Friday, July 18, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 76
July 18, 2008

Hello everyone. Wimsey here--coming to you direct from Hound on Hudson, otherwise known as New York’s Upper West Side. Well we had concerts in Central Park this week which meant that there were lots of extra vertical surfaces for me to pee upon and lots of extra people wandering about for me to drool upon, including some admiring Russians. When my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth asked how to say bloodhound in Russian, the woman gazed at me thoughtfully and replied “We don’t have this kind of dog in Russia.” I have news for her, with regard to me, nobody has this kind of dog anywhere. And a great shame it is too. I am sure the lack of bloodhounds explains Russia’s less than salubrious history. We Hounds tend to keep humans humble and focused on practical matters such the preservation their personal property rather than on the establishment of serfdoms, monarchies and dictatorships. If no man is a king to his valet, no human is powerful to his Hound.

Now it is a little known fact that many of the great historical achievements of the world are due to Hounds. For instance, during the reign of Mary Tudor, Hounds were banished from court because her Spanish husband and his courtiers always wore black and objected to the conspicuous drool stains left by the Hounds. And what was the result? Mary’s reign was undoubtedly marked by elegant and unspoiled clothing but was ultimately unsuccessful and brutal. She is not remembered fondly by History or by Hounds. But fortunately her young half sister Elizabeth had an entirely different attitude and relied extensively on her Hound for wise counsel. Indeed, it was her Hound’s wise counsel that was responsible for creating her enlightened reign and establishing England as a global super power.

Royal Advisor: Your Grace, what should we do about the question of religion that has so divided us?

Elizabeth: (observing her Hound moving slowly and carefully whilst using his nose with the utmost delicacy upon a mound of rotting vegetables). Nothing must be done in haste! It is a delicate pile….I mean question. We must move with the caution and wisdom of mine esteemed Hound lest we bring a rotting pile of vegetables…I mean rebellion upon our heads.

Royal Advisor: And who will you name as your chief advisor?

Elizabeth: (observing that her Hound had climbed onto the lap of William Cecil and drooled upon his head). Mine Hound hath conferred a mark of extreme favor uponeth that gentleman. Whom mine Hound liketh so do I. He shall advise me.

Royal Advisor: And what does your Grace wish to do with all these marriage proposals that keep flooding in?

Elizabeth: You mean all those documents that mine wise Hound hath shreddeth? I see no marriage proposals here, merely scraps of parchment.

Royal Advisor: It seems, your Grace, that your Hound hath been busy exploring your estates and marking his territory whereverith he goeth.

Elizabeth: Yes! And he hath brought me back a treasure—my prized rosebush! England too must send forth its Hounds…I mean men.. to bring back treasure from around the globe and to claim new territory that doesn’t actually belong to us. Although the men may methinks choose to employ a somewhat different marker.

Royal Advisor: Your Grace the Spanish have launched a great Armada! What shall we do?

Elizabeth: The Spanish again! My Hound has never forgiven them. We must launch our ships when my Hound pointeth his nose to the northwest to inhale the strong winds blowing from that direction. The winds from that quarter will help blow away those heinous Hound hating Spaniards!

And thus it was that we Hounds were responsible for one of the greatest reigns in English history. But Hounds are special in other ways as well. The other day, for instance, Maria noticed that a local dog show, which was sponsored by a hound club, was holding “hound good citizenship tests.” Now the American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen program consists of 10 feats of obedience that a dog must perform to be registered as a canine good citizen. But as anyone familiar with the test knows, a Hound is about as likely to pass it as is Gordon Ramsay to enjoy a meal at McDonalds. So of course, we have to have our own special test:

The American Kennel Club’s Canine Good Citizen Test (CGC) vs. Wimsey’s Hound Good Citizen Test (HGC)

1. CGC Test: Accepting a friendly stranger. The dog sits politely while its handler talks to a stranger.
HGC Test: The friendly stranger stands politely while the Hound pokes its nose in the stranger’s crotch.

2. CGC Test: Sitting politely for petting: The dog must allow itself to be petted by a friendly stranger.
HGC Test: The friendly stranger must allow himself to be snuffled, nose wanded and drooled upon while petting the friendly Hound.

3. CGC Test: Appearance and grooming: the dog allows itself to be brushed by the friendly stranger.
HGC Test: The Hound allows himself to be brushed by the friendly stranger who chokes on all the hair coming off of him. The Hound then steals the brush and chews it up.

4. CGC Test: Out for a walk on a loose leash: This is to demonstrate that the handler is in control of the dog.
HGC Test: Out for a tow on a tight leash: This is to demonstrate that the Hound’s nose is in control of the walk

5. CGC Test: Walking though a crowd: This is to demonstrate that the dog can move politely through pedestrian traffic.
HGC Test: Mowing though a crowd: This is to demonstrate that the Hound can enable his handler to cut swiftly through any amount of annoying pedestrian traffic. (note: the Hound gets extra points if it lives in a crowded city).

6. CGC Test: Sit and down on command and staying in place: This is to demonstrate that the dog has training and will respond to the handler’s commands.
HGC Test: Sit and down and staying in place when the Hound feels like it: This is to demonstrate that the Hound has the proper independence of mind necessary to be a good Hound. The handler issues commands. The Hound does what he wants.

7. CGC Test: Coming when called: the handler walks 10 feet away from the dog and calls it.
HGC Test: Not coming when called: the handler walks 10 feet away from the dog and pleads with it to come. The Hound walks 10 feet in the opposite direction paying no attention to the handler (unless the handler has previously rubbed himself in something that interests the Hound, such as a rotting animal carcass).

8. CGC Test: Reactions to another dog: This is to demonstrate that a dog can behave politely around other dogs. Two handlers approach, shake hands and part with the dogs showing no more than mild interest.
HGC Test: Reactions to another dog: This is to demonstrate that a Hound can behave politely around other dogs. First he must bay loudly in greeting. Then he must politely insert his nose into the other dog’s bottom. Finally he must demonstrate his great esteem for the other dog by requiring that his handler drag him away.

9. CGC Test: Reaction to distraction: This is to demonstrate that the dog remains confident in the face of such distractions as joggers, dropped chairs or rolling crates.
HGC Test: Reaction to distraction: This is to demonstrate that the Hound has absolutely no intention of letting himself be harmed—that job belongs to the handler. The Hound will swiftly step behind the handler at the first sign of trouble.

10. CGC Test: Supervised separation: the handler leaves the dog in the care of a stranger for 3 minutes and the dog must show no signs of agitation.
HGC Test: Supervised separation: the handler leaves the Hound in the care of a stranger for 3 minutes and the Hound couldn’t care less because it’s a Hound.

I know that I would pass the Hound Good Citizen test with flying colors! I do every day in fact. Anyway, summer is in full swing here in NYC and humans like to escape from all the heat, humidity and Hounds by taking in a summer flick or two. And although I am not permitted in theaters, as Chairman and CEO of Wimsey Cinematic Enterprises I have several new summer movies in the works:

The Dark Hound: A movie featuring an impassioned brooding Hound whose mission is to save humanity from doing what it wants and who is worried that he is becoming less stubborn and losing his edge. He is called in by the police of Gotham City to capture his arch enemy, The Houndster, who likes to play practical jokes such as having his gang of Hounds create their own version of The Waterfalls and trapping Mayor Houndberg in his house behind a giant wall of poop.

Hound Mia: A group of Hounds with musical taste band together to bay deafeningly in response to Abba songs. As a subplot, a young Hound wonders who her father is. They do a DNA test to find out because they live in the 21st century.

Houndboy II: A group of rebellious red Hounds (redundant) plan to take over the earth. They succeed without anyone really noticing because they are so cute.

Houndcock: A movie about a super Hound (redundant). The plot twist: he is massively destructive. Audiences seeking an escape from reality will be greatly disappointed.

Indiana Hound and the Kingdom of the High Value Crystal Skull: A senior Hound who is really way too old to be making adventure movies and his young sidekick attempt to steal a crystal ornament because everyone else wants it too and they think it would be fun to play with and to resource guard.

Wim Wimsey: An American Hound: Wim Wimsey dreams of investigating and uncovering things. His dreams come true when he uncovers the topsoil of the lawn and investigates the underwear and personal possessions of the colorful cast of boarders he lives with. He also becomes wealthy and successful by selling dolls of himself.

Well as you know, in addition to movies I also have my own art institute, and it is once again time for us to pay a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today we visit another Flemish master of Baroque art, Peter Paul Rubens: Rubens, His Wife Helena Fourment and Their Son Peter Paul, (Peter Paul Rubens, late 1630s, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Now it has always seemed to me that this famous family portrait is missing something. But this is easily remedied by the insertion of the family Hound. Notice that the Hound, who is gazing up at the wife mirrors the husband who is gazing down, thus adding an important element of symmetry to the painting. Both man and Hound clearly adore the woman in the picture, (although it rather looks like the Hound is expecting a delicious piece of liver to fall from her delicate hand) but the Hound’s interest is entirely legal. Not to gossip and tell art tales, but Rubens, gifted painter though he was, is surely up for the dirty old man of art award (although Picasso might give him a run for his money) as in 1630 the 53 year old Rubens married the 16 year old Helena, a girl for whom he had a predilection of painting in the nude. So yesterday’s great artist would be today’s felon, but it seemed to have worked for them—she produced 5 children in ten years until the old boy popped off—but before he did that he unquestionably produced some great art, made especially great with the insertion of a gently imploring Hound. Peter Paul Rubens, his family with their Beautiful Hound.

Until next time, stay cool,

Wimsey, a Hound of Historical Proportions
Sunday in the Park with Wimsey Montage
First I meet Elizabeth at EJ's Luncheonette

Next I contemplate meeting a baby walrus!

I am served cold water at frequent intervals

There is a wild turkey in Central Park!!! I really like turkey!


Saint Lover said...

Tag! You're IT! We tagged you on our blog... come take a look.

Booker the Treeing Walker said...

WHIMSEY! I love it! Finally a test that I can pass with flying colors ... I mean stringing drool! I could get the GOOD HOUND certification too! The depth of your understanding is always an awesome thing. Foreigners haven't seen many COONHOUNDS either. The other day, a Russian tourist, in a very very thick accent asked my name and then looked at my H-Mom with confusion and dismay. "WHYYYYYYY," she said, "You name your dog like this BOOGER."

Biggie-Z said...

I think I am 80% hound! 1-8 are exactly what I would do, 9-10, not so much. Scary carts and other rolling noisy things, and joggers, deserve to be chased and bitten if they do not take themselves quickly away!

As for #10, I think I would use my nose to find and drag the stranger to my human. If I can't see 'em, how can I guard 'em?

Nose pokes and butt sniffs,

Pee-eth: Methinks I have a lithp after reading the thtory about Elithabeth and her Royal Advithor.

A human owned by a hound said...

Whimsey, my sincere thanks to you and your humans. While the term "LOL" is tossed about with much abandon, your Hound Certification Test honestly had me laughing, not only laughing out loud, but with tears in my eyes. Thanks - my day needed laughter, and I found it here.