Entry # 102
January 16, 2009
Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey and I hope you are all keeping a lot warmer than we are here on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where even I am starting to get a little peeved at the thermometer—and as we know there is not much that goes on in the great outdoors that I get peeved about (except perhaps being restricted in my pursuit of squirrels or of making the acquaintance of the odd raccoon). Not to mention that it takes my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth an unconscionable amount of time to suit up for our expeditions into the frozen wasteland that has become Manhattan. It’s like being with Scott of the Antarctic four times day. Any day now I expect to see a team of huskies at the front door and pemmican in the treat pouch.
Now the subject of the treat pouch has become a sore point amongst my humans as I have decided that I like to be fed cookies pretty continuously during our walks. And because, as we know. treats do not appear from the side of a human but from the front, the process of obtaining treats necessitates my swinging around to poke my nose into the treat pouch which necessitates my humans paying close attention so as not to fall over me. I also tend to walk forward like a crab (or for those dancers among you, I execute a mean grapevine step) until the cookie is placed securely in my mouth (insecurely placed cookies end up falling off of my pendulous oral folds and onto the ground where I stare indignantly at them and then poke the treat pouch again). Now eons ago, Elizabeth , who thinks I am seriously thick, decided to teach me to poke the pouch for a cookie assuming that this simple trick represented the outer limits of my intellectual, trick learning ability. And what an apt pupil I have become—she now must walk me with her pouch overflowing with treats (and yet still occasionally has to borrow some from Maria) or risk an entire walk with Wimsey the Crab. The good news is that by comparison my towing and incessant sniffing have become desirable behaviors and it’s all “Oh look! Wimsey’s being the tractor again! Walking Wimsey the Tractor is so much safer than walking Wimsey the Crab!”). And of course being a bloodhound I can immediately tell if there is a stray Yummy Chummy buried amidst the cookies and I will contemptuously spit out all cookies until the Yummy Chummy is produced. As a consequence there is much finger pointing from Maria “You taught him do this! Make him stop.” But as we know making a Hound stop anything that he is intent on doing is virtually impossible. Besides, my en route snacking is just a logical magnification of the “trick” I was taught—we Hounds are frequently creatures of extremes.
Another example of this is the stuffed duck that I purchased last week. After a week of being devoted to it, it has become, well just a stuffed duck. It’s like last week I was in love and infatuated—it was new and exciting--and this week it has become boring and familiar so I take it for granted. But aren’t all relationships like that? At least there won’t be any legal bills when I decide to pull the stuffing out of it. So all the anti-guarding precautions of last week (I don’t actually guard but my humans like to take measures to make sure I don’t start) have now been dropped as sadly the duck has joined my extensive menagerie of exes.
Wimsey’s Marriage Guidance Center
Counselor: How can I help you?
Wimsey: Hey! Cesar Millan always says that! You’re not going to flip me on my back or anything?
Counselor: Certainly not. I never engage physically with my clients.
Wimsey: That’s too bad you’re pretty cute.
Duck: See, there he goes again! Wherever did the idea come from that Hounds were faithful? He’s a real dog.
Counselor: Well, I can see your point; there is something of the canine about him. Perhaps it is his giant twitching nose and the fact that he has a tail and four legs. Anyway, other than the fact that he’s large, smelly, deficient in flatulence control, self centered and messy—a male of any species in fact—what seems to be the problem? Does he leave the toilet lid down and prevent you from drinking?
Duck: No. That’s not it. When we first met, I was his own special duck. He was all over me. We went everywhere together. And he would introduce me immediately to everyone who came through the door. And he used to sing me love ballads. Now he doesn’t sleep with me or cuddle with me anymore. And I suspect he’s seeing a hedgehog on the side. Also I’ve caught him with an green octopus from his past.
Counselor: Well all relationships lose intensity over time. Now that you are available to him he doesn’t crave your company as much as when you were out of reach.
Duck: But what can I do? I can’t find anyone else—I look like hell after what he’s put me though. And I gave him the best minutes of my life. Are all males like that?
Counselor: Yes. It’s what keeps me in business.
Duck: But what can I do?
Counselor: I suggest you separate for a while—perhaps take an extended vacation in that out of reach toy basket you’ve always wanted to visit. It’s the nature of the beast to want what it can’t have. I think you’ll find when you return he’ll be interested in you again. Perhaps he might even leave that new hedgehog. Give her my card, won’t you.
But this week I did very nearly fall in love for real—we met an elegant lady Borzoi—intact and in season! Naturally I was all in favor of getting to know this sublime creature better (so much better even than I know my stuffed duck) but it was determined, even in spite of my heroic tractor pulling, that this was not a good idea. But on the subject of female Hounds, it seems that that great beauty and my great love, Phoebe (she for whom I stacked backwards in the show ring much to the displeasure of Elizabeth) is being shown at Westminster next month and there is talk of us getting together (although not in the biblical sense I fear). I am aquiver with anticipation—the exquisite scent of her nether regions is forever impressed upon my brain—perhaps that’s why there’s no room left to learn obedience commands. Also my sister Dixie is expecting! I am to be an uncle next month—I hope her pups turn out just like their Uncle Wimsey. Everyone else hopes not.
Well, it is January and January is birthday season around here—unfortunately not mine (that is in March—my Piscean birthday accounts for my sensitive, musical and salmon loving nature) but both Maria and Elizabeth have birthdays next week and I am encouraging them to celebrate by buying me some gifts, which I know gives them great pleasure. And I will give them drool, hair, stink and will graciously sit upon them with my tush. Perhaps I will even share my duck with them (maybe they will get me a real stuffed duck—one with wild rice). Anyway, due to the cold Maria is declining to go out and celebrate and Elizabeth is slipping off to Texas for a few days hoping to thaw out. Needless to say I find this willful absence from me appalling, especially as her work has been keeping her chained to the computer and away from me. As it turns out she was so focused on work that the US Airways jet glided right past her window yesterday (her windows face directly on the Hudson River) and she didn’t even notice! So if she fails to be distracted by large jetliners landing in the Hudson River what chance does a large Hound landing on her lap have? Anyway, I have made out a shopping list for her trip to Texas:
Wimsey’s Texas shopping list:
A ten gallon hat filled with liver
A new collar with a cowboy buckle
A plate of Tex-Mex
Some crude oil to make a mess with
A pair of hand tooled boots to chew up—preferably very expensive ones
A bouquet of yellow roses for Phoebe
A Dallas Cowboy cheerleader to coo over me
An actual cowboy for Maria
Well I can hardly believe that I am now past 100 entries with my diary. Of course being so prolific a writer has a few unintended consequences—like the fact that things people say on the street start sounding an awful lot like the things I write about. For instance, just this week a gentleman with an accent stopped Maria and asked her very formally “How old is your Hound?” which caused Maria to laugh in the poor chap’s face as it reminded her so strongly of post # 10 about the proper way to learn English. And if you pass me on the street and exclaim “He’s so cute!” the ladies are likely to giggle.
Anyway it is again time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Now one of my (many) pet peeves is the fact that public depictions of the Hound so often lack dignity. Many of the videos on YouTube feature Hounds looking foolish, unintelligent and ridiculous (mine of course don’t—I am shown daintily being fed pizza while reviewing a Cesar Millan video, being equally daintily spoon fed Grom Gelato by Elizabeth’s houseguest, quietly chewing a stick in Central Park, demonstrating my houndly prowess by towing a human and showcasing my “finding” ability by finding Elizabeth after Sunday brunch—all with great dignity). But before there was YouTube there were portraits. So today we look at one of the best portraits by the great French neoclassical painter, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres. Although Ingres painted many subjects he is best known for his portraits, particularly this one: Princesse de Broglie (Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1853, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Ironically, although Ingres considered himself a guardian of the classical style and in direct opposition to the romantics such as Delacroix, his distortions of form and space presage modern art. Look at the beautiful Princesse and notice that her neck is anatomically too long. The Princesse she was known for her reserve, beauty and dignity and this distortion helps enhance these qualities. But as beautiful as the portrait is, see how much more beautiful it is with the addition of a magnificent (and very dignified) Hound! Notice how the solemn demeanor of the Hound echoes that of the Princesses and how the noble Hound has carefully chosen a lovely headdress to complement the glowing silk and lace gown of the Princesse. Prince and Princesse Wimsey de Broglie
Well, that is all for this week. Hope it is warm where you are. And remember, if it quacks like a duck, it’s mine.
Until next time,
Wimsey, A Hound of Massive Dignity
Friday, January 16, 2009
Entry # 102
Posted by Wimsey at 7:18 PM