Entry # 50
January 18, 2008
Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey, reporting from the sadly snowless streets of New York City. Last week we were expecting a monster storm and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth were all braced for the additional hilarity that ensues when I am walked on snow. But, alas, the snow was not to be. The storm missed us, so I will have to wait yet some more until I can pit the proven prowess of the Wimsey Snow Tow against the purported traction of the Solomon Snow Clog and the Giant (ugly and expensive) Ugg boot. Anyway, I do like the way humans give storms names—I think Typhoon Wimsey has a certain ring to it, although to my knowledge we don’t get many typhoons here in Manhattan. I suppose I would have to settle for Blizzard Wimsey (or this year Snow Flurry Wimsey) which somehow doesn’t convey the same sense of drama. And as we know I am all about drama. And lately, I am proud to say, the continuing drama of my infected anal glands has engendered a cult following amongst Maria’s co-workers. Each day brings them another riveting installment:
All My Anal Glands
Vet: Nurse, look! Wimsey’s anal glands are infected!
Nurse: Will it cause him to go into a coma doctor?
Vet: I don’t think so, although the infection is being caused by an antibiotic resistant bacteria.
Nurse: Perhaps it will escape from Wimsey’s anal glands and cause a global pandemic?
Vet: Unlikely, but then Wimsey does like to spread the contents of his posterior about quite a bit.
Nurse: Nevertheless, maybe this isn’t Wimsey at all but an evil twin (or better yet—a clone!) who is bent on wreaking global havoc with his anal glands. Perhaps the real Wimsey is locked in a crate on the Upper West Side subsisting on kibble and water?
Vet: Well this animal does seem inordinately compliant, which as we know is not really Wimsey’s usual style, so he could be an imposter masquerading as Wimsey.
Nurse: How did Wimsey acquire this anal gland infection?
Vet: He doesn’t know—he has amnesia.
Nurse: That happens quite a lot. Anyway, it’s time to go commit adultery in the supply closet.
Well, all joking aside, Maria’s colleagues do insist on updates on my anal glands, which makes me think that it is not only my humans who have too much time on their hands. And my anal glands are entertaining in other ways as well. For instance, Maria had a lot of fun the other day in the pharmacy explaining to the incredulous clerk that the prescription she had for an antibiotic eyewash was really for a dog (Maria wisely omitted to specify exactly how the product was going to be used; let’s just say my eyes were not involved). The prescription was made out with my name and her last name, which was certainly a weird sounding combination. But this is New York City where no amount of weirdness, even a person whose first name is Wimsey, causes so much as an eyelash to flutter. Anyway, I don’t see why I had to have Maria’s last name. Although we both come from old and noble families, I somehow don’t see her ancestors taking too kindly to this newest twig on their family tree (and also to the fact that with the amount of drool at my disposal I could create quite a few blots on their escutcheon). Personally I like to think of myself as being like all those important pop stars who just use the one name (although Prince sounds like even more of a dog than I do). But if I had to choose a last name, it certainly wouldn’t be Maria’s, since given the nature of our relationship, she should be using my last name. I think Wimsey Rules has a nice ring to it.
Anyway, as you may have surmised, I have been going to the vet quite a bit lately, an activity which I always enjoy—it’s another venue where I can be the focus of everyone’s attention and concern—although I do realize that liking the vet makes me a Hound of rather eccentric tastes, but this also goes along with my predilection for having my teeth brushed. Of course if you try to measure me, you will be in for some serious trouble. I never permit myself to be measured, not by ruler, tape measure or any surrogate method. This absence of quantitation makes Elizabeth crazy (“Show me the numbers!”) but I object to the idea of being reduced to mere digits. I am not “Wimsey, male bloodhound 27 inches high (aprrox.—no one really knows) 125 lbs” but Wimsey: Tall, Heavy, Loud and Insubordinate (and sporting a beautiful set of fine manly parts).
And speaking of numbers, because of all the time I have been spending at the vet’s these days I have become known as The Dog with the Golden Tush. The escalating cost of my tush is pretty impressive, I can tell you. There is talk of commissioning a painting to commemorate what is rapidly becoming the world’s most expensive hound tush. I fear that it will shortly become the most valuable thing my ladies own. (Assets: one emerald ring, two money market funds, one Manhattan co-op and Wimsey’s Tush). I hear the IRS is even investigating its tax status.
Well, in addition to all this tush worshipping my humans are spending a considerable amount of time engaged in full blown Westminster frenzy. For instance, today is actually Maria’s birthday and her festive plans include escorting me to cavaletti practice (where Elizabeth will continue on her quest to make me trot over those obnoxious poles), then some wine and pizza with Elizabeth whilst ordering a bunch of show stuff for me from Cherrybrook and finally designing a Hound Art t-shirt for Elizabeth to wear at Westminster (when she is not in the ring wearing her Wimsey-flattering green show clothes). Now Elizabeth’s birthday is on Monday and she is sneaking off to the shortest of long weekends in San Francisco so as not to miss too many days of my cavaletti practice. Her plans whilst in The City by the Bay: shopping for a green show skirt.
Anyway, the whole cavaletti thing has gotten of hand—Maria videoed Sunday’s session and Elizabeth was horrified to discover that although I look OK (when I am not throwing in a pace or two) she looks like the Leaning Tower of Groucho Marx. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible for humans to run tilted both forward and sideways at the same time, but I guess they are more talented than I thought. She is now busy trying to correct this unfortunate posture with a series of ridiculous ballet exercises preparatory to gaiting me. So now people out for a stroll in Riverside Park are treated to the spectacle of a woman doing ballet exercises in front of a 36 foot row of white poles whilst holding a loudly baying hound. Personally, I think we are going to get arrested.
But there are some compensations for being forced to trot (I still want to be the first hound at Westminster to show completely at the pace—that eminently sensible gait where I use both legs on the same side of my body)—the ladies have read somewhere that they are supposed to make the cavalettis fun for me.
Wimsey’s Cavaletti Cavalcade of Goodies
First, there are The Squeals of Delight and lots of “Good boys” and “Look how beautiful Wimsey is!” when I trot. And I am like—“What else you got?”
So then after I complete a run Elizabeth squeals some more praise and then rubs me, scratches me and hand wrestles me—her version of trying to get me nicely riled up (a double edged sword that). And I am like—pretty good. “What else you got?”
And then Elizabeth produces something she calls a “scent item” but which is really just a rag that has spent some time marinating in her shoes and dirty laundry basket, and which she thinks might be fun for me to smell. Mostly I just want to shred it with my teeth, but it is the thought that counts. So I am like, “Nice, but what else you got?”
Then comes the pieces of turkey liberally applied to the houndly jowl—not bad, but there is talk of liver making a re-appearance next week (although Maria has some trepidation about this, having witnessed one too many bouts of Wimsey Liver Frenzy, and she fears for Elizabeth’s safety if there is to be liver involved). Then, when a sufficient number of practice runs have been completed, Maria makes her contribution to my enjoyment by inviting me to jump up on her whilst cooing saccharine phrases in my ear.
And as the cavalettis are packed up, I get to bay unrestrainedly without Maria and Elizabeth holding their ears and pleading with me to be quiet. Then we all go for a long tow in the park
Not too shabby, except that sometimes I just can’t help myself and I pace—at which point, Maria who watches from the comfort of a park bench yells “pace.” Elizabeth is supposed to stop immediately and return me to the start, but sometimes she carries on anyway, hoping I will resume a trot. Well I hope that aliens made entirely of liver invade New York City, but some things just ain’t gonna happen. There was some talk of blowing a kazoo in my ear if I pace but then it was determined that a kazoo would sound too much like the noise made by my favorite stuffed lamb and the pleasing sound would probably just induce more pacing.
(FYI: If you are in the area and want to see first hand whether any of this stuff has done the least amount of good, I will be shown at Madison Square Garden February 11th at 1:15pm in Ring Six).
So as you can see, things are pretty crazy around here, but as I am at the center of all the craziness I accept it with my usual houndly equanimity. But before I pace off to trotting practice, let us nip into the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art.
This week, we return once again to the oeuvre of Renoir for inspiration.
Two Girls at the Piano (Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1892, Metropolitan Museum of Art). In 1891 or 1892 Renoir was asked to contribute a painting to the Musee de Luxembourg—a museum that was to be devoted to living artists. Renoir elected to paint a charming scene of domesticity, but see how much more charming and domestic the scene is if the girls are accompanying the singing of their large baying hound? And see how much the Hound is enjoying the performance. Isn’t he magnificent? Wimsey and Two Girls at the Piano.
Well, time to gather my strength—I am being cavalettied tomorrow morning before Elizabeth leaves for the airport (I told you my humans were becoming fanatics—I wonder what they will find to do with their time after Westminster?)
Until next time,
Wimsey, golden tushed Westminster Hound
PS: Last night I was cavalettied in the sleet. After what I am being forced to endure, I think I deserve to be carried into the Westminster ring on a palanquin.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Entry # 50
Posted by Wimsey at 12:01 PM