Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #186

Entry #186
October 1, 2010

Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from the waterlogged streets of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where tropical storm Nicole has washed out my walks and put much desirable sniffing real estate underwater. But there is no cloud without a silver lining and the inclement weather has enabled my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to break out their couture rain wear courtesy of LL Bean (hint: the stuff looks a lot better on the folks at the Weather Channel-- perhaps that is because the people on TV are actually smiling).

But it is not only my humans who get to display their wet weather finery—I think I look quite dashing in my red raincoat and the color exactly matches the color of the flags that the parks department uses to signal that fields are closed due to dangerous moisture. My rain coat too signals dangerous conditions due to excessive moisture, as being smelly, muddy and wet frequently brings out a generous impulse to share the experience by sitting in my humans’ laps.

Anyway Happy October. And in October my human’s thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of beer in honor of the Oktoberfest. And this October is even more special because our friend Paul has finally launched Baying Hound Aleworks ( and I have been channeling my inner Don Draper to come up with a promotional campaign for him. Of course all my adverts feature me and I am sure customers will want to know if I come with the beer. (Or perhaps to make sure that I don’t come with the beer). There is nothing quite as splendid as drinking a finely crafted brew with a finely crafted Hound dipping his finely crafted nose into the glass—the pleasure of the experience is one to which my humans can readily attest.

But in spite of the recent weather Sunday remained dry and I achieved a masterstroke of strategy in delaying our exit from the park when I decided that it was imperative for me to individually greet a large group of visitors. The ladies could hardly pull me away without looking incorrigibly Cruella Devil-ish—and then I found it equally imperative to lie down and observe their activities, much to everyone’s amusement except my humans. I have more ways to delay leaving the park than my humans have neurons.

And as I mentioned last week, a big change in computers is in the works—PC to Macs. The Apple stuff has arrived and I don’t yet know about the quality of the computers but I was definitely impressed with the quality and variety of the delicious packing materials. So owing to all the computer stuff going on and my time consuming supervisory activities, this week’s post will mostly consist of my week in photos. If a picture is worth a thousand words, mine must be worth at least the entire works of William Shakespeare with a few interminable Latin histories thrown in.

Here I am on scenic Riverside Drive delaying the end of my afternoon walk by climbing on a bench and refusing to move.

Here I am down by the Hudson River marina after a successful and satistying water bottle hunt. It being too wet to effectively dispatch my prey, I was forced to carry it to Elizabeth's apartment where it ultimately met its end in the recylables bin.

This is me attentively awaiting the turkey that follows any taking of my picture. Even when complete strangers take my picture I demand to be paid. It's in my contract.

This is me in Central Park, in better weather, slowing down homeward progress by climbing onto a bench and as you can see awaiting payment. Fifth Avenue is in the background.

I have just been interrupted from some impromptu gardening involving that tree in the background. Double payment is expected under these circumstances.

I found this very appealing rock formation in Central Park and before I could climb up it and contemplate jumping off (a comtemplation which leads to much squealing amongst my humans--I never know whether they fear for my safety or the vet bills) it was decided to immortalize the moment before the ascent.

This is me in front of the Harlem Meer at the very apex of Central Park's 858 acres (otherwise known as my back yard). Notice the fowl swimming in the background--the Meer has ducks, geese and swans with whom I am always trying to get better acquainted, much to the detriment of my humans' shoulders.
It also has a nearby stand selling knishes (and a profoundly puzzling sign advertising "Broccoli, Spinach, Kasha and Sweet Potato--not exactly what you'd think of on a hot summer's day) and this Sunday it was determined that as soon as the weather gets cooler the ladies will see if I will eat one (we Wimseys being quite gourmet-ish in our culinary proclivities.). Stay tuned.

Another shot of me looking looking impossibly handsome at the northern end of the Meer. I have always found the juxtoposition of Central Park's rural features and the City's adjacent urban architecture (and its smells)
to be one of its most delightful features.

Right at the beginning of Sunday's walk I found this amazing stick on the street that just had to be chewed. The ladies had to stand around and wait for this feat to be accomplished whilst passersby stopped to admire my handiwork.

Well I think that's it for this week. Hopefully next week our Apple migration will be complete. I think the silver veneer of the laptop just screams for some drool art.
Until next time.
Wimsey, bratty, annoying, time consuming, expensive, but oh so worth it

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #185

Entry #185
September 24, 2010

Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where summer has made an unwanted and unpleasant reappearance. Fall seemed to be just about to get going when all of a sudden, WHAM, hot weather, again, and my planned fall friskies turned into the summer shuffles. Yuck. As a consequence my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have had to trade in their ugly, new Fall hounding outfits for their old ugly summer ones which I am sure offends their highly developed sense of fashion.

And the heat seems to have addled the brains of the people we meet also, as this week we set a record for the numbers of people misidentifying my breed. Everyone seems to think that I am a veritable geographic supermarket of mastiffs—French mastiff, Italian mastiff, English mastiff, etc. all of which led to the birth (at least in my humans’ minds) of a new breed that my humans are considering telling clueless people that I am—the Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter. The Terrapin part owing to the fact that I have become an avid fan of a tortoise who lives at the American Museum of Natural History and for whom I have been hunting ever since our meeting last Saturday. Now I know that tortoises are not terrapins and you know that tortoises are not terrapins (terrapins live on land but near the water, turtles live in the water and tortoises live on the land) but anyone biologically obtuse enough to think that I am a mastiff is not likely to have an awareness of the distinction.

So now every time someone asks if I am some kind of not even close breed my humans are itching to tell them that I am a Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter. They have even created their own mythology about the breed-- an ancient breed developed to provide the royal tables of Europe with all the fixings of a delectable turtle soup-- and are longing to tell tales of the epic battles pitting the hunting prowess of the majestic BTTH against the wily yet meaty, terrapin.

And of course they would imbue the bogus breed with all manner of fine characteristics—like courage and intelligence—not noticeably found in the Bloodhound and explain that as a rare breed I cost many thousands of dollars (I do cost many thousands of dollars, just not in the way that they mean) and are impossible to obtain (one of the downsides of being a fictitious breed).

But really if I were a mastiff, I would not be one of the boring geographic kind:

Mastiffs I Could Be

The Great Drooling Mastiff

The Black and Tan Annoying Mastiff

The Painful Lap Sitting Mastiff

The Towing Mastiff

The “You Gonna Eat That” Mastiff

The “I’m Gonna Eat That” Mastiff

The “You’ll Never Get Me Out of This Park” Mastiff

The Bed Shoving Mastiff

The Good Things Come in Really Large Packages Mastiff

The Black and Brown Mud Roaching Mastiff

The Unbearably Cute Mastiff

The Paper Shredding Mastiff

The Sneaky Water Bottle Stealing Mastiff

The Inept Squirrel Hunting Mastiff

The “Your Food Tastes Better with my Nasal Secretions In It” Mastiff

The “Bra, What Bra I Didn’t See a Bra” Mastiff

The Generous With His Smell Mastiff

The Snatch and Grab Mastiff

The Slimey Mastiff

The “How Did That Kibble Get Under the Sheets” Mastiff

The “Can I Take a Picture of Him” Mastiff

The Great Short Spiky Hair Shedding Mastiff

The Backhoe Mastiff

The “Let’s Take an Eight Hour Walk” Mastiff

The “If It’s Vertical It Needs To Be Peed Upon” Mastiff

The Bringing the Great Outdoors Indoors Mastiff

The Relentlessly Relentless Mastiff

The Your Money and Your Life Mastiff

Or you could just call me a typical Bloodhound.

Anyway, although I had Elizabeth all to myself this week she has been totally preoccupied with the imminent arrival of her Apple computers-- desk top, lap top and iPad-- and the rigors of switching from her PC. I too am looking forward to the arrival of the Apples—they sound a lot tastier than the PC I am always nibbling on and the presence of cardboard boxes and packing materials is always a cause for celebration.

What is not a cause for celebration is the Manhattan real estate market which has so far proven inhospitable to the finding of a livable apartment that does not take all of my human’s monthly salary to rent. The last apartment viewed was so small that if I were to have lain down there would be no room for anyone else to move—one of the hazards of having a roommate who is horizontally challenged rather than vertically so. Anyway the plan is to continue the search with the assistance of a young real estate agent who is taking it as a challenge to help find us the impossible. Personally I think it is because he was charmed by my Houndly magnificence when he met me but the ladies think that it has more to do with the Hungarian pastries Maria has promised to bake and the extra cash bonus that has been offered. Sometimes humans can be amazingly cynical.

Well in addition to the high cost and miniscule size of its apartments, New York has another thing for which it is fast becoming famous—bedbugs! Yes, bedbug frenzy has swept the city. Stores are being closed and people are reluctant to sit anywhere or touch anything for fear of becoming infested. There are even pictures of the little critters posted in Elizabeth’s building with instructions to contact the management office immediately if one is seen so that eradication procedures can begin forthwith. So far neither of my humans has bedbugs--someone told Elizabeth that they don’t like the smell of dogs, which, if true, would certainly mean that they would hate the stink of me and would be a total vindication of my reluctance to bathe. But it turns out that finding bedbugs often involves the use of a beagle (they probably trick the beagle into thinking that he can eat them), which means I might have a whole new career ahead of me as:

Wimsey’s Bedbug Control Services: Send a Pest To Catch a Pest

Client: Do I have to let that big smelly dog into my home?!

Exterminator: Yes. This is Wimsey. He will use his powerful nose to see if you have bedbugs.

Client: Is poking his powerful nose into my crotch part of the service?

Exterminator: He is very thorough.

Client: But why is he eating my garbage?

Exterminator: Wimsey not only detects bedbugs but destroys those hiding in food items. In particular he feels that people underestimate the threat of bedbugs in their roast meats and poultry, cheeses and deserts. Bedbugs can also invade your home via pizza and Chinese takeout so if you have any of those items he will be consuming them as well. Wimsey believes it is always better to err on the safe side. Also he missed breakfast.

Client: Well he certainly is a fast worker.

Exterminator: Yes, he is very enthusiastic about his job .

Client: Why is his head in the laundry hamper?

Exterminator: It turns out that dirty laundry often harbors colonies of bedbugs. See how deeply Wimsey is inhaling the scent.

Client: But now he’s playing with my panties!

Exterminator: No, he’s merely shaking them about to see if there are any bedbugs lurking in them. When he’s done with all your underwear-- the bras can be particularly treacherous- we will proceed to the bedroom.

Client: OK, he’s gone into the bedroom but he seems to be taking a nap on my bed!

Exterminator: It only looks that way. Wimsey is in deep meditation, channeling the spirit of the bedbugs to visualize where they might be hiding. He is becoming one with the bedbugs. It is very Zen. And total relaxation is key to the process.

Client: But he’s snoring!

Exterminator: No, that is merely his mantra. Also the deep breathing is necessary for him to inhale the scent of the bedbugs in order to pinpoint their location.

Client: But how long is this going to take?

Exterminator: Be patient. By the time Wimsey is finished with your apartment I guarantee you won’t have any bedbugs.

Client: Stop him! He’s eating my mattress!

Exterminator: Don’t worry, we don’t charge extra for eradication. When he’s done here he will proceed to deal with the couch.

Client: But he’s going to eat that too!

Exterminator: Yes, I know. But look on the bright side—you won’t have any bedbugs. And it’s a very non-toxic and very green (or brown) process--all your pets will be safe. Well, except maybe for the cat unless he’s fast. But Wimsey always stands by his work and the remnants it leaves--it’s the Wimsey Way.

And what is also the Wimsey Way is to drag Elizabeth down to the Boat Basin when it is hot and persuade her (well really drag her over to the bar, lie down and refuse to move) to have a beer so I can play with the plastic cup afterwards. It’s one of the few perks of the returning summer. But then again there is also the return of pseudo overheated Wimsey flopping down and refusing to leave the park and an increase in the numbers of people carrying water bottles available for stealing. I think perhaps my humans are actually starting to look forward to the advent of the fall friskies. The beauty of the changing seasons is the beauty of the changing ways that I find to be annoying—from the shoulder dislocating fall friskies to the winter icecapades to the spring mud sliding to the summer imitations of lawn statues-- I have all my bases covered.

Just a note before I leave you—if at some point my blog does not appear you may assume that the Apple migration did not go as smoothly as planned (like perhaps I ate a critical component).

Until next time,

Wimsey, a Black and Tan Terrapin Hunter for All Seasons

Friday, September 17, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #184

Entry # 184
September 17, 2010

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the now miraculously and suddenly autumnal Upper West Side of Manhattan where I am already anticipating the arrival of the Fall Friskies. Just a tad cooler and all bets are off as far as my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s chances of retaining intact shoulders are concerned. But for now, I can only sniff the air, tow a bit harder and wait for the crisp autumn days that, much to everyone’s surprise, seem imminent. We all thought given what a wretchedly hot summer we had that we would have the same experience as last year when summer just refused to go away until it was suddenly time for the down jackets.

Well this has been an extremely dull week (insofar as any week that includes me can be considered dull)—I had a professional walker Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday because Elizabeth was too busy to look after me, which I consider perfidy of the highest order. It also meant that I actually had to spend all my time in my apartment instead of messing up hers and was not around to distract her from the pointless work she always seems to be doing. From monopolizing her kitchen floor so she has to execute acrobatic maneuvers to make an invigorating post walk cup of tea or coffee to spreading somnolence-inducing napping Hound scent (accompanied by gentle snores) to make her eyes droop in front of her computer, I am a non-stop pain the tush (and I don’t even have to move to be disruptive!). I know I was sadly missed.

Anyway, I did get to have a lovely 4 hour walk in Central Park this Sunday and the rain held off for almost all of it. In addition to the usual assortment of Wimsey admirers and picture takers, we ran into our friend Nancy—the result of which meeting can be seen in this delightful scratching montage. And it was followed by the Ritual Feeding of the Ritz Crackers which is a perfect coda to a vigorous round of belly rubbing. Of course since Nancy and her food are strongly associated with a stroller containing a small child I now feel compelled to investigate all such strollers of a similar description, apparently causing much consternation amongst the maternal population of Central Park and adding yet another thing my humans have to be on the alert for.

Meeting Nancy was fun, but even more fun was the fellow who stopped Maria and asked if she knew of a vet in the neighborhood and whether said vet could tell if a dog was fixed. Maria logically assumed that he meant a female dog, but he said no, it was a male! Maria was able to inform him that if the dog were fixed it would be missing its testicles, pointing to my impressive tackle for illustrative purposes. It is rather amusing how frequently testicles and discussions thereof seem to crop up in my humans’ lives, especially considering how personally deficient they are in that area. Testicles loom rather large in their lives, one might say, especially as they are mine.

And speaking yet again of testicles (I am going for the Guinness Book of records for the most mention of the word testicles in a non-pornographic blog post) there has been a project afoot to collect my seed in order to ensure that the world is never lacking in Wimseys. We actually had an appointment last Saturday with a mobile collections van at a dog show in New Jersey but our appointment was cancelled owing to mechanical difficulties with the van. Our next attempt is scheduled for October 16th and given the expense involved in renting a car in New York City plus all the fees that are charged plus the fact that I am Wimsey, the ladies are convinced that I will simply refuse to be a party to the activity. The human who has my sister would be sorely disappointed as apparently she also wants a Wimsey—she has my nephew too who is a chip off the bad old block but that is still is not enough for her. Bloodhounds are perhaps the only dog whose humans compete on the basis of whose animal is worse. And the more bad bloodhounds, seemingly the better. I propose that there be a special bloodhound dog show that is unrelated to just our great beauty and captures the true spirit of the breed:

Wimsey’s First Annual “How Bad is Your Bloodhound” Dog Show

Dogs will be scored on the criteria that best defines that bloodhound breed:


OK, I will get off the couch (0 points)

OK you may occupy part of my couch (2 points)

OK you can occupy the couch as long as I use you as a pillow (5 points)

OK you can occupy the couch as long as I use you as a pillow and you rub my belly (7 points)

The floor is better for your back (10 points)

Style points are awarded for the chewing of remote controls, couch cushions, and blocking a human’s view of anything but your head)

Comes when called (0 points)

Comes when called for a cookie (2 points)

Comes when called for a piece of stinky liver (5 points)

Bays when called instead of coming (7 points)

Walks swiftly in the opposite direction when called (10 points)

Style points awarded for drool flinging, assiduously washing one’s privates, or staring blankly when commands are issued

Destructive Ability

Rips up toys (0 points)

Rips up books, magazines, newspapers and mail (2 points)

Shreds entire contents of the laundry bin (5 points)

Eats the antique Oriental rug (7 points)

Eats the couch sitting on top of the antique Oriental rug (10 points)

As destructiveness is a bloodhound specialty many awards of merit are offered in this category including:

Best achievement in creative gardening
Best clothing design based on an existing garment
Best achievement in the linen closet
Best leather work
Best creation of mattress holes

In fact there are almost as many awards of merit as there are human possessions, which virtually assures that everyone goes home a winner!

In addition, style points are awarded for looking cute, looking innocent, cutting out the middle man by chewing up paper money or instantly repeating the behavior for which one has just been reprimanded.

Annoying behavior

Flinging drool (0 points)

Flinging drool on important people wearing light colored clothing (2 points)

French kissing after washing one’s under carriage (2 points)

Trying to climb into cars (2 points)

Trying to drive cars (5 points)

Tidying up one’s muzzle after food and/or water on human clothing (2 points)

Tidying up one’s muzzle on human faces in the middle of the night (5 points)

Goosing people on the street (5 points)

Releasing gas in people’s faces (5 points)

Being a Hound (10 points)

Style points are awarded for behaviors accompanied by vociferous baying and for gaseous emissions during mealtimes.

Culinary Skills

Counter surfing (1 point)

Stealing stuff out of the fridge (2 points)

Stealing stuff before it ever makes it into the fridge (3 points)

Rendering the kitchen inoperable by napping in the middle of the floor (3 points)

Contributing flavorful drool to cooking food (3 points)

Taking candy from a baby (3 points)

Stealing the food off a dinner guest’s plate (5 points)

Stealing the food off a customer’s plate at an outdoor cafĂ© (10 points)

Style points awarded for large items consumed with seemingly impossible speed

Leash manners

Heeling (0 points)*

Pulling (2 points)

Towing (3 points)

Towing in the opposite direction to the one your human is going (5 points)

Tractoring (10 points)

Wrenching your human’s shoulder (3 points)

Dislocating your human’s shoulder (5 points)

Pulling your human over (10 points)

* to most bloodhounds this word means chewing the stilettos off of the new Jimmy Choos

Style points are awarded for tractor pulling your human into park snack concessions, pizza parlors or gelato shops. Bonus points awarded if there are people laughing at your human. Additional style points awarded for pulling your human over and then dragging them.

I think everyone who owns a bloodhound (and quite a few people who own regular Hounds—beagles and bassets you know who you are) could potentially have a top show dog. And remember: there are no bad bloodhounds, only regular bloodhounds. To know us is to love us (and to have a large bank balance).

But in spite of being largely abandoned, this week was not a total loss—on Saturday I discovered that I had a rather fascinating neighbor—someone at the American Museum of Natural History has a large and amazing smelling tortoise that they took out for some air on the side lawn. A crowd was gathered at the lawn and I towed Maria over, my nose in overdrive. At first she didn’t see anything (humans being woefully deficient in olfactory powers) and then she saw the lawn move—and it was the magnificent tortoise! Well I had never smelled anything like it before and Maria thought my nose would explode with all the activity. But just when I had devised a plan for getting to know this tortoise better its human put him back into a carrying crate and returned him to the museum. The crowd dispersed but I stood mesmerized by the lingering scent. Of course this is New York where people are blasĂ© about the strangest sights, tortoises included, so it was my arrival that created the stir—everyone turned and it was all “Look at the bloodhound!” I guess I am just as rare as a tortoise and whole lot cuter.

Well anyway, as you might imagine I am a rather well known and notorious fellow about town and the other day someone stopped Maria and asked her if I was the dog that steals water bottles. Of course I am also

the dog that makes all that racket
the dog that flings the great gobs of disgusting drool in people’s faces
the dog that makes smells
the dog that steals the branches out of the park truck that is collecting them
the dog that has peed on every plant in Central Park
the dog that tries to climb into people’s cars
the dog that kicks dirt into people’s faces
the dog that pokes his head into people’s shopping bags
the dog that everyone thinks is so cute, including my humans, except when they want to kill me

Well I think that is all for this week. We should have a beautiful weekend here and I am looking forward to some serious park time and to further burnishing my local reputation.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a champion bloodhound in all respects