October 16, 2009
Hello Everyone. Wimsey here coming to you from that Hound lover's heaven, New York’s Upper West Side. This week, however, I did expand my geographic range and make myself available to be admired by the denizens of Midtown and the East Side. My adventures in these foreign climes were proof positive that Hound loving knows no municipal boundaries.
But first of course I dragged my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth out for another beautiful four hour Sunday Central Park marathon. I began by furiously towing due north along a path that I seldom get to take owing to the fact that my humans consider it a boring and relatively un-scenic route. Not so to those of us of an olfactory persuasion—great ground smells and little hills upon which to stand and catch the drifting air currents of fine autumnal scents. Nevertheless the route proved anything but boring as we encountered two puppies who were cloned in South Korea from the DNA of their human’s beloved deceased dog.
When people say you find everything and anything in New York City they are not lying! Now I had a good time investigating these puppies whilst my humans once again contemplated the desirable prospect of a Wimsey clone. But although a clone would look like me I have no doubt that it would not possess all my little habits (and certainly not my extreme degree of charm)—like the way I moisturize my nose after each lift of the leg as a preventative measure against further dehydration. Or the way I use my enormous head to pin my human’s mouse hand to the computer desk when they have been sitting there an unacceptable length of time (or pinning a spoon wielding hand when I am desirous of some yoghurt).
But my human’s idealized view of Wimsey clones vanished in visions of a whole show ring full of Wimseys all baying at each other and pacing and galloping their way around the ring in between lively demonstrations of the stack dance. And homes where furniture and laps were extensively draped in Wimseys. And apartments whose walls, ceilings and floors were encrusted with perma-drool. And Wimseys that all want to tow in different directions and none of them the actual way you want to go. Pretty soon my humans were thinking that maybe one Wimsey was enough (and on my livelier days, probably one too many).
But clones weren’t the only exciting thing in the park this Sunday. It is a little known fact that I am an avid bird watcher, particularly with respect to game birds. Of course I would like to do a little more than watch these delicious looking creatures but this has been generally deemed inadvisable. And this Sunday when we were up by the Harlem Meer, not only were there a flock of geese but also a couple of Swans! Here I am watching--the ladies were afraid to let me get any closer lest I be unable to control my unbridled admiration. They were of the opinion that I am an expensive enough beast without incurring the fines that would no doubt be the result of my enthusiastic degree of admiration
Anyway, then to top off the day-- which was even more Wimsey-centric than usual (quite a challenge in and of itself) -- I had a bath on Sunday evening. I rather outdid myself in the climbing on and poking of my humans when it became apparent that watching Hound hair dry is no more interesting than the same activity in regard to paint. Ironically the ladies were trying to watch It’s Me or the Dog. Somehow I don’t think laughing and shrieking “Wimsey stop that” is in Victoria Stillwell’s training repertoire. Wimsey 1, Ladies 0.
Then on Monday afternoon, all sparkly clean (sort of) and minimally Hound scented Elizabeth and I took a walk to meet Maria’s colleagues on the East Side. This necessitated cutting through the Columbus Day Parade which I found alarming until photographers started taking pictures of me instead of the parade. This familiar activity reassured me about the degree to which the people of the East possessed the same excellent taste as the people of the West and made me feel right at home. Perhaps Mayor Bloomberg could be induced to accede to a Wimsey Day parade as part of his re-election campaign. The theme of the parade could be contributions of the Hound to Society which would guarantee brevity. Floats would of course be sponsored by Bose, Tanqueray, Hoffman-La Roche and Home Depot.
Anyway needless to say I was a big hit with Maria’s colleagues—Elizabeth wasn’t able to get many good pictures because I was in a frenzy of wiggling, throwing myself on the ground, leaning and of course, baying. And the colleagues weren’t the only ones who were impressed---people strolling down Park Avenue stopped to gawk, talk and take pictures of me with their camera phones. It’s not every day that you see a large baying Hound where you expect to see lawyers and bankers.
Elizabeth was quite busy wielding the drool rag which I not only found personally annoying but it was also highly ineffective to boot. Everyone knows that the wiping of drool simply stimulates a greater rate of production. However, she was determined not to let me fling drool on all these quite serious looking people in suits who were passing by and admiring me. (Elizabeth herself used to be a quite serious person in a suit also but now is a badly dressed smelly person with a loud Hound. Wonder how that happened?). And then just when things couldn’t get any better, on our way back through the park we met one of my lady friends, Oreo--and I demonstrated the gallant nature of the Hound by promptly stealing her ball. Fortunately for Oreo, the ball became somewhat less alluring when I detected Elizabeth feeding her some of my turkey and my attitude towards sharing underwent a radical revision.
Then on Tuesday I made another of my regular appearances at the vet where everybody knows my name and my human’s credit card number. What I can’t figure out is how a visit ostensibly for gunky eyes turned into a finger up my bum and the expression of my anal glands. Is there some veterinarian’s code of conduct that mandates fingers up the rear? Does no one think they are getting their money’s worth if this area remains un-tampered with?
I exited the establishment with ointment for my eyes and a supposedly delicious banana flavored probiotic cream for my stomach. Well in their anxiety about the potential difficulty of getting ointment into my eyes (which it turns out I permit) the ladies overlooked the much more difficult task of getting the banana flavored cream down my throat. I mean I am not exactly a pit bull but prising open my jaws when I am unwilling to have them prised is not a trivial matter And then there is the problem of what happens if some of the cream does manage to get in. Let’s just say Maria is hoping it’s good for her complexion.
But Wednesday was even more exciting-- I was dropped off at Elizabeth’s in the morning so she could get me ready for my appearance at the American Kennel Club’s Meet the Breeds press conference at the Affinia Hotel near Madison Square Garden. When the pet taxi arrived Elizabeth was dismayed to find that the back seat had been pushed quite far forward so that it was unclear if I would even fit. But in the end I managed, mainly by dint of turning sideways and hanging my head over the driver’s shoulder (fortunately Elizabeth came armed with yet more of those annoying drool rags).
Anyway the press conference took place in a big meeting room and there were cats (in carriers--boo) and several other dogs. Now two of these other dogs—a golden retriever and a border collie—were off leash and part of an agility team demonstrating their obedience skills. They represented the biddable dogs. Then, representing the non-biddable dogs there was yours truly—on my leash dragging Elizabeth around the room so I could get a good whiff of everything and not listening to a thing she said. Elizabeth’s friend Daisy who works for the AKC came over to say hello—she is a fellow Houndist, having a smoking hot girl beagle called Olive who never seems to mind my large cold wet nose up her backside—and Elizabeth apologized for my bad behavior. And Daisy was all—“Bad behavior? What bad behavior?” Gotta love Hound people. (personally I found the behavior of the trained agility dogs extremely bad—attentively listening to their humans, doing tricks on command and with no one even pleading with them or bribing them with food! Why? At least they weren’t Hounds—that would have been truly disgraceful (if of course it were even possible)). And in a commendable show of courage, Daisy even wanted to take me on live TV the next morning, but apparently the TV people demanded a small well behaved dog. Clearly the entertainment value of someone trying to give an interview whilst trying to control a baying charging Hound was completely lost on them.
Anyway, after the press conference I hung out on the street in my official jacket (an XL, the largest they had and quite a squeeze too (does no one out there realize that not all of us are Chihuahuas! This persistent sizism is starting to irk me). There were also these animal characters handing out information about the event. And of course I was baying which attracted crowds of people wondering where the walrus was. The only thing that marred the occasion was some lady who asked Elizabeth why she had me (and just as Elizabeth was about to reply that it was because she was insane ((although to be fair, as Maria is my primary human, the fault is entirely hers)) the lady started screaming at her that I belonged in the country (the country! Who’s going to take pictures of me and fawn on me and feed me sandwiches on my walks in the country?) and that I was a very unhappy and ill treated dog (clearly she does not read this blog). Anyway, Elizabeth did something shocking and unprecedented with her middle finger.
But then, on a nicer note, we headed over to the AKC offices for a little site visit where I entertained the troops and demonstrated my fine voice in exchange for a water bottle (which everyone watched me dismember with rapt attention). Then Elizabeth had the wonderful idea of walking home (about 2 ½ miles) instead of taking the pet taxi and we set off up Fifth Avenue! I marked it the entire way and really enjoyed the stunned looks on passersby in response to my baying on the street corners when the light was against us. All I can say is that if you want to be noticed no need to marry Guy Ritchie, adopt third world children or dance around scantily clad—just take me for a walk in midtown Manhattan. What with all the chatting, picture taking, and admiring we didn’t get back to Elizabeth’s until after 4. What a great day!
Well this has been a long and event filled post so it is time for me bid you adieu and get on with the important business of annoying, impeding and hampering my humans. It’s my version of the charm offensive.
Until next time,