July 22, 2011
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from my air conditioned abode on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the weather has been, in a word, vile (and when a Hound considers something to be vile it must be very bad indeed). It has been hot, humid and decidedly non-Houndy as I have been extremely reluctant to leave the
comforts of the air conditioning, cooling coat or no. This has proven something of a boon to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who are more accustomed to me dragging them out in all weathers for extended ambulatory explorations.
Consequently there were very few pictures of me taken this week as I opted for short walks. Also, a
preponderance of any pictures taken would have shown me lying on the ground doing my imitation of a concrete lawn ornament. And even I, who believe that any picture taken of me is wondrous to behold, would be forced to admit that such a montage would have been boring to behold instead.
Of course Elizabeth (my photographer) did have the option of joining Maria and I on our 6 am morning walks when climactic conditions are more conducive to movement but she
somehow kept declining. But not to worry, the Wimsey archive contains approximately 10,000 photos of moi so there is never a shortage of images from which to choose, each one lovelier than the next. Louis XIV may have known what he did every moment of every day (see last week’s post) but I can actually see what I did every moment of every day.
But due to the weather things have been, in a word, b-o-r-i-n-g, so much so that yesterday I was reduced to having the indoor zoomies, (something not easy to accomplish given the size of New York City apartments) and wrestling with Maria over my stuffed reindeer (where are
the snows of yesteryear when you need them). And socializing has largely been restricted to email, text and telephone because no one, including me, wants to leave the air conditioning. So I decided that this made it the perfect time to reprogram my automated messaging system.
The Wimsey Automated Messaging System
Hello, you have reached Wimsey. Please listen carefully to the following choices as our menu options have changed. If you would like to speak to someone immediately please press the “w” key and listen to an extended loop of me baying. Feel free to throw your phone against the wall at any time.
Press 1 if you would like to speak to Wimsey.
Press 2 if you would like urgently to speak to Wimsey.
Press 3 if you would like to tell Wimsey how handsome he is
Press 4 if you would like to send Wimsey a present and need his address
Press 5 if you would like to schedule a
time to photograph Wimsey
Press 6 if you would like a stool sample (I get a lot of calls from the vet)
Press 7 to report a lost or stolen plastic water bottle
Press 8 to report a lost or stolen sandwich
Press 9 if you don’t believe a 130lb dog can sit in your lap and want a demonstration (health insurance required)
Press 10 if you would like to give Wimsey a belly rub
Press 11 if this is about your dry cleaning bill
Press 12 if you would to order some original Wimsey Wall Art
Press 13 if you are missing an item of clothing
Press 14 if this is about the noise
Press 15 if this is about the smell
Press 16 if you want a an autographed picture of Wimsey (specify type of autograph: muddy paw print, gob of drool, or his personal mark)
Press 17 if you think Wimsey’s human needs her head examined
Press 18 if you buy Baying Hound Ale just because Wimsey’s picture is on the label
Press 19 if you think Wimsey’s picture should be on a Valium label
Press 20 if you think Wimsey is cute
Press 21 if you think Wimsey is cute enough to make up for the rest of it
Press 22 if you would like to speak to Maria (but she’ll probably just talk about Wimsey anyway).
Press any key immediately if you would like to give Wimsey your dinner
Press 23 if you would like this conversation hacked by Rupert Murdoch
Don’t you just love automated voice mail systems- especially the ones that tell you how important your call is but never seem to want to answer it. So aggravating-- I wonder if they were designed by Hounds?
Anyway, this week as I said, much of our communication has been via electronic means and we received a very entertaining email forwarded by our friend Lisa, Sophie the Washington DC bloodhound’s human. It seems that Weight Watchers published an article about the health benefits of having a dog because we active canines force you lazy humans to exercise (something of an understatement around here). The article then goes on to suggest different kinds of activities and identifies the dogs breeds that
are best suited to each one--like Australian Cattle Dogs and Dalmatians being good running partners, etc. But imagine my shock (and my humans’ horror) when the article claimed that the best dogs with which to do yoga are the beagle (do they make edible yoga mats?), the bloodhound (my humans never seem pleased when I attempt to participate—something about confusing yoga with wrestling) and the Jack Russell (does this assume a tranquilizer dart beforehand?). I can’t speak from personal experience about the other breeds, but the only sport for which the bloodhound is a good companion is Extreme Dog Walking (also known as drag racing).
But if we did do yoga, here are some excellent positions:
Wimsey’s Guide to Bloodhound Yoga
The Downward Facing Human (an excellent pose resulting from the exuberant greeting of one’s human or from trying to get better acquainted with a squirrel while on leash)
The Paw Stand (rear paws planted on the floor, front paws planted on the dinner plate)
Hound Salutation (best performed by humans with outstretched hands laden with turkey)
Half Spinal Twist (a pose humans achieve when their Hounds mount a rear guard action against a raccoon or a fast moving rodent; not to be confused with the Full Spinal Twist which results in a visit to the emergency room).
Pose of the Puppy (achieved by lifting one’s leg or squatting on the carpet (humans complement the Pose of the Puppy by assuming the Pose of Nature’s Miracle).
The Half Moon (posture that occurs when a Hound tries to steal a human’s underpants whilst they are still being worn).
The Frog (this pose is performed by repeatedly hyper extending one’s tongue in response to a human with a cup of gelato or frozen yoghurt).
Corpse Pose (a posture assumed by humans after a day out with the Hound. Depending on how bad the Hound’s behavior was, it is also called the “I wish I were dead” pose).
The Bow (also called the Play Bow—a posture frequently assumed preparatory to the Full Body Slam Pose (see Downward Facing Human)
The Camel (Pose that a water filled Hound executes in response to inclement weather or humans in a hurry who wish the Hound to assume The Upward Lifted Leg Pose)
The Crane (pose executed by a human attempting to remove a reluctant Hound from the park.
The Roach (a favorite Hound pose best executed in a puddle of mud, on a pile of poop or on top of a deceased animal, preferably right after a bath).
Personally I am a big fan of yoga and always enjoy a session with my humans-- especially all the chanting: “Wimsey get off of me,” “Wimsey go away, “Wimsey that hurts,” ‘Wimsey let go,” etc. But I always thought the chants were supposed to be in Sanskrit.
But what else can we talk about on this very hot, dull week? I mean even the news was boring— another celebrity marriage break-up, politicians fighting, and tabloids behaving badly to get information. Shocking. All this is the canine equivalent of “Hound Steals Food!” “Hound Eats Contents of Laundry Bin!” “Hound Chases Squirrel! Pulls Human Over!” Now if those things didn’t happen that would actually be news. But the week was enlivened by my perusal of my photographic archive where I found this picture of myself in front of a tribute to Alfred Nobel near the Museum of Natural History. This did excite me because I am a big fan of the Nobel Prize and always thought I should win a few of them.
Wimsey’s Nobel Prizes
Physics: The Nobel Prize in physics goes to Wimsey for his elegant proof that matter can neither be created nor destroyed as demonstrated by his ability to convert an expensive Sunday roast into a pile of inexpensive lawn fertilizer. The Academy also wished to acknowledge Wimsey’s fine work in determining the exact length of leash required to exert the maximum amount of torque on a human spine whilst in rotational pursuit of a squirrel.
Chemistry: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Wimsey for his seminal work in pioneering the field of Reverse Alchemy as demonstrated by his turning gold into vet bills.
Medicine: The Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Wimsey for his groundbreaking work in the field of human obesity, demonstrating conclusively that it’s hard to eat food that’s been stolen and hard to sit on a couch that’s been eaten. Wimsey is also the recipient of a special recognition award from the American Academy of Clinical Psychiatrists and the American College of Emergency Physicians for his work’s outstanding contribution to their annual patient billings.
Economics: The Nobel Prize in Economics goes to Wimsey for his timely and insightful macroeconomic model of the stimulatory effect on the economy of Hounds. Wimsey conclusively demonstrates that the aggregate effect on demand for a wide range of goods and services (including such items as the complete replacements of household goods) achieved by increasing the number of Hounds far outstrips the beneficial effects of either cutting taxes or increasing government spending. The effect is achieved in spite of a marked decrease in disposable personal income.
Literature: The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to Wimsey, the renowned author of Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound, Wimsey’s Guide to New York and assorted beer labels, all of which contain an unparalleled amount of Wimsey.
Peace: The Nobel Peace Prize goes to Wimsey for his stunning analysis of world conflict in which he observes
that people who have Hounds are too tired to fight. Also cited by the Nobel Committee was Wimsey’s relentless pursuit of inter species diplomacy as evidenced by his unceasing and highly vocal attempts to persuade the neighbor’s cat to let him sniff her.
Of course my feline peace overtures (or ovations) have ground to a halt this week due to the heat. But next week I am to vacation in Elizabeth’s apartment again while Maria attempts to lure the cat into our apartment to hunt the mice that have taken up residence (I am more of a sniffer of mice
than a catcher of them). Maria’s pretty certain that a large smelly Hound straining at its leash and baying furiously might prove distracting to her efforts. But this estimable cat (Paris is her name) has apparently single handedly rid her human’s apartment of mice and our shared back garden of mice and rats. Is it any wonder I want to get to know her better? But it is a bit of a shame about the rats, for although I am indifferent to mice nothing enlivens my evening walk more than a spirited attempt to snag a rat. Judging by their shrieks my humans enjoy this too.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there for this week. Wherever you are stay cool (I am of course cool, in every respect) and pray for snow.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Noble, Nobel Laureate