Thursday, December 31, 2009

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #151

Entry #151
January 1, 2010

Hello Everyone and Happy New Year from America’s most improbable Hound Capital-- New York City’s Upper West Side-- where I, Wimsey, have been holding court all week for the City’s multitude of visiting tourists. And I have been a true New Year’s Hound inspiring many of these fine touristic folks to make resolutions such as “I’ll never get a dog like that” and so forth. And to help my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth face the New Year and what promises to be a cold and hopefully snowy winter, boxes from that noted couturier, House of Bean, have been pouring in. I view these boxes as really being for me since their purpose is to allow me to keep my humans out in all weathers for ridiculous amounts of time without my having to listen to “I’m cold,” “I’m wet” “I can’t feel my fingers or my toes” and “Isn’t this the 800th time Wimsey has sniffed that spot?” Well LL Bean won’t help with the latter, I’m afraid but it will make my humans more comfortable while they hang around watching my nose fall into some olfactory black hole from which I seem able to extract it only with the greatest of difficulty. It is a well known fact the number of olfactory black holes is inversely proportional to the temperature, with snow, sleet and rain also increasing their occurrence.

And the ladies aren’t the only ones with a winter wardrobe these days. Owing to variations in climactic conditions this week I was able to disport myself in both my flashy new fleece and my Cloud Chaser snow coat both courtesy of the folks at Ruff Wear. The only thing more conspicuous than a giant Hound tooling around New York City is a giant Hound tooling around New York City in a red or a chartreuse coat. I mean I am pretty hard to ignore even when clad in my classic black and tan let alone when I metamorphose into a brightly colored Hound of Paradise.

Well all in all it’s been a pretty good last week of the year here. If you read last week’s post you know that I have been resisting taking this disgusting antibiotic called Baytril that Bayer specifically formulated to supposedly be delicious to dogs but which is really so foul tasting and smelling that no amount of roast beef and yams (or peanut butter, scrambled eggs, turkey or imported rice pudding) can disguise the taste. Hence I won the battle of the pills (as I usually win all my battles) which resulted in a couple of $$$$ shots of Baytril to the Wimsey rump instead (really it was injected into one of my massive bodily skin folds that are designed to be impervious to things a lot worse than veterinary needles) and some more desirable visits to the vet’s office which I have renamed the Wimsey Petting Parlor.

I was especially entertained by the elderly lady who was so amazed that I allowed her to pet me (she’s a cat person) that she offered to hold my leash while Elizabeth re-encased herself in her many layers of winter wear. The lady seemed disappointed when Elizabeth politely refused—I guess she didn’t notice the blood drain from Elizabeth’s face at the very thought of it. Anyway, on the pill front, Elizabeth was eventually dispatched to Duane Reade to pick up regular, human (non flavored) tablets of cipro which caused some amount of confusion with the pharmacy staff. They wanted my date of birth and my insurance card leaving Elizabeth to explain that Blue Cross doesn’t usually cover dogs and although I was only five I was not in fact a pediatric case. Anyway there was much loud discussion behind the glass window, the only word of which Elizabeth understood was “perro.” Well the clerk finally parted with the stuff—but not before making one last ditch effort to encourage the production of my insurance card. (If such an item were to have existed I would have eaten it a long time ago).

Anyway, any slight odor the pills have is more than compensated for by all the delectables into which it is rolled. Consequently, I am on the mend assisted by food bowl additions of fresh cooked yams and round roast. They help me keep up my strength so that I can do yet more damage to Maria’s ailing hamstrings. The knowledge of this pleases her immensely while she is cooking for me. Now when I see a naked bowl of kibble (I am on Orijen these days which is actually quite tasty) I stare first at it and then at the attendant human with a giant AND… hanging in the air. The only downside to this whole thing is that the ladies had the temerity to try and rest me by cutting an hour off of the usual 4 hour Sunday in the Park with Wimsey extravaganza. This forced me to go all John McEnroe with the Hound equivalent of “You cannot be serious!” I mean, what kind of a measly walk is 3 hours!
And of course I was in fine voice this week-- the bit of snow we had on New Year’s Eve day bringing out my finest efforts. And looking back on the previous year, here are things people said I sound like:

A whale
A seal lion
A porpoise
A walrus (the marine mammal thing seems to be pretty big)
An elephant
A shofar (this is culturally diverse NYC after all)
A fog horn

In fact anything but a cheesed off Hound, which is usually what my baying is about. My number one New Year’s Resolution (apart from being a better Hound which is always bad news for my humans) is to capture some of my operatic efforts on video. And of course this year seems to have been a banner year for celebrity foibles. So instead of newspapers being filled with inspirational stories of Hounds stealing Christmas, etc. they are filled with the goings on of people who ought to know better. Taking a page out of Dr. Phil’s book (he has no shrink credentials either), I offer an episode of:

Wimsey: Celebrity Psychologist

Therapist Wimsey: Hello. I am Wimsey, how can I help you? (I ripped this line off from Cesar Millan. He uses it to lull his clients into a false sense of security right before he humiliates them on national TV).
Tiger Woods: Hey! You’re a dog!
Therapist Wimsey: Well the same might be said of you-- although technically I am a Hound which is kind of like a dog but one that can’t be trained. And I could say “Hey! You’re a human! Tiger is usually a dog’s name and I expected you to be brindle. But I digress. What seems to be your problem?
Tiger: I can’t seem to keep it in my pants.
Therapist Wimsey: Me neither. Although I am sure that lots of parents of curious small children wish that I did.
Tiger: But my wife found out and chased me with a golf club.
Therapist Wimsey: Well at least it wasn’t ear cleaning solution. I get chased with that all the time and that really is terrifying. Anyway, perhaps she was just working on her short game.
Tiger: No, she was using a 3 iron.
Therapist Wimsey: I would have thought a 5 wood would have been a better choice but then golf was never my game.
Tiger: True, a wood would have been a better choice although I would have gone for a lower loft club myself. But then she didn’t have the advice of a caddy at the time and I was in no position to advise her myself. Anyway, the whole thing is a mess because now my sponsors have deserted me and I might have to move from my 35,000 square foot home into some 20,000 square foot shack and be forced to sleep with only one beautiful woman. And all the ladies who thought they were special have now found out that there are enough of them to populate a small hamlet. My caddy tells me they’ve been spotted in the pro shop evincing an unhealthy interest in buying clubs.
Therapist Wimsey: Well here is the problem: You are a young guy with an abundance physical energy who is playing a sport basically made for middle aged men. I am therefore going to prescribe a Hound-- or perhaps a pack as you are in to multiples—who will make sure that you never again have enough energy or time to waste on the frivolous pursuit of the fair sex. Also the Hounds will have a salubrious effect on your celebrity sized ego—by the time they are done with you you will be feeling so insignificant and your needs of such minimal importance that you will be grateful if even one lady looks at you—especially given how you will smell.
Tiger: But what about my image.
Therapist Wimsey: I hear Petco is looking for a new spokesman.
Tiger: Thank you Therapist Wimsey.
Therapist Wimsey: One more thing, I would suggest you give your Hound a nice name like John or Michael or something so that way no one will get mixed up about which one of you is the dog.
Tiger: Thanks again. By the way, was that Governor Sanford I saw in the waiting room.
Therapist Wimsey: Yes. He’s apparently short both a wife and a soul mate. I’m going to prescribe a Dogo.

Anyway, having too much time, money or physical energy is not a problem for my humans as I am the perfect antidote to all three. Which is probably why when they read about the boarding kennel that gave people back the wrong dog they were disappointed to learn that it was all the way in Washington State. (“Maybe they would give us back a dog that didn’t display homicidal tendencies on every walk”)

Also this week I discovered that I am not the only canine link between my hero Sir Isaac Newton and the laws of physics that I use to great effect to inflict bodily harm on my humans. A physics professor called Chad Orzel has written a book, How to Teach Physics to Your Dog ( to help mere humans understand the subject better.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful 2010. I know I will, with more towing, more baying, more lap sitting, more stink, more refusing to leave the park, more vet bills, more astonishing the tourists, more monopolizing the furniture, more sticking my nose into everyone’s food, more planting my nose into a spot in the earth whilst my humans try not to freeze to death, more flinging drool onto unsuspecting persons, and in short, more ME! Who could ask for a better 2010?

Until next time,

Wimsey, A Hound of Several Different Colors

Friday, December 25, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #150

Entry #150
December 25, 2009

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here wishing you all a Merry Christmas from my festive perch on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Well I would like to report that New York City is having a White Christmas but as our snowstorm occurred last Friday, it’s more of a sooty grey and yellow (as befits a neighborhood with so many fine canines) Christmas.

And packages have been arriving for my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth from that acme of haute style and couture, LL Bean and there was even a new package for me from Ruff Wear. So now in addition to my fleece, which has been much admired around here among all the other fancy Upper West Side canine coats I now have something called a Cloud Chaser. Ruff Wear makes performance athletic wear for dogs and the coat rather resembles a form fitting insulated Speedo. It is designed to keep me warm and dry in snow and cold rain and is coated with Teflon to repel dirt. It also happens to be red, black and gray making me look like a four legged Ferrari. My humans have been willing to wrestle me into it because the fact that it encases most of my magnificent bulk seems to have had a salutary effect on the number of filthy wet towels headed to the hamper at the end of all my snow and rain walks. I am sure it will be making its photographic debut shortly as I am hopeful that we are in for a snowy winter.

And my humans’ LL Bean packages contained the much coveted Stabilicers which, when strapped onto boots, are supposed to keep a person upright when they are being furiously towed over slick ice by a winter weather loving Hound. They arrived a bit too late for a proper test but Elizabeth (with whom I stayed this week owing to an assortment of pulled muscles and such in my other human—amazing that such a fragile species managed to take over the earth) made the mistake of putting them on in her apartment not realizing that navigating her marble lobby whilst being towed by me would cause her to look like she was performing a highly ungraceful routine in the Ice Capades. ( It was kind of one those major “oops” moments which happen a lot around me). Thus my humans realized they will have to buy small backpacks in which to carry the Stabilicers so as to be able to put them on in the park. Yet another piece of expedition equipment for them to tote--they are starting to look like they are planning an assault on K2 rather than a walk in the park with me. Nevertheless, I look forward to pitting myself against these Stabilicers in a proper test, having previously defeated 3 different types of high traction snow boots.

Now I must apologize for reusing last year’s Santa Hat shot. Given that that picture took my two humans about an hour to achieve they thought it wise to quit while they were ahead. There will however be an upcoming shot of me in Maria’s office Secret Santa present—a bear hat. Apparently the bear hat was much coveted by her colleagues and Maria refused many lucrative swap offers for it realizing at once that it had my name on it. Let’s hope it turns out better than the Goofy Hat photos. Of course her colleagues understood her plans for the hat as I am apparently much admired and talked about (and Maria much pitied) in the office. And as far as Maria’s Secret Santa contribution, the screen wiper in the shape of an elephant that I selected at the Central Park Christmas Fair went to the Big Boss, which made it all the more disappointing that my initial suggestions of a dead squirrel, a slab of raw liver or an afternoon spent with me were nixed.

Anyway, you will have noticed a paucity of New York Christmas photos and this was sadly due to me being under the weather this week which had a dampening effect on planned Christmas activities. The week featured several vet visits, an abdominal X-ray and an ultrasound before it was determined that I have an infected prostate gland. Consequently I spent an unaccustomed amount of time this week sleeping as opposed to being out and about being photographed. Elizabeth had the stellar idea of enhancing my comfort by putting down a bunch of sheets so I could construct my own personalized sheet nest. It’s also a migrating sheet nest, so you never know exactly where it will turn up next. Or where you might trip over it in the dark.
So it turns out I will have to be on a high dose of Batril for a month and owing to my magnificent proportions I need to down 5 pills in the morning and 4 pills in the evening, all with food.

The Wimsey Sunday Night Pillball

John Madden: Hi I’m John Madden and tonight we have pre-empted Sunday Night Football to bring you Wimsey Pillball.

Al Michaels: Hey, didn’t you retire?

John Madden: Yes, but for an event this special I’ve come out of retirement.

Al Michaels: I understand the object of the game is for Wimsey’s humans to get 5 giant pills down him.

John: Yes and it’s Wimsey’s objective to play defense and get the food without eating the pills.

Al Michaels: Up first we have Elizabeth. What’s her form?

John: Well she’s not very patient and as she has had more experience and success with non-Hound breeds she is prone to underestimate the will of her opponent.

Al: Well she’s proffering a bowl of kibble mixed with turkey and whole pills.

John: A very weak play, Al.

Al: But look! Wimsey’s downed two of the pills by accident! Clearly, he’s off his game tonight John.

John: But Elizabeth’s only 2 for 5. It’s a long way to the goal line now that the Big Hound has studied her playbook.

Al: Now it looks like she’s using the old pill wrapped in turkey play.

John: Not very imaginative. The Big Hound has taken it all in. But it doesn’t’ look like he’s swallowing immediately! No there’s definitely some mouth play going on and.... there’s the swallow! Elizabeth is shaking the flews. The tension is mounting. And there it is! He’s spit the pill back. Score!

Al: OK. It’s the second down on the kitchen yard line and Maria is up next.

John: She’s looking grimly determined Al. We hear she hates getting pills spat back at her. And it looks like she’s devised a brilliant play here, Al: scrambled eggs with cheese and ham, a fistful of kibble and look! She’s used a pill cutter to quarter the pills.

Al: And the Big Hound went for it! The score is tied.

John: It looks like Elizabeth has been benched on account of poor play. Maria’s up next again and she’s using the same eggs, cheese and ham play. That may not be wise.

Al: You’re right, John. I can see some pieces of pill from up here in the announcer’s booth. It looks like the Big Hound has successfully eaten around some of the pills. It’s forced Maria to resort to the rolled roast beef play.

John: Looks like she’s gone through quite a lot of that roast beef and quite a bit of turkey as well.

Al: She’s at the twenty yard line--it’s time for the Hail Mary Play—she’s shoved the last of the pills down into the end zone! Score!

John: Well it’s half time and in spite of the score it’s not looking good for the humans. Maria’s threatening to pulverize the pills and sprinkle them in the food which isn’t very sportsmanlike.

Al: However, we hear Elizabeth has chimed in from the bench suggesting coating the pills in peanut butter and hoping the Big Hound will think he’s eating nuts.

John: Not bad. But you know if Maria could only eat the pills herself and refuse to give any to the Hound he’d have them down in a trice!

Al: Perhaps she’ll have to John. It’s going to be a long month.

Well why are humans always making these chewable pills that we canines are allegedly supposed to enjoy eating? They’re disgusting! Can you imagine what human pills would taste like if I were in charge of choosing the flavors—raw liver, decomposing animal, fresh female urine, fresh female urine with grass, etc. But I am beginning to feel better and discovered that Christmas Day in Central Park is actually Italian Tourist Hound Admiration Day. I mean I was really mobbed by these guys. (Sadly Elizabeth wasn’t around trying to sound like Sophia Loren saying bloodhound in Italian). And I also took the opportunity to provide another lesson in sex education for the younger generation. Surprisingly this time a boy, who wanted to know what that thing was dangling in between my legs and then, “Oh look, he’s got a pair of them! What are they Daddy?” while his older brother tried to get him to lower his voice. Hmmm… somebody might want to take a look in the mirror sometime soon.
Well even though I haven’t been making my usual Christmas visits, it is Christmas and time for a Wimsey classic:

Wimsey’s Christmas Carol

It is Christmas Eve and Ebenezer Scrooge has fallen asleep in his suite at Cap Juluca in Anguilla when he is awakened by furious baying. It is the ghost of his previous Hound, Marley (No, not that Marley) who appears to him and informs him that he is in big trouble Hound wise and that if he doesn’t mend his ways he’s in for a terrible future. Before Marley leaves he pees on the carpet and tells Scrooge that he will be visited by three more ghosts who will elaborate. Scrooge thinks it was all a dream brought on by too much sun, sand and rum punches. And perhaps it was the surfeit of rum punches that caused him to have an accident on the carpet. However, then he is awoken by more Ahroooos and a ghost announcing himself as the Hound Ghost of Christmas Past.

The Ghost of Hound Christmas Past takes Scrooge back to when he was a young man and shows him scenes of his young self helping to prepare Christmas turkey and trimmings for the family Hound, then scenes of him walking his Hound for many, many hours until both are happy and exhausted, then of him giving his Hound a belly rub instead of doing his math homework and finally of him laughing when the Hound eats his Bass Weejuns.

Then the Hound Ghost of Christmas Past pees on the carpet and is replaced by another Hound who says he is the Ghost of Hound Christmas Present. Scrooge sees his current self, working long hours selling Collateralized Debt Obligations that make him rich but that tank the economy and that force his Hound to sit alone long hours. He hires others to walk his Hound and never brings his Hound doggy bags from Per Se or Le Bernadin and he spends no time admiring his magnificent Hound or rubbing his belly. When the TARP money comes in Scrooge sees himself working even longer hours trying to undo the damage of the Collateralized Debt Obligations and he makes even more money. Money that he doesn’t spend on his Hound. Instead he takes luxury vacations on Caribbean islands and exotic atolls that don’t allow Hounds while he stashed his Hound in a kennel. The Hound Ghost of Christmas Present is so incensed that he not only pees on the carpet but poops on it as well.

The Hound Ghost of Christmas Future announces himself in the usual deafening way and shows Scrooge his future. Scrooge is getting Season’s Greetings cards from Bernie Madoff and is on trial for insider trading. His super model girlfriend has decided that she was never in love with him anyway and flies off to Paris with someone not on trial for insider trading. His beautiful co-op has been trashed. His modern art collection looks like it has been chewed up by a dog (although with some pieces it is a little hard to tell), his antique Tabriz carpets look like they’ve been peed on and then chewed up by a dog, his Maurice Villency leather couch looks like it has been chewed up by a dog, his Frette linens look like they have been chewed up by a dog, his mattress looks like it has been chewed up by a dog, his custom made Versace suits look like they have been chewed up by a dog. In fact it looks like everything he owns has been chewed up by a dog. Worse, nothing he owns will ever be chewed up by a dog again as his ex-wife has successfully sued for custody of the neglected Hound and won.

Scrooge realizes the error of his ways and wakes up with joy in his heart. He checks out of Cap Juluca (but not before he is assessed extra for the damaged carpet and dog hair) and takes the first plane home where he liberates his Hound from the kennel and takes him for a long walk in Central Park. Scrooge quits his job and becomes a barista at Starbucks so he has more time for his Hound and all future vacations are taken in cottages in the country so he can spend quality time hunting small, smelly mammals with his Hound. Scrooge donates all his expensive furniture to charity and furnishes his apartment with stuff from Ikea that his Hound is welcome to destroy and he eschews Versace for LL Bean. And best of all he never receives a card from Bernie Madoff.

The End

Well that’s it for this week—I feel a pill spitting contest coming on. Hope you all have a fun last week of the year.

Until next time,

Wimsey, sick, but still annoying

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #149

Entry #149
December 18, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the nicely nippy Upper West Side of Manhattan where the temperature has been in the 20’s the last few days causing my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to go into Michelin Man mode dress-wise. And I have my own winter wear in the form of my new fleece coat which started out Ruff Wear pea green and is now gradually becoming Wimsey brown. Did you know that shedded hair sticks wonderfully to fleece? Soon I will quite literally have another coat. And speaking of other coats, a new Ruff Wear coat has been ordered for me. It’s called the Cloud Chaser and it’s for wet or snowy winter weather and is supposed to keep me warm and dry. Now if only Ruff Wear could make a coat for my humans called the Hound Chaser.

Well it’s the week before Christmas and all through the house(s) (apartments, really) there are no trees, decorations or presents because there is a giant playful Hound who might enjoy them even more than the spirit of the season might suggest. But there is no shortage of Christmas spirit as another ten ton box of delicious holiday cookies arrived from Maria’s mother—no doubt to keep me from wasting away. And in the spirit of the season Elizabeth is even trying to be nice to me, although this still does not extend as far as allowing me to pee on the rows of Christmas trees for sale. But I did manage to sneak one in with Maria during a 6am- before-she’s-had-her-coffee walk this week. Apparently trying to stay both upright and vigilant was beyond her powers that morning. And last Sunday there would have been Christmas spirit as we all went shopping at the Central Park Christmas Market but it rained throughout our Sunday walk and the ladies are not very Christmassy when soaked to the skin. I enjoyed myself though--we resilient all weather Hounds seldom let a spot of inclement weather bother us even when we are not wearing our poncy rain coats. And being soaking wet made goosing unsuspecting Christmas shopping strangers all the more enjoyable.

But the city is quite festive and New Yorkers and their guests flock to traditional entertainments, like viewing the tree at Rockefeller Center and going to see the Nutcracker at Lincoln Center. Now you would not have thought that a sturdy fellow like me would be much of a balletomane but I am a big fan of the arts, especially ones that involve fragile looking women dancing around in possession of tasty looking costumes. But I think there should be a Hound Nutcracker.

Wimsey’s Nutcracker

Act I

It is a cozy Christmas Eve in a large, enviable pre-war apartment overlooking Central Park in New York City. It is the home of the Stahlbaums a wealthy, still-employed investment banker and his wife who is a partner at a major law firm. They are looking forward to their one day of the year off from work and are throwing a holiday party for their friends who aren’t in St. Bart’s, Aspen or on safari. Children are invited also but the nannies have the night off so the Stahlbaums are worried about the kids’ behavior, particularly their own. Fritz and Marie attend a progressive private school and have evinced an unfortunate prosecutorial tendency to lecture people about their carbon footprints. The Stahlbaums have also made especially sure that their bloodhound (“he was so cute when he was a puppy”) Wimsey is securely exiled in the maid’s room as his behavior at parties is even worse than the children’s (and whose frequent mealtime emissions cause Marie to shrink in horror at the damage to the ozone layer).

Hoping for the best, and having put away both the breakables and the breaker of breakables, the Stahlbaums welcome their guests. Things are going well—the adults are nibbling sushi and discussing how much their apartments cost and the children are nibbling cookies and discussing the disappearance of the blue fin tuna their parents are eating. Then Fritz and Marie’s godfather, Dieter Drosselmeyer shows up. He owns a large Upper East Side toy store and as such is rarely accused of polluting the earth or of eating red meat. He brings the children an assortment of lovely gender neutral toys, including a magnificent stuffed Hound, who looks rather like Wimsey, for Marie. Fritz accuses Dieter of liking his sister better (favoritism being a topic he and his therapist have been exploring lately) and steals the stuffed Hound. After some vigorous play, the Hound rips. Godfather Dieter repairs it with a lovely mother of pearl hair clip to keep the stuffing from falling out and places it under the tree. The party ends with the exhausted adults (ruminating about why they don’t live in the suburbs) corralling their sugar high kids and hailing taxis.

Marie falls asleep with her stuffed Hound clutched in her arms and when she wakes up she wonders if her parents put something in the eggnog again. The Christmas tree is gigantic and an army of cats, let by a Cat King is circling the room in a predatory manner. Marie starts sneezing uncontrollably. Suddenly a Magnificent Hound appears leading a baying pack and the cats are toast. The Magnificent Hound hops onto the bed and it changes into an LL Bean premium dog bed in the shape of a sleigh.

Act II

The dog bed cum sleigh takes off and floats overhead until it lands in a snowy forest. The Hound excuses himself to mark a few of his favorite trees and to make some artistic yellow drawings in the snow. Meanwhile a group of ladies appear and try to perform a dance while the Hound, always a social fellow, joins the mix and jumps up on them to say hi, disrupting their elegant formations. He shakes his head and the ladies swiftly, but gracefully, flee the airborne drool.

The Hound rejoins Marie on the sleigh, sitting painfully in her lap even though there is plenty of room next to her. Then finally they arrive in the Land of the Sweets. The Hound was navigating towards the Land of the Rawhides and took a wrong turn but is grateful that at least they didn’t end up in the Land of the Kibble. The sleigh is greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy* (*as no one in this century or the last actually knows what a sugar plum is, there has been talk of renaming her but the Snickers Fairy doesn’t have the same ring to it) who is so taken with the beauty of the Hound and his bravery in subduing the cats and saving Marie from a date with an Epi-pen that she invites him (and Marie) into the her castle. Here the Hound (and Marie) is feted and fed roast beef sandwiches and poached salmon. With visions of methane gases from animal husbandry and mercury levels dancing in her head Marie is tempted to leave, but the Hound sits on her so she can’t. Immobilizing her is a good thing because Marie becomes further troubled by the entertainment provided: The Hot Cocoa dance is a fandango to Spanish castanets (ethnic stereotyping), the Hot Coffee dance is a middle eastern belly dance (oppression of women), the Tea dance involves supposedly eastern ladies with parasols while the Russian dance features hearty leaping dancers, both of which Marie finds culturally insensitive. Then Mother Ginger arrives with all these children tucked under her skirts (irresponsible child bearing) and Marie has about had it. However, whenever she gazes in the direction of the contentedly masticating Hound she basks in his beauty and sits quietly.

Then a bunch of ladies pretending to be flowers come out led by Dew Drop (who secretly wants to be the Sugar Plum Fairy), and they waltz around which excites the Hound greatly as he has an especial fondness for flowers and has to be restrained from doing what he usually does to them. (He thinks “The Waltz of the Hound Peeing on Flowers” would be a big hit). Fortunately the dancers are able to exit unwatered because the Sugar Plum Fairy has arrived with her main squeeze, The Cavalier. Why he is a cavalier is never exactly explained as historically horses were involved in this function but nevertheless Marie feels his attitude towards the Sugar Plum Fairy is condescending and paternalistic. Fortunately the Cavalier, who ordinarily dances with the Sugar Plum Fairy is so carried away by the beauty of the Hound that he dances with him instead. This development pleases Dew Drop immensely as she has been waiting out the SPF-Cavalier relationship for years. Marie is now finally charmed. She decides that Cavaliers are fickle and it is much better to have a Magnificent Hound, who although equally fickle is at least honest about it.

The Sugar Plum Fairy decides she has an urgent need to wash her hair and kicks everyone out of the Land of the Sweets. The Hound considers a trip to the after hours Land of the Squeaky Toys but decides that after all that food and admiration he’d prefer a nap instead.

Marie wakes up the next morning with her heretofore reviled Hound, Wimsey, snoring in her ear. She decides that he’s the best Christmas present of all and gets up to fix him some scrambled eggs for his Christmas morning breakfast (and also to have a word with her parents about that egg nog).

The End.

And speaking of snoring, my ladies have concocted a new reason why they get nothing done when I am around. Apparently when I make myself comfortable, after a long walk say, I emit a very pleasant warm and relaxed Hound scent, often followed by gentle snoring. And the ladies compared notes and they realized that when this happens somehow their lids grow heavy and they have to fight the urge, often unsuccessfully, to nap. The prevailing thought is that there is some nap-inducing pheromone in the relaxed Hound scent that is causing this phenomenon. Elizabeth is wondering if it can be turned into a new aroma therapy product (“Why does your bedroom smell like dog?”) or perhaps chemically isolated to create a kind of inhaled Ambien. (That’s Stillnox for those of you across the pond). And for the opposite effect I think my poop scent could make people move a whole lot faster. And of course the anorexic effect of my superb flatulence is well known. I am a complete pharmacopoeia.

Well other than the project to turn my assorted odors into the next line of blockbuster pharmaceuticals, it’s been a pretty quiet week here. Owing to some late breaking cold weather there haven’t been quite as many tourists out and about admiring me as usual although I have met some lovely people from Italy (who actually understood Elizabeth’s accent when she said I was a Cane di Santo Huberto) and some very nice people from the UK. And of course the smiling jogger who commented “Beautiful Hound, lady” as he cruised past. But right now I am temporarily domiciled with Elizabeth as Maria pulled both her hamstrings and a glute (I can’t imagine how these things happen to her) and am basking in Elizabethan leftovers. Anyone who ever said having eyes bigger than your stomach is a bad thing never had a Hound!
Anyway, hope you all have an entertaining Christmas week. There is talk of snow here tomorrow. Wonder if I can injure my second human.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a cavalier of a different species