September 2, 2011
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the Land the Hurricane Forgot, otherwise known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side where we were mercifully spared much of Mother Nature’s wrath. In last week’s post I enumerated all the precautions that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth took to ensure my safety and comfort during the storm and, however enjoyable these were, I am pleased to report that they were wholly unnecessary. We neither heard wind or rain nor felt anything out of the ordinary. As planned, the ladies ate a quantity of lasagna, drank a quantity of intoxicating spirits and remained riveted to weather TV, which continued to predict doom and gloom for New York City pretty much until the sun came out the next morning.
And we got to watch a press conference with poor Mayor Bloomberg who looked like he hadn’t slept in 48 hours, which he probably hadn’t. The fact that the Mayor looked about a hundred years old and like he was about to keel over sadly did not prevent him from trying to speak Spanish, a source of amusement to even my non-Spanish speaking humans. Apparently they were not the only ones amused as a mischievous soul from Washington Heights started a Twitter feed, @ElBloombito which purports to come from the mayor and is a virtuoso and a hugely entertaining display of Spanglish. (If only the mayor had been trying to speak French I could have swung into action! (I suggest you check it out.
But I digress. To be fair to the much maligned and misguided weather folk, it was actually still raining early Sunday morning when we got up. However the amount of rain was wholly within acceptable Wimsey walking parameters and so, dashingly caparisoned in my red raincoat, I dragged the ladies about for quite a lengthy stroll. And as is usual with these situations, the sky cleared just as we returned to Elizabeth’s apartment where we had spent the night for fear of my crib flooding—another weather induced disaster which I am pleased to report did not happen. My priceless stuffed toy collection remains intact.
We returned from our wet walk to a delicious post-hurricane breakfast of scrambled eggs and yam (me) and a not so delicious yogurt and instant oatmeal (them). Both my humans are trying to shed some encroaching avoir du poids and beef up their fitness levels which has some obvious benefits for me: 1) They split any guilt-inducing high calorie goodies with me (NB: to a Hound the word “split” does not imply 50-50) and 2) they justify letting me drag them around the park for four hour stretches as being a more fitness inducing alternative than sitting on the couch scratching my belly. I still maintain that Biggest Loser contestants should be sent home with a large, voracious and energetic Hound.
Also, Elizabeth is getting back to that delightful state of affairs where I outweigh her (unfortunately Maria’s height precludes this as a healthy option for her)—there is nothing quite so satisfying as giving a mammoth yank on my leash and finding a lot less of Elizabeth on the other end of it! The fact that the less she weighs the more I pull seems to aggravate her for some unfathomable reason. But I do so enjoy being the cloud in her silver lining.
And later that afternoon we all went out again to Riverside Park where we rendezvoused with my new friend Beckett and his humans. Beckett is also an aficionado of the four-hour walk and we both had a lot of walk time to make up for, as Saturday’s climactic conditions were most unpropitious. It is believed that Beckett is part coonhound (he is ambivocal--he knows how to bay as well as how to bark- and is fond of his food) but the rest of his
ancestry is a matter of conjecture. But like a true Hound he is in constant motion outdoors so getting a picture of us together required some wrangling which somehow resulted in his humans’ heads being cut off. What a shame.
And what a treasure trove I found along the Hudson River’s high water mark—delicious debris of every kind, including a whole clump of plastic water bottles!
It took both my humans hauling hard on my leash to drag me away. Eventually. And as for Central Park, there was surprisingly little damage—nothing compared to the “ordinary” storm we had last year that decimated whole groups of trees—just some branches and a few trees down which makes for some interesting sniffing and peeing. The weather has been spectacular this week which means my park dwell time has been correspondingly elongated engendering much pleading and cookie feeding and gentle leader threatening on the part of my humans.
As an aside, and to answer a question from last week, observant readers will notice that from time to time I am not walked in my harness but on the Heinous Gentle Leader. The Gentle Leader (and its evil cousin, The Halti) is the enemy of all canines everywhere. However, my humans resort to its use from time to time in situations where they feel that being attached to a 125lb Hound in a harness is inconsistent with their ongoing viability—such as walking in a hurricane or a thunderstorm, or walking on slippery surfaces such as ice and snow (winter), wet leaves (fall) and mud (spring) or when I am in a particularly rambunctious mood. It is also employed to prevent me from ransacking pet stores, playing with other patients at the vet’s office and of course when all other measures fail to effect my removal from the park.
My humans have also tried a variety of “no pull” harnesses--the existence of which ranks right up there with the existence of the Abominable Snow Man and the Loch Ness Monster when used on an “all pull” Hound. Hence the occasional (and grossly unfair) resort to snout control.
Anyway, in addition to the non-hurricane, this week also brought the advent of the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament something I always personally enjoy watching and fantasize about participating in. And naturally I am rooting for Jack Sock (Jacques Chausette for those of you in the zone francophone)—I mean who can resist a tennis player named after one of my favorite toys (I wonder if his middle name is Smelly). I think the other tennis players should take note and revise their names accordingly:
Novak Laundry Bin
Rafael Big Piece of Liver
Roger Couch Cushion
Caroline Neighbor’s Cat
Vera Whatever Is On Your Plate
Maria Large Raccoon
Victoria Sidewalk Chicken Bones
Well you get the idea.
I hope you all have an exciting three day weekend—I know those with Hounds certainly will as life with us is nothing if not exciting, although perhaps not always in the way humans could desire.
Until next time,
Wimsey, coveted, cosseted and dry