July 30 2011
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Better Late Than Never Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side, otherwise known as Houndistan on Hudson, where the summer heat has abated sufficiently for me to eschew the dreaded cooling coat. Not only does the coat impede my roaching pleasure but it also impairs my ability to shed hair all over my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth causing them to look unpleasantly clean. Looking clean is tantamount to looking Houndless, so it is a very unsettling and undesirable situation all around.
Well as some of you may have realized, my schedule these last few months has been a bit different. Normally I spend the day at Elizabeth’s whilst Maria is at work, but Maria is between jobs (“resting” as they would say if she were an actor, although resting and Hounds are antithetical concepts) so I am mostly at home these days. This has led Maria to various revelations, like why Elizabeth and I were getting home from our midday walk at 4pm—almost just in time for my 6pm after work walk; funny how my humans set out for the park with the best of misguided intentions to limit my walk to a paltry ninety minutes and return home four hours later. But when it’s a choice between meeting and greeting people from all over the world and basking in my reflected glory amidst the leafy greenery of Central Park or doing chores and work at home there really is no contest. A state of affairs I encourage via my repetitive imitations of Hound shaped cement lawn ornaments.
Of course it can also take quite a bit of time to even get to the park when one factors in my extensive sidewalk socializing. For instance, this week I discovered that the side door to the neighborhood Starbucks is a likely source of Venti Hound loving baristas and so I call in there regularly. I am waiting until they figure out that I can be even more charming when presented with surplus food items.
But Elizabeth does come out with us
regularly and this week I escorted her to a hair appointment on the East Side where I did a bit of window shopping on Madison Avenue. It is always encouraging to note that I am even more popular on the posh East Side where people really appreciate an elegant and unusual canine fashion accessory such as myself. And although I can’t be stuffed into a high end Sherpa bag (perhaps Louis Vuitton could make me a Sherpa trunk) and toted around
into shops I do attract the kind of admiration and attention that East Side fashionistas crave. I could be the start of a new fashion trend! But “bloodhound” doesn’t sound very nice so I would have to use my fancy French alias, Chien de St. Hubert to have the appropriate East Side cachet. Of course, then I’d also need some humans with cachet.
East Side Shop Owner: What a magnificent dog! What kind is he?
East Side Lady: He is a Chien de St. Hubert, a very old, aristocratic French breed.
East Side Shop Owner: How clever of you to have a found an obscure breed of dog that no one else has! He’s very fashion forward.
East Side Lady: Yes, he’s good at being forward.
East Side Shop Owner: But he looks a lot like a bloodhound.
East Side Lady: Clearly you know nothing about dogs! I’ll bet you’re one of those people who think American Staffordshire Terriers look like pit bulls.
East Side Shop Owner: I don’t think either of those breeds live on the East Side, but how is the Chien de St. Hubert different from the bloodhound?
East Side Lady: He’s a lot more expensive for one thing. He’s French after all.
East Side Shop Owner: Well he did try to stick his tongue in my mouth but so does my boyfriend from Brooklyn, so what else makes him different?
East Side Lady: Well he has been bred by the finest Parisian perfumers to exude a scent that they guarantee leads to a long life and personal happiness. Mostly his, but the scent does seem to energize my housekeeper to new heights of scrubbing.
East Side Shop Owner: Wow! An aromatherapy dog! I was wondering what that smell was. What else?
East Side Lady: Well I’ve been told that getting whacked with his heavy tail and smacked with his flying ears are very good for getting rid of cellulite Also when he dances on your thighs. And there is the eight hour a day of walking that helps me remove all vestiges of body fat from my frame. I’m down to a size minus 2.
East Side Shop Owner: And they say French women are thin because they smoke cigarettes, drink a lot of espresso and don’t eat! I bet these chic dogs are the secret.
East Side Lady: Well they are tough to keep secret—they tend to get a bit loud when they get riled up.
East Side Shop Keeper: So I can hear. Why is he making that noise?
East Side Lady: He wants something that you have.
East Side Shop Keeper: What?
East Side Lady: Everything. But the best thing is that he produces these oral secretions that are better than Botox!
East Side Shop Owner: You mean all that drool?
East Side Lady: It’s not drool! It’s called La Bave de St. Hubert and every night I brandish a piece of cheese in front of him and he produces enough of the stuff to smear on my face and entire body. My plastic surgeon says it will be years before I need my next face-lift.
East Side Shop Owner: Wow! He’s like a spa on a leash!
East Side Lady: So you see he could not be more different from a smelly, loud, drooly bloodhound. He’s French.
Clearly those on the East Side appreciate a refined character such as myself and my French heritage explains my preoccupation with food, my inability to speak English and my appreciation of the finer things in life—especially those that don’t belong to me. Of course there are those American tourists who would say it also explains why I am rude and I smell, but Francophile that I am I won’t go there.
But anyway it has come to my attention that the last of the Harry Potter movies has opened and that people continue to be excited by the adventures of Harry and his friends. Perhaps the time is right for me to issue a Hound version of the series:
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Philosopher’s Collection of Delicious Books: In the first book in the series, Wimsey is living among humans (known as the Mugs) and proves to be so stubborn and annoying that he is sent away to school. The Mugs think they are sending him to an obedience school run by the evil Lord Cesar Voldemort but he is spirited away to the Hogeverything School to perfect his already considerable Houndish talents.
At Hogeverything Wimsey is introduced to the Hounding World via its headmaster the kindly but sneaky Headhound, Allofus Dumbare who introduces Wimsey to various spells (givemethatusnoworelsus) and charms (stare into my eyes and hand over your sandwich) aimed at teaching him how to get the most out of the Mugs. Periodically Lord Cesar Voldemort appears to try to achieve dominance over Wimsey but Wimsey uses his mastery of the spell, Iamingoringyouz to thwart him.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Chamber of Cheese: Wimsey and his friend Weasel the Beagle discover a hidden chamber of finely aged cheese. Apparently it belonged to Lord Cesar Voldemort who was hoping to use it as positive reinforcement to achieve dominance. They eat the cheese, thus thwarting Voldemort’s plot. In opening the chamber they also unleash a number of hostile cats who begin wantonly slashing the noses of the
Hounds who want to chase them. Wimsey discovers he can speak Felixtongue and sends the cats over to Voldemort’s with a note suggesting that maybe he’d have better luck training them.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Prisoner of Ridiculous Celebrity Dog Trainers: In this book Lord Cesar Voldemort has slunk off to train Golden Retrievers and Wimsey is attacked instead by an escaped TV dog trainer. Victoria You
Cannot Be Sirius Stilwell Black. It turns out she was responsible for tormenting Wimsey’s parents with a clicker so Wimsey reaches out for help to Remussitup Lupin, a master of defense against the dark arts of dog training. Remussitup is revealed to be a Siberian Husky, a race of canine wizards whose imperviousness to training and whose mastery of disobedience exceed even those of the vaunted Hound Group (although not by much). It turns out
that Black has had experience with Lupin’s brand of magic, so she takes one look at his piercing blue eyes and decides to join Voldemort with the Golden Retrievers.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Goblet of Drool: Wimsey is entered in a challenging liver stealing contest with a variety of other disobedient, larcenous breeds. However, Voldemort, whose confidence has returned after teaching obedient dogs to be obedient dogs,
has decided to use the liver to lure Wimsey to the Dog Psychology Center where he intends to brainwash him (he calls it training). Although Wimsey falls into the trap he easily digs a hole under the Center’s fence with his giant, spade-like Hound feet and triumphantly returns to Hogeverything with a pair of Lady Voldemort’s panties.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Order of Protection: Fed up with all this dog training nonsense, headhound Allofus
Dumbare decides to fight fire with fire and enlists the help of Dr. Phil to help Voldemort with his training addiction, Suze Orman to show him how much money he’d save by leaving Wimsey alone, Oprah Winfrey to talk about how sometimes impossible dreams are just impossible, Dr. Oz to call attention to Wimsey’s adverse effect on blood pressure and Judge Judy to issue an order of protection.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Half-Breed Hound: Wimsey discovers that one of the Hounds at Hogeverything isn’t really all Hound. This explains why it is smarter than everybody, quieter than everybody, more interested in pleasing Mugs than everybody, less inclined to dig holes than everybody, less adept at stealing than everybody, less destructive than everybody and suspiciously less stinky than everybody. Wimsey feels sorry for it, however, because it is also less cute than everybody.
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Deathly End of All These Lucrative Book and Movie Deals: The author considered killing everybody off (especially Lord Cesar Voldemort who could easily have poked one Rottweiler too many) but settled for having all the animal behaviorists yell at Voldemort so much that he is forced to bribe dogs with food like everybody else. The Hounds do ultimately defend themselves against all dog training methods and graduate with honors and make the lives of the Mugs miserable while looking too cute for them to do anything about it. Wimsey goes on to write a best selling book called “If You Let Me Do What I Want We’ll All Be a Lot Happier.”
Well I think that’s all for this week. Sorry for the late post—it’s summer and I’ve been spending so much time refusing to leave the park that I’ve gotten behind on the serious business of letting people know that I’ve been spending time refusing to leave the park.
Many thanks to the neighbor’s cat Paris for her contribution to this week’s post.
Until next time,
Wimsey Bloodhound and the Idiot Humans