February 18, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the balmy climes of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where irrespective of what the calendar says, Spring has temporarily sprung around here. It’s 60 degrees today and getting me indoors has given new meaning to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s daily dragathons that feature yours truly. Elizabeth felt so bad about having to make me come indoors today that she bought me a Merrick Sarge beef bone as compensation. I intend to embed its pieces in her oriental rug to complement the bits of rawhide that are already in place. I have decided with the imperious capriciousness that is the hallmark of a proper Hound that I need a good post tow, post lunch chew before settling in for my afternoon nap, which entails the laying in of a variety of suitable items for me to chew. Given the fact that my stomach is currently the source of much alimentary experimentation my humans have decided to limit my rawhide consumption. Bully sticks are all very well (bestbullysticks.com has good prices) but I can demolish even a generously sized one in a matter of minutes.
And with respect to my stomach, the hunt for a food that I like and that likes me continues. California Natural rice and lamb was excellent for my stomach—too bad I won’t eat it. Next came Wellness limited ingredient rice and lamb, ditto, which finally led my humans to the conclusion that maybe I don’t like lamb (and I’m the one the pointy head!) so we are now on Wellness duck and rice and the verdict is still out on my stomach. It is only marginally less vile than the others (unless mixed with some turkey or other delectable substances). The numbers of ways that I find to make myself the focus of my humans’ lives and pocket books defies description. But it is all in a day’s work for a Hound.
And speaking of Hounds, there was great excitement around here re: a Hound going Best in Show at Westminster. Now granted, it was a sight Hound and not a scent Hound but Hickory proved her hound- worthiness by refusing to eat a plate of post show filet mignon at Sardis as tradition demands. My humans recognized a classic Wimsey maneuver when they saw it and it was all “that’s something Wimsey would do!” It was comforting for them to realize that sight Hounds are still proper Hounds. This was reinforced when, after admiring the Ibizan Hounds in the ring, my humans were given info from the breed club. Apparently Ibizan’s are slow to mature and will wreck your home for many happy years unless given an insane amount of physical and mental exercise (also being quite an agile breed they can reach tops of refrigerators). In addition they can be quite vocal, love to dig, view fences as obstacles to be overcome and are generally destructive when unoccupied. So Maria was all “well I already have one of those…
And Elizabeth enjoyed watching numerous types of Hounds in the show ring all behaving like Hounds in the show ring, which is to say not overly well. Her favorite was the Redbone coonhounds—a breed new to Westminster and they are dogs who clearly don’t have the drill down yet; one was baying, one was squeaking and one wanted urgently to mess with the dog behind it. All of which I would like to think made Elizabeth intensely nostalgic for our time together in the show ring, but really, I suspect just made her grateful not to be at the other end of the leash of a Hound who would very much rather be
elsewhere doing Houndy things. Showing is not a Houndy thing, trust me. And speaking of non-Houndy things Elizabeth entered Maria in an ASPCA raffle to win a Dyson vacuum cleaner that had a “pet attachment” whereby one can vacuum the dog directly into the vacuum cleaner. “One” may perhaps be able to but certainly not the “ones” I know.
Anyway, all these show dogs have elaborate, fancy names (this year’s winner is Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind) whereas I am simply, Champion Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Wimsey. So I thought maybe I should change my name to something a bit catchier:
Wimsey’s Improved Show Names
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Houndcliffe Way Too Much Wind
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Your Money and Your Life
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s That’s Mine
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s I Know it Hurts But I Don’t Care
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s What Have You Done for Me Today
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Little Tractor that Could
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Not Gonna Do It
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Pay the Toll to the Troll
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s How Was I Supposed to Know That Was the Rent Bill
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Bayin’ in the Mud
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s That Was Your Water Bottle
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s These Paws Were Meant for Thwacking
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s There’s Not Enough Febreze in the World
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Big Pain in the Ass
Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Really Big Pain in the Ass
Well you get the idea—really the possibilities are endless and they would certainly lend the show catalog an air of verisimilitude. Of course as wonderful as Westminster is the problem is that show dogs rarely exhibit much breed specific behavior (as evidenced by a ring full of unneutered male Rotties or Akitas lounging around peacefully) so nobody ever knows that that cute little beagle will not only eat you out of house and home, it will also actually eat your home. Or that placid seeming bloodhound trotting next to its handler will be dragging you over hill and dale for hours and follow it up by eating the couch or moonscaping the garden. And adding to the difficulty, many of the breeders who are are understandably passionate about their dogs tend to talk in euphemisms:
Wimsey’s Lexicon of Dog Breed Euphemisms
He’s loyal (You’re his)
He’s courageous (especially when protecting you from the evil machinations of the cable guy or the plumber).
He’s intelligent (he’s smarter than you and he knows it)
He was bred as a companion (he will glue himself to your lap and shriek horribly when you leave him alone)
He is a hearty eater (time to padlock the fridge, garbage bin and electronic devices).
He’s energetic (time to cancel the gym membership and start training for that marathon)
He has a strong desire to work (time to buy those sheep; they’re cheaper than replacing your walls and furniture)
He’s a good family dog (if you train him. Otherwise he’s a rambunctious maniac)
He’s sensitive (he will make you feel guilty when you chastise him for eating your underwear).
He was bred as a ratter (that mouse you were worried about is now on your pillow)
He’s dignified (you are beneath his notice)
He’s friendly (he can’t contain his joy at the sight of visitors and likes to greet them properly by knocking them down and slobbering on them)
He’s alert (and so will you be at 3am when he hears a squirrel)
He’s hard headed (he’s untrainable)
He is a dog of high style (and most of his style will end up all over your clothes , furniture and in your food)
He’s confident (he will train you)
He’s a superb retriever (and will happily bring you all the stuff he stole after he’s chewed it up)
He’s an excellent water dog (wearing small, tight trunks when he fishes you out of the swimming pool against your will can be embarrassing)
He’s independent (he’s deaf)
He likes to hunt (when birds and squirrels are unavailable the cat will do nicely)
He’s a clown (and you are the butt of his jokes; but he looks very cute when he’s destroying your stuff)
He requires extra socialization (and extra liability insurance).
He actively follows scent (he doesn’t follow you)
Well what else can I say about this week—I was deprived of Elizabeth’s presence for two days and when she finally returned I let her know how pleased I was in the traditional manner of a male Hound (we are a group whose genitalia doubles as a mood ring). Nothing says “I missed you” like a display of one’s favorite organ.
Anyway, in Spring a Hound’s thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of mud, filth and grime (unlike in the winter when our thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of snow, filth and grime), the advantage being that mud has the greater olfactory appeal (or not, depending on your species). Anyway, the down side of the lovely weather we’re having (in which I get to prance about coatless!) is that I am to have a long overdue bath on Sunday. The upside is that all the stinky mud will still be around on Monday to undo the damage. And Monday is a holiday although as an absolute monarch, not one I approve of. Democracy is a dangerous creed leading humans to believe that they have a say in domestic affairs. I mean they could stage an insurrection and take over the bed and the couch and redirect funds from crucial items like bully sticks and the search for palate pleasing foods to frivolities such as clothing and shoes.
And speaking of clothing, Elizabeth nearly bought what is billed as a 4-season convertible dog walking utility jacket with extractable poop bags and a belt that doubles as an emergency leash (www.letsgodesign.net). The sleeves come off to create a vest for warmer weather. It looked pretty cool but Maria was dismissive as it lacked the full 22 pockets of the vest she found last week that may actually be capacious enough to carry all my stuff.
Well I thinks that’s all for this week. Enjoy Hound Monarch Day (otherwise known as President’s Day).
Until next time,
Wimsey, the un-vacuumable Hound