Friday, April 11, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 62

April 11, 2008

MOBILE BLOGGING ALERT! Hello everyone, Wimsey here and for once I am not coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan but from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Harrisburg is the state capital of Pennsylvania and at the time of this writing, it is still blissfully free of philandering governors thus enabling me to focus my full attention on the Eastern Regional Bloodhound specialty which is taking place at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Center. Now for a Manhattan Hound to be tooling around a farm center anywhere is pretty cool---the place reeks of fine aromas both equine and ruminant and whereas these smells are no match for the beauty of the scent of fresh Hound they are pretty compelling. And my human Maria and her friend (and my show handler) Elizabeth are all “Hey it doesn’t smell like Wimsey around here!” to which I would add, yet.

But I am getting a bit ahead of myself here. First we actually had to get to Pennsylvania and as usual there was plenty of departure drama to go around. This time the car (well, really a small SUV) that my uncle Ray generously lends to Maria was having battery problems just as we were about to leave and rather than risk being stranded on some alien highway with an impatient Hound, the ladies decided to rent. And being modest by nature, the ladies reserved a compact car from one of the many brave rental companies that are optimistic enough to rent cars to non-car savvy New Yorkers (“Is the one on the left the gas or the brake?) But when Maria and Elizabeth got to the garage they were told that they would be getting a “slightly larger” automobile---It was a JEEP COMMANDER! Now let me tell you as a finely endowed intact male bloodhound this is definitely the kind of vehicle one wants to be associated with—it’s like a penis on wheels! Riding around in it almost makes me believe that I don’t have a sissy name like Wimsey and that I don’t smell like finishing spray instead of Hound. And of course Elizabeth drives it like she’s a graduate of The Erwin Rommel School of Automotive Arts because she is taking no chances with this behemoth of a vehicle---she has the only Jeep with a 20 foot turning radius-- her driving antics are now a rich source of entertainment for the denizens of three states. Even the car’s name is appropriate—The Commander—because that is my primary function in life—--that and sticking my nose into people’s food and fannies. Anyway, I bet all those snooty bloodhound babes who specialize in ignoring me will change their tune when I cruise (well, lumber—Elizabeth is doing the driving) up in their midst. It is a well known fact that lady bloodhounds appreciate a spacious set of wheels in which to slobber (“Does this mean we will have to be driving Wimsey on dates during the show?”) But nothing in life is perfect (except a Hound) and I will say that it is a disappointment that the car is not in my trademark Wimsey Green to set off my rich red hue. Also the car is so big that my back seat zip line harness actually functions the way it was meant to and prevents me from my frequent forays to the front (of course now that Elizabeth has purchased a GPS—whose voice always seems to scare the ladies when it suddenly issues a command, which seems to be the whole point of having it—my supervision is much less needed). And finally, the seats are rather high up, so rather than strain myself I prefer to wait until Elizabeth comes around the side to hoist my back end--- this usually entails some pleasant body contact and tummy scratching and rolled eyes from Maria who sometimes feels that I am a bit spoiled. And if I cared what humans think I might be insulted. But the funny thing about this huge car (“Do we pay a car toll or a truck toll?”) is that after the ladies were finished loading all their gear there was still no place for them to sit.

Anyway, so we finally get to the Holiday Inn in Mechanicsburg (where well regulated bloodhounds were everywhere, trotting hither and yon with their humans! It was a beautiful sight although I could have wished to see a bit more spirited towing and baying, but then we New Yorkers are a loud and fast moving lot) and I am at last allowed to inspect the adjoining rooms that have been reserved for us and just as Elizabeth was beginning to conduct an extensive debate on the relative merits of sleeping on either of the two beds (“there are no trivial decisions, only trivial minds”), I hopped up on the one nearest the bathroom. (not wanting her to be tormented by choice I also claimed half of her bed during the night just to make sure she wasn’t obsessing about which side of the bed to sleep on. The choice thus became obvious—the side without the large snoring Hound.)

And then of course there was the show itself. Now before we left Elizabeth received a consoling email from a friend (and former Hound owner—she now owns a sensible Golden Retriever, by the way) suggesting that with over 60 bloodhounds in attendance perhaps I might not actually be the worst behaved one. Now I have to say that whilst there were several imperfectly behaving Hounds at the show they lacked any sticking power—my genius is the sheer duration of effect, so while other Hounds may from time to time exhibit certain episodic lapses I can be relied upon to be sustainably horrible. I can achieve this time after time (except occasionally when I like to encourage my humans by being inexplicably well behaved; we in the behavior modification business refer to this as random reinforcement). But the day actually began well—I enjoyed hearing the national anthem that always kicks off these events and even sang a brief accompaniment to the concluding bars.

Now there had been some debate as to which Wimsey would show up—the baying maniac or the tail tucking “I refuse to show” one. But today I managed to operate in hybrid mode: the baying maniac who won’t show!. First off, I was surrounded by all of these fantastic and beautiful Hounds with whom I wanted to play but was cruelly prevented. Next, I was expected to wait around patiently for three hours until the best of breed class began. Well I protested these conditions most persistently, vociferously and at a pretty high decibel level too... So incensed was I that I would not be bought off with liver, bully sticks or squeaky whales. I would be heard! And then I noticed that Elizabeth was looking a bit pudgy so I decided that wrestling me before during and after my time in the ring would help her burn off a few excess calories. In the ring there is nothing quite as aerobic as gaiting a galloping Hound or wrestling with the legs of a non-stacking one or outside the ring restraining a tugging, towing and lunging Hound with the aid of nothing more powerful than a nylon slip collar and brute force. Anyway, by the time it was all done she was soaked! Another job well done if I do so say myself. No expensive gym memberships for my humans!

Now the wonderful thing about my humans is that they have such short memories—some would call this feeble minded but I prefer to think of them as merely pleasantly simple. So what did my humans do after I racked up more points in the America’s Worst Behaved Show Dog Competition? The ladies elected to drown their sorrows in shopping. But it’s a dog show so all the shopping has a tendency to be for me. Well, I hit the jackpot. It was decided that I was in urgent need of a 45 inch orange squeaky stuffed monkey. Now to be fair, the first idea was to buy the monkey as a present for another dog blogger, our super sized buddy Mango the Mastiff ( because every time Elizabeth saw a mastiff she wanted to know if they knew Mango. But it was eventually decided that sending a 45 inch stuffed squeaky monkey to Massachusetts required a degree of logistical planning that was beyond their ken so they hit on the brilliant idea of buying it for me. (“Maybe Wimsey will behave better if he has a 45 inch orange squeaky monkey.”) But for all those jumbo beasts out there who also feel the lack of a noisy monkey, it comes from

Anyway, this week we are not going to visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art because I need all my energy for tomorrow’s ring escapades. But to all of those out there who are considering showing their Hound, Elizabeth has a word of advice. “Don’t”

Until next time,

Wimsey, Undefeated Champion Worst Behaved Showdog

P.S.: My humans want to change my show name to Ch. Ewine’s Ramsey Creek’s “we’re gonna kill him” Wimsey


Sinfonian said...

Oh, Wimsey ... your poor humans. I was wondering how things were going ... perhaps you can behave better tomorrow, hmm?

Jake of Florida said...

O Wimsey,

We're so glad we stopped by today because your description of an urban hound taking Pennsylvania by storm was so graphic we could smell, hear, and touch the goings-on.

As a former Pennsylvanian (Philadelphia) and New Yorker (college in NYC) who travels a lot-- Mom could just picture the renting, the driving, the hotel arrival, the bed choosing. And as servant to two terriers (us), she could empathize with the tugging and pulling, or the converse, dog turning into an immovable block of concrete.

Mr. Intact Bloodhound, you are the best!!!

Jake and Just Harry