July 17, 2009
Hello everyone--Wimsey here, coming to you from the icky sticky and newly tropical island of Manhattan. I have been swanning around in my Ruff Wear Swamp Cooler cooling coat whilst my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have been sweltering in their customary t-shirts and jeans. But the miracle is that no one has been yelling at us on the street about the fact that I am wearing a coat on a hot day and I look so official in the coat that some people have even asked if I am a working dog. Of course I am a working dog, it’s just that I seldom work on things people actually want me to be working on:
Things I am always working on:
Places to poop that require my humans to be contortionists to pick up
Acting as a living reed dispenser for my intoxicating aroma
Covering the Upper West Side in pee
Assisting Homeland Security by inspecting the grocery bags of unsuspecting passersby
Making sure my humans don’t consume too much of their food
Improving our social life by towing my humans to the Boat Basin Café
Performing reflexology on human internal organs
Confiscating ecologically harmful water bottles
Entertaining tourists and making sure they leave the city with appropriate souvenirs on their clothing
Helping the vet build a new house
Anyway, perhaps I would offer to lend my humans my cooling coat if I were a Golden Retriever or some other caring breed, but alas for them I am a Hound. Sharing is not in our genetic makeup.
The Genetic Makeup of the Hound
Drule: the favorite gene of the dry cleaning industry
Entitle: the gene that underpins my belief that humans cannot do enough for me
Destruct: the gene that guarantees you will not get too attached to your possessions
Shove: the gene that means that no matter how large the bed or the couch I need to be in the spot currently occupied by you
Peski: the gene that renders pointless any activity in which I am not intimately involved
Loud: the gene that requires that all emotions and desires be acoustically expressed
Bathroom: the gene that mandates my supervision of all activities that occur therein except my bath
Nail: the gene that acts as a strong repellent to clippers, grinders or any other implement aimed at impeding the luxurious growth of my talons
Nose: the most powerful and active of the Hound genes that necessitates that organ’s insertion into everything from the posteriors of other dogs to your dinner, generally in that order.
Well in spite of the weather I have had a lot of fun this week, but that is not surprising as it is generally my mission to have a lot of fun every week. My Sunday walk for instance was quite exciting. First I ran into my friend Spencer who I enjoy giving a good sniff to. And for his part Spencer enjoys relieving my humans of as many biscuits as possible in a short a period of time. I’ll bet you would never guess that a mere biscuit could elicit such a marvelous degree of intensity—and such delightful facial wrinkles! And it was all “Now if we could only get Wimsey to pay attention to us like that!”
Then almost as soon as we entered the park we ran into the Bassett Boys—Loogi and Guinness who I have not seen in some time. Apparently their human moved five blocks north which is the New York City equivalent of moving to a foreign country. Now Elizabeth had this idea that somehow she was going to get a picture of us all neatly lined up and looking at the camera but then she remembered we were Hounds and gave up.
Let’s see, also on Sunday I was treated to an extensive session with the Zoom Groom-- the object of the exercise being the diminution of my drain clogging hair during the projected Sunday evening edition of Wimsey Bath Night. It didn’t work. But I enjoyed the massage anyway. Then as we were meandering along I dove into a pile of bushes leading my humans to fear that I might emerge with a dead squirrel or some other such desirable object, so they were much relieved when I seemed to emerge without anything dead hanging out of my mouth. In fact at first glance it appeared that I had come up empty mouthed so to speak, but upon closer examination my exquisite find was revealed—a baseball!
Well this was quite delightful, especially as we were heading in the homeward direction and I was able to forestall our progress by chasing the ball around and then lying in the grass chewing on it. So what with all the socializing, the baseball and some obligatory roaching we were out for another four hour jaunt and then it was over to Elizabeth’s for a bath. Technically I was the one getting bathed but in reality we all share in the experience. And it was determined that the degree of my smelliness was such that I am likely to require another bath in the very near future.
And then on Tuesday our new friend Mary from Louisville, Kentucky was back in town and she and her boyfriend joined my entourage. And on this visit she was treated to the complete Wimsey Experience—I was in fine voice so she got to hear some impressive baying and then we all headed over to Grom Gelato where I imposed by usual Gelato Tax in which I require a spoon feeding of one cup vanilla per visit-- much to the admiration of the general public. (You can watch a video of me being Grommed or listen to my baying when I “find” Elizabeth if you got to youtube.com and search for Wimsey). I am really a very dainty eater and surprisingly little of the gelato ends up on my nose (I exhibit the same delicacy when I impose my Tuna Fish Sandwich Tax also). Of course some of it does get flung on passersby but then no one ever said the streets of New York City were safe. And speaking of safety, there were a group of police officers in front of Mary’s hotel and she was able to witness firsthand my affinity with these protectors of the peace. We engaged in prolonged discussion about the possibilities of criminalizing the Gentle Leader. And of course the other hotel guests—especially those from the South—were also delighted to make the acquaintance of so fine a Hound as myself.
And we walked home along Amsterdam Avenue-- which is lined with outdoor restaurant tables-- people were calling to me and making those smoochy noises humans produce to attract canine notice. It seems never to occur to them that they are sitting in front of plates of food loaded onto tables that are exactly my height. You would think they might get a clue by the look of horror on my human’s faces (they being fully aware that according to the Wimsey Doctrine calling me when food is in evidence is tantamount to inviting me to partake). Of course it is extremely vexing to be hauled away from these humans engaged in food sharing behavior and my humans are often tempted to teach them a lesson by letting nature take its course. I, needless to say, am very much in favor of this.
Tuesday was also Bastille Day and I honored my French heritage (please no squawking from Belgium —it didn’t exist when my ancestors were brought to the Monastery of St. Hubert)-- by stealing French fries, sniffing people’s baguettes, kissing my humans when they were talking with the predictable result and playing with Norman the French bulldog.
Wimsey's Bastille Day Message
Heureux Quatorze Juillet! Bonjour mes amis deFrance. Je m'appelle Wimsey qui est un nom tres sissy mais c'est pas ma faute. (Mon human, tres senitmentale, admire le Lord Peter Wimsey qui est un detective de la fiction anglaise--quelle horreur---moi, un chien de St. Hubert nomme apres un sissy anglais). En realite je suis un chien massif et tres masculin avec des gonades tres beaux, grands et completement admirables. j'habite a New York avec ce human qui s'appelle Maria. Elle n'a pas le sens de habiter avec un chien de normal size. Mais les New Yorkais aiment et admire moi beaucoup mais occassionalement ils yell quand je fling le drool ou pressez mon nez grand et magnifigue dans leurs crotches. Mais, c'est normal. Je suis un Hound. Malheursement, ici a New York je ne suis pas welcome dans les restaurants, cafes et bars comme en France--un pays beaucoup plus civiliise qui concerne les grands smelly chiens et leur effet sur la hygiene d'alimentation. Et J'adore la cuisine francaise---les innards, le pate, les cute animaux comme bunnies et tous dans les sauces de creme. Et les frommages qui sont plus smelly que moi. Alors, Vive la France, pays natal original des Wimseys!
Well anyway, those were all the important events of the week and as is our custom we end this post with a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we examine the artistic endeavors of the second grade class at the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our first work is by Aluana and is entitled Wimsey is Looking Out a Railing Outside. Here we see a stunning work heavily influenced by masterpieces of African Art. The fierce expression on the face of the Hound and his open mouth ready at any moment to swallow up a hunk of stolen food make him a creature to be reckoned with. The artist has also used some artistic license in my coloring to create a symmetry between the black and the brown in my coat and has reversed the coloring of my head and my impressive forehead wrinkle. The black ear tips add balance to the piece and the whole is framed by a lighter rectilinear brown frame. A most impressive effort.
Next we have a seasonal piece by Scarlette: Wimsey’s Christmas Time By a Big Building and Wimsey is Wearing a Christmas Hat. Here we immediately notice the beautiful use of color and rhythm in the cross hatchings of the big building and how the little bits of green echo the green of the Christmas tree. The Hound stares at the viewer with an equivocal expression on his face—perhaps he is not happy about being forced to wear a Santa Hat. Or perhaps he is just deciding on whether or not to pee on the tree. A lovely thing to look at when the weather outside is steamy.
Well that’s it for this week. I am hoping for less moist conditions next week—you know something is amiss when Central Park is awash in mushrooms and other assorted fungi.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Le Chien de Stink Formidable