Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #158

Entry #158
February 26, 2010

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here welcoming you to my own personal winter paradise on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. It’s been snowing here for a few days, although the first day it was more like slushing than snowing. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth bemoaned the lack of real snow as they crossed slushy lakes with me in tow.
But overnight we did get some real snow so I offer my Friday afternoon Riverside Park snow walk montage. This montage was created at great physical peril to Elizabeth, who in spite of having her new high traction boots and Stabilicer crampons strapped on knew that taking one hand off the leash to photograph me was not necessarily conducive to a long and healthy life. When climactic conditions are right I like to engage in an activity that my humans call snowdogging, which is really kind of the canine equivalent of hotdogging. Snowdogging involves me running, jumping, leaping and twirling in the most energetic, idiotic and ridiculous manner possible. It also exposes my humans to all manner of serious injuries. But enough about them, more about me.

Until the snow it was a pretty quiet week here. A little socializing with my bulldog buddy Tallulah, a little terrorizing of Little Teddy the neighbor’s min-doodle who flees at the very sight (and sound) of me in spite of the fact that I just want to give him a good sniff. Some of the usual gaggle of international touristic park admirers and a Sunday walk in which Elizabeth absent mindedly guided us to the bridle path forgetting that it was ankle deep in mud and slush. Mud and slush aren’t as good a medium for having fun as snow but they get me filthy and exhaust my humans which lends it a compensatory charm.

Anyway, it occurred to me that during my afternoon walks I frequently pass by Strawberry Fields and the “Imagine” mosaic, which although much photographed by tourists has never been photographed with me in it (at least not intentionally). So this week the situation was remedied. The sight of me next to the word “Imagine” conjures up it’s own (and sometimes frightening) imagery, such as:

Imagine if that dog were in my house
Imagine if there were more of him
Imagine if there were more of him in the city--there really would be no room on the sidewalk not to mention the extra pungent New York summer aroma
Imagine if that dog decided he wanted to eat my sandwich
Imagine if that dog decided to shake his head after eating my sandwich
Imagine what that dog could do to my yard back home
Imagine how difficult it would be to type with a giant Hound head on the keyboard
Imagine what would happen if I turned my back on him while I prepared dinner
Imagine my dry cleaning bills
Imagine the dry cleaning bills of others for which I would have to pay
Imagine choosing clothing based on its drool resistant properties
Imagine how hard it would be to get a good night’s sleep with a Hound snoring in your ear and running on your back
Imagine how hard it is to resist giving the Hound everything he wants because he is so cute
Imagine how insignificant I would feel walking next him
Imagine how it would take an hour to walk three blocks with him because everyone wants to meet him
Imagine what it would feel like not to have a life
Imagine the trips to your doctor
Imagine the trips to his doctor
Imagine the smell
Imagine the dirt
Imagine the hair
Imagine having to live without him

Well you get the idea. I am sure that that mosaic was designed for me. And of course living so close to Strawberry Fields (in which I am always searching in vain for Strawberries to consume) and the Dakota where John Lennon lived (and upon which I am always trying to pee) I am a big Beatles fan. I am sure they wrote many of their songs with me in mind:

A Day in the Life (of someone with a Hound is humiliating)
Hard Day’s Night (trying to sleep with a giant Hound using you as a pillow)
A Taste of Honey (a taste is all that’s left)
A World Without Love (orig. title, “A World Without Hounds” but this was deemed too sad)
All I’ve Got To Do (is exercise my Hound until he is too tired to move)
All My Loving (won’t make any difference to my Hound)
All Things Must Pass (Like the couch, the bed, the chair cushions, your shoes, your gloves, your books, the towels, those fancy sheets, your friends…)
All Together Now (Scream “NO!” Maybe that will work.)
All You Need is Love (No, really all you need is liver)
And I Love Her (otherwise I would have killed her when she chewed that hole in the mattress)
Any Time At All (I’ll let you rub my belly)
Ask Me Why (I live with this Hound—I’m insane!)
Baby You’re a Rich Man (not after you get through with those vet bills)
Baby’s in Black (it hides the brown drool).
Back in the USSR (is not far enough to get away from me)
Blackbird (Yum)
Can’t Buy me Love (But you can buy me stuffed toys and rawhides instead)
Come and Get It (I’ve got your bra)
Crying, Waiting, Hoping (that my Hound will behave)
Do You Want to Know a Secret (people who live with Hounds aren’t playing with a full deck)
Eight Days a Week (I’ll tow you through the park)
Fixing a Hole (in the couch)
Get Back (He’s eaten too much cheese)
Glad All Over (that people admire my Hound even if they don’t pay any attention to me)
Good Day Sunshine (bad day Hound)
Got to Get You Into My Life (Cesar Millan)
Help! (I’m skiing without skis)
Here Comes the Sun (Hounds like a walk at dawn)
Here There and Everywhere (there’s Hound hair)
Hey Jude (you gonna eat that?)
Hold Me Tight (I see a squirrel)
Honey Don’t (Bay). (I’ll give you whatever you want)
I am the Walrus (that’s why I stole that salmon)
I Call Your Name (But you never come)
I Don’t Want to Spoil the Party (But your Hound’s eaten the birthday cake)
I Saw her Standing There (and had to knock her over)
I Should Have Known Better (than to leave that chicken on the counter)
I Wanna Be Your Man (but first get rid of those smelly clothes)
I Want to Hold your Hand (in my slobbery, wet mouth)
If I Fell (not “if”, when)
If I Needed Someone (no one would come because they don’t want to be drooled upon, shed upon and sat upon by a massive Hound)
I’ll be Back (I haven’t finished exploring the laundry bin)
I’ll Follow the Sun (I don’t follow. I lead)
I’ll Get You (Come back here with that!)
I’m a Loser (I just won a Hound)
I’m Happy Just to Dance with You (orig. title “I'm Happy Just to Sit on You”)
I’m Looking Through You (because I am not listening to a thing you say)
I’m Only Sleeping (too bad that I am having a dream that requires snoring, thumping my tail, running, baying and releasing noxious gas at the same time)
I’m So Tired (the end of a day with a Hound, who is never tired)
It Wong Be Long (until I find out where you’ve hidden those shoes)
It’s Only Love (orig. title It’s Only Poop”)
I’ve Got a Feeling (that my Hound’s eaten my underwear again)
Johnny B. Goode (and Hound B. Bad)
Lady Madonna (you have to be a saint to put up with me)
Let it Be (stop chasing that cat)
Lovely Rita (won’t be lovely for long after she takes a walk with a drool flinging, mud spewing Hound who pees on parking meters)
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (really stands for LSD or Lovely, Smelly Dog)
Magical Mystery Tour (through the contents of the refrigerator)
Mr. Moonlight (please let my Hound poop so I can get to bed)
No Reply (Because No Listen)
Nowhere Man (Everywhere Hound)
Oh Darling (So sorry my Hound did that to your dress)
Old Brown Shoe (Is all that is left in my closet)
Paperback Writer (original title “Paperback Eater”)
Penny Lane (is where I like to pee)
Please Mr. Postman (don’t put the mail through the slot where the Hound can eat it)
Please, Please Me (not on your life. I please me)
Revolution (Your life will never be the same)
Rocky Raccoon (was delicious)
Roll Over Beethoven (I don’t do tricks)
Run For your life (The Hound is flatulent again)
Searchin (for my stuff that is missin)
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band (they wouldn’t be so lonely if they had Hounds)
She Loves You (Glad somebody does, because I don’t. I love me)
She’s a Woman (but she doesn’t smell like one because she lives with a Hound)
She’s Leaving Home (because it’s the only way to get away from me)
Strawberry Fields Forever (But where are those darn strawberries!)
Taxman (Can’t I deduct his vet bills?)
Tell Me What You See (so I can steal it)
Tell Me Why (I am living with this stubborn, stinking, baying maniac?)
The Fool on the Hill (who just got another Hound)
The Long and Winding Road (that I will drag you down and injure you)
Ticket to Ride (to the emergency room)
Till there Was You (I was sane)
Twist and Shout (but I still won’t do what you want)
We Can Work it Out (keep dreaming)
When I’m Sixty Four (I’ll be 448 in dog years)
While My Guitar Gently Weeps (for all the stuff my Hound’s wrecked)
Why Don’t We Do it in the Road (I do everything in the road, but you have to pick it up)
With a Little Help from my Friends (I’ll be able to exercise this Hound so he is too tired to destroy my apartment).
Yellow Submarine (it used to be white)
Yesterday (my Hound ate the couch)

If I’ve forgotten your favorites you can assume that they too are really about Hounds because really, everything is. And if you play Beatles songs backwards they say “People who have Hounds aren’t dead, they just often wish they were.
And this week you might notice yet another picture of me on this bench. It happens to be adjacent to the Conservatory Water snack shop which is open all winter for my dining pleasure. Hence, if I am prevented from accessing it I generally get up on this bench and refuse to move. Everyone thinks this is cute. Except my humans of course who have to dig into their turkey supply to get me (grudgingly) off. But soon it will be Spring and I will once again be furiously towing to the Loeb Boathouse snack shop where I am a big fan of their tuna sandwiches. And of course as Spring approaches my thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of Grom Gelato (where I also have been engaging in periodic sit down strikes).

Anyway, it’s time to go paint the town yellow again and unless I am allowed frequent access to the outdoors to develop my snowdogging skills, I am likely to do a triple axel on someone’s lap.

Until next time,
Wimsey, the fifth Beatle

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #157

Entry #157
February 19, 2010
Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where my humans have been all agog at the goings on at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which was held this week. S o many splendid canines and none of them acting like me. My human Maria tried to make her friend (and my handler) Elizabeth feel better by pointing out dogs that stack dance and dogs that gallop and dogs that try and put their noses down. But nobody but me has mastered the art of doing all these things at the same time. And my humans could not resist the myriad canine paraphernalia shopping opportunities. However, owing to the plethora of toys now clogging both my apartments, they bought more Griminator shampoo and discussed ordering a made to measure cooling/rain coat from Zentek Clothing for those sultry summer storms. Of course getting a made to measure coat implies the need for measurements and the need for measurements implies the need to catch me first.

Well in spite of not being able to disrupt the proceedings at Westminster this year, I got a bath anyway on Sunday which my humans claim was long overdue. Last time I was bathed I managed to lock us all in the bathroom so this time precautions were taken—a cell phone was placed in the medicine cabinet and the door was wedged open. Unfortunately the slightly open door made me think that a great escape was possible and consequently Maria had a tough job hanging on to me while stuffing turkey in my mouth. And of course post bath, the wetter I am the more imperative it is that I climb on the furniture. It was not until Elizabeth brought out my sheet nest (a pile of old sheets that I like to rearrange for my naps and which has the added benefit that Elizabeth always trips on it) that I calmed down and let the ladies sip their cocktails in peace.

And Sunday’s afternoon tow in Central Park was a very social affair as I met several interesting dogs, including this fuzzy 5 month old female Akita named Kismet. My humans got one picture of me rolling over and being polite which I promptly made up for by trying to thwack Kismet with my paw (my humans take a dim view of paw thwacking—at least as far as other dogs are concerned-- but every now and then I am able to sneak one in before they see it coming). Of course in a few months thwacking an Akita will not be such a good idea and will likely result in me getting eaten. And Kismet has not yet been spayed which made her especially alluring and caused a great deal of serenading (it was after all Valentine’s Day). I think an Akita-Bloodhound mix would be a formidable combo—a dog that not only steals but guards. I am frankly an anti-guarding kind of a guy—it would be all “See anything you like, it’s yours. Now, do you have a cookie?” But I am told that my size alone is enough of a deterrent to render any unpleasant guard dog duty unnecessary. Of course if someone wanted to make off with my stuffed dog that would be a whole other matter.

And speaking of size, I have used mine for some pretty effective towing during our evening walks. It turns out that snow traps intoxicating bi and quadripedal scents causing me to put my nose to the ground and take off at a furious pace. This results in much satisfying squealing and imploring. My humans have always thought that I would make an excellent trailing Hound--except of course that given my independent nature, instead of finding a lost child at the end of the trail they would find a raccoon. But snowfall creates an abundance of vertical surfaces--especially the Hound urinals humans create using big balls of snow that are clearly marked with funny hats and carrots sticking out of them. My humans call all the growing patches of yellow snow disgusting. I call them snow cones.

This winter is special, however, because we have the winter Olympics, although it seems the organizers did not select a venue that actually has a winter. Perhaps New York should host them then I could participate:

Hound Winter Olympics

Cross country: gold medal awarded to the Hound that causes their human to fall the most number of times. Hounds must exert exceptional pull weight while choosing the iciest line or the deepest snow. They must never deviate from their course no matter how much screaming they hear behind them.

Downhill: similar to cross country only terrifyingly steep inclines and sharp turns are added to the course. Gold awarded to the Hound who is able to deliver a prone and irate human to the finish line (bonus points if human needs medical attention).
Nordic combined: An event in which a Hound must furiously tow a human cross country while stopping to steal as many items as possible from passersby. Extra points awarded for snatching hot dogs.

Speed Skating: A beloved event where the fastest Hound to tow his human over a treacherous field of ice wins.

Figure Skating: The following of scent trails in patterns unfathomable to humans is no longer part of this event. Instead Hounds must execute an artistic and arm wrenching array of jumps, turns and spins while wearing sequins.

And then there are the exhibition sports:

Snow digging: Hounds kick as much snow as possible into their humans’ faces. Pooping first, optional.

Snow rolling: The Hound that gains the most weight from soaking in snow wins the gold.

Yellow snow eating: The Hound that finds and consumes the most mounds of yellow snow is the winner.

Long Track Peeing: A macho sport in which Hounds compete to see who can produce the greatest amount of arcing yellow snow meltage at the greatest distance. (human males like to do this too, they just don’t tell anybody).

Sliding: The Hound that can propel a human the furthest down an icy street sans benefit of a sled wins the gold.

Well anyway, the big news around here is the projected Springtime for Wimsey Road Trip which is turning into the kind royal progress best known to medieval and renaissance monarchs. First we are heading into the northernmost reaches of New York State to visit Maria’s mother—she whose enormous boxes of baked goods single handedly prevents us all from starving. She and I have never met. Hopefully she is a sturdy woman. And as befits someone with her culinary skill, she is already planning the menu. Accordingly, she has asked if there is anything Elizabeth doesn’t like. As Elizabeth is a specialist in can opener cuisine she’s looking forward to anything that actually comes from a stove. And of course Maria mère wants to prepare something special for me but as she is not likely to find fillet of squirrel in the local Safeway she was told I will eat what everyone else is eating. As the resident master sous chef I will of course be supervising all meal preparations to ensure that they conform to the high Wimsey standard and contain the maximum amount of dog hair.

After that we are heading off to Kalamazoo, Michigan to rendezvous at a dog show with one of my breeders. She has not seen me since I was a wee wiggly pup. I am still a wee wiggly pup, only now I weigh 130 pounds. Also I will get to meet my sister Dixie’s folks. Now it was suggested that we join them camping which caused Maria to immediately find the name of the nearest Best Western.

However, I am encouraging them to consider camping in the interest of cultural education, provided of course that I can share the tent. I mean what could be better than being holed up in a tent with a giant, drool producing (think Ghostbusters poltergeist), snoring Hound. But the whole getting out of New York thing is perplexing to my humans—people who wear clothes with colors in them and pumping gas and driving, etc. I myself love to drive-- I get to wear a black harness that makes me look like a canine S&M star and which is hooked to a zip line in the back seat. Fortunately the zip line does not impede me from periodically snuffling Elizabeth’s neck, resting my head on her shoulder or trying to poke my head out of her window while she is trying to drive. And being such a handsome guy I like to admire myself in the rear view mirror, which means that instead of seeing some boring traffic behind her she sees my majestic Hound head presented for her admiration. I am already counting the days. I am only hoping that my humans do not give serious thought to what it would be like to spend a week on the road with me and decide to drive to Brooklyn instead.

Well I think I will end here before I give my humans more food for thought. (the only kind of food they will ever get from me).

Until next time,

Wimsey, a traveling Hound