September 12, 2008
Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from Hound HQ on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. I am pleased to report that the weather has become a tad autumnal which means that I have become a tad frisky, much to the dismay of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who have trouble enough with me even in my more sedate moods. And at my last weigh in I achieved a majestic 128 pounds (that’s 58.2 kilo!), which is up three pounds from my normal 125, and thus I have even more mass with which to conduct physics experiments on the bodies of my unfortunate humans. Having pretty much perfected the half body drape (humans sit on my couch at their peril) I am now conducting experiments to see if I can actually curl my entire body onto Maria’s less than capacious lap. A difficult feat, I know, but we Hounds love a challenge and are relentless in our pursuit of comfort (and pretty much everything else). And of course the extra mass means it is becoming much harder to drag me out of Central Park which is 800 acres of pure Hound heaven. Not only is there an impressive variety of plants upon which to pee and under brush in which to hide poop, but there are also many interesting sights to behold. Here for instance, is a picture of me with a mime. Now I was very much in favor of investigating this mime further (I bet I could get her to talk!) but it was determined that the goosing mimes or the flinging drool on their painted skin would be inimical to their creative activities. But it did make me wonder why there are no Hound Mimes.
Human 1: Look! It’s a Hound mime!
Human 2: I though mimes were supposed to be silent.
Human 1: Not Hound mimes. But if you give him a piece of liver he will stop baying at you.
Human 2: OK. What else does he do?
Human 1: Well, if you give him another piece of liver he won’t jam his nose into your crotch.
Human 2: And what happens if I don’t feed him?
Human 1: Well, he’ll probably become quite peeved and fling muddy drool in your face. Or he might knock you down. Or play tug of war with your pants.
Human 2: So basically you have to bribe him not to annoy you. How is that entertaining?
Human 1: He is not meant to entertain you—you are meant to entertain him. He’s a Hound mime!
Anyway, the park was fantastic this week and I am honing my skills as a botanist-- I have recently identified several new types of nettle and thorn bearing plants into which to poop. The appreciative screams of delight that my unsuspecting humans emit are highly satisfying and I am sure that it will be quite some time before they again disparage my intellectual abilities. And I am always discovering interesting new places, like the café at the Sheep Meadow. Now over Labor Day during my stay with Elizabeth she became excessively hot and aggravated during one of our walks (I can’t imagine why—we often engage in scholarly disagreement over which direction to travel) so we dropped in on the Sheep Meadow café to could cool off with a beer. I enjoyed this beer break so much that now I furiously tow her there at every opportunity, whether she wants a beer or not! You really can’t win where I am concerned so I think my humans should just stop trying. All of which brings up the number one question my human Maria was asked this week—“Why do you have a dog like this?” An excellent question. My humans endure hoots of derision during our walks (who’s walking who?”) as I tow them through the park at high rates of speed. Meanwhile, Marmalade, a Hound from the nation’s capital reported to me that she recently ate a bird, a bat, assorted rodents and two stolen loaves of freshly baked bread and Gus from Alaska’s human received withering looks of scorn from a local dog trainer where Gus was being boarded and disapproving comments about the unusual matter that seemed to be passing through his digestive system. Let’s face it, in our hands even experienced dog people are made to look like incompetent neophytes. As to why we are not just tolerated but much loved, I am sure the shrinks of the world would find much to study, but I like to think that there is simply nothing as entertaining as a relentlessly self-interested and wholly unapologetic Hound. However, there are some alternative hypotheses:
Potential reasons why people harbor bloodhounds
Humans are insane.
They enjoy being humiliated by a dog
They don’t know what they are getting into until it is too late
We’re aspirational --they aspire to be like Hounds.
They think we’ll grow out of it
They have personal property to spare
They like a challenge
They think their Hound will be different
They enjoy serving a clearly superior being
They think we’re cute
And with all this nice weather my humans have been all “Wimsey seems reluctant to leave the park, I think he’s addicted” and “Maybe we should enroll him in a 12 step program.”
Wimsey’s 12 Step Park Addiction Program
Step 1: Acknowledge that you believe your humans should live in a tent in the middle of the park.
Step 2: Accept that your humans do not want to live in a tent in the middle of the park.
Step 3: Show remorse to humans for dislocating their shoulders whilst avoiding all park exits.
Step 4: Show remorse to humans for splitting their ear drums with bays of protest when they attempt to remove you from the park.
Step 5: Show remorse to humans for lying down and refusing to move.
Step 6: Show remorse for making your humans look bad when they haul you out of the park.
Step 7: Encourage your humans to be optimistic---being addicted to the park is better than being addicted to eating the couch.
Step 8: Encourage your humans to be positive—fresh air is very healthy.
Step 9: Accept that you are controlled by a Higher Power—your nose.
Step 10: Help your humans to accept that you are controlled a Higher Power—your nose.
Step 11: Help your humans to accept that they are powerless in the face of this Higher Power.
Step 12: Furnish your humans with the name of a good camping supply store.
Anyway, as many of you know we are deep into presidential election season and much excitement is being generated by the contest. In honor of this I am pleased to announce that the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is beginning a new feature: Great Moments in American History.
Today we begin with the signing of the declaration of independence: Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull, 1817, Capitol Rotunda,Washington DC). Now as you know my ancestors were key figures in the American Revolution and I am a distinguished member of the HAR (Hounds of the Revolution). In this painting we see my ancestor, Nathaniel Wimsey with his fellow signatories of the Declaration. Now Nathaniel Wimsey worked closely with Samuel Adams as founder of the Hounds of Liberty, (an off shoot of the Sons of Liberty) and was considered the orator of the Wimsey family (he is known for advising Patrick Henry to amend “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death to ‘Give Me Liberty or I’ll Steal Your Stuff” but was in the end over-ruled and for advising Sam Adams to change his “Don’t tread on me” flag to read “Don’t tread on me or I’ll bite you in the tush” but this was deemed excessively wordy). And of course Nathaniel was also the inspiration for Jefferson’s reference to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Wimsey’s original phrase was “life liberty and the pursuit of squirrels” but Jefferson elected to broaden the language). In any case when the Declaration was delivered to George III and his Prime Minister Lord North it was reported that the King immediately had a bilious fit when he noticed the unmistakable signs that a Hound was involved-- the colonies would almost certainly get their way no matter what methods the Crown employed to the contrary. George III may have been mad but he wasn’t stupid and he had a healthy respect for the determination of the Hound. Indeed, historians believe that on the basis on Nathaniel Wimsey’s involvement a much smaller force of red coats was sent than would have otherwise been deployed, thus shortening the war. Nathaniel by the way was a big fan of the British uniform if not their wearers and declared that the deep woolen pile of the red coat made for a superior nap. Indeed he was frequently to be seen in the highest councils of government sagaciously resting on his favorite stolen and well ventilated red coat.
And all this talk of England is highly appropriate—Elizabeth is expecting a guest from across the pond this week and I am planning on introducing her to the joys of being towed around Central Park. (She previously had beagles—an experience that so traumatized her that she now has a Golden Retriever). So off I go to work on my (lack of) manners.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Great American Hound
(the original design of Mt. Rushmore)
Friday, September 12, 2008
Posted by Wimsey at 8:09 PM