Friday, March 28, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 60
March 28th 2008

Hello everyone. Wimsey here reporting from Manhattan’s fun filled Upper West Side. And it’s spring! And in spring a young Hound’s fancy lightly (or not so lightly as we do nothing lightly) turns to thoughts of love. So really I blame my atrocious behavior at last Sunday’s Easter dog show entirely on Alfred Lord Tennyson who penned those immortal words (are we sure he wasn’t really called Alfred Hound Tennyson?) My human Maria and her friend (and my handler) Elizabeth were so incensed at my bad behavior that I am apparently in the Hound House. This is a lot like being in the dog house except that nothing bad actually happens because Hounds are just too cute to be mad at.

Well last week things actually did get off to a promising start—Wimsey Bath Night enrolled a new recruit—a dog loving photography student from Germany called Julie who is documenting my life, which is actually pretty difficult because every time she sets up a shot I immediately have an urgent need to face in the opposite direction or to shake my head or to lift my leg (although to be fair, this latter activity deserves a prominent place in any photo documentary of my life--my prodigious peeing prowess, even after hours of walking, is legendary). In any case Julie has many lovely, blurry pictures of my hind quarters, the back of my neck and my ears in full rotation. But I did allow her to capture my most intimate moment--the reverent worship I reserve for the sight of my dinner being cooked. (Elizabeth, who aspires to elicit a similar show of reverence from me in the show ring, frequently laments not being a turkey or a plate of scrambled eggs). But to be fair I do periodically bestow upon her my attentive “cookie face” just before I ram my muzzle into the pouch around her abdomen, causing the disgorgement of a cookie. She is kind of like a Pez dispenser for Hounds).

But I digress. Anyway, over post-bath cocktails we all got to hear about Elizabeth’s excellent German adventures when, apparently in her student days, she subsisted entirely on beer and wurst (and she also told us about the time she accidentally ordered pickled head cheese owing to her deficiency in restaurant German, Goethe having never introduced the topic of pickled head cheese in his oeuvre. More’s the pity. Personally I thought it all sounded delicious—there are no bad parts of animals only uneducated palates). But fortunately this discussion of all things German was rapidly superseded by a much more fascinating discussion of all things Hound and a good time was had by all. Especially me, which is the main thing. So sad that the good cheer was not to last, but into every life a little Hound must fall.

Well Elizabeth was worried that owing to it being Easter no one would show up at the dog show except a bunny. But guess who showed up! The love of my life, Phoebe! Now Phoebe is a gorgeous girl bloodhound who was next to me on the bench at Westminster and with whom I am profoundly in love. She is like Grace Kelly in a bloodhound suit—elegant, aloof and devastatingly beautiful. And wherever she is my nose must be, preferably inhaling the intoxicating perfume of her nether regions (apparently this is an honor rarely bestowed and many a young Hound has come close to losing a nose in the process). I am very much encouraged as my nose remained un-nipped, but as for showing with her around—out of the question! I paced (the gait that I am not supposed to do in the show ring where I use both legs on the same side of my body instead of the opposite side as in the trot) in a protesting and lumbering manner when being gaited away from her and galloped in a joyous and enthusiastic manner when being gaited towards her. And then I refused to stand with my nose pointing away from her and whatever Elizabeth’s talents might be, stacking a backwards facing Hound is not one of them Especially as I was straining heroically against my paltry, insignificant show collar to stand next to my love, who remained serenely cool and collected throughout. I didn’t win. That honor went quite rightly to the Magnificent Phoebe who stood and gaited like a lady—wholly unconcerned with the maelstrom of male emotions and energy with which she was being showered.

And as far as my spectacular non-gaiting, Phoebe’s owner was all “I am sure it was because Wimsey didn’t like the floor.” And my humans were like “We don’t think the floor had anything to do with it.” I am such a dawg! Like most mammals of the masculine persuasion, the prospect of female companionship drives all other thoughts out of my head. Such it is that species are perpetuated, even the noble bloodhound. (We take the admonishment to be fruitful and multiply very much to heart…. or wherever). And as I am not in possession of a surfeit of neurons in the first place (or so I am repeatedly told), the ones I do possess are just that much more easily overwhelmed by instincts of a less intellectual nature. So I join a long (and growing!) list of reviled males who loved not wisely but too well (the Immortal Bard understood, but then again Shakespeare was a product of Tudor England, where, if recent movies and TV productions are to be believed, people routinely threw caution ((and much clothing)) to the winds in pursuit of unbridled passion. The only thing that makes Elizabeth more apoplectic than my show ring behavior are the grotesque historical distortions employed in these Tudor defaming shows--- The Tudors being one of Elizabeth’s many fascinating hobbies (like The Wursts of Germany). If only she would devote the same amount of energy to the study of The Hound perhaps I would behave better in the show ring.

Court of Wimsey Tudor

Page: King Wimsey Tudor approaches! All Hail, Present Bottoms!

King Wimsey Tudor: Excellent. Excellent. Very fragrant today. Hey, you’ve been eating the Royal Kibble! Off to the Tower with you!

Hound Courtier: But it was left unattended. Your Houndhsip did not object when I stole the Hound of France’s pheasant!

King Wimsey Tudor: Very true. But the Hound of France is Our Enemy. He prances around, eats strange food with too many sauces and bays with an incomprehensible accent. I also hear he even likes to wears coats! And the Lady Hounds think he is very cute!

Hound Courtier: Yes, I heard about that.

King Wimsey Tudor: Why the other day I caught him with his nose so far up the Hound Consort’s bum that I was surprised he could breath. I get nipped in the nose for doing that! I was going to bite him, but then it was time for dinner. Although bottom sniffing is about the only thing his nose is good for—he is certainly not capable of using it to find juicy animals. Not that he needs to—the Lady Hounds like to feed him their food.

Hound Courtier: And I heard about the Masque.

King Wimsey Tudor: Yes he came disguised as a poodle! All that fur and pom poms! He’s a disgrace to the kennel. And of course the Lady Hounds made a fuss and pretended not to know him. Ridiculous! He reeks of garlic. And Crown Royale.

Page: Your Majesty, the royal architect is here.

King Wimsey Tudor: Excellent. Show him in. I am going to rebuild Hampton Court in liver.

Well what can I say. Spring brings out the romantic Hound in me. I will see Phoebe again in a few weeks at the Eastern Bloodhound Specialty in Harrisburg. Elizabeth is thinking of dipping herself in liver before I enter the ring.

And speaking of fun and frolic, that is the theme of this week’s visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. We return to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art to see a painting by Pieter Brueghel who, although Flemish, painted this picture during the reign of that uber Tudor Elizabeth I (The Harvesters, Pieter Bruegel, 1565, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Now although very hard work, harvest time (like spring) was also a time for hearty rejoicing. Now see how the addition of a lively, roaching Hound adds to the festive atmosphere of Brueghel’s great masterpiece of peasant life! The Harvest Hound.

Well this weekend I am to spend with Elizabeth as Maria has snuck off for the weekend (I wonder if it is to get away from me?). And as usual I plan on being maximally disruptive (the only good Hound is an Annoying Hound) and also as usual Elizabeth has laid in a large supply of gin.

Until next time,

Wimsey , Prisoner of Love.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 59
March 21, 2008

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from the very beautiful (and now increasingly spring-like) Upper West Side of Manhattan. I am pleased to report that we have had no new scandals this week—unless (TMI Alert) you count the fact that the new governor of New York State and his wife have decided to share their marital peccadilloes with the rest of us. Of course this new governor did have the good taste to choose the Upper West Side for his trysts; a choice which I am sure was greatly appreciated by those of us who live here, like my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth (“See! Downtown doesn’t have a monopoly on celebrities behaving badly! Of course downtown it’s hot, hip actors who are misbehaving, not middle aged politicians, but at least Wimsey wasn’t involved. At least as far as we know.”)

Now all this honesty makes me wonder what would happen if I were forced to engage in full disclosure and to apologize to Maria for some of my houndly foibles:

I am sorry I ate your cookbook collection

I am sorry I grew to be 125lbs and take up most of your apartment

I am sorry I try to kill you going down the stairs

I am sorry that your walls, clothing and possessions are coated with drool

I am truly sorry each and every time I try to dislocate your arm

I am sorry that I don’t seem able to understand obedience commands

I am sorry that you don’t have time for a life

I am sorry that Elizabeth has to wear green clothes all the time to make me look good (people just think she is excessively Irish)

I am sorry for engaging in high decibel baying when I don’t get what I want

I am sorry for imbuing your clothing and hair with my fine aroma

In short, I apologize for being a Hound

Now if this litany were to continue no one would ever want to live with a Hound (or to elect a politician) so some things are best left unsaid. Plus it would spoil the surprise of discovering the daily joys of life with a giant, stinky insubordinate Hound. And I am only too happy to oblige in the surprise area—like flinging open the bathroom door with a hearty “Hello! I am here” at the most inconvenient moments or waking my humans up from some delightful dream with a face full of wet wrinkles. Not to mention their surprise in discovering that their intimate apparel has acquired ventilation in unusual places.

But I digress. It’s been a mostly beautiful week here in Manhattan—spring flowers are already becoming available to be peed upon and the strong March breezes are bringing fascinating air currents bearing tidings of fine new animals to chase. (Can Grom Gelato season be far behind? My humans so enjoy buying me $5 cups of the stuff). Yes, spring is a magical time and I am a magical Hound. Not only do I possess the Magic Dewlap which instantly pushes all hound control equipment down to a useless position at the base of my neck but I also possess a magical odor that stops other canines in their tracks. Now I generously donate Elizabeth’s time on Saturdays to the ASPCA and I always insist that she wear jeans impregnated with this magic Wimsey scent (not that she has any jeans that lack this odoriferous enhancement) as protection (kind of like a denim amulet) and voila! Misbehaving or rambunctious animals are instantly brought under control as their noses are irresistibly drawn to hoover Elizabeth’s pants (I could sell these as Siren brand jeans). The result is that these beasts magically decide to behave as one whiff of Elizabeth convinces them that she is just an exceedingly weird, misshapen Large Hound Who Must Be Obeyed. But then it’s all “How come Wimsey’s magic pants don’t work on Wimsey?” Sad but true--- I am magically deaf to all things humans have to say, except when they say it with Liver. (Fortunately Maria does not need her cookbooks to learn how to boil it for me). I am thinking about a new Liver related business I can open:

Wimsey’s Bar and Grill

Cocktail Menu

Livertini: Delectable chilled, pureed liver, a sprinkling of vermouth served up or on the rocks with a twist (of liver)

Houndriver: Scrumptious blend of liver and fresh squeezed orange juice. Served with a slice of liver

Bloody Liver: Tangy blend of tomato juice and liver. Served with a stick of liver

Hound on the Beach: Sexy blend of liver, cranberry juice, grapefruit juice and peach schnapps

Mohoundo: Refreshing combination of muddled fresh mint leaves, liver and a splash of soda. Garnished with a sprig of liver

White Russian Hound: Farm fresh cream, liver, kahlua. Served up or over ice with shaved liver

Houndarita: A favorite with the Texas hounds: liver, triple sec, fresh lime juice and sugar. Served in a glass rimmed with liquefied liver

Hound Sun Rise: Invigorating mix of liver, orange juice and a splash of grenadine for a color

Cosmopolitan Hound: Sophisticated combination of liver, Cointreau and cranberry juice

Hounda Colada: Tropical delight made with liver, coconut milk and pineapple juice. Served with slivered liver


Grilled Liver
Sautéed Liver
Deep Fried Liver
Poached Liver
Barbecued Liver
Roasted Liver
Liver Stew
Broiled Liver
Carpaccio of Liver
Liver tartare
Liver Fingers
Fricassee of Liver
Liver stuffed with Liver Pate
Liver Sausage
Liver Burger
Chef’s Surprise: Liver of a Mystery Animal
Liver of the Day
Chef’s Special: Just Liver

Can you just imagine! There would be lines around the block. It could be like McLiver. Of course I just might start small—Wimsey’s Liver Pub has a certain ring to it.

Anyway, the other news of the week is that I have a new member of my entourage—a photography student from Germany who is photographing me as part of her final project. She is very talented and I am very beautiful so I am sure she will get an A. Tonight she is braving the rigors of Wimsey Bath Night in order to document my turkey laden ablutions (do they make waterproof camera lenses) and she is coming with us to my Easter Sunday show in West Orange New Jersey (I could be the first show dog in history to be defeated by a bunny). She will have many photographs of Wimsey Not Trotting, Wimsey Not Stacking, Wimsey Baying at the Other Dogs, Wimsey Rebelling Against his Halti, and Wimsey Flinging Drool on the other participants. And of course there will be a plethora of photos of Elizabeth, the Un-jolly Peeved Green Show Handler.

Anyway, before I go and prepare myself for Wimsey Bath Night it is time for us to visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. I think it only fitting that since there has been so much trouble relating to female pulchritude that the visit include a famous Titian from the collection at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art: Venus and the Lute Player (Titian, 1865, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Now although Titian was a Renaissance artist and therefore inclined to engage in much classical inspired nudity, I think that the lady in the painting would create much less trouble if she displayed far fewer of her charms (especially as she looks as if she could stand to spend a few more hours in the gym and a few less at the table). See how much more tasteful the painting looks with the addition of a Hound covering her naughty bits. Now she is much less likely to incite the rampant appetites of New York’s passionate and romantic governors (who knew we were such a hot blooded state! It’s just another illustration of how one can’t judge a book by its cover---just like when people think I look mellow. And sweet. And intelligent. And well behaved.). Wimsey and the Lute Player.

Well that’s it for this week. Happy Easter Everyone!

Until next time,

Wimsey the Easter Hound

PS: Wednesday was my 4th birthday so here is my (Wimsey Green) birthday hat montage.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wimsey's Blog; Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 58
March 14, 2008

Hello everyone. Wimsey here reporting from the ever exciting precincts of New York City. And what a week we’ve had! Last week’s publishing scandal revolving around a California gang members’ memoir that turned out to have been written by a nice prep school girl, has been totally eclipsed by the goings on of our state’s esteemed governor Eliot Spitzer (has anyone else noticed the shocking attrition of tri-state governors due to sex scandals—maybe it’s something in the water).

Anyway, this is just one more piece of evidence to support the notion that I would make a much better governor than ex-Governor Spitzer, whose main problem (apart from believing that governing the Empire State entitled him to belong to the Emperor’s Club) is his singular lack of charm. Apparently no ones likes the guy very much (or at least not without some cash changing hands) and charm is an area in which I really excel:

NY State Senate Majority Leader Bruno: Governor Wimsey wants to increase taxes by 300%!

NY State Senate Minority Leader Tedesco: I know. But he’s so cute! Let’s do it!

NY State Senate Majority Leader Bruno: But he wants to use the money to build dog parks.

NY State Senate Minority Leader Tedesco: Look at those wrinkles! And those ears! And he looks so thoughtful and so intelligent!

NY State Senate Majority Leader Bruno: He also wants to declare war on Pennsylvania. He says they are impeding the free flow of squirrels.

NY State Senate Minority Leader Tedesco: Quite right. I will mobilize the militia immediately! Look how adorable he looks sitting in that big chair behind the governor’s desk.

NY State Senate Majority Leader Bruno: Has he signed those bills we left for him yet?

NY State Senate Minority Leader Tedesco: No, he ate them.

Now like ex-Governor Spitzer I too have a taste (quite literally) for the professional ladies – only in my case they are called handlers which is not really quite the same thing— although personally I wish they’d handle me more and scold me less. But my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are now very worried that I too could create a scandal:

Scandalous Things That I Wimsey Could Do:

Come when called

Refrain from sticking my nose into everyone’s food

Refrain from sticking my nose into everyone’s derriere


Use my indoor voice when baying

Not try to annihilate my humans when going down the stairs

Not try to rub my Halti off on people’s legs

Have a messy chew with my rawhide on the carpet instead of on a lap (when I am
done it looks like someone forgot their adult diapers)

Move a considerate distance when flinging drool

Move a considerate distance when passing gas (although to be fair I do alert my humans to this exciting event by turning around and staring intently at my fanny)

Walk in the same direction as the person holding my leash

Leave the recyclables unshredded

Avoid pooping on plants containing nettles or thorns.

If any of this actually came to pass there would be headlines in the tabloids such as “Canine Shocker: Hound Obeys Human! Scientists studying this unprecedented phenomenon” and “Wimsey Ill!” and then I would be whisked off to the vet. So however much I might like to create a scandal, being rushed to the vet (not to mention forfeiting the esteem of my fellow Hounds) would be just too great a sacrifice to make. We Hounds never engage in self destructive behavior--we specialize in getting others to engage in self destructive behavior —a further measure of our superiority over humans. (And of course I can always be neutered.)

But speaking of being handled by ladies, I had a terrific show in White Plains last Sunday. It all began with another successful edition of Wimsey Bath Night, replete with turkey, cooked dinner, a bully stick and much canoodling with the yours-non-smelly- truly (amazing how the lack of my fine houndly odor causes my humans to joyfully bury their snouts in my lustrous coat—some New Yorkers snort cocaine, mine snort Hound). And on the way home I had umbrellas held over me (my bath takes place at Elizabeth’s as her generous sized tub is better suited to my distinguished proportions—also she fixes better post bath cocktails, a crucial feature of Wimsey Bath Night) whilst my humans got soaked in the rain. So on the whole it was an immensely satisfying night.

Then on Sunday we all headed to White Plains where I got a fine pre-show walk in a wooded area next to a highway that looked very much like the kind of place that bodies are discovered, so I was quite hopeful (“CSI: Wimsey”). But alas there were no bodies and as soon as the ladies hauled all my gear into the Westchester County Center I was greeted with a cheery ‘Hi Wimsey!” from a very talented junior handler I met in show handling class (notice he didn’t say “Hi Maria” or “Hi Elizabeth”—I doubt he even knows their names). And once again I was the only bloodhound (and the only animal wearing a Halti—it makes such an excellent impression on show judges) and consequently was made a huge fuss over by the nice ladies taking the tickets as well as lots of people attending the show. I was Hound # 5 (which is a lot better than being client # 9) and during my quick trip to the breed ring I put on a masterful demonstration of pacing (pacing uses the legs on the same side of my body instead of those on the opposite side as I am supposed to do to produce a trot) much to the consternation of Elizabeth who once again risked life and limb to take me into the ring wearing only a string around my neck (she was quite proud, however, of her new Wimsey Green ((green being the color that best shows off my fine reddish color)) headband and was hopeful that its beauty and harmony with her Wimsey Green outfit would blind the judge to my gaiting deficiencies). It didn’t work, but noting my lack of attention, the kindly judge opined that perhaps I was looking for a nice lady bloodhound-- at which point the color drained from Elizabeth’s face.

Anyway while I waited to go into the group ring with the other Hounds I was busy being photographed, admired and petted by all and sundry. A colleague of Maria’s was in attendance (I climbed on her) and Elizabeth shined me to a blinding glare with a chamois cloth. Now as long as there are no further detailing activities (such as nail cutting or ear cleaning or turtle waxing) I quite enjoy being massaged endlessly with the chamois and admonish Elizabeth in no uncertain terms when she ceases chamoising.

However all good things must come to an end (including my good behavior) and as I was waiting to enter the group ring I decided to engage in a bit of singing. Then I found the most amazing smell and proceeded to glue my nose to its spot on the ground. To no avail did Elizabeth squeak and brandish liver—I remained unmoved. It was all she could do the haul me into the ring (another way to make an excellent impression on the judge) but I did lull her into a false sense of security by actually trotting. Of course such model behavior was too good to be true.

Now Elizabeth believed that she had already seen all the bad show ring behaviors about which she had to worry (pacing, baying, refusing to stack, gaiting with my nose on the ground, being distracted by the lady bloodhounds) when suddenly, I Wimsey, ever the creative Hound genius, added a new one to the repertoire—I drooled on the judge! This accomplishment was all the more impressive because Elizabeth had only moments before wiped my mouth with her Wimsey Green Ralph Lauren washcloth (only the finest for me). But I did it! I managed to produce drool with lightening (and frightening) speed which I adroitly transferred to the judge’s hand. And it was all “He drooled on me!” while he held his hand well away from his nice suit. And when he requested the use of Elizabeth’s rag, Elizabeth compounded his consternation by first wiping my mouth with it before handing it over to him! (drooling on the judge’s hand is one thing but the prospect of me flinging drool and sliming his suit was quite another and compelled Elizabeth to triage the drool rag’s deployment—probably not a decision that was popular with the judge to whom there was no time to explain its rationale ((“At Wimsey’s current rate of drool production of 2.5 millimeters per second his total fling volume could easily attain or exceed 5ml in the amount of time equal to or less than the time it takes to wipe your hands, a volume that I estimate could deleteriously impact the future utility of your suit.”)).

I didn’t win.

But we all had a wonderful time in White Plains and we only got lost once going home.

I am to be shown again on Easter Sunday in West Orange, New Jersey (my humans forgot how early Easter came this year and accidentally signed me up) and this time I will get to go into the breed ring with four other real bloodhounds. Hurray! (and two of them are female!) Unless of course everyone else forgot it was Easter too and it will be me and a bunny in the ring (Judge: “I don’t know. I like the looks of that bunny. He’s got great ears and an elastic gait and doesn’t drool”).

But the glamour of the show ring aside, the major event here has been that we changed the clocks early which means the reinstatement of my long (and increasing) evening Central Park walk. And it was a chance to catch up with old friends like Jacques the French bulldog puppy (who is now almost one—he used to ride on my back) and to make new ones like Humphrey the basset puppy. Now Humphrey’s owner really wanted a bloodhound but prudence dictated that if one is going to acquire a Hound it is best that it be one that can be picked up and carried off when it misbehaves. That at least is an indignity I will never suffer. Humphrey is delightful (although strangely quiet, but he is young yet) and we had a great time trying to out Hound each other for a stick.

And then we met a couple of gentlemen out for a stroll with their dogs and as we were all chatting and sniffing bottoms (at least the dogs were) one of them asked if anyone fancied some Cote de Rhone. And then out of a perfectly ordinary jacket he produced a full bottle of Cote de Rhone, a corkscrew and cups (like an adult version of Mary Poppins’ carpetbag!). Now however appealing the idea of sipping a full bodied red on a blustery March evening might seem, the concept of doing so with 125lbs of vigorous Hound at the other end of a leash gives one significant pause. My humans regretfully declined (”…maybe if it were a Lafitte”) electing instead to live another day. Now these are the kinds of extraordinary things that happen to one in New York City. Call me prejudiced but I would sincerely doubt if one finds wine bar toting strangers out for a bit of air with their dogs in the parks of London, Paris or Tokyo.

Well it is time again for our weekly visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. And since we have been discussing fun in the park, let us take a look at Girl With a Hoop (Pierre-Augusta Renoir, 1885, National Gallery, Washington DC). By the time he painted this, Renoir, who was among the best known impressionists, had broken with the movement and was exploring new ways to paint (like me always searching for newer and more artistic ways to be disruptive in the show ring). In this painting he employed a more disciplined technique using tighter brush strokes while striving to retain the luminosity of color that characterizes impressionism. Very laudable, but the little girl in the picture looks very lonely and her hoop very tempting. How much nicer a picture with the addition of a large playful hound chewing on her hoop! In our imagination we can see the endless amounts of fun she will have trying to get the hoop away from the Hound and how much quicker he will be than she is to catch up with it when it rolls. Wimsey With a Hoop.

Well this week we have several exciting upcoming events: tomorrow is the Ides of March so I would avoid any unnecessary trips to the Senate and avoid knife wielding friends named Brutus. And on Monday it is St. Patrick’s Day and Elizabeth is pretty excited as, thanks to me, she already has an entire wardrobe of green clothing. (For a discussion of the actual holiday I would refer you to post # 8—last year’s St. Patrick’s Day entry and one of my personal favorites as it discusses my distinguished ancestry.) Then on Thursday, March 19th it is my fourth birthday! On this day I get to do anything I want, eat anything I want and receive much tribute. Just like every other day. (But I hear a rumor that Maria is making me the Norwegian cream cake that Nanook the Newfy ( gets on his birthday). And perhaps the wine guy in the park will offer me a glass of Cote de Rhone this time. Until then I pledge to refrain from all scandalous activities—such as obeying commands—that might force me to resign my bloodhoundship.

Until next time

Wimsey, a True Hound of New York

Friday, March 7, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 57
March 7, 2008

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey and what a fine week I have had here in New York City. And there is still more to come as tonight is Wimsey Bath Night in honor of my being shown on Sunday—personally I think the natural fragrance of the Hound could only enhance my show ring charms but my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth disagree. So who am I to argue with fistfuls of in-bath turkey and a cooked dinner and a bully stick to follow? The ladies, as usual, will be swilling (or attempting to swill, as swilling can be difficult in the presence of a giant Hound nose) Elizabeth’s signature cocktail, the caipirnha. She even puts on Brazilian music to swill by. It’s just like being in Rio! (Without the hot weather, the sunshine the beach, the food and all the good looking men).

But the dog show means that I will miss my Sunday in the park this week. Last week’s expedition consisted of five—count ‘em—hours and was thoroughly enjoyable although
sadly it didn’t end up snowing. The fun began in the morning when Maria and I rendezvoused with Elizabeth at the coffee shop where she habitually ingests the massive amount of calories and caffeine that she claims are necessary for coping with me (or that’s her excuse, anyway—“Something about Wimsey always makes me reach for the Starbucks or the gin”). And of course when she emerges from the coffee shop, it’s definitely a show stopper on Amsterdam Avenue -- I place my front feet on her shoulders, point my elegant muzzle skywards and bay (triumphantly) right in her face! The production of the triumphant bay require the full skyward muzzle tilt (making me as tall as Elizabeth—which is not saying much as she is rather shrimpy, but it’s still quite satisfying) and is of a higher pitch and a more extended duration than my other bays, making it even more ear splitting (for her) and even more attention getting (for me). Everyone seems to enjoy my performance quite a bit -- except Elizabeth of course, but her opinions never count for very much in any case.

Well after my greeting and the subsequent attention that it elicited from passers-by, my humans made the fatal mistake crossing the street and placing me within bolting range of one of my favorite pet stores (is there such a thing as an unfavorite pet store?). Well as the predictable leash struggle ensued, a helpful clerk popped out of the store to inform Elizabeth that if only she would place my prong higher up on my neck she might enjoy greater success in her Wimsey Control endeavors. “Thank you, I know” she replied through gritted teeth. But of course what the helpful clerk did not know was that: 1) the equipment has not yet been invented that is any match for a determined Hound and 2) through the Miracle of the Hound Dewlap all equipment is made to instantly slip down my neck and into the least effective position. I like to think that this slippery dewlap is one of the more useful adaptations of Hound evolution. (perhaps all intelligent life did not evolve from sea sludge, but from a race of clever prehistoric Hounds:

Wimsey Productions presents:

10,000 Years BC: A Time When Giant Hounds Roamed the Earth
(“It takes a Hound to change the World”)

Primitive human #1: Oh no! The earth trembles! The ear drums split! The Hounds are up. The massive yellow showers cannot be far behind!

Primitive human # 2: And then avalanches of steaming mounds are sure to follow!

Primitive Human # 1: Yes, but those aren’t so bad—they make excellent climbing once they dry out.

Primitive human # 2: But that is a dangerous sport-- the beasts like to stick their immense vacuuming noses into the mounds—they inhaled Inik the other day!

Primitive human #1: True, inhalation is a risk but at least I can avoid being trampled upon by their massive feet.

Primitive human # 2: And being sliced by the Nails that Can Never Be Cut. Is it true that they lose their powers if their nails are trimmed?

Primitive human #1: Absolutely! The Nail is sacred to them. Anyway, at least we are not tall enough to be caught in a tail swipe—they took out a whole forest yesterday.

Primitive human #2: Was that before or after they raided our camp and stole all of our food?

Primitive human #1: Before. They whet their appetites by chewing up the felled trees.

Primitive human #2: Well it’s bad enough to lose all of our food and the forest but I hate getting trapped in that sticky gunk that comes out of their mouths-- although it is useful gluing clothes together.

Primitive human #1: Yes but the sticky gunk is better than the clouds of noxious fumes that come out the other end –our neighbors had to spend the entire day in their flatulence bunker.

Primitive human #2: How come we have to have them around anyway?

Primitive human #1: Because they’re Hounds. Life would be terrible without them!

Anyway, after being pried off of the pet shop door we dropped by the vet’s office so I could be made a fuss over by Monica the receptionist and my humans could leave an update for the vet on the resolution of my anal problems; I was able to personally convey my thanks for his prescribing of the delightful warm water washing and soothing ointment massage (I am in favor of the treatment continuing even though I am cured and often look longingly at the shelf where the ointment is kept, but then it’s all “Wimsey don’t be disgusting.”). Well after being fussed over by Monica we all paced over to Riverside Park for some trotting practice. (When Elizabeth was bringing down my cavalettis the gentleman manning the service elevator apparently went white at the sight of them and squeaked “He’s back??!!” -- I stayed with Elizabeth before Westminster and obviously made a huge impression on the service elevator crew). Then after a few grudging passes over the poles (I hate trotting) some neighborhood children decided they could do better—Elizabeth was so excited to see an actual trot that she had to restrain herself from squealing “Good trot!” and stuffing liver into the mouths of the little tykes. Somehow I don’t think they would have appreciated that, although their mother might (“Do you have any broccoli too?”)

And then after show dog practice it was off to Central Park with Elizabeth (Maria having decided that perhaps it might be useful to pretend to have a life for a day). Well, what can I say—the weather was magnificent and we met so many lovely people and dogs (I attempted the inhalation of an entire greyhound) and of course they all wanted to make a fuss over me. Sometimes I do wonder what it would be like to be a regular dog and go about the business of sniffing and peeing unnoticed by the masses, but then I remember the policemen who fed me their breakfast sandwiches and I think maybe it wouldn’t be such a good thing. But fortunately I don’t have to do much-- I am famous just for being a bloodhound in a place where we are scarce (although I did not appreciate the fellow last week who thought I was a basset-great Dane mix, but I suppose he was an improvement over the guy who thought I was a Doberman-St. Bernard cross and I do get mistaken quite a bit for The World’s Largest and Most Unusual Looking Shar-Pei).

Now although I can’t help being (in) famous I notice that humans actually seem to go to extraordinary lengths to achieve fame. This week New York publishing circles are abuzz with the fact that a new book which was supposed to be the memoir of a former South Central LA California gang member was in fact written by a privileged young woman from Sherman Oaks. Her publisher’s attempts to check her identity were met with the assertion that everyone she knew was either dead or in prison (and I bet they would have believed that the dog ate her homework too). So now I am thinking that if no one wants to publish my children’s guide to New York City (Wimsey’s’ Guide to New York) there are lots of other books I can write: (the author’s agent, actually lives on West 76th street so if she liked the faux gang member I am sure she’d love to see these):

How I Won Best in Show at Westminster by Uno the Beagle (I look a lot smaller inside the show ring)

Dawgs and Bitches: My Life as a (un) Rap Star

Fighter Pilot! Wimsey’s Ten Step Guide to Flying an F-18

Matador! The life of Wimsey, the world’s most famous bullfighter

Wimsey’s guide to buying real estate on that island on “Lost”

My Life at Sea: How I sailed solo across the Atlantic and accidentally discovered The Lost Continent of Atlantis

The Under (the) cover Hound: My life as a famous CIA Agent

Super Model! My life of glory on the Catwalk (and why there are no actual cats)

Wimsey’s Guide to health and wealth: Grow rich and thin while sitting on the couch eating Cheetos

How to build a real estate empire with no money down and a bag of poop

Wimsey’s Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Fila Brasiliera

And of course all those Fresh-Step and Trail Mix commercials with the bloodhound—they’re all me! Isn’t it amazing how Elizabeth suddenly managed to train me to do all those things when I won’t even stand still in the show ring!

But I digress. I was speaking of Sunday in the Park with Wimsey. Well in addition to packs of nice New Yorkers we also met lots of folks from all parts of the globe which thrills Elizabeth as she always enjoys amazing them with her linguistic prowess—she knows how to say “bloodhound” in French, German, Hungarian (don’t ask), Italian and Spanish (she’s still working on Russian and Hebrew, but is not sure whether they have bloodhounds in those countries). And the looks on people’s faces are priceless—an American speaking a foreign language! It’s like the cat suddenly spouting Chaucer. (A few years ago a French couple was mugged in New York and found a French speaking policeman—it made headlines in Paris!). And then of course people assume she can actually speak all those languages as most people who know the word for bloodhound generally also know other words as well (although I can’t think why as bloodhound is clearly the most important word---

I have a bloodhound,
You have a bloodhound
He has a bloodhound
She has a bloodhound
They have a bloodhound
We have a bloodhound
Here is a beautiful bloodhound; his name is Wimsey

Anyway, Elizabeth was not able to induce me to leave the Park until 4:30pm which I finally did amid a hail of protesting squeaks (and my best tractor imitation on the path leading back into the Ramble). But the tragedy of the park departure was somewhat mitigated by the fact that I arrived home in time to stick my nose into the cookies that Maria was baking. (Hound nose imprints make lovely cookie decorations as long as you don’t tell people what they are).

And speaking of decorating, it is time once again for out weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today our visit takes us to the South of France—Arles to be exact where master Dutch (how do you say bloodhound in Dutch, I wonder) post impressionist Vincent Van Gogh painted a picture of his bedroom in his beloved yellow house. Bedroom in Arles (Vincent Van Gogh, 1888, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam). Van Gogh hoped to express rest and solidity in this simple room but see how much more serene and peaceful the scene looks with a solid, snoozing Hound occupying the bed. And notice how the lovely color of the Hound complements the strong, bright colors of the room! Now it really looks likes one could get an excellent night’s rest while waiting for Gauguin to arrive. Wimsey’s Bedroom Arles.

Well, I am off to rest and to prepare for the rigors of the tub.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The (wannabe) Gangsta Hound