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


Rebecca said...

hey! that's my humphrey!

thanks for posting the pictures of them playing, i was really hoping i'd get to see them.

hope we run into wimsey again sometime soon.

-rebecca & humphrey

Edie & Gus said...

What a cute little guy Humphrey is! Being portable would have distinct advantages. Edie knew a basset hound once. Her name was Puddin'.

Congratulations on confounding Elizabeth and the Judge at the show. You have true bloodhound spirit! Always expect the unexepected with a hound...
I wonder what you have planned for the show on Easter?? Maybe you should actually wear bunny ears. They could double as drool rags.

My girls are heading to the "big" city of Anchorage this week. The best they can hope for is someone with a bottle of Schnapps in a brown paper bag, if you know what I mean. No fancy wine and glass-toting nice men around here! Edie is jealous.

We are also enjoying the abundance of warmth (+20's, yahoo!) and sunshine up here. Sure beats January's 3 hours or so of twilight! I have made several trips to the local dog park, and met some nice chaps. Gizmo the chihuahua was an ankle biter, though.

We are looking forward to hearing about another
Wimsey escapade!

Yours truly,
Gus the Unruly Alaskan Bloodhound

Edie & Gus said...

P.S. Happy upcoming 4th Birthday, Wimsey! Enjoy your day, make some trouble, pee on everything!

Anonymous said...

Howdy y'all from Texas. This is Betty Lou - but everyone calls me Scooter. My mom read about you on The Daily Drool - you see I'm a Basset Hound just like Humphrey. You are a very handsome guy - and don't worry about that silly judge. If he's been doing any judging at all (and he must have to be doing Group)then I'm sure a little drool is nothing new to him. In fact, he should carry his own drool towel! Anyway I just love your blog - Snooters - Scooter