Entry # 51
January 25th, 2008
Hello Everyone. Wimsey here, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan or Show Hound HQ as it has recently become. My humans’ pesky birthdays are finally out of the way and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are once again focusing their energies on the monumental task of preparing me for Westminster. As part of all of this, I have just been talking with my good friend Julia Szabo who writes a column for the New York Post and blogs for fetchdog.com. Now although Julia rescues dogs (she currently has six) she is kind enough to take a journalistic interest (will let you know if any articles are to appear) in my Westminster preparations (from which I might need rescuing myself)!
As an example, Elizabeth has prepared a giant Excel spreadsheet with all of our equipment and training needs and schedules logged in with military precisions (as in Westminster T-minus 18 days, 18:00 hours, begin fading cavalettis; introduce liver bait; place Cherrybrook order). Given her interest in military history I am worried that we will be invading a small country rather than going to Westminster.
Wimsey: Commando Hound
Commando Wimsey: OK Squad. Listen up. Today at 0600 we are going to invade a hapless country. Bear in mind that the primitive humans we will encounter have never seen a Hound.
Hound Sergeant: Why that’s shocking! You mean they get to eat all their own food, sleep alone in their beds, go to the bathroom by themselves and take four hour walks alone???? And what do they do for drool? And who teaches them not to get too attached to material objects and who does the landscaping?
Commando Wimsey: Well, as I said they are primitive. Now listen, the operation calls for extreme stealth—so there will be absolutely no baying.
Hound Sergeant: No baying! But we always bay when we have triumphed! That’s like saying there will be no raising the flag at Iwo Jima. It’s what we are known for.
Commando Wimsey: We don’t want to frighten them—so no baying until Hound Air Patrol has dropped the earplugs. We must convince them that we are here to help them.
Hound Sergeant: But that’s ridiculous! Surely they won’t believe that! We are Hounds. We only help ourselves. It’s our trademark.
Commando Wimsey: Yes of course a helpful hound is a ludicrous concept, but they don’t know that. And viewed in a larger sense, we are here to help: we combat human greed, sloth, materialism, pride, etc. -- especially pride. And I agree that whilst some of our methods might not be pleasant, when they step back and look at the big picture they will thank us. So the plan is to charm, beguile and ensorcell. Charm is, after all, a force multiplier. By the time they realize what we are really up to they will be a subject people--like all the other subjects living under the Pax Houndus.
Well, anyway, when you add up all my equipment, Elizabeth’s equipment and my training schedule it is quite an undertaking. Normally I would object but since I am the focus of it all, it can really be quite pleasant. Especially now as the boiled liver is back. And whilst the liver does cause me to fly over my cavalettis in a lovely trot, it is so intoxicating that the prospect of its drool producing goodness causes me to lose sight of what I am supposed to be doing to obtain it. A two edged organ meat, if you will. I experience massive sensory overload and all my neurons act with but a single thought: LIVER! LIVER! LIVER! GIVE US THE LIVER! I can’t imagine why humans want to smoke crack cocaine or do crystal meth when there is liver to be had. I wonder if it is illegal to marry liver. Or to worship it. If I were in charge of decorating our apartment there would be paintings of liver on the walls (I wonder if Picasso ever did a painting of liver?), sculptures made of liver in the corners and all the furniture would be liver shaped. And of course the refrigerator would be stocked entirely with liver (actually these days it pretty much is).
And so powerful is the spell of the liver that frequently on my post-cavaletti evening walks I charge ahead, wholly preoccupied with liver and then it is all “Wimsey’s not listening to his prong.” Well really the reason I don’t listen to my prong is because the prong is not saying anything worth listening to. Is it saying “Run over there and say hello to that dog?” Or “Here’s a nice vertical surface on which to pee?” No. It is saying none of these things. I mean why should I listen to equipment that is saying something with which I vehemently disagree? Kind of like asking Mike Huckabee to listen intently to the speeches of Barak Obama. A nice idea but not gonna happen. Maybe some day one of my pieces of equipment will announce that it is the equipment of change and instead of telling me to slow down will tell me to go faster. Now that would be a message worth listening to! (I wonder if Barak Obama has a position on charging Hounds.)
Anyway, I have quite an exciting weekend planned-- beginning with tonight’s Wimsey Bath Night. Not only am I to be fed a great quantity of turkey while being washed, but I am also to receive a rubdown with a chamois cloth to burnish my rich coat into a glorious shine (Elizabeth read about this in some book, but I am sure the authors did not anticipate its use on a leather shredding Hound; I hear chamois can be quite tasty). In addition, I am to receive the second of my giant Christmas rawhides to keep me quiet while the ladies swill their cocktails and endeavor to recover from the maritime rigors of bathing me. I have suggested a cocktail based on pureed liver but the ladies don’t seem very keen. Clearly they have no taste
Then tomorrow we are renting a car and driving to New Jersey-- first to see our blog buddies Nanook and Pooka with whom in the way of cyber friendships we have never actually met. I am definitely looking forward to meeting canines who are even larger than I am and I expect that after seeing me in action their humans will thank their lucky stars that they have newfs and not hounds (a disobedient newf is simply not in the same class as a misbehaving hound). And then after I stick my nose into everyone’s lunch (I am hoping there might be liver on the menu) we are off to take a show handling class in Eatontown. It should be quite fascinating to be viewed by someone who actually knows what they are doing.
This time Elizabeth will be doing the driving (she of the “what exactly is the difference between north and south—is it anything to do with uptown and downtown?”) but I understand that she is wisely enlisting the help of a GPS device. Maria will be in the back seat trying to keep my head out of the rear view mirror and my body out of the front seat, as she fears I might be tempted to respond to the GPS voice commands and to assist Elizabeth with the driving. (“Do you think Wimsey will come when called if the GPS calls him?” “Can we program it to tell him to trot?”). And on Sunday, Elizabeth is planning another marathon Central Park walk so we can bond some more but really I will just bound some more. So all in all, the weekend should offer a plethora of opportunities for some stunningly unruly Hound behavior.
But before I rest up for all this merriment, let us visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Now today’s entry is rather special because our painting is in honor of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art which has just reopened its painting galleries. In contrast to the frenzied nature of my life lately, I have chosen a painting that depicts some humans more sensible than my own enjoying a relaxing pastime:
Boating (Edouard Manet, 1874, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Notice the beautiful intensity of the blue palette and the unusual cropping of the painting which makes it feel as if we are about to step onto the boat ourselves. And of course we notice the feeling of light and air that are the hallmarks of all impressionist paintings. But see how much more relaxing the painting appears with the insertion of an indolent Hound lolling next to the sailor. Notice the helpful paw the Hound has placed on the sailor’s knee, alerting him, no doubt, to some navigational error he is about to commit. Wimsey Boating
Well, I think that is all for this week. For those who will be in New York, I will be at Madison Square Garden on February 11th. If you want to stop by the benching area, just look for a small human wearing a “Birth of Wimsey (and Venus)” t-shirt; Elizabeth is planning on wearing this Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art shirt (that is when she is not in the ring dressed in Wimsey green showing me) while she keeps me company on the bench (Maria will be wearing black as usual). So look for humans wearing artistic t-shirts, black clothes or a Bloodhound with the #12.
Until next time,
Wimsey, “show me the liver” Show Hound
Friday, January 25, 2008
Entry # 51
Posted by Wimsey at 2:47 PM