Friday, July 10, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #127

Entry #127
July 10, 2009

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the summery precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the streets smell delightfully of things that only a Hound could love and I smell delightfully of things only my humans could love—or not. Based on the plethora of olfactory oriented comments this week I suspect that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are cooking up another episode of Wimsey Bath Night. And just when my stink is starting to achieve its maximum potential, too.

And on the subject of grooming, as I previously mentioned my humans have been testing out the R-7 ear cleaning system and there is good news and bad news. The good news is, first of all, that I permit them to get anywhere near my ears with the stuff and the second is that it does dry out and prevent the dreaded and itchy Hound Ear Gunk--but only on the outer portions of the ear. I am definitely less itchy but the only way to get into the ear canal itself would be to pour the old ear cleaning solution that the vet recommended down the canal. I am sure this solution would work if only I would permit my humans to do it. Formerly when this product was used it was administered via cotton pads saturated with the stuff and squeezed into the ear canal. The consequences of my humans doing this were that they had to listen to many happy hours of me shaking my head and throwing myself against the walls and floors. (I can be quite dramatic when I am displeased). As a result my humans didn’t end up using the product with the requisite frequency (“Wimsey looks so happy. Do we really want to ruin his day with the ear cleaning solution?”). So they have switched to the more imperfect but doable R-7, with periodic professional ear cleaning at the vet’s.

Anyway, we had a wonderful Fourth of July weekend —I scored a real bonanza in the plastic bottle department—first there was this nice group of Hound lovers hanging out on their stoop. They were kind enough to empty their bottles and toss them my way in order to watch me play with them. Then I happened upon a bevy of police officers in the parking lot of the 20th precinct, many of whom were fortuitously armed with water bottles. When I politely produced some arresting sonorous bays directed at these bottles, several of them were promptly emptied and donated for my enjoyment. They really are New York’s Finest.

The weather here over the Fourth was very nice and as a consequence we spent quite a bit of time hanging out in Central Park where I made an exciting discovery-- trees are really just collections of sticks and these sticks don’t have to be on the ground for me to chew on them.. Maria took these pics rather hurriedly because she feared that the chewing of sticks while they are still actually attached to trees would violate some park ordinance resulting in a hefty fine. It’s a good thing that Hounds are not assessed penalties like the ones imposed at football games:

Wimsey’s Lexicon of Hound Penalties

Interference: interfering with humans trying to sleep, eat, use the toilet, take a bath, drink a cocktail, watch TV, use the computer, remain uninjured, have friends, remain clean, smell nice or have a life.

Out of Bounds: chewing under, around or through a fence meant to restrain the naturally investigative nature of the Hound.

Intentional Grounding: excessive exuberance when greeting. (also imposed for body slamming, particularly at the back of the knees)

False Start: eeling through a partially opened door to begin a constitutional sans Hound restraining equipment

Illegal Procedure: taking a conspicuous dip in Bethesda Fountain

Tripping: suddenly wheeling perpendicular to an oncoming human causing the human to fall over the Hound. Also imposed for lying at full stretch in the middle of the kitchen floor during meal preparation times

Encroachment: a stealthy maneuver whereby a Hound obtains possession of the couch without a human noticing that they are suddenly sitting on the floor

Holding: sitting on a human and refusing to move.

Clipping: Hounds never permit this maneuver.

Unnecessary Roughness: what a Hound does if clipping is ever attempted

Unsportsmanlike Behavior: the behavior of a Hound

There is actually a field hockey penalty called “sticks” which I suppose in my case would mean chewing on them when they were actually still branches.

Well after a lovely time in the park we all repaired chez moi for cocktails, pizza and a Star Trek DVD. (I am James T. Wimsey, Captain of the starship Couch…my endless mission to boldly annoy in ways no Hound has annoyed before...) Now Elizabeth discovered that trying to drink a cocktail, nibble nuts and watch a DVD is extremely difficult with a generously proportioned Hound sitting in her lap—especially as any diminution in petting was immediately met with a painful thwack of a giant paw or the application of gentle pressure on the internal organs. It was hard to tell whether the shrieks were due to the exciting antics of the crew of the Enterprise or because of the leverage I was bringing to bear on her various nerve endings. And the fact that she was forced to look at the screen by peering around or above my head lent that desirable air of theater-like verisimilitude. I really don’t believe that any DVD is quite as interesting as watching my head. I mean who wants to watch intergalactic space battles when one could be admiring my ponderous wrinkles or my lovely ear set.

Now a lot of people spent the holiday weekend traveling but those who stayed here indulged in the many cultural opportunities that New York City has to offer. For instance, we ran into this sign last week. I was very tempted to participate as the sign did say everyone was welcome and did not specify a species. And I excel at the chassé-- although I am not sure how they would feel about me chasse-ing the other dancers.

Also in Central Park over the summer there is Shakespeare in the Park. And as we were exiting the park yesterday my humans’ attention was caught by the sight of Meryl Streep walking towards us on her way over to the theater and my attention was caught by Meryl Streep walking towards us dressed all in white. Unfortunately I was walking in between my humans but they both quickly looked down at me and it was all “No Wimsey, there will be no flinging drool on theatrical legends. Especially those wearing white.” What can I say—where they see couture I see canvas. Anyway, I really like Shakespeare but I think some of his best lines could be improved:

Wimsey’s Guide to Shakespearean Quotes

What’s in a name? That which we call a Hound by any other name would stink as much.

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow creeps forth this heinous hound destroying all our possessions, dignity and self-respect. Out out annoying Hound. But he doesn’t listen—it is all sound and fury signifying nothing he is interested in listening to.

The lady doth protest too much methinks, after all she’s the one who got the Hound in the first place. And she can always buy new underwear.

If music be the food of love, bay on. And I will boil thee some more liver.

All the world’s a stage. And all the men and women merely players, controlled by their Hounds.

To bay or not to bay. That is the question. I think I’ll bay.

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio that you ever dreamed your Hound could destroy

To sleep, perchance to dream. Ay there’s the belly rub.

Oh Hound. Hound. Wherefore art thou Hound? That silence cannot be good.

We are such stuff as dreams (or maybe nightmares) are made on

Parting with your possessions is such sweet sorrow

What a piece of work is a Hound

The fault dear Brutus is not in our stars but with our Hounds. They’ve trashed the place.

Out damned spot! Who would have thought the Hound would have so much drool in him.

Something is rotten in the State of Denmark and my Hound has rolled in it!

Well apart from the cultural activities in the park this week, I did run into an old friend—her name is Oreo and she is bigger than I am! And then while our humans chatted we had a little rest. Of course I seem to require lots of little rests on the path that leads to the exit nearest home. Also I find that on the way home there is much that urgently needs to be sniffed and sticks that it would be remiss of me not to chew. And benches that need to be climbed upon, etc. And when all else fails I simply flop down and refuse to move—a time honored houndly maneuver which brings a whole new meaning to illegal parking.

Anyway this week we finish up with our usual visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we are examining the art of the second grade class of the Denali elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our first artist is Akaylee and hers is an anthropomorphic piece of surrealism entitled This is Wimsey on a Walk in Town. We note with interest the strong verticals of the work (phallic symbolism being unusual in an artist so young however they do say kids grow up fast these days) and the underlying volumetric symmetry of the two narrow buildings being equal in width to the third. But the seriously interesting thing about the piece is the rendering of me—I have the body of a Hound and the face of a happy little girl. Kind of like a canine Sphinx minus the headdress and ancient provenance and wholly consistent with the surrealistic school of early children’s art.

And we can also see a touch of the surrealist school in our next work, Siearra’s Wimsey Chasing a Basketball in the Green Grass. Here we see how the artist has rendered the construction of the work in a series of echoing curves—from the swayed back of the Hound’s black saddle to the roundness of his head (with forehead wrinkle prominently displayed—perhaps to emphasize the sagacity of the Hound) to the curve of the ball. We even have a little hoop with my name engraved on it. The picture is framed by the rectilinear elements of the sun’s rays and the green grass. We note with interest however, that the Hound seems surreally human—his eyes are blue and he appears to have humanoid pink lips--a very fine fusion of classical and surreal elements.

Well that is all for this week. I am off to dream about policemen bearing water bottles and erudite Shakespearean Hounds (and Meryl Streep’s pristine suit).

Until next time,

Wimsey, formerly of Stratford Upon Hound


Martha said...

Hi Wimsey
We enjoyed your saunter into the world of Shakespeare - 'to bay or not to bay' - that is indeed the question.
We find it best to go ahead and do as nature intended.
Now you know from the female hound perspective there is nothing more delightful than the odour of hound.
You are at your most attractive right now whilst your humans are intent on washing this attractiveness from you.
We would ask the question why they feel the need to do this?
Is it because they are worried that you will desert them and set up with a female hound companion?
We soooo look forward to seeing you at Rosie & Petey's forthcoming wedding.
We trust we can mark you down on our dance card - let us know your preference although we think you would be magnificent in a waltz.
All our love and admiration
Martha & Bailey xxxxxxxxxxx

Clive said...

Hi Wimsey

We spotted your blog on Martha & Bailey's blog and dropped over to say hello!

We loved your post - bit of Shakespeare, bit of central Park, bit of ear problems - can identify with that big time - need all sorts of cleaning out of my ears too and don't like it either!!

Have a great weekend

Bentley said...

Thanks, Wimsey, for the ear cleaning review. I think it sounds like my humans will stick with the paper towels and the occasional baby oil treatments of the outer areas of the ear. They've got some power stuff too, if things get too bad, but I can smell that stuff coming! It's not as bad as the alcohol wash, when that comes out, there is no way that I let anyone close to me!

If you do join the dance classes I hope there will be video!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bernie said...

Definitely to bay. Loud. Wimsey, you are just gorgeous in those photos--truly a magnificent hound. Mom is on the hunt for dog wipes to help with my yeast issues. I tolerate ear cleaning and eye drops pretty well, but Mom doesn't take no for an answer... for some reason, she won't feed me at 4 a.m., though... I have to wait until 6:30.

Edie and Gus said...

Ear cleaning. Harrumph. Edie took down notes on your new treatment and spoke to the vet about it. She also did not clean my ears 2 weeks prior to the vet visit, so Dr. Deleone could view the gunk first hand. But, SURPRISE! The good doctor announced that my ears were not bad AT ALL, and there was no yeast down in the canals. One of the few benefits of living in the extremely dry climate of interior Alaska, I suppose. But, alas, I still have to endure ear cleaning about once a week.

Shakespeare and Wimsey... Edie is wondering if maybe a new book, "Analysis of Shakespeare by Sir Wimsey" may grace the shelves of high schools in the near future...??

Your northern buddy and "Intentional Grounding" Specialist,