Friday, November 28, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 95
November 28, 2008

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the turkey and tofu (we have a lot of vegetarians here) saturated Upper West Side of Manhattan. Hope you all had as good a Thanksgiving as I did—my human Maria took me over to her friend Elizabeth’s where a complete turkey dinner awaited my gustatory approval. And as usual I helped a bit with the cooking and with vetting (pardon the expression) the wine as you can see below. I also positioned myself in the most convenient spot in the kitchen.

And there was even a live turkey wandering around Central Park for me to inspect last Sunday. Now I was very keen to get to know this turkey better (I observed that turkeys move a lot slower than squirrels do) but I was unfortunately prevented (“Quick get Wimsey out of here before he jumps the fence!”). And we visited the pilgrim statue in Central Park which was given to the Park in 1885 by the New England Society to commemorate the landing of the pilgrims at Plymouth Rock on December 21, 1620. Perhaps if they had brought a few Hounds with them they would not have needed the help of the Indians in the food supply area; but then again we would not have Thanksgiving and I would not have gotten all this turkey, so perhaps it was a good thing after all. And the Hounds were unlikely to have been as generous as the Indians in sharing their food. In addition to the free range turkey, this Sunday’s park outing was once of those “awesome” days where virtually every passerby employed that word with regards to me. It made a much appreciated change from the more usual “he’s so cute.”

Anyway Elizabeth spent an entire day cooking for me and made a most astonishing discovery in her kitchen. Now first let me say that if New York apartments are tiny, the kitchens are even smaller (why waste precious space on a kitchen when your apartment is too small to eat food in anyway) and there are items jammed into Elizabeth’s cabinets that have not seen the light of day since the Clinton administration. Now as she was digging through these relics searching for the turkey roasting pan and rack that she bought several years ago specifically for the purpose of cooking me turkeys, guess what she discovered when she finally uncovered the pan! Kibble! Now granted my kibble distribution skills are legendary (“How did kibble get between the sheets and the mattress?”) but inserting kibble into a packed kitchen cabinet is impressive even for me. And I don’t even live in her apartment! My kibble is like Houdini only it gets into things instead of out. So it was all “Perhaps Wimsey’s kibble should be classified as an invasive species.” Anyway Elizabeth cooked a wonderful meal and as my humans thought about the things to give thanks for, I was (not surprisingly) at the top of their list, which although much appreciated, does make me wonder yet again about their intelligence. And while they discussed my many fine attributes, I took the opportunity to sprawl out for a postprandial snooze.

Things I Know That Maria And Elizabeth, Are Thankful For

They are thankful for the thoughtful way in which I keep them humble. It is hard for them to be self-important when at the back of their minds they know that they are routinely bested by a Hound.

They are thankful for all the opportunities for exercise, both intentional and not, that I provide. Also the fact that I have restricted our injuries to those which, however painful, don’t require visits to emergency room. At least not yet.

They are thankful for the abundant social opportunities that being with me affords them even though they are only permitted to bask in my reflected glory as no one really cares about them.

They are thankful for the fact that they are now on intimate terms with every peebable tree, shrub and bush available in Central Park’s lush 800 acres. I understand they are thinking about giving them names.

They are thankful for the fact that they do not yet need a tractor to move me when I want to go in one direction and they in another. It merely requires the combined efforts of both of them digging in and hauling.

They are thankful for my affectionate nature in spite of the fact that it often results in crush injuries and also that I permit them the (partial) use of my furniture.

They are thankful for my assertive nature which never leaves them in doubt as to what the Great Hound that I am requires for my comfort.

They are thankful for my robust health which means that my frequent vet visits are merely to take care of ailments which are of a non-critical yet somehow highly expensive nature.

They are thankful for my fine voice with which I entertain the Upper West Side.

They are thankful for the fact that I care enough about them to make sure that I am always with them via my scent, hair and drool which are their constant companions however far away from me they stray.

In short, they are just thankful for Me (a privilege to know, a nightmare to take care of). A pity I don’t feel the same way about them. But then I wouldn’t really be a proper Hound.


And speaking of proper Hounds, as you know I, Wimsey, have been contacted by Cesar Millan’s marketing people about reviewing his new DVD, Mastering Leadership (leadership being something I am definitely the master of). Now the DVD comes in a set of three so today I will review the first one called People Training for Dogs. Here is a video of me enjoying the DVD:

Now I think this is an excellent video. Cesar points out the difficulty people have because they live in the past (“Do you remember the time Wimsey ate all the chair cushions.”) or the future (“If we buy new chair cushions Wimsey will just eat them all”) rather than in the present (“Look at Wimsey eating all those chair cushions!). Now as a Hound I never ruminate about past transgressions nor do I (necessarily) plot future ones. I merely seize the moment along with the dirty underwear. Cesar counsels humans to do likewise.

Also according to Cesar my humans should be viewed as animal, species, breed and personality which means that they have needs, first as animals (food and water) then as homo sapiens, (a reason to live: Hounds) then as breed—(New Yorkers: black clothing and Chinese takeout) and then as personalities (Maria and Elizabeth, the crazy women who love that giant smelly Hound). And of course Cesar stresses the need for animals to work for their food, so I make sure to keep my humans hard at work preventing my nose from inserting itself into their food (also the layout of Elizabeth’s apartment is particularly conducive to chase games). Now in general I am a picky eater except where anything humans are eating is concerned which makes their consuming nourishment in my presence quite a vigorous exercise.

And speaking of exercise Cesar believes that the road to fulfillment lies in exercise, discipline and affection by which standards my humans must be extraordinarily fulfilled people. On the exercise front I have them out in all weathers a minimum of four times a day for hours and hours (and hours) of towing pleasure. As a Hound I am the ultimate cross trainer—cardio in running to keep up with me when I am on a scent (which is pretty much always) and I provide an upper body and core workout as they try to periodically slow me down. And of course it takes balance skills to stay upright if you are at the other end of my leash. With respect to discipline I am pretty lucky as my humans show minimal aggression, even when I destroy whatever prized possessions they have left; they tend either to laugh or to cry. And they don’t have any nasty habits like resource guarding which would require firm action on my part. And as for affection, this I dole out at intervals when I am in the mood. But of course affection from a giant Hound is a mixed blessing—I can even make licking them painful as I put my entire weight behind my tongue—I call this power licking-- forcing the human neck backwards to its fullest extent (think Hound whiplash)—which means my humans are not exactly lamenting the fact that it’s been hours since I last pinned them against the couch with my weight or crushed their thigh bones with my tush. And of course the video confirms my position as pack leader which Cesar defines as a dog that jumps on you, walks through the door first, walks ahead of you, wakes you up when you are sleeping and barks at you (although technically I bay). He left out the part about the dog that drags you down five flights of stairs, tows you through the park, and moves the mattress out from under you while you are sleeping. But these are very slight omissions.

Finally Cesar discusses his favorite topic—the importance of rules, boundaries and limitations, with which I heartily agree.

Wimsey’s Rules, Boundaries and Limitations

No vacations can be taken without me.

Social contacts not involving me must be kept to a minimum.

All food items are subject to vigorous nasal interrogation. Items of interest must be shared.

All visitors must be thoroughly nose wanded as a matter of homeland security and having been found harmless must proceed to the Tribute Couch to pay tribute to me.

All bags,(both those belonging to my humans and those belonging to perfect strangers on the street) are subject to a thorough inspection of their contents by my wet and inquisitive nose.

Schedules must be adjusted to accommodate my Morning Walk, Midday Walk, Early Evening Walk and Bedtime Walk. Resulting free time can be spent scratching me, wrestling with me, playing with me, sitting with (under) me or just admiring me.

In the event I do something you want (like sitting for those interminable, walk interrupting photographs) rich rewards must ensue.

If I want it, I must have it.

In short all activities must involve me or be undertaken for my express benefit.

And of course there are other good things in the video too, like Cesar’s dog impersonations and his recognition of The Nose as a magnificent organ. But mainly he confirms my belief that it is my calm assertive demeanor, even in the face of all the ladies’ excited nuttiness (“Run! Wimsey is about to shake his head!” or “Wimsey give me back that remote!” or “Wimsey if you don’t stop chewing on the cookbook I can’t make the stuffing!”) that is the source of my authority. The fact that I am terminally cute has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Anyway, I will be reviewing the second DVD next week. In the meantime I have an extra set to give away to some badly behaved canine so if you are interested, pop Elizabeth an email at
elizabeth@wordsofwimsey.com and share some naughty antic with her and she will post the winning entry in the December 12th post and send you the set. A little Christmas gift from me and my buddy Cesar. And PS: the box makes a fine chew.

Well it appears that we don’t have time this week for a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art, but feel free to review the entire collection at
http://wimseyhoundart.blogspot.com

Now it’s time for me to tuck into all the leftover turkey that has fallen to me to valiantly dispose of. But I do wonder what the one in Central Park tastes like….

Until next time,

Wimsey, the calm and assertive Thanksgiving Hound





5 comments:

Dughallmor Beagles said...

I am thankful for your blog......it makes me laugh and laugh, you are such a handsome and clever Hound! Glad you had a good Thanksgiving.
Slobbers from the Beagles xx

Anonymous said...

Inquiring minds want to know, Wimsey: did you finish the slice of pizza?

Love,

Miss Kitty

Marmalade said...

Wow--pizza! We're not allowed to have human food, although Bernie sneaks a slice of cheese now and then... Glad you had a nice Thanksgiving. My Mom thought your "tipsy" picture was super cute. We didn't get to supervise turkey roasting this year since it happened at the grandparents'... oh well. There's always next year.

Bentley said...

Wimsey, that bed looks pretty comfy. For some reason, I'm not permitted to sleep on the bed. Now, I suppose, I shouldn't feel too bad, since I am allowed on the couch and the recliner.

Have a good week, and looking forward to next weeks adventures.

Bentley

Edie and Gus said...

Dear Wimsey the Human Whisperer,
Excellent review of the DVD. I share your sentiments on hound-worship. We need to continue training our humans to respond quickly and appropriately to our leadership. Humans will often test our authority, but with quick action, they are properly put in their place!

I am not quite sure how you spread your kibble such great distances. You are almost like the James Bond of kibble! My kibble does not escape me-ever! However, I have to contend with two additional hounds in the house, who have extremely efficient nose wands as well.

I hope you are enjoying your warm weather. It was 30 below zero at noon yesterday up here in Alaska. BRRRRR!

Regards,
Gus, the Frosty Alaskan Bloodhound