Saturday, February 9, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 53
February 9, 2008

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you direct from Wimsey World Headquarters on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Well, what a whirlwind week it’s been as preparations for my appearance at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show on Monday proceed at a frenzied pace.

Last Saturday my human Maria and her friend (who is also serving as my handler) Elizabeth mounted an expedition to the wilds of southern New Jersey to a dog show at the Boardwalk Kennel Club. Now anyone who doesn’t think that stereotypes about New Yorkers are true has never met my humans. You would have thought that the ladies were mounting an expedition to southern Borneo instead of southern New Jersey. First they packed an entire supermarket’s worth of food and water (“I don’t think New Jersey has potable water, do you?” and “There might not be any food in New Jersey—we don’t want Wimsey to go hungry” and ‘Do you think we need to get shots?”). The trip began to sound like something that should have been financed by Ferdinand and Isabella (it’s a little known fact but New Yorkers believe that you fall off the edge of the earth when you leave the Island of Manhattan—except of course if you are going to LA).

King Ferdinand: So tell us Wimbus why do you want to mount an expedition to this New Jersey? Is there gold there?

Wimbus: No, but there are lots of chemical plants, does that count?

King Ferdinand: I don’t think so.

Queen Isabella: And are there many rich textiles to be found there?

Wimbus: Well, there is a mall at Short Hills that I hear is pretty good.

King Ferdinand: And are the natives friendly?

Wimbus: Well not the ones on the New Jersey Turnpike.

Queen Isabella: Are there wondrous exotic animals to be found?

Wimbus: I understand there are quite a few swamps (the natives refer to them as “wetlands”) which attract some interesting birds. Also there are some colorful species to be found in Atlantic City.

King Ferdinand: Well why would anyone want to go to New Jersey?

Wimbus: People in Manhattan ask that all the time.

Well, by the time we left, the Fairway bags were spilling out the back of the car-- and I mean this entire SUV (a generous loan from Maria’s friend Uncle Ray who like so many of my admirers loves me dearly just as long as he can do it from outside drool flinging range) was loaded for a single overnight trip—it was quite a spectacle. I was lucky there was still room for me (“if only we didn’t have Wimsey we would have so much more room.”) And my humans were lucky that they had me to conduct periodic forays to the front seat to make sure they hadn’t run out of gas or anything—I don’t know if they know that you can’t run an SUV on the contents of multiple Fairway bags. New Yorkers aren’t very good with cars.

Anyway, then we get to this hotel—The Marquis de Lafayette in Cape May across from the ocean—and check into a small two room suite which the ladies fill to the brim with all the gear they brought. And whilst I did enjoy walking around and smelling the sea air, let me tell you that being at a seaside resort in mid-winter is a lot like living in one of those post-apocalyptic movies—you know the ones where you joyfully shriek “Look! People!” when you see other human beings. Anyway, we all settled in for an evening of watching (what else) the Eukanuba Dog Show. And since Elizabeth had the arduous assignment of showing me she (and I) got the king sized bed whilst Maria spent a sleepless night on a sofa bed so bumpy even I wouldn’t get up on it.

Well the next morning we headed into Wildwood which is only 20 minutes away and pretty much of a straight shot on the highway. My humans were all “well it’s so simple we can’t possibly get lost!” They did. Forty-five minutes later we roll into the parking lot of the Wildwood Convention Center and we are on our way to the arena when we run into the Hound judge who just stares at me in my Halti (since prong collars are not permitted at shows, my humans think it is better to safe than sorry ((and in the Emergency Room)) and you just know that this judge is thinking: “Doesn’t that handler have any control over her Hound?” Well of course the answer to that is a resounding “No” but in the ladies’ defense it is not for want of trying, just a want of succeeding. (Maybe they should have invited the judge to take a turn around the Boardwalk with me while I am wearing the nylon string that serves as my show collar.) But at least the Halti is an honest admission of defeat—I saw several other shrieking humans being dragged to potty break exits behind large romping show collared dogs. However, as I was the only bloodhound I was awarded a ribbon anyway and we all headed back to the hotel for the few hours it took to pack everything all up again before returning for the judging of the Hound Group. (And needless to say, we got lost again—now this takes real talent. ((If they ever make a sequel to the TV show “Lost” it should be about Maria and Elizabeth in an automobile)). Anyway, once back at the arena, Elizabeth got all dressed up in her pretty Wimsey green show outfit and watched me take a 3-hour nap until the group judging. And who says showing isn’t exciting! (nap photo courtesy of Gina Ryan, North Star Collies, our new friend and show coach).

Now sadly I didn’t place in the group but apart from a bit of galloping (why trot when a gallop gets you to the liver faster) the ladies were ecstatic that I didn’t do anything actually disgraceful (it’s hard to do anything even remotely disgraceful when liver is being stuffed into one’s mouth. Of course where there is liver there is drool and I am proud to say that I soaked through Elizabeth’s matching green Ralph Lauren drool rag-- that Macy’s somehow markets as a washcloth). And of course I am sure the other handlers thoroughly enjoyed listening to the lively running dialog with which Elizabeth was attempting to entertain me—I expect at our next show they will hand her a Wimsey green gag. It was all pretty good fun but I did become rather fascinated with the elkhound behind me—that is certainly a rather strange looking Hound and one which I think bears further investigation (can I get my hair done like that?)—it’s on my Westminster “to do” list right up there with sliming folks in the benching area.

Well upon returning home (my humans having succeeded in finding the New Jersey Turnpike) I went to stay with Elizabeth so she could “work with me” (really feed me liver for reasons which are always unclear to me but seem to make sense to her). Now staying with Elizabeth is always an excellent gig (at least for me):

Life with Wimsey the Snoring Flatulent Dog (did I mention liver gives me gas):

7:30 am: Elizabeth still in bed. Give her a face full o’ Hound to remind her that the sun is up. Climb into bed with her to further emphasize the point.

8:00-9:30 am: Tow Elizabeth through Riverside Park. Attempt to dislocate her arm playing with off leash dogs. Resist all entreaties to poop; these things cannot be rushed.

9:30 am: Consume cooked breakfast.

9:35-noon: Nap on the futon. Snore loudly. Mount impressive display of flatulence. Keep an ear out for any activities that require my intervention and supervision, especially those that involve the refrigerator.

Noon- 12:30: Allow Elizabeth to use my bathtub providing I am there to closely supervise and make sure she is not eating turkey in the bath like I do.

12:30-1 pm: Afternoon run in the park.

1pm-1:30pm: Play satisfying game of Vacuum Cleaner (Elizabeth has this wonderful toy that she rolls back and forth in front of me so I can try and catch it).
1:30pm-2:30 pm: Nap on the futon (more s and f).

2:30pm-5:30pm: Work on the computer with Elizabeth. Read the papers with Elizabeth. Help Elizabeth with matters of personal hygiene. Organize the laundry and further assist Elizabeth with the housework (dust rags are almost as much fun as the vacuum cleaner).

5:30pm-7:30pm: Show training in Riverside Park. Manage to pace over at least some of the cavalettis—a feat heretofore deemed impossible.

7:30pm: Consume cooked dinner.

7:35pm-10pm: Watch television with Elizabeth (she likes to test her abilities to see through me.) Supervise Elizabeth’s dinner. Take another nap thereby enhancing the TV viewing experience with more snoring and flatulence.

10pm-11pm: Nightly walk—pee on all vertical surfaces on West End Avenue.

11: pm-7:30 am: Restful night of super loud motorcycle snoring accompanied by even more spectacular emissions of fragrant gas. (I do my best work at night).

Yes, it’s quite delightful to live with me. And of course Elizabeth always makes sure there many games in which I can earn valuable liver prizes (“OK, Wimsey. Do you want to know what you are playing for? Trot for 20 feet and a fabulous piece of the right lobe can be yours!” I think she watches too much daytime TV).

Anyway, the other delightful thing is that (at the risk of being accused of TMI) due to my recent anal gland problems my nether region has become somewhat irritated. So on the instructions of the vet Elizabeth must wash the area (think Hound bidet) and apply a soothing ointment twice daily. Well, this is fantastic, I can tell you! I love it. It is so relaxing—I sprawl out and thoroughly enjoy myself. I enter a higher plane of Hound consciousness during the procedure. It’s as close to an existential experience that a Hound can have. Plus it elevates human service to a whole new level. The tush ointment massage is right up there with the liver facial and the string cheese body wrap that I am planning to offer at the Wimsey Day Spa. It’s too bad I don’t get show points for having such a well groomed and oiled posterior.

Well, generally at this time we would pay a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. However, as my schedule is a bit crowded this week we will have to postpone that pleasure until next week.

Will keep you posted on the continuing saga of My Excellent Westminster Adventure.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Only Halti Wearing Show Dog


Edie & Gus said...

You are becoming a well-traveled hound! Do you vocalize while driving? If not, give it a try, it produces amazing exclamations from humans.

We are all excited about your upcoming Big Event. Edie is set to check it all out on the internet and television, as we are stuck here in the continually frigid temperatures. It has been in the -40's and
-50's all week up here. (No wind chill) Did you know a bloodhound can pee while standing on exactly one toenail of one paw??

This is an exciting weekend up here in Alaska as well. The Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race begins today in Fairbanks. Enormous (well, maybe big) crowds are gathering on the river to watch, despite the cold. Now those are some tough dogs!

We will be anxious to hear about your adventures this week as well. Please take care to make things lively for Elizabeth and Maria, as they do seem to thrive on the unexpected. And I am wondering what will they do if you ever tire of liver? Perhaps you should try moose someday...

Best of luck, you handsome devil!

Your Freezing Friend in the Frozen Frontier,

Biggie-Z said...

Wow, Wimsey! We are all so excited to see you. It turns out that Mommy can't go see the kuvasz after all due to that 4-letter word, WORK. She also heard good intel that the kuvasz this year are less than spectacular. I know it's good intel because my Daddy isn't going to be there and neither are any of my uncles or aunts or cousins.

So Mommy is going to check you out on Monday instead. But she can't see you in the ring because she is going to be there in the morning so if it looks like you need to get your game face on without interruptions on Monday morning, she will just admire you from afar.

Mommy made a special Valentine's Day date with my veteran, so my week will be busy. Maybe sometime after my big date we can play. Mommy says my date will have me in stitches. Sounds like fun, right?

Licks and play bows, Biggie

Randi said...

Hi Wimsey! I'm going to be sending you pawsitive energy for your big showdown at Westminster (aka Wim-minster)...I know you will do great...flinging slobbers & eating you get extra points for passing toots in front of the judge? I should think so.

Love & Licks,

Mango said...

Wimsey, man, best of luck tomorrow. I don't have an anal gland issue, but I do have trouble keeping clean and fresh down under so Mom gives me a daily cleaning.

Glad to hear I'm not the only chap who has to wear a halty (I wear a gentle leader). Just too much Mango for Mom otherwise.

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

Congratulations, Wimsey! We will see if we can find you on the Westminster show on TV!

nm said...

Oh Wimsey,

Many smooches and snorts going out to you today!

My is going to force a layover on her next trip somewhere just to meet you.

Is the right lobe of liver better than the left? I have never had liver in that form. I need to know.


Biggie-Z said...

Wimsey, it was great to smell you when my Mommy came home from Westminster. She said she didn't see any drool from you nor did she smell any farts. But she did say that your baying is as loud as advertised!

I can't believe we are both 28" tall. Mommy says like Fletch I seem taller because of my springy hair.



Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,
It's been awhile. I hope all is well and from what I can see- it is. I saw your name in the Post yesterday and when I saw Szabo and Bloodhound in the same sentence, I knew it was you. I'm still at Punk but if my retirement plan succeeds (megamillions) I won't be for long. My Lab, Acorn, sends his regards to Wimsey.---- Rich

Anonymous said...

Hi Maria,
It's been awhile. I hope all is well and from what I can see- it is. I saw your name in the Post yesterday and when I saw Szabo and Bloodhound in the same sentence, I knew it was you. I'm still at Punk but if my retirement plan succeeds (megamillions) I won't be for long. My Lab, Acorn, sends his regards to Wimsey.---- Rich

Sherry said...

you are the best!

Mango said...

Wimsey - You must be wiped out from the big show. I think the whole thing is rigged. Those judges aren't impartial. Otherwise, why would the terriers win so much more than everybody else. And why hasn't a bloodhound or mastiff EVER won? I tell, you, I am charged up. I might have to rant on my blog tonight.

BTW - I sorta fell into a meditation during the hound group, but no biggie since I only wanted to see you strut your stuff anyway.

My half sister, Rosie got an award of merit. My brother Floyd got nothing which I think is because Westminster doesn't like stripey mastiffs.


The Zoo Crew said...

Hi Wimsey! It's so nice to meet you! We look forward to following your adventures :)

Peace + Paws,

The Zoo Crew