Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #162

Entry #162
March 26, 2010

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where March Madness has nothing to do with college basketball and everything to do with a wound up Hound.

Of course this odd weather doesn’t help any—rain, shine, spring, a little summer and now some winter. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are experiencing wardrobe madness trying to keep up with the seasons and even I have a new light weight rain coat to help me cope. This one has a detachable hood that is way too small (I have a big head in more ways than one) but there is some talk about using it anyway to at least keep my neck dry. This new model is from Ruff Wear and joins my two RuffWear winter coats and my Ruff Wear summer cooling coat. However, given my impressive dimensions and vigorous and splashy mud towing style, nothing short of wrapping me in saran wrap is going to keep me dry (and reduce the pile of wet, black, post walk towels, which if the truth be told is the real point of the raincoat exercise).

But I digress. Now I have nothing against March Madness although Elizabeth hates the fact that the games interfere with one of her favorite TV shows, The Amazing Race. This is a show where teams of two race around the world (in coach, no less, which should qualify them for prize money all on its own) competing for a million dollars in prize money. But I also have an Amazing Race.

Wimsey’s Amazing Race

The Premise: A team of two puny female humans race around New York City in the company of a giant baying Hound hoping to avoid personal injury and lawsuits.

The Roadblock (a task that only one person must perform): These include such things as digging into piles of branches or other assorted dense vegetation to pick up my poop or hanging onto my leash for dear life when I am on the trail of a squirrel, a raccoon, an intact female, a police officer or am just feeling frisky.

The Detour (a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons): This includes such things as being sat upon or spat upon or being shoved off the bed or pushed off the couch or having me eat your food or drool in your food. Pretty much any way you look at it you lose.

The Prize: If you make it through a leg of the race with me you get to do another leg of the race tomorrow! I guess that is why this is not a popular race and explains the paucity of bloodhounds in New York City. (that and the high IQ of New York’s residents).

Anyway, this week was very nice in spite of the vagaries of the weather. Sunday was especially entertaining. First I found this hole in a tree where somebody was storing a stick collection which I promptly removed for inspection and chewing. It was kind of the canine equivalent of finding a pot of gold.

Then we were joined on part of our walk by one of Maria’s colleagues from work who I met when I visited her office. Here I am with Uncle Tony.

(Tony is one of those names that just begs to have an Uncle stuck before it and if Rafael Nadal can have an Uncle Tony, I can too). And not only did Uncle Tony pet me but he also had a water bottle which I was able to relieve him of.

He is thinking of getting a dog to which both of my humans cried out as if one: “Not a Hound!” They thought he might not appreciate having a dog that likes to make free with humans’ food and possessions and who enjoys the loud and unrestrained expression of its many opinions. They also read him some of my poetry.

Wimsey Barrett Browning Sonnet #43

How am I Pesky? Let me count the ways

I am Pesky because when you change your clothes I poke you with my large, cold, wet nose to inhale the intoxicating perfume of your skin and do not desist even when you shriek at me to stop.

I am Pesky because when you want to use the computer I also want to use the computer

I am Pesky because when you eat I insist on sticking my nose in your food

I am Pesky because when you want to read the newspaper I develop an urgent need to shred the newspaper

I am Pesky because when you want to watch TV I like to block the signal from the remote to the cable box (assuming I have not already eaten the remote)

I am Pesky because when you have an important phone conversation I have an important date with a stuffed squeaky toy

I am Pesky because I must stick my head into all bags to minutely inspect and drool upon the contents

I am Pesky because I chew up the recyclables and strew them about the house

I am Pesky because I leave my rawhides lying around so you can trip on them in the dark

I am Pesky because the contents of my food bowl can be found widely distributed around your abode and in painful, surprising and inconvenient places in the bed and on the furniture

I am Pesky because I like to sit on your lap and dance on your abdomen

I am Pesky because I follow you into the bathroom and try to participate in the activities therein

I am Pesky because I always want to walk in the opposite way that you do

I am Pesky because I enjoy being Pesky because you don’t enjoy me being Pesky

How am I Pesky? The ways are actually too numerous to count.

The End

So I don’t think Uncle Tony will be getting a Hound any time soon. To know me is to love me and to not to want to live with me.

And speaking of Hounds, we ran into the basset boys, Guinness and Loogi. Elizabeth wanted to get a photo of all three of us looking into the camera. These pictures are a record of her futile endeavor.

Now let me say that although usually I am quite a loquacious Hound this week was more about expressing myself visually. For instance, here is Noble Hound Montage.

And then here I am “socializing” (read sticking my nose up his butt) with my uber tolerant friend Spencer.

And Spring brings several important changes to Central Park: first it is the beginning of the Dreaded Flowering Tree Season in which my humans exhibit a wholly unfortunate passion for photographing me in front of every flowering tree in the park.

I have an equal passion for turning my head and looking away or just getting up and peeing on the tree. I am told that no one wants to look at those pictures.

Also, the whole Loeb Boat House complex re-opens. This means that in addition to dragging my humans over to the snack shop for tuna sandwiches I also try and get into the lakeside bar and try to rent a rowboat. Sadly I am not permitted either place but this does not stop me from trying anyway.

Well, a short post this week as I have an incipient case of Spring fever. (In addition to short blog posts, this malady also manifests itself by my pooping right in the middle of a cluster of emerging spring flowers to the accompanying shrieks of “No not there Wimsey!” which is all part of the joys of the season).

Until next time,

Wimsey, March’s madness

So you think you can get me off of this bench?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #161

Entry #161
March 19, 2010

Hello everyone. It’s me, Wimsey welcoming you to my birthday post from New York’s Upper West Side where spring has clearly sprung, bringing rain, sunshine and flowers all for my perambulating pleasure. And it has been another social week this week, with meeting and greeting many fine new friends, large medium and small. And of course there was St. Patrick's Day to celebrate with my green sequins and soem meeting and greeting of parade goers.(Next year I want to wear a "Kiss Me, I'm Irish Button" and see if anyone does!)

It is also the beginning of the annual season of Tourist Wimsey Worship wherein I get to snuffle and drool on as many citizens from around the globe as possible and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth get to practice their language skills. The fact that they can only say things that relate to Hounds somewhat limits the conversational possibilities, but I am sure their knowledge will prove very useful:

Maria and Elizabeth’s World Tour

Dining in France

Waiter: Bonjour Mesdames. What would you like?
Maria: I have a very beautiful Hound.
Elizabeth: His name is Wimsey.
Waiter: Congratulations. But what would you like to eat?
Maria: Wimsey likes to eat salmon. He can eat much salmon.
Elizabeth: Also the roast chicken. He is very big. He weighs almost 60 kilos.

At the Hotel in Germany

Desk Clerk: Guten Tag. Are you checking in?
Maria: I have a very beautiful Hound. He likes to sleep on the big bed.
Elizabeth: But he does not like it when you sleep on the big bed.
Desk Clerk: I can give you two beds.
Maria: Wimsey makes many loud noises when he sleeps.
Elizabeth: Also he makes many odors.

Seeing the sites in Rome

Tour Guide: Buon giorno signoras. May I show you the Forum?
Maria: I have a very beautiful Hound. He likes to take many walks.
Elizabeth: He is very strong and pulls very hard when he walks.
Tour Guide: The Forum has many old and interesting buildings.
Maria: Wimsey likes old and interesting buildings.
Elizabeth: Wimsey likes old and interesting buildings that have been recently visited by interesting dogs.
At the Royal Palace in Budapest
Guard: May I help you?
Maria: I can say Bloodhound in Hungarian.
Elizabeth: I can too but you won’t understand me.
Guard: Are you looking for something?
Maria: Bloodhounds. The fountain with the Bloodhounds. I have a Bloodhound. A really, really big Bloodhound. Although not as big as the Bloodhounds in the fountain. Bloodhounds are good. Bloodhounds smell things. Bloodhounds smell things that you don’t want them to smell, like your dirty underwear and other people’s backsides. Bloodhounds are loud. Bloodhounds scare people when they bay. Bloodhound, Bloodhound, Bloodhound. Isn’t it wonderful that I can say Bloodhound!
Guard: Not as wonderful as the fact that I can say tourists are crazy.

At the pub in London

Landlord: What can I get you lovely lassies?
Maria: I have a cracking Hound named Wimsey.
Elizabeth: Folks are gobsmnacked at the sight of him. Especially when he bungs his bum into their laps.
Maria: It makes them sling their hooks right sharpish it does . He weighs over nine stone.
Elizabeth: Here is his photo. Care to have a dekko? He’s the dog’s bollocks he is. Really.

At a bar in Barcelona

Guy: Buenas Noches. Two beautiful women all alone!
Maria: I have a beautiful Hound. He is very nice but he smells.
Elizabeth: He likes to say hello to people and then they smell too.
Guy: Can I buy you a drink?
Maria: Wimsey drinks much water. This makes him pee a lot.
Elizabeth: He also throws drool in your face. It is very thick and sticky.
Guy: Now I understand why you are alone!

My humans are masters of Conversational Hound!
Anyway, today is my birthday and my humans are all of a flutter trying to think of what to do for me. I definitely know there will be poached salmon for dinner and a cup of Grom gelato when I am finished with my antibiotics, but it’s a big challenge to cosset an already much cosseted Hound. And speaking of antibiotics, I am back in pleine forme as the French say after my recent unfortunate dog vs. Wimsey encounter. My stitches came out on Wednesday and I got to see my new friends at the emergency vet’s office and make even more new friends in the waiting room. I do some of my best socializing at the vet’s. Probably because I am there so often.

Well during my convalescence I was taken excellent care of. Personally I think I too would make an excellent nurse—perhaps as a cost cutting measure the insurance companies should look into employing Hound nurses.

Wimsey’s Hound Hospital

Nurse Wimsey: Are you comfortable?
Patient: Yes nurse.
Wimsey: Well we’ll have to do something about that. Seeing humans comfortable makes me uncomfortable. It makes me feel inadequate. Let me adjust those pillows.
Patient: But if you lie on them they will flatten out.
Nurse Wimsey: Exactly. Fluffy pillows are bad for your neck. In fact I will just liberate a little of the stuffing and then they will be perfect.
Patient: But now they are just pillow cases!
Nurse Wimsey: Excellent. How about some water?
Patient: Yes please.
Nurse Wimsey: I’ll just taste it first to make sure the temperature is correct.
Patient: But there’s drool in the water now!
Nurse Wimsey: Drool has many health giving properties. Are you hungry?
Patient: Yes.
Nurse Wimsey: Here’s dinner.
Patient: But it’s just some Jell-O!
Nurse Wimsey: Sorry about that. The rest of the food wasn’t too bad but I never did like the taste of Jell-O. Hospital food has too many calories and processed ingredients and I only permit the best for my patients. Let me arrange your sheets.
Patient: But you’ve pulled them off the bed!
Nurse Wimsey: I am constructing a sheet nest so I can be at your side to constantly attend to your needs . And speaking of needs, how about a bed pan?
Patient: OK. But that’s the Get Well Bouquet my friends sent!
Nurse Wimsey: You’re lucky you didn’t get the rose bush. Those thorns can be tricky.

Well, let’s see, did I mention it is my birthday, an exciting event Chez Hound, so I decided to see what the year has in store for me over at

Your Birthday Year Forecast

With the Sun and Moon in a waxing semi-square at the time of your birthday this year, the period ahead is one of new initiatives and action (time to finally eat the couch?) You possess quite a bit of energy, but you must be aware that emotions color much of what you do this year. (How will I feel if I eat the couch?)

The Sun conjunct Mercury and Uranus in your Solar Return chart suggests a very busy period ahead, with plenty of activities, interests, and intellectual stimulation. (Hope this means towing, gardening, and drool flinging and not obedience class).Flashes of insight into existing problems are likely. (If I eat the couch I will have nothing to nap on!) You are making important changes this year, and leaving the past behind in some manner. (Will be getting rid of that heinous gentle leader!)
At times, you may be rebellious, (Moi???) so it is important to listen to your heart and to take action rather than always reacting to others and situations (perhaps I should make more effort to take charge of the walk from the very beginning instead of merely towing in the opposite direction from the one in which my humans want to go?) There may be times that you feel like the pace of your life is running ahead of you (No, this is the problem my humans have). You can be especially productive, however, in all types of communications--writing, speaking, learning, teaching, and so forth. (More communication about me!)

There are bound to be some surprises in store (usually surprises are for my humans. Like those missing brassieres.) Your thinking is more clever and original this year (this one strikes fear into the hearts of my humans), and there may be unexpected opportunities for travel, as well as new and perhaps unusual friendships (perhaps I will befriend a moose during my spring trip to Upstate New York and the Midwest)
You are able to come up with original solutions to existing problems and brand new ideas more readily this year (how to eat the couch in such a way as not to impair its napping potential).

This is a good year for projects involving technology or New Age topics (my book on Houndism?) You may find more opportunities to attend meetings and other organized group activities, to communicate online, and to take part in activities involving computers (more social networking!), scientific projects (the application of Newtonian physics to the destruction of the human body!), or metaphysics (I stink, drool, tow and destroy, therefore I am.) Original, creative ideas are easy to come by this year. (A new approach to Elizabeth’s closet clutter problem perhaps?)

With Uranus electrifying your Sun much of the year, you can expect a more liberated and interesting year than most. (Is this the year of The Unbound Hound!) Changes are in store for you, and they're likely to be very positive if you recognize and honor your need for newness in your life (I honor my need to undertake new and unexpected projects. Maybe I should go for the bed instead of the couch?)

Jupiter transits your Sun this year, bringing more awareness of moral issues and long-term goals, as well as a stronger than usual desire to improve and learn this year (What more can I do to disrupt the lives of my humans?) Optimism and confidence are with you, and you are able to attract fortunate circumstances into your life as a result (hopefully in the form of Grom Gelato, poached salmon and Dean’s pizza).
Problems are easier to resolve this year (do it my way). You are more sociable and might meet especially helpful people (who share their sandwiches with me) during this period. Travel opportunities are more likely (my spring trip!). Your broader perspective on matters this year keeps you from getting lost in details (do I eat the couch from the top down or the bottom up?) or overly frustrated by everyday stresses and strains (like having to wear a gentle leader going down the stairs so I don’t kill my humans).

This transit heightens your optimism and generosity (I look forward to sharing my drool with even more people), and the entire cycle, which runs until December, has the potential for being a relaxed, fortunate, and hopeful time in your life. (Just like all the other times in my life).

You are greeting life with a fresh, can-do attitude (The Hound is definitely a can do creature as long as it is something we want to do and nothing you want us to do). Events occur that help you to overcome problems that previously seemed challenging or even insurmountable--you have an altogether different perspective on life now, and are not inclined much to sweat the small stuff (OK. Won’t worry about my inability to kill my humans going down the stairs as long as I can inflict bodily harm at other times). You create a distinct first impression on others (given my size, my stench and my drool, this is a gross understatement), and your likeability increases (can this even be possible?)

Work is solid this year (a lot of my work is liquid), and you can see results from your efforts, or at least foresee success down the road. (More physical therapy for Elizabeth!) This gives you a sense of responsibility and a feeling of directedness and purposefulness. (I am nothing if not purposeful. Although my purposes are seldom of a desirable nature). Traditional methods work, and thoroughness brings rewards (will stick to traditional chewing, shredding, digging, and flinging drool and will give over trying to devise fancy wrestling manoeuvres). Practice or refining a technique is favored this year (I will diligently practice my towing!) The approach that seems to work best with this aspect is a step-by-step one, with modest ambitions and the appreciation of slow but steady progress (perhaps start with just the legs of the couch).
Saturn is square Pluto in your Solar Return chart. This suggests a need for you to come to terms with your own powers of authority and your effectiveness. (I am always seeking ways to be more powerful and effective). Power struggles, frustration, and manipulation are possible themes this year (as I tirelessly and ceaselessly battle the machinations of the evil humans who are attempting to control my impeccably Houndish behaviour). You may desire change, but feel blocked by others or by circumstances. Persistence will pay off in the end (did a Hound write this?).Personal confidence and hopefulness run high, and so does a need for freedom (As a Hound, I find this bit unnecessary and redundant). Some new ideas are abundant and learning opportunities are many (this is just what my humans are afraid of; perhaps I should learn to open the refrigerator and cut out the middleman). This is a busy period in your life in which you make helpful and stimulating contacts (more celebrity admirers?)

Work is solid (my humans like solid) and brings slow but steady rewards. Even so, you are especially imaginative and creative, (this is not a desirable forecast if you happen to live with a Hound, especially if you want to retain your food and possessions) and channeling this energy into something productive can bring rewards. (Everything Hounds do brings rewards, otherwise we don’t do them).

Well that's my year according to the stars. Now I must get back to my birthday celebrations. That salmon is calling to me.
Until next time,Wimsey, Birthday Hound