June 12, 2009
Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey the West Side Wonder Dog coming to you from the humidity laden island of Manhattan. Given the sticky weather we’ve been having around here my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth keep wishing that Manhattan could be moved like that island in Lost to a time when the humidity falls below 50%. I myself wish we could move the island to the day that bloodhounds first arrived at the monastery of St. Hubert:
At the Monastery of St. Hubert
Abbott: Come quickly Brother Jean! Come see what those heroic French crusading knights have stolen from the heathen!
Brother Jean: What the… I mean what in heaven’s name are these beasts?
Abbott: No one knows exactly. But I mean they have to be something good right? They come from the Holy Land. Why should the paynim be the only ones to have them?
Brother Jean: Hmm.. given the odor that seems to be emanating from them, are we sure that the paynim didn’t actually arrange for them to be lifted?
Abbott: Certainly not. I am sure they must be very valuable—they were being kept behind a high fence and their enclosure seemed to contain many valuable pieces of furniture and textiles. Also quite a lot of food that looked like it had been prepared for a banquet table.
Brother Jean: But is it ethical to fence Hounds—I mean it’s not exactly like the gold, jewelry and spices that we normally receive in tribute.
Abbott: I have no intention of selling them. We are going to breed them and then make sure everyone wants one. But of course we will only give them to the best people--for a large consideration you understand. Everyone wants what they can’t have. It’s called marketing. I admit, right now we wouldn’t be able to give them away, but before I am done every king and potentate of every land will be begging us for them.
Brother Jean: Gadzooks! You’re going to make more of them? But you saw what they did to the once elegant raiment of the knights. Also to their stores of rations and sweetmeats. And they apparently get very noisy when they don’t get what they want. Why would anyone want one?
Abbott: At the moment no one would. But apart from the fact that I intend to create the medieval world’s first status symbol, they do have the finest noses in Christendom.
Brother Jean: Yes, but they use these noses to find stuff to steal. I know they come from the Holy Land but are we sure they are products of heaven and not of the other side. Maybe they were sent to torment us?
Abbott: Naw, they’re too cute!
Well of course the Abbott did succeed in making my kind into the Lamborghini of Hounds and I am sure that everyone was so grateful to have obtained a St. Hubert Hound that they were in collective denial and would not possibly have dreamt of complaining about our little foibles.
Anyway, speaking about tormenting, this week we ran into a lovely young couple and the woman related the sad tale of her father—apparently the gentleman decided to upsize from a basset hound to a bloodhound under the misconception that a Hound is a Hound is a Hound. Now as you all know I am a modest fellow and I hate to brag about my breed but I have to admit to a certain rush of pride and pleasure in hearing tales of mammoth destruction such as those this nice young woman related. And her father lives in California where people not only have houses that can be trashed but also large yards that are available for creative landscaping. Currently this fine California Hound, having dealt with the house and yard, is hard at work eating its way through a sturdy wooden fence. Bravo! The woman also wanted to know whether my prong collar stops me from pulling. Maria, who has the good taste to love to talk about me, explained that nothing will keep me or any other determined Hound of my ilk from pulling. The choice of equipment merely dictates whether one will be dragged along the ground or have one’s shoulder tugged from its socket.
OK, before we proceed, you no doubt have noticed that in this week’s pictures I am wearing my Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat. Really the weather has been too cool to test it effectively but on Sunday it was a bit warmish so I decided to give it a go. I can report that it is quite comfortable to wear but further testing is necessary. The coat is wetted down with cool water and has to be re-wetted periodically—my current thinking is about every hour or so but more testing needs to be done to determine the best re-wetting interval. I am also concerned that the coat makes my butt look big. My usual black coat is quite slimming and it is possible that metallic blue is not nearly so flattering. (perhaps I should force my ladies to wear metallic blue trousers and see how they feel about the size of their posteriors).
But the first outing was a success and miraculously no one yelled about the fact that I was wearing a coat in the summer (New Yorkers being never short of an opinion about things relating to other people’s dogs and kids).
We did swing by Fairway for some grocery shopping where I generally hold court while my humans shop and only one woman asked about my coat. I always attract quite a bit of notice at Fairway and afterwards am vigilant about inspecting the grocery bags to make sure that the goods are of an acceptable quality suitable to my refined taste.
The other news around here is that I have a new schedule. Elizabeth now picks me up at midday for my afternoon walk and then I spend the day with her until Maria picks me up after work. This has meant more shared tuna sandwiches at the Loeb Boathouse (I like to get up on my hind legs at the counter to supervise the ordering—“he would like a tuna fish sandwich”—and consequently the Loeb Boathouse has begun to exert an almost magnetic attraction on me when I am anywhere in proximity.) And getting me to actually walk past the place sans tuna fish sandwich requires the services of a forklift. And on the subject of food sharing, a special shout out to the waiter at Arte’s Italian Café for racing out onto the street to feed me a breadstick. It was delicious. Maybe next time I’ll get a meatball!
The new schedule has also given me many more opportunities to resist coming in from the park. Now although I tow my humans into the park it has become increasingly necessary for them to tow me out. But in the meantime I employ an entire arsenal of delaying tactics and have recently added a new one to my extensive repertoire-- The Roach:
To Roach or not to roach-- that is the question. Whether t’is nobler in the mind to park one’s butt on a park bench and refuse to move
or to dislocate humans’ arms by charging in the opposite direction.
And by opposing them end their dreams of exiting the park.
To die—to sleep—or perchance to pretend to do so and thus create 126 pounds of dead weight
Immovable, implacable, unyielding.
Or to take into one’s mouth a sea of sticks, plastic bottles and juicy blades of grass
And by chewing, crunching and grazing end all hope of shuffling off to a speedy return home.
To bear the slings and arrows of outrageous pleading and by ignoring them, end them.
They won’t do any good anyway.
Why leaveth this pleasant country, so full of smells and small fast moving animals?
To roach or not to roach—Yes, to roach by all means!
And then after much pleading, whining and tugging (and trying to drag her into the Lake in pursuit of Duck a l’Orange, on the wing as it were) when we finally arrive chez Elizabeth I have a nice long drink—which I generously share with her—and then commandeer her kitchen floor for my Initial Post Walk Nap. Fortunately this nap coincides with her need to use the kitchen to prepare lunch so I am quite in the thick of things and she needs to employ the balletic skills of the Sugar Plum Fairy in order to keep from tripping over me. Eventually I migrate to my second nap station—the futon—but by that time she no longer needs the kitchen. The third nap station is generally on top of the newspapers she was intending to read but by then it’s almost time to rendezvous with Maria for another park walk and a meal containing food from Elizabeth’s dinner that she felt too guilty to eat because she knows how much more I enjoy her food than she does.
So all in all it’s been a pretty good week here in spite of the humidity—of course I am not the one who suffers from a bad hair day as my hair remains perpetually smooth and sleek regardless of climactic conditions.
But now it is time to visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we continue our exploration of the art of the second grade class at Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. First we have the dynamic art of Sydney in an imagined work This is Me and Wimsey at Pioneer Park. The artist uses a wide ranging palette to depict what my visit to Pioneer Park in Fairbanks, Alaska might look like. You can see me on the left with my forehead wrinkled emphasized for extra drama and much in the manner of modern pop artist Roy Lichtenstein Sydney has elected to use text. I especially like the “good dog.” Perhaps the artist should have a chat with my humans. It is a very jolly and happy scene accurately evoking the joy of all who behold me.
Next we have a politically inspired work by Cameron, This is Wimsey Taking Over the Ferry which depicts me in mid-coup d’etat imposing Houndly rule on the Staten Island Ferry. Notice that the artist has elected to use the same color for both the sky and the sea implying a unity of Mother Earth and calling our attention to the progenitive possibilities of the strongly vertical yellow house with the orange tip—clearly symbols for the regenerative powers of our planet and the vigor of the usurping Hound. I am sure this work has the potential to rival the iconic poster of Che. Che also wanted to take over the world, he was just less successful at it than I.
OK, I think that is it for this week. My humans are hoping for drier weather and I am hoping for more Italian waiters.
Until next time,
Wimsey, the Cool Hound
Friday, June 12, 2009
Posted by Wimsey at 8:42 PM