December 31, 2010
Hello and Happy New Year everyone! It’s me Wimsey coming to you from the slush capital of the world (and not the money laundering kind of slush either, although I suspect we are probably the capital of that too), New York City.
Well of course the big news around here was our post Christmas blizzard—all 20 inches of it—and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth decided to risk life and limb and take me out at the beginning of it, which pleased me greatly and bought my human several hours of post walk peace while I reposed myself afterwards.
And now of course we have 20 inches of slush which makes crossing streets (especially in the company of a large, slush splashing Hound) rather a challenge. (Elizabeth keeps searching for a slush lake avoiding app which means she is spending too much time with her Android phone again).
But Central Park is still snowy and the snow has been delighting New Year’s tourists all week; everywhere one hears the beauty of the park being proclaimed as well as the comeliness of the magnificent Hound disporting himself in its confines. The only downside being that, in an effort to stay alive, my humans have been employing the heinous gentle leader. As compensation, there is also a lot of extra work involved in my care during snow days which ensures that my humans have to spend even more time focused on me.
First of course I must be zipped into my Ruff Wear snow suit (aka the Speedo) that keeps me dry and warm in wet winter weather. So successful has this garment proven that a second Speedo has been ordered so that one can dry whilst one is in use. (this guarantees a perfectly dry winter). Then I must be chased down (there is something about wearing clothing that impels me to run around and make sure my limbs still work) in order for my equipment to be put on (this requires the liberal repetition of the phrase “Wimsey do you want a cookie?” spoken in a wheedling tone of voice. If this doesn’t work they kidnap my squeaky dog and hold him for ransom).
Then owing to the fact that I am not bootie-able (my policy is that the only good bootie is a dead bootie) my delicate paws must be sprayed with Paw Pro oil to protect them from the ridiculous amounts of salt spread on New York City streets. (Although I am not keen on having my feet sprayed, the Paw Pro is good fun as quite a lot of it ends up on the floor making my humans look like the clowns in the IceCapades). Then when I return from my park perambulations I must be massaged dry with a fluffy towel and my feet washed in warm water to remove any residual salt. And because the choice facing my humans is to exercise me or have me eat their apartments, the whole process must be repeated a scant few hours later. I guess this is why my humans don’t know how to answer the question “Is he a good dog.” (I don’t know, can a dog be said to be good who routinely uses you as a napkin after he has a drink of water?)
Anyway since this is the last day of the year, this post should include at least one list (I won’t publish my resolutions since they are all along the lines of being a better Hound, which translates into being a much worse dog).
2010’s Top Ten Questions Asked About Me
1. Isn’t he big for a bloodhound?
The answer my humans give: Bloodhounds are big dogs, but Wimsey is a bit bigger because he is a show dog.
The real answer: if a small insubordinate, house wrecking dog is good a large, insubordinate house wrecking dog is better! There is more of me to yell at.
2. Is he a good dog?
The answer my humans give: It depends what you consider good (description of exercise needs, drool, smell, stubborn, disobedient, all about my nature, shedding, destructive power, etc. follows).
The real answer: No.
3. Does he do OK in the city?
The answer my humans give: Yes, Wimsey enjoys life in the city.
The real answer: Wimsey enjoys life in the city because he spends most of it hauling his humans around Central Park and the rest of it poking people on the street in the butt and being admired, photographed and petted. That, and creating a ruckus on account of his drool flinging prowess guarantees a pretty “OK” life.
4. Is he a mastiff?
The answer my humans give: No, he’s a bloodhound.
The real answer: Here is our view of your of breed suggestions:
The reasonable: coonhound
The somewhat reasonable: Basset Hound, Fila Brasiliero
The unreasonable: (as in “all big dogs must be”)--mastiff, bull mastiff, Saint Bernard, Great Dane (or Scooby Doo) and (as in all wrinkled dogs must be)-- shar pei, Dogue de Bordeaux (or Turner and Hootch dog)
The bizarre: Irish Setter, Doberman Pinscher-St. Bernard mix, the Boykin, Irish Wolfhound, Cane Corso
The really bizarre (since these breeds don’t actually exist): The Black Hound, the Razor Back Hound and the Real Hound.
5. How much does he eat?
The answer my humans give: about 2 lbs. a day.
The real answer: How much food is there in your refrigerator.
6. Is he difficult to take care of in the City?
The answer my humans give: not if you exercise him properly.
The real answer: he’s difficult to take care of anywhere.
7. Is he intelligent?
The answer my humans give: Well he can be if it involves something he wants.
The real answer: only if you consider being crafty, manipulative and deaf a sign of intelligence.
8. Where did he come from?
The answer my humans give: A breeder in Illinois
The real answer: He’s a gift from God. Or maybe a punishment. It’s unclear.
9. Why is he making that noise?
The answer my humans give: because bloodhounds don’t bark, they bay.
The real answer: because he wants: a) the light to change, b) your water bottle, c) your lunch, d) your kid’s stuffed toy e) your car f) you to pet him g) you to stop petting him h) the dog across the street i) because he’s bored, j) because he feels like it
10. Would you advise me to get a bloodhound?
The answer my humans give: They’re not for everybody.
The real answer: They’re not for anybody sane.
OK, I know I do talk a lot about my non-obedience skills, but as some of you know I generously volunteer Elizabeth’s time at the ASPCA to make her feel better. Apparently she finds it curiously fulfilling (and certainly less humiliating) to help train dogs that actually listen to her. And there are also even compensations to her handling me---pretty much all dogs feel puny in comparison. Even a mighty Rottweiler can feel pretty manageable when compared to a large, determined Hound in tractoring mode. And very often she keeps up with the dogs she has worked with, including one of her favorites, the delightful Leo. Here is Leo with his human Leighanne. Such a handsome fellow, and so petite!
Anyway, this is what happens when you tell Leo “sit.”
And this is what happens when you tell Leo “down.”
And this is what happens when you tell Leo “come”
And this is what happens when you tell Leo “leave it” (you can just see the small yellow biscuit that he is obediently avoiding.
Now this is what happens when you tell me “sit”
And this is what happens when you tell me “down”
And this is what happens when you tell me “come”
And lastly, this is what happens when you tell me to leave the yellow biscuit (well there was a yellow biscuit, you’ll just have to take my word for it).
Personally I think there is a reason that the dog training shows on TV so rarely feature members of the Hound group—particularly the scent Hounds—it might make for entertaining TV if they did, just not in the way the producers intended. And it is very impressive to the viewing public to see all these dominant forceful dogs obey commands and it would perhaps not be as impressive to see some cute, appealing Hound obey commands. Unless you live with one.
Anyway, I will leave it there for this week. Apparently the boiler is broken in my new apartment and there is no heat so Elizabeth has sent Maria directly home from work to check to see if it is warm enough for me to return home after my next walk. Maria’s comfort is of apparent little consequence. As it always isn’t.
Until next time,
Wimsey, hoping the New Year is like the old year-- all about me.