities and the best thing is, that when I want to wrestle, wrestling happens since any attempts to stop me from wrestling really just results in more wrestling—don’t quite think the humans have figured that out yet. Anyway, I am quite proficient at it too as I have come to use my newly expanded full adult size. I weigh a splendid 126 pounds (that’s over 57 kilos for those of you in the rest of the world and 9 stone for the quaint residents of the British Isles). I had a most successful bout over Thanksgiving when Elizabeth was caring for me while Maria was out of town. Elizabeth cooked a delicious turkey and after partaking of a large bowl of turkey, rice and yams I was feeling pretty frisky. Well, Elizabeth had this totally adorable guest—one of the smallest adult humans I have ever laid eyes on and I decided to wrestle her while she was attempting to drink her pre-prandial cocktail. Of course I first investigated the cocktail thoroughly—it was called a caipirnha, by the way—didn’t much care for it myself, I am much more interested in sticking my tongue and a good bit of drool into a delicious glass of red wine amid shrieks of “Eeekk! Eeeek! Wimsey’s put his tongue in my wine again!” (I am after all named Wimsey after Lord Peter Wimsey who was a noted oeneophile, so I don’t understand why people are so surprised by my love of the grape). Anyway, the Thanksgiving bout was hugely entertaining—cocktail flying in all directions, much squealing by the little human (they tell me she is actually a vet, so she should be used to wrestling large determined beasts like myself) and finally I simply sat on her and immobilized her completely with my huge and shapely paws. Elizabeth had to come to her rescue and the little human understandably declined my offer of two falls out of three. Unfortunately I was exiled to my crate (otherwise known as going to jail) for the actual eating of the meal, but it was well worth it. One of my finest bouts.
Well, I think I will sign off now. My human is due home at any moment and she hates when I use the computer. You’d think all the drool on the keyboard would be a dead give away.
Talk to you again soon,