Friday, February 23, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

February 23, 2007
Entry # 5

Hello Everyone. It is me, Wimsey. Well, as you can probably predict, I am in trouble again this week with Maria (my human) and Elizabeth (a friend of hers) for gloating about being right about not being too fat—at least not according to my breeder and show handler. Of course there are people who think everyone is too fat—Dr. Phil springs to mind somehow. He would probably encourage me to count out the individual pieces of kibble and only eat half of them. Of course dieting when you subsist on kibble is not all that difficult, so perhaps I should pay for my excessive upkeep by writing a bestselling diet book. Maybe something like: “Lose Weight the Wimsey Way: The Nibble the Kibble Diet.” And when dieters are not nibbling the kibble they can participate in The Wimsey Exercise Plan: towing heavy, resisting objects at the end of a long leash, greeting guests by running, jumping and launching, hopping on and off the furniture repeatedly, no paws barred wrestling, and the classic: running away from angry people one has just goosed. I also highly recommend stalking squirrels in extreme slo-mo as an excellent way to improve muscle strength and balance. It is very similar to Tai chi. And of course, you would be able to order Wimsey’s special Fat Burning Kibble direct from Wimsey Diet Enterprises, Inc (“WIDE”) at some ridiculous price to help convince you of how efficacious it is. And what special diet food would be complete be without a secret (and very expensive) ingredient: “…It is a common myth that people who inhabit the jungles of the Amazon are thin because they have no food. Not so! Recent investigations undertaken by the Wimsey Anthropological Group have discovered that Amazonian natives stay trim by ingesting assorted glands of the Creamy Bellied Gnatcatcher. And now for a mere pittance you too can share the joys of protuberant bones and sunken cheeks with these eternally trim native peoples …”

But I digress. Anyway, this week with my humans it’s been all: “Look, Wimsey is gloating” and “Wimsey is insufferable when he gloats. and “Of course, Wimsey is insufferable when he’s doesn’t gloat,” etc. etc. etc. You can imagine the kind of stuff. But I am a good tempered hound and never take offense at their comments. Now if one of them were to sink their teeth into me, it would be another matter entirely. Humans who are scared of words have clearly never been jumped by an irate Rottweiler.

Now this week I have also been asked quite a bit if I am suffering from post-Westminster let down. Well, in a way I wish I were, as perhaps this would discourage Maria and Elizabeth. They have had their heads buried together in show schedules all week and I have heard much talk of handling classes and clickers, etc. Clearly they thought we all had so much fun showing at Westminster that they intend for the bon temps to continue to rouler, so to speak. Of course, they still have to convince me not to pace and to stand in that weird position (good luck) but all of that is going to pretty much require my weight in turkey, so I am not entirely displeased (125 lbs is a lot of turkey!) And then there are the abundant and public misbehaving opportunities to look forward to.

The other delightful event of this week was something everyone calls “President’s Day” but I call “Wimsey Day”. Of course Maria and Elizabeth tell me that every day seems to turn into Wimsey Day, but this was an official Wimsey Day. Elizabeth spent the morning distracting me so Maria could work on the computer (on my website, naturally). Now generally, the use of the computer is an activity that I discourage. I balance my hind legs on the Tribute Couch and plant my front legs squarely on Maria and thus completely obscure her view of the computer screen. And of course, shifting me from that position requires more upper body strength than Maria possesses, (she is always threatening to take up bodybuilding to thwart me). Anyway, it is not that I am inherently opposed to technology—I enjoy trying to eat the cell phone as much as the next canine—but use of the computer distracts from attention to me, which is always undesirable. Also, it will make you fat. On Wimsey Day, however, I magnanimously permitted the use of the computer in exchange for Elizabeth’s undivided attention to my scratching and wrestling needs. Afterwards, the three of us went on a 2 ½ hour trot (or should I say pace) through Central Park-- all part of the Wimsey fitness plan. These ladies should always remember that they owe their fine figures to me! My only regret is that we have had a paucity of snow this year. Now last year it was a great winter, at least for me. Elizabeth immersed herself in mountaineering websites trying to identify footwear of sufficient traction and crampons of sufficient length and pointiness to allow her to remain upright whilst walking me (did I mention that I outweigh her and that as she is petite, she topples marvelously with surprisingly little effort). I wish I had been there when all these salesmen inquired as to which glacier she intended tackling and she was forced to admit that there was no glacier, just a bloodhound.

Now before I retire to contemplate my burgeoning diet business, I want to say that one of the best things about having a blog are all the friends one makes out here in the blogoshpere. Recently, I have become aware of a young Newfoundland called Nanook who is a puppy after my own heart ( Not only is he very large and drooly like me, but great minds think alike. He too has realized the hilarity that ensues when petite humans are at the other end of a leash and is he is rapidly discovering the joys of thwarting human aims (very character improving for them too, I always say). And, like me, he is subject to a surprisingly similar assortment of fatuous human questions and comments such as: “How big is he?” (wanna wrestle and find out?) “Does he drool?”(step over here and let me answer that) “How much does he eat?” (more than you can and look this good) “What kind of dog is he?” (if you have to ask, you don’t want one) and “Look at the size of those paws” (you know what they say about the size of the paws...)

And of course, there is also my friend Boomer from California, ( who exhibits a fine irrepressible, canine spirit (although he does have a cat!) Now the great thing about canines is that however much we may differ in appearance or temperament or lifestyle from each other, there is always more that unites us than that separates us. I am sure that when George Washington and the Founding Fathers adopted “E pluribus unum” as our national motto they looked to us canines as their inspiration. Out of the many (breeds), One (desire to be maximally inconvenient to humans).

OK. Time to shred the new Chinese takeout menu that has just been slipped under the door.

Until next week.

All the best,


P.S: George Washington kept a pack of hounds and Abraham Lincoln had a mixed breed called Fido. Perhaps current presidential aspirants should take note of the positive correlation between dog ownership and becoming president… (Although I am not sure that a President with a bloodhound would be such a good idea—think of the potential for international drool incidents, shredded treaties and disrupted congressional meetings, etc).

Friday, February 16, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

February 16, 2007
Entry # 4

Hello everyone. Wimsey here. Well, I have been vindicated at last! I can’t tell you how immensely satisfying it is to be right and for Maria (my human) and Elizabeth (a friend of hers) to be wrong. I love to be right and for it to be shown publicly that I am right is even better. I am sure you all know the feeling. It is even better than a handful of liver treats.

Anyway, if you remember, last week Maria and Elizabeth were engaged in this absurd conversation about the possibility of me being too fat. I have noticed that human females seem to spend excessive amounts of time in these lengthy, and frankly pointless conversations about whether they are too fat (in my experience, discussing fat is not a good strategy for its eradication). Or worse yet, they conduct intensive discussions about the possibility of specific garments making them look fat. I am always being interrogated on such topics as “Wimsey, do you think these jeans make me look fat?”(even being a bloodhound does not exempt me from these questions)—to which the obvious reply is “Trust me, when you get done exercising me to the degree to which I intend that I should be exercised, not only will you not have the energy to ask inane questions, but you will need suspenders to hold up those mysteriously fat creating jeans.” The proper exercising of me is simply not compatible with excess body fat. Funny how the solution to so many human problems is the acquisition of a large bloodhound.

But I digress. On Sunday Maria and Elizabeth drove me out to New Jersey to be inspected by my show handler and my breeder. Far from thinking I was too fat, you should have heard these ladies—it was all “Oooh, Wimsey looks sooo good” and “Oooh, look at that muscle definition” and “Look at Wimsey’s color—such a beautiful, rich mahogany.” And this from people who actually know what I am supposed to look like. (Of course it was pretty weird that they were talking about me like I wasn’t there or couldn’t understand them or anything, but I imagine this kind of thing happens to Gisele Bundchen all the time). Well all of this well deserved admiration put me in a pretty cooperative mood, so I allowed my handler to stack me properly and trotted rather than paced for her. Now I don’t want you to get the erroneous impression that I always behave for her either. There was that memorable time when I reared up and took off with her across a show ring. Show collars and leashes are amazingly flimsy things you know. I am afraid she has never forgiven me, but as long as you weren’t her, it was pretty funny.

Well, finally this Tuesday, Westminster Day arrived and it was a blast, I can tell you: A brisk walk with Maria and Elizabeth at 5:30am, a ride in my private Pet Chauffeur taxi at 7 and my humans hauling and toting all my stuff! Amazing how much stuff I require to make me comfortable. And of course, a ring with sixteen gorgeous, majestic bloodhounds and none as handsome as I, although I am told the judge did not agree with this assessment. But no matter, we have agreed to disagree, he and I. And I did give everyone a break, much to their astonishment, by behaving myself—at least in the ring. Now I fancy that although I apparently did not win on looks, I certainly did on charm. I would most definitely have been named Mr. Congeniality, if such an award existed at dog shows. It is a shocking omission that it does not. When out of my crate, (perfumed with used sheets and t shirts, of course), I was the focus of everyone’s attention. The admiration! The petting! The cameras! The public could not get enough of me and who could blame them: when people squatted down to greet me, I climbed on them—the better to get a view of my surroundings—when they had water bottles, I relieved them of the burden of carrying them, and when the mood struck me I raised my fine voice in song --to the wondrous delight of all present. I spread a quantity of drool, in spite of Elizabeth’s over enthusiastic use of the drool rag, and received the ultimate accolade—a multi-handed belly rub by the folks manning (or rather womanning) the ASPCA booth. And such goosing opportunities as is seldom seen in this life! So many fine derrieres to sneak up upon and to poke my nose into, much to the startled surprise of their owners. I never tire of this excellent activity. Is it any wonder that I am such a popular Hound? And of course, I received so many warm words of support from those of you reading this, and from the folks at New York Running Paws who run me in the park every day (hence my fine muscle definition) and from friends and neighbors on the Upper West Side. It takes a major metropolis, after all, to raise a bloodhound. Such a shame that Westminster comes only once a year!

But something even more cataclysmic happened to me at Westminster. I fell in love! It is always when one is never expecting these things that they happen. Just like with humans--they can spend hours on and then one day they are buying kibble in the bodega, wondering if their dog is too fat, and boom—the love of their life can appear. In my case, the object of my adoration is named Bizzy and she was Hound Number 15—right next to me on the Westminster bench. She is the most gorgeous, sweet tempered, serene (someone has to be) liver colored female I have ever laid nose upon. And, as is often the way of these things, I have never in the past fancied myself much of a liver colored man. Personally, I have always found the liver colored ladies a little too bland and washed out to appeal to my vibrant senses. I always imagined I would end up with a fiery redhead. But then there she was---this magnificent girl whose liver colored coat glowed like burnished gold, like sweet honey, like the summer sun, like a rich slab of butter waiting to be stolen off the kitchen counter. And her beautiful, soulful brown eyes dragged downwards by a preponderance of exquisitely deep wrinkles--it was enough to make a grown bloodhound bay (It is a great travesty, by the way, that humans see fit to undergo expensive and painful surgery to eliminate their wrinkles. Some species have no taste whatsoever). Well, what more can be said about this spectacular golden girl. It is not for nothing that humans use the word “bitchin’” as a term of extreme approbation. Bizzy lives in Kansas and I have instructed Maria to start checking the show schedules in the Midwest forthwith. Long distance relationships can be so stressful.

Well, time for one last prowl around to see if Maria foolishly left anything exciting around for me to destroy and then it’s nap time. I must keep up my strength. We have had a good icy snowfall here in New York City and it would not be winter if I could not send one of my humans skidding on their bottoms at least once this season.

All my best,


Friday, February 9, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

February 9, 2007
Entry # 3

Hi everyone, it’s me Wimsey. Well, I just want to say that this whole Westminster thing has gotten completely out of hand. The other night I heard Maria (my human) and Elizabeth (a friend of hers) discussing whether I was too fat to be shown at Westminster! Can you believe it? Me? Fat?? Why, I am clearly all muscle (and a lot of skin, of course). And big boned.

It is even more insulting because last year all I heard about was how skinny I was. It was all “Look at how skinny Wimsey is,” “The judges don’t like skinny bloodhounds,” “Why is Wimsey so skinny?” and “Here Wimsey, have something to eat.” All of this from Maria whose bones I can feel poking me when I sit on her. Talk about a double standard. You don’t see me jabbing her in the ribs all the time. Well, actually I do, but it’s not related to body fat issues. Now this year, here is Elizabeth sitting on My Couch declaring that I have an awfully big butt. Well, excuse me, but no one is ever going to accuse Elizabeth of having insufficient junk in the trunk. I mean does she ever look at herself from behind? And I have a big butt??? Anyway, all this focus on body image is quite distressing and enough to send me into therapy. Going into therapy has been on my “to do” list for quite some time anyway, as I am a New York dog, and being in therapy is a major part of our fun lifestyle here in New York City. Plus, any activity that involves reclining on a couch gets my vote. All this criticism of my size is giving me quite a complex—perhaps I can interest Oprah in doing a show on dogs emotionally traumatized by weight issues. And how exactly does one calculate the Body Mass Index of a dog anyway?

In any case, being big is part of my genetic legacy. Last year at Westminster my breeder said I am just like my daddy Stetson, a rambunctious hound who was all gangly and weedy looking until one day the breeder said she woke up and he was absolutely enormous (as an aside, it has been an enduring disappointment to me that I was not given a cool, macho name like Stetson. Couldn’t they at least have called me something like “Colt” or “Johnny Ringo” or something)? I am apparently going to see my breeder again on Sunday when my show handler is scheduled to inspect me. I am hoping that however much they may decry my desire to pace instead of trot, my breeder and handler will set Maria and Elizabeth straight as to the beautiful and desirable nature of my enhanced proportions. After all, The Bloodhound Club of France describes me as “A Massive Sleuth Hound” in their website’s English translation. Personally, I am hoping that my breeder will be so impressed by my beauty and charm that she will decide I must be bred immediately.

On a more positive Westminster topic, I am wholly approving of all the plans being laid to make me as comfortable as possible during the show. Apparently Maria and Elizabeth plan on lining my crate with the sheets they each have been sleeping on for the last two weeks. Elizabeth has been busy working out in the same t-shirt to make sure it has an especially potent aroma for me to enjoy in my crate throughout the day. While all this is pretty good and very thoughtful, I personally would prefer to sleep on a pile of dirty underwear. Maria has absolutely vetoed this as she said she doubts the Westminster stewards would approve of the sight of me snoozing atop a mound of ladies lingerie.

But of course, undergarments have the most delightful smell imaginable to me, as Elizabeth found out to her detriment. From time to time, I spend my afternoons over at her place, and I have to tell you that she is not, despite her mother’s imprecations, the neatest human being on the planet. But then I hear “Wimsey, what is my brassiere doing on the sofa?” Well of course the brassiere is where I dropped it after removing it from the pile of underwear that she has carelessly left lying around (I stowed her socks behind the computer for later investigation, by the way). The shoes that she is too lazy to put back in the closet are also a great source of entertainment, especially when she has to figure out where I moved them to when she wants to go out. Ditto when the book that she was reading migrates to unexpected locations. It’s all kind of like a treasure hunt. And of course Elizabeth has discovered that clothing left hanging on door knobs inexplicably acquires patches of drool (did I mention I like to snuffle clothing?). Anyway, the great thing is that she has now learned, thanks to me, to put all her clothes away. What her mother was not able to accomplish over many years of pleading, threatening and nagging, I, Wimsey, have achieved in a remarkable few days! Perhaps I should commercialize this service: “The Wimsey School of Domestic Science and Hygiene.” I am becoming a master trainer of humans. Elizabeth always thinks that she trains me, but frankly all the evidence points to the contrary. Anyway, the fact that Elizabeth puts away her clothes forces me to attack the pile of recyclables that she thinks she has hidden behind the kitchen door. It is not for nothing that I am called a Massive Sleuth Hound!! Of course, Maria is already very well trained—she puts away everything, including the furniture. “Destruction hath no fury like a bloodhound bored” and all that.

Well, as pleasant as this visit with you has been, I have to catch up on my rest. This is going to be quite a week for me. Saturday I cruise by the vet’s for my Westminster health certificate— going to the vet is actually an enjoyable experience for me as they make a seriously huge amount of fuss over me and lots of scratching and cooing occurs amid cries of “Oh isn’t Wimsey lovely!” Then off to the groomer’s for a luxury bath and massage and lots more squealing, cooing and scratching. Of course, as much as I enjoy my bath, it does remove, at least temporarily, some of my fine, strong hound scent. I never understood the purpose of this, as we hounds are a delightfully strong smelling lot. And of course we like to distribute this fine aroma amongst our humans, so however much they may bathe themselves and us, they will always smell like us anyway.

Then on Sunday I get to ride out to New Jersey to embarrass Maria and Elizabeth in front of my show handler and my breeder (“I thought you said you were working with him….”). On Monday, I prepare myself for the big show through a long session of quiet, extremely deep meditation accompanied by rhythmic breathing exercises on the Tribute Couch On Tuesday all my gear will be assembled—Maria and Elizabeth have actually compiled quite an impressive list of stuff for my comfort and enjoyment, although the first five items consist of assorted drool rags. I will then tow Maria and Elizabeth to Central Park for a delightful pre-dawn romp and energize myself for my coming performance and all the meeting and greeting of my public that lay ahead. A special taxi is picking us all up and taking us to Madison Square Garden and America’s most famous dog show! I get to hang out all day with 15 fellow bloodhounds and believe me, the drool will fly. Maybe attendees approaching our bench should be issued those Plexiglas shields used by riot police. Just a thought. I can’t wait to tell you all about it next week...

May The Drool Be With You,


Friday, February 2, 2007

February 2, 2007
Entry # 2

Hello there everyone! It’s me, Wimsey, again bringing you the latest on my life as a New York bloodhound. As you can see, I hope to be able to update you every week or so with my news and views.

Well, I have to say, I got into a tremendous amount of trouble with Maria and Elizabeth (my human and a friend of hers) over my last blog. They strenuously objected to the amount of time I spent discussing my testicles. “Excessive” and “unnecessary” were words I heard bandied about all this week and “how embarrassing” and “how naughty of Wimsey,” etc. etc. etc. (as I once heard Yul Bryner say in that movie that my human has watched but won’t admit to seeing because it is an old, sappy chick flick). Anyway, my position is that since neither Maria nor Elizabeth are themselves in possession of any testicles whatsoever, they are not in a position to criticize my discussion of them. They could not possibly appreciate the degree of interest and enthusiasm that we males assign to all things testicular.

Frankly, given Maria and Elizabeth’s lack of comprehension, it is no wonder that they are both still single. This condition exists, I might add, through no fault of my own. I continually try to rectify the situation by introducing them to men— in fact, I pride myself on being the ultimate wing man. After all, who else is willing to use their nose to poke likely boyfriends in their backsides and then lean ingratiatingly into their bodies (thereby allowing potential suitors to demonstrate their strength and balance, not to mention their tolerance for drool), if not me? And if human males were inclined not to notice Maria or Elizabeth, my mere presence makes this an unlikely scenario. In fact, I think I am the perfect man magnet: human males look at me and see themselves—I am large, I am messy, I have a relaxed attitude towards hygiene, I scratch myself in impolite places and I like to eat foods that are not necessarily good for me with less than perfect table manners. Yes, men look at me and see a delightful canine reflection, as it were. And how could they fail to be impressed by any female holding the leash of such an awesome, yet somehow reassuringly familiar creature? Men immediately know that there will be no pesky arguments about picking up socks and such with my canine presence and paraphernalia littering the domestic landscape. Nothing they do could possibly be worse than what I do. Anyway, I feel that if I do not take these social matters into my own hands Maria could end up with a terribly inappropriate guy-- like someone who objects to my nose in his morning cornflakes for instance. Or, worse yet, she could decide to collect cats. For myself I never understood the attraction that single women have for living with too many cats. On the face of it, it would not seem to be socially enhancing. On the other hand, a large, social bloodhound seems like an ideal solution. I have demonstrated this many times by dragging my humans over to suitable males creating such icebreakers as “Oh, I’m sorry, did Wimsey do that to your cashmere coat” or “the drool will come out in the wash” or “he only sits on top of people he really likes” or “Wimsey, get off of that nice man’s dog.”

Of course, the real shame is that I am not permitted into bars and restaurants where I can more fully exert my man-trolling capabilities. I am, however, allowed in at the Boat Basin Café. This is one of my favorite places in New York—an outdoor café on the Hudson with a beautiful view, lots of other dogs to say hi to and of course lots of people to admire my majestic presence and resonant –some say ear splitting-- baying. Now to be able to bay with such éclat is a major advantage in life. Whenever I want to attract attention (which is most of the time) or am bored or just for the sheer joy of it, I raise my nose to the heavens, inhale deeply and let fly with a rich, magnificent sound that carries for miles. It is such a beautiful sound that Maria uses it as her ring tone to immensely comic effect with unsuspecting bystanders. And once, while escorting me to a photo shoot for my book, Elizabeth tried desperately to remain inconspicuous amongst all the Fifth Avenue business types. Well, I was having none of it—inconspicuousness being anathema to my being—and I bayed my way down the entire Avenue. You can only imagine how mortified the reserved Elizabeth was, shepherding a large baying hound down the center of one of the metropolis’ most elegant thoroughfares and drawing the astonished stares of the multitude! I think her skin looks most attractive when it is that shade of bright pink.

Of course, I also bay when I want something that I am not getting, in order to call immediate attention to this deficiency. Humans have been known to give me what I want just to get me to be quiet. I frequently use my bay to convince tourists and other members of my public to hand over their plastic beverage bottles so that I may play with them. I have actually had to steal very few. Humans seem delighted to fork over their bottles
whenever I bay for them. Sometimes they even empty them out themselves to make it more convenient for me. Maria and Elizabeth have given up asking people not to give me their bottles—they claim it only encourages me—but fortunately members of the public have better sense and see nothing wrong with encouraging me. Of course, members of the public don’t have to live with me either.

Well, it is getting late and I am already overdue for my nap on my Tribute Couch. The Tribute Couch, by the way, is really just a regular couch but Elizabeth has “trained” me to run onto it as an alternative to launching myself at her when she comes through the door. She claims that one of my giant paws once came close to giving her a tracheotomy, but I think she exaggerates. Anyway, when she comes in, I run to the couch where I have trained her to pay tribute to me by scratching me all over with both her hands and allowing me to shove my wrinkles, jowls and drool into her face; I then balance on my hind legs and lean into the back of the couch (“Wimsey’s being a Pasha again”) exposing all of my underside for further scratching. Delightful. I am so happy Elizabeth created the Tribute Couch.

Until next time,


PS: Westminster plans proceed apace. My trip to my show handler was mercifully postponed, but trotting for turkey and the assembling of gear to make me comfy in the benching area of the Garden is coming along nicely.