October 7, 2011
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I continue to wait in vain for colorful piles of neatly raked leaves to be assembled for my disrupting pleasure. It has gotten a bit chillier here, but intermittently so, causing my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to be perpetually disrobing and rerobing during our walks. Elizabeth
has even been able to wear some of her new, supposedly better looking, LL Bean creations and I have been able to smear all of them with my new, supposedly messier mouth creation full of slime and miscellaneous organic matter. So now they are starting to look (and smell) a lot like the rest of her LL Bean wardrobe.
And on the subject of my rapidly ripening aroma, whenever I get exceptionally stinky it means that it’s time for me to have a vet appointment at the fancy clinic where I was operated on last spring.
This causes my embarrassed humans to have to apologize to yet another set of veterinarians about my odor. I’m sure these guys wish my humans would devote as much time and intensity to my outsides as they do to my insides. Nevertheless, since my operation my humans are even more paranoid about my health (is it possible to have Munchausen’s Syndrome by proxy with a dog?) and I am regularly carted hither and yon to be poked and prodded at the least sign of potential illness.
The cause for this week’s panic attack was a bit of sluggishness on my part (NB: a sluggish bloodhound is still a handful to anyone used to a normal dog and of course the sluggishness only manifests itself physically which means that there is no unfortunate diminution of my obnoxiousness quotient). So off I went to have my abdominal organs ultra sounded, my heart and lungs X-rayed and my blood and urine extensively analyzed. In the end (and as usual) my humans spent the GNP of a small nation to discover that the only thing the matter with me (at least physically) is that I still have a pesky urinary tract infection.
We are awaiting culture results to determine which antibiotic I will take, but as far as I am concerned they are all turkey antibiotics, as I require all medications to be administered in fat rolls of the stuff. And even then I have developed a special technique for swallowing the turkey while hiding the pills in my capacious flews for subsequent disposal.
But to get back to obnoxiousness, I know that all of you are familiar with the concept of IQ but only humans with Hounds are familiar with the much more desirable OQ (obnoxiousness quotient). So here are some canine tests that will help you test your dog’s OQ:
Test 1: put a treat under a soup can:
If your dog finds the treat in less than 5 seconds he is smart. If he snatches the treat out of your hand before you have a chance to place it under the soup can and then steals and runs off with the can, he is obnoxious.
Test 2: throwing a towel over the dog’s head:
If your dog gets free in less than 15 seconds he is smart. If he bays at you to get this stupid thing off of his head, then steals the towel and shreds it he is obnoxious.
Test 3: social learning: Wait until your dog is 6 feet away from you. Stare at him then smile after 3 seconds:
If he comes right to you wagging his tail he is smart. If he stares intently back at you until you feed him a cookie he is obnoxious. (I excel at this test)
Test 4: place a towel over a treat:
If the dog gets the food in less than 15 seconds he is smart. If he eats both the treat and the towel and has to be rushed to the vet he is obnoxious.
Test 5: placing a treat in a corner of the room:
If the dog goes to the treat immediately he is smart. If the dog knocks you down and snatches the entire bag of treats instead he is obnoxious.
Test 6: placing a treat under a table far enough in so that the dog has to use his paws to obtain the treat:
If the dog retrieves the treat in less than 60 seconds he is smart. If he knocks over the table, eats the treat and then proceeds to chew on the table leg he is obnoxious.
Test 7: place a treat in a corner of the room and remove the dog for 5 minutes:
If the dog goes immediately to the treat when he re-enters the room he is smart. If he goes immediately to the treat then decides he is still hungry and eats the contents of the garbage bin he is obnoxious. (I have an encyclopedic memory of the park and all the places where I have seen plastic water bottles, bits of food and horse poop. Fortunately my humans lack this ability so I am always able to drag them back to these desirable locations).
Test 8: instead of calling the dog by his name, call “refrigerator” instead:
If the dog doesn’t come until you call him by his proper name he is smart. If he thinks you are reminding him that it’s been a while since he visited the refrigerator and helped himself to the family dinner and then proceeds to do so he is obnoxious.
I myself score quite highly on these types of tests as I expect would many of my Hound brethren. And it’s not just that I am obnoxious, it’s that I am always evolving new things to do that are obnoxious. For instance, it is now imperative that I begin every walk by visiting the pedicabs at 77th Street and baying at all the drivers—especially the ones who are afraid of me (or who don’t want to be slimed) and won’t pet me or invite me onto their vehicles. After that, I tow down to the Lake, attempt to drag Elizabeth in, and then hunt for ducks, geese and people’s picnic remnants. There is a little structure by the Lake known as the Lady’s Pavilion and this week there was a couple getting married in it as you can see in the background.
Needless to say, I was extremely interested in these proceedings and tried to join in. This I felt would constitute a completely unique and improved looking wedding party. Sadly, I was unable to lend my support to the happy couple, as my humans were terrified that I would also try to provide a musical accompaniment while the ceremony was being videoed and recorded.
But this Sunday, I think I really outdid myself, quite apart from the fact that I managed to take my humans for a 4 1/2 hour “walk.” I began operations by scratching at a weak spot I have on my elbow that bleeds profusely (and with little clinical consequence) when it opens.
It looks serious but is really just a cut in spot with lots of juicy blood vessels (think scalp wound). My humans keep pressure on it with paper towels or tissues to encourage it to stop which it will after a fashion and all the while I have to be petted and fed turkey to distract me from licking it. Anyway, this Sunday I really lived up to the name “bloodhound” and by the time the bleeding stopped Maria’s hands were covered in more blood than Macbeth’s and she looked like she had been out field dressing Central Park squirrels (if only). She also had fistfuls of bloody tissues. But you know, this is New York City and so a woman whose hands are dripping blood and who is holding bloody tissues attracts less attention than Snooki eating a hot dog.
So off we dripped unnoticed to the nearest rest room where we got cleaned up and I demanded a large quantity of sympathy cookies. And this was only the start to one of the most gastronomically successful walks in Wimsey history. After all that blood loss I had to keep up my strength and as my incessant poking at the cookie pouch was starting to make my humans even more crazy than usual we went in search of a snack that they hoped would assuage my hunger. On the way I managed to snag a mound of horse poop, assorted discarded pretzels and miscellaneous pieces of sandwich. I am truly grateful that New Yorkers are such messy and careless eaters.
Well, after trying unsuccessfully to locate a suitable sandwich it was decided that a cup of gelato would have to do. This place has acceptable gelato but it doesn’t hold a candle to Grom. Nevertheless I bravely allowed myself to be fed a large cupful of the stuff before I resumed poking the cookie pouch. It was then decided that perhaps the situation required the application of a bratwurst sandwich from the Ball Field Café. So off we went. As it seemed to take an interminable amount of time for the ordered bratwurst sandwich to appear, Elizabeth complained and was told that all the food was cooked fresh to order. She resisted the temptation to inform them that it was for me as I lurked, slavering in the background with poop snacking and garbage eating still fresh in my memory. After all that, Elizabeth tasted the sandwich and felt it was of such poor quality that, had I not been so hungry, she would have declared it unfit for my consumption.
So finally the ladies decided that perhaps I should go home where I could get a proper meal. But on the way home we ran into our friend Nancy and her little daughter (who is getting not so little) Alicia. And Nancy, always well provisioned and a real trooper in the snack department, inquired if perhaps I would like the rest of a bag of peanut butter cookies. Well of course I answered loudly in the affirmative and down the hatch went a considerable
number of delicious peanut butter cookies. And my humans wonder why I am always towing to Nancy’s building!
But we did make one final stop—a lightening feint into Fairway to buy some eggs with which to make me a turkey omelet to enhance the appeal of my kibble. What a great “walk.” I might have to scratch that weak spot a little more often. And of course now when my humans refer to me as that bloody Hound they mean it literally.
But this coming week is not going to be nearly as interesting as the one just described-- (I even found this weird bottle like structure in Hudson River Park on the way home from the vet. It was hard to decide who was more puzzled by it, my humans or I but at least they didn’t try to pee on it)—because Elizabeth is helping to take care of this little fellow. His name is Pluto and he is a four-month-old French bulldog who lives around the
corner from me and up the street from her. Maria and I ran into him last night and I behaved myself but today when I saw Elizabeth walking him I’m afraid I did engage in some rather loud baying. It apparently terrorized the little guy and I was consequently banished in disgrace. I hate it when my afternoon walks are minus a key and turkey-dispensing member of my entourage but I suppose he is cute enough to justify the sacrifice. And Elizabeth got to display him to the men who work in her building with a cheery “Look! I have one who won’t drool on you!” (Or these days, bleed on you). I’m sure that Elizabeth will enjoy helping with him but I’ll bet he has nowhere near my OQ.