May 13, 2011
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey, nature’s large and stinky gift to Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have been carrying on in my usual human-bedeviling fashion. I’ve been taking it easy though as I recover from my surgery-- although this week I did manage to drag my humans down to Riverside Park South where the Pier 1 Cafe is open and ready for me to make a colossal nuisance of myself. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have never eaten there but plans are afoot to take me down there for a meal and let me entertain the patrons by baying for my supper.
And speaking of baying (and being a bloodhound when are we not speaking of baying) I am tentatively scheduled to take a road trip down to Rockville, Maryland to put in a personal appearance at Baying Hound Aleworks (www.baying-hound.com) at their Saturday open house to celebrate National Craft Beer Week. It all depends on how I am feeling but I am generally always in favor of a road trip, especially ones that entail people feeding, petting and making a huge fuss over me.
And this time, as it is only over a weekend, my humans are going to try to stuff my chattels and me into a full sized car rather than the jumbo SUV we had for our trip to Buffalo and the Midwest last summer. This means I will have easier access to the front seat to exercise my supervisory activities and I can help Elizabeth hunt for the controls to open the gas tank so she can spend an hour relearning how to pump gas. And no doubt we will be staying in another pet friendly motel that will compare unfavorably with the Four Seasons and our stay will entail sneaking around trying not to let any of the staff set eyes on me (pet friendly has its limits when you are talking about a canine of my impressive stature and drool flinging prowess). And once again my humans will artistically drape the room and the car with the artistry of Christo whilst lugging a massive bottle of Febreze.
Anyway, if we do go we will be leaving next Friday so there may not be a blog post next week. But as crushing as that may be, I am sure to come back with some amusing tales. Exciting things happen anytime New Yorkers get behind the wheel of an automobile. (their cars should be equipped with special external blinking dunce caps).
It has been a quiet week but I have noticed that Elizabeth is watching all those dog training shows again. Funny how there never seem to be any Hounds on them—I guess that is because the shows are predicated on the trainers being successful (or at least successful in less than the lifetime of the animal in question). And it’s not really that we Hounds do anything terribly bad (aside from eating the contents of your house and such like) it’s just the attitude (or rather the panache as I like to think of it) with which we do it. And to fix that, a trainer would have to turn a Hound into a dog which would kind of defeat the purpose of having a Hound in the first place. For instance, according to various Internet sites these are the top 10 reasons to own a dog:
1. Exercise: dogs force you to exercise.
Hounds also force you to exercise (a lot, if you hope to keep even a modicum of your possessions intact) but we also force you to exercise so you are in good enough shape to exercise us. Failure to do so will result in being toppled and dragged on a regular basis and feeling like you are going to die whilst we happily tow you over hill and dale for hour after fun filled hour. Extra exercise points accrue when you chase your Hound around trying to relieve him of his latest prized possession which usually just happens to be your latest prized possession.
2. Make new friends: people stop to talk to you.
No, they stop to talk to your Hound. They couldn’t care less about you. This can lead to a serious case of low self-esteem. Plus the only people who actually do talk to you are those who want to scream at you about one of your Hound’s less appealing habits, like flinging drool in their faces or investigating the contents of the their grocery bags.
3. By paying attention to your attention-loving dog you forget about your own problems.
Of course paying attention to your Hound also can cause you problems—like his vet bill and all the hair your belly rubbing is spewing on the carpet and the bruises he leaves from sitting on you and thwacking you when he deems the petting to be of insufficient duration.
4. Dogs reduce stress: studies show dogs lower blood pressure
While it is generally true that dogs lower blood pressure, Hounds tend to have the opposite effect as the riling up of humans is one of our favorite sports. Between the stealing, chewing, digging, and furniture hogging and our ability to be amazingly clever about achieving our own goals and amazingly dense about achieving yours, the Hound is the whole gin sales generating package. There is nothing very blood pressure lowering about living with a spectacularly insubordinate animal whose greatest joy is in caring not one whit for anything you say.
5. Protection: Dogs alert you to the presence of strangers
Unless the stranger is a squirrel, a Hound’s humans are pretty much out of luck.
6. Good listeners: Dogs are good listeners and never argue with you
Hounds generally are champions at ignoring human conversation. Talking to one’s Hound in the absence of feeding him, stroking him or otherwise doing something to please him is likely to result in the Hound’s trotting off to find a quieter room in which to nap.
7. Dogs provide companionship—you are never alone with a dog in the house
Sadly, this is all too true with respect to having a Hound much to the chagrin of their humans. Need to avail yourself of the facilities? Your Hound needs to be right by your side to supervise and inspect the contents of the toilet (and if you are seated you are at the perfect height to scratch his head). Want a quiet soak in a hot tub? So does your Hound. Want to watch some TV? Pretty hard with a giant Hound head blocking the screen. Want to read the newspapers or even a book? Not so easy with the Hound chewing on them while you read. And of course no meal would be complete without a drooling Hound head resting acquisitively on the table.
8. Dogs get rid of unwanted critters on the property
Like friends. Suddenly no one is too eager to visit when they will encounter untold amounts of Hound stench, hair and drool. And for the record we are wholly useless on the eradication of more urban pests such as mice and cockroaches with whom we enjoy a live and let live relationship much to the consternation of our humans.
9. Dogs will provide unconditional love
Hounds are also big on unconditional love only we demand to be on the receiving end. We are definitely a transactional oriented group of canines and certainly require that our humans engage in Hound pleasing activities if they expect any affection from us. On the other hand we expect to be loved (if not worshipped) regardless of the havoc we wreak on property, possessions and bank accounts. The bottom line: we are worth it, you are not.
10. Dogs make you a better person—they make you kinder, more patient and more responsible
Hounds also make you a better person—they make you humble (hard to be proud when your Hound humiliates you in public on a regular basis by his conspicuous lack of regard for anything you might want him to do ((or not do)), they discourage materialism (hard to be materialistic when one is presented with daily evidence of the temporary nature of possessions), they encourage you to laugh (it’s either that or you cry) and most important, they engender a true appreciation of a finely made, strong cocktail.
Well in spite of being in recovery mode, things haven’t been completely dull around here. On Sunday we spent our usual long afternoon in Central Park, meeting and greeting and generally hanging out. There are a lot of things to do in the park and one of my very favorite areas is the beach volleyball court, principally because I am not allowed inside. But I am always fascinated by the sand and the fragrant sweaty people chasing after the balls (and the ladies enjoy the sight of some pretty well put together and not entirely clothed athletes of the male persuasion) and I do always try to be more than a spectator. Here I am trying to sneak in. And although I was prevented from playing I did make the acquaintance of two genial guardians of the gate who compensated me for my failure with their kind attention.
(New Yorkers as a rule always like to be appropriately dressed for any occasion. So for instance the people who play croquet wear white and you will notice that the people who play beach volleyball are dressed for a day in Cancun).
Anyway, I think that’s all for this week. So there might not be a post next week if I do indeed put in an appearance at my brewery. I am sure that the people drinking a Baying Hound will certainly enjoy listening to one.
Until next time,
Wimsey, the number 1 (and 2-10) reason why normal people should not have Hounds