Entry # 96
December 5, 2008
Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from my Tribute Couch on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I regularly hold court amongst my worshipful company of humans. I don’t know about you but I am absolutely stuffed with turkey leftovers. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth seem to regard me as the method of choice for disposal of all their unwanted victuals (“Hurray! We actually found a practical use for Wimsey!”).
But I think I am useful for all sorts of things, like being a life coach for instance. And like all good life coaches I force people to do things they don’t necessarily want to do (because after all if they were doing the things they didn’t want to do they wouldn’t need a life coach). Last Sunday, for example, I forced us all out for a delicious long romp in Central Park in the pouring rain. And lest my humans have it easy I was adamant about taking the Bridle Path route which gets exceptionally muddy. So while my humans were squelching along they were forced to reflect on the lack of planning skills that respectively caused Elizabeth to choose to wear running shoes (she actually possesses a pair of rubber boots amongst her extensive Wimsey Boot collection) and Maria to choose a short jacket that acts like a rain gutter channeling rivulets of rain onto her jeans. The fact that I have for some weeks been eschewing the Bridle Path route should not have made them so complacent. I am well known to be a capricious and idiosyncratic Hound given to changing my mind and unexpectedly renewing my enthusiasm for places and things previously ignored or abandoned. (a corollary to this is that just because I have not yet chewed up the kitchen table doesn’t necessary mean that I will not in the future chew up the kitchen table. Learning to cope with the unexpected is one of the many life lessons that Hounds teach their humans).
Wimsey’ School of Life Coaching
Life Coach Wimsey: What brings you here to me today other than the need to admire a magnificent Hound?
Client: I hate my job, have no personal life and am very unhappy.
Life Coach Wimsey: That’s too bad, but how is your Hound?
Client: My Hound is fine. He’s living on a trust fund and is very popular at the dog park.
Life Coach Wimsey: Then you have no problems. Next!
Client # 2: My life lacks focus and achievement and I have no sense of self esteem.
Life Coach Wimsey: Do you have a Hound?
Client # 2: No. I lack the courage.
Life Coach Wimsey: Well I advise you to find it. A Hound will provide the focus you lack—they are difficult to please so you can solve your problems by focusing your life on winning the approval of your Hound. Every day is the first day of pleasing your Hound (they will have forgotten what you did for them yesterday). And you will experience a great sense of accomplishment any day that you succeed in hanging onto your food and personal possessions. And although no one will admire you exactly they will greatly admire your Hound and you can bask in his reflected glory. As for self esteem, your Hound has more than enough for both of you so don’t worry about yours. Take the plunge--remember, even the longest journey begins with the first step of attempting to leash a Hound. And of course you won’t have any free time available to brood about how unhappy you are. Next!
Well, anyway, Sunday was delightful—there is nothing like the feeling of dragging wet and peeved humans along mud filled paths in the rain to boost the Houndly spirits. The only bad thing was that owing to the slippery nature of the wet leaves I was forced to wear my Halti which I feel mars the beauty of my expressive face (you can see how annoyed I was to be photographed wearing it). The Halti also comes into play because Maria apparently has a permanently strained hamstring and Elizabeth is now in physical therapy for her shoulder. Her orthopedist was very interested in the cause of her injury (“You have Hound shoulder? Is that like tennis elbow?”) and actually wants a picture of us both for the video wall in his waiting room. In fact during the visit all the doctor’s assistants and technicians were huddled around the computer viewing pictures of me. They claimed it was a purely professional interest in viewing the source of the injury but Elizabeth kept hearing squeals of “He’s so cute!” coming through the door and periodically they would poke their heads in to offer some admiring comments about me, which she no doubt found very gratifying considering the circumstances.
And of course the following Sunday Elizabeth took me out for a four hour walk in Central Park which I am sure did her shoulder no end of good. Maria did not accompany us that time and Elizabeth was able to give free rein to her maniacal photo taking and I was able to give free rein to my maniacal non-cooperation. And every time she had me set up exactly right some helpful person would come trotting over to offer to take a picture of her with me, which of course necessitated my breaking the pose to get up and give them a good poke with my nose. And then one admiring couple were so enchanted by my cuteness that they declared they wanted one just like me. And the by now exceedingly frustrated Elizabeth, unencumbered by the more tactful presence of Maria (“Well Wimsey is quite an active dog and does require a good deal of exercise, and he does produce rather a quantity of drool and of course Hounds do have an odor although after a while one ceases to really smell it, and Wimsey is rather a strong minded and determined kind of dog and he does like to have a bit of fun with your possessions. But really, he’s lovely.”) was all “You don’t want him. He needs an insane amount of exercise, he flings drool everywhere, he smells and he’s stubborn, untrainable and destructive.” They were SOOO disappointed and wailed “But he’s so cute!”—( the Wimsey mantra)-- as if somehow my cuteness were incompatible with my fine Houndly attributes. And Elizabeth was all “Get over it—Wimsey exemplifies the principle that there is no such thing as a free lunch. You gotta pay the toll to the troll (or in this case to The Hound.”)
But I observe that hope springs eternal in the human breast and people always want to believe that somewhere there is a way to enjoy my canine beauty without suffering (and I use this word literally) the consequences. And you would think that when people inquire about what the most useful tools for dealing with a Hound are and the reply comes back “gin and aspirin” they would begin to get the idea that perhaps life with a Hound of my type is not all that desirable a thing. (Elizabeth always says Hounds should come with a complimentary supply of gin and aspirin although Maria makes a compelling argument in favor of tequila and Tylenol). But New Yorkers have this fixed belief that somewhere there is some perfect, cool kind of city dog (like me!) that is being kept a secret-- rather like those obscure and exclusive resorts in third world countries where famous people go but where they don’t want you to go also. Perhaps New Yorkers think there is some secret Order of the Bloodhound whose members wear dirt and food encrusted long ear headdresses and are pledged to propagate disinformation about us. Then again all they have to do is to tell the truth-- although people do look at my humans rather suspiciously, as if they are being deceptive and trying to hide the fact that I am really an easy fellow. After all, I am beautiful, rare (at least in New York City) and attention getting—so almost by definition I am a cool dog to have. And walking me makes a statement:
Statements That Walking Wimsey Makes
I lack judgment
I exhibit foolhardy courage
I am a foolish optimist. Or maybe just foolish
I have no physical fear
I have no sense of smell
I am hard of hearing
I have no attachment to material things
I have hard bones
I like getting hit in the face with wet gobs of slime
Insanity runs in my family
Anyway the next bit of exciting news here is that the 40 ounce stainless steel canteens that Maria ordered so that I might be sufficiently watered during the winter months (when city fountains are shut down) have arrived. So this Sunday my humans will set off for our walk hauling my water in case I get thirsty. And they now also have to provision themselves with a large quantity of biscuits as I have decided that I like to munch during my walks. And its been all “Perhaps next we will have to carry a bed in case Wimsey feels like taking a rest.” And “Is there anything else Sir would like us to carry for his comfort?” I don’t know about the bed, but perhaps a toy or two would not go amiss. But this just befits my status as pack leader that I learned all about last week when I reviewed Cesar Millan’s first DVD in his new set on mastering leadership. I apologize for the fact that video of me being fed pizza as I watched the DVD last week was shortened—I did indeed eventually finish the entire piece. I would have eaten it more quickly if my humans had also been eating pizza but they should be grateful that I ate it all as I hate doing things that they want or that they expect me to do (compliance being anathema to Houndly rule) even if it means turning down food. Last year they tried to make a funny birthday video of me demolishing a birthday cake except that I merely licked at the cake and sniffed it a bit in a kind of casual, desultory and distinctly non-humorous way. The result is a 20 minute video of my humans trying to entice me to eat the cake. But I digress.
This week I looked at the second of Cesar’s videos. In this one he chooses three of his cases to illustrate his principles. The first case involves a lack of respect, the second a lack of rules boundaries and limitations and the third a lack of leadership. I am happy to report though, that my humans have the utmost respect for me (it’s hard not to respect a creature capable of inflicting expensive physical therapy sessions) and although I seldom do what they want, they always do what I want. And of course there is no shortage of rules boundaries and limitations chez Wimsey and I am a most determined and decisive leader. These cases were very interesting to watch as Cesar demonstrates his ability to communicate with dogs via his clear energy and unambiguous body language. Very much like me, I think; when I want water I stop at a fountain; when I want a biscuit I poke the treat pouch with my nose; when I desire affection (generally when there are books or newspapers or TV remotes about) I sprawl on a lap; when I want someone to fork over a plastic bottle I bay; when I want to be annoying, well I just have to be me. Cesar is also very big on visualizing the outcome that you want. Like when I looked at the Thanksgiving turkey and imagined it in my bowl or when I visualize myself being chased around with a piece of dirty underwear in my mouth; somehow it all magically happens. So I am quite enjoying these DVDs-- and remember if you send some amusing canine anecdote to Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org she will put you in the running for a free set of them (funny how my email address isn’t email@example.com).
Well anyway, once again we are out of time and won’t be visiting the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art but I think looking at me qualifies as art appreciation. My humans always say that I am a piece of work.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a too cool for school New York Hound
Friday, December 5, 2008
Entry # 96
Posted by Wimsey at 8:44 PM