January 28, 2011
Hello everyone, Wimsey here, finally back in the saddle (or the lap) coming to you from the Artic-like climes of New York’s Upper West Side (although I suspect the weather is more temperate in the Arctic these days). Apparently global warming has created a gap in the Arctic atmosphere causing air masses to escape to New York City. If I were an Artic air mass I would want to escape to New York City too—where’s the fun in annoying the caribou when one can throw a serious monkey wrench into the lives of the stiletto heeled, and Gucci loafer-clad masses.
If you read this blog you know that I have been absent owing to the January birthdays of both my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth, each of whom is one year older but no wiser as I am still in residence ruling their lives with an iron paw. And as is traditional around here I receive gifts on their birthdays, the feeling being that just having me in their lives is gift enough for them. So bully sticks and rawhides have been raining from the skies (or the closets) and a wine maker friend of Maria’s sent a squeaky wine bottle (when Elizabeth first saw it lying in the middle of Maria’s living room she thought it was something new I had stolen, she has such a suspicious mind).
So what has been going on around here? Well that would be SNOW. If I ruled the world we would have these conditions year round. There has been an unprecedented amount of snow here in New York City and there has been snow on the ground continuously since the day after Christmas. Sheer heaven as snow retains scent to a remarkable degree, making for extended sessions of snow tracking. And the fact that the snow makes Central Park look like a picture postcard goes largely unrecorded as it is deemed advisable that even with the use of crampons and a gentle leader, two hands be kept on my leash at all times lest someone other than myself end up in a snow bank.
And speaking of the scent that snow collects, I have determined that there is a lady dog in heat somewhere in the neighborhood and she is walked across the street from Elizabeth’s building. This has led to strenuous attempts to inhale her scent, towing backwards and forwards over the same area, which my humans feel does not make for a very interesting or eliminatorily satisfactory walk. The scent also wafts into Elizabeth’s apartment so I have been spending my afternoons standing at her door producing an assortment of piteous vocalizations. At first this led her to believe that I was having a toilet emergency and she dropped everything to hustle me outside. But after an hour of walking back and forth over the same patch of ground there was much head scratching before the light began to dawn.
And speaking of toilet emergencies, my stomach has not been very good for several months and all the usual methods to remedy this (antibiotics, rice, pumpkin, etc.) have failed. So the ladies decided it was time for a change of diet and came up with the brilliant idea of trying a food that has become very popular in New York—Dr. Harvey’s. Now for those of you unfamiliar with the food, it consists of dried organic grains and legumes and other healthy stuff that is reconstituted with hot water to form a gruel into which fresh meat straight from the supermarket is added. Now my humans
realized that this might get a tad expensive given my size and occasional voracious eating style, but they had no idea that I would manage to eat about a $100 worth of food in less than a week. Also I lost ten pounds that I did not need to lose, prompting much jealousy and the thought that maybe they should eat Dr. Harvey”s. Also although the food changed the scent of the copious quantities of gas that I produce it had no effect on the amount. And there was no improvement in the firmness of my poop which was the whole point of the exercise in the first place. So now they put me on California Natural which has taken care of the stomach problem—that is, when they can get me to eat it which is not very often unless it has been nutritionally enhanced with the contents of the refrigerator. So they are back to spending many happy hours researching the ingredients of dog foods which makes for some fascinating reading.
Well we as we approach February my thoughts turn nostalgically to the advent of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, I have a great fondness for Westminster, having been shown there three times. Of all the places I have behaved badly nothing tops Westminster for the duration and breadth of opportunity. From pacing and galloping around the ring, to refusing to keep my feet where Elizabeth carefully placed them (otherwise known as stack dancing for which I was justifiably famous), to impromptu ring concertizing, to successfully evading the drool rag, to trying to make a love connection with the lady contestants, to trying to gait with my nose pressed to the ground to get a whiff of everyone who’s been there before me, to trying to stick my nose in the rumps of adjacent hounds--the fun just never stopped. But as Westminster is a benched show and I had to be on the premises for eight hours the in ring stuff was a small part of the fun. I spent many happy hours goosing unsuspecting spectators, presenting my posterior when people wanted to take my picture, engaging in extended high decibel singing, refusing to relieve myself in the designated areas leading my humans to fear for my health, trying to mess up the hairdos of the fancier dogs and just generally having a great time.
And this year there are a few new breeds (including the fierce Cane Corso for whom I was once mistaken causing my testicles to swell with macho pride. It is also a breed that is a favorite of Elizabeth’s because unlike the non-fierce bloodhound, they apparently listen to her) and two of them are Hounds! The Bluetick Coonhound and the Redbone Coonhound will be exhibited for the first time. All this makes me think that another fine addition to the show would be the Wimseyhound (Sanguinarius houndus horribilis)
The Wimseyhound Breed Standard
The Wimseyhound is a Hound of size and power giving the immediate impression that he can pull or knock over even the strongest of handlers. His coat should be thick and glossy, owing its appearance to the profuse shedding of substandard hairs. When he moves, his head should be plastered to the ground as his nose searches for the scent of discarded food, deceased rodents and accommodating tourists carrying plastic water bottles (preferably Poland Spring).
Size, Proportion and Substance
Height for males should be at least 28 inches at the withers as befits a race of giant Hounds capable of doing immense damage to the spaces in which they reside. The Hound must be high enough to reach items and objects inaccessible to lesser Hounds. Wimseyhounds should weigh as much as possible given the amounts they inhale from their food bowls augmented by the amounts that they liberate from counters, refrigerators and people’s dinner plates.
The head of the Wimseyhound must be flat on its top yet come to a point at the rear conveying the degree the breed’s intellectual abilities. There should be a noticeable stop on its muzzle (the only stop the breed possesses, it being of a vigorous and determined character). The muzzle must possess prominent flews capable of storing an unlimited amount of drool, hiding pills and ferrying odoriferous decaying organic matter from the outdoors into its abode. The capacious flews must also be capable of secreting multiple pieces of kibble for subsequent deposit in beds, clothing and shoes. Overall the head must have a robust and elastic rotational capability allowing the Hound to fling both drool and solid matter over great distances and to great heights. Moreover the head should be of large size and of sufficient weight to easily pin wrists and hands to computer keyboards
The eyes should give the Wimseyhound the appearance of having had a few too many cocktails the night before, lending it a sympathetic air of an animal in need of a substantial post libation fry up. The eyes should be clear owing to the constant attention of humans to remove the gunk and goo. The eyes of the Wimseyhound can be by turns sneaky, manipulative, innocent or pleading as the expression of the eyes must demonstrate sufficient versatility to ensure that the Hound gets what it wants at all times.
The ears should be of a luxurious length, reaching at least to the tip of the Hound’s nose, and capable of being an alternative source of outdoor detritus ferrying. They should be heavy enough to inflict substantial pain on nearby humans—the so-called characteristic “ear whip” and to make a loud, snapping sound when shaken that is capable of waking even the soundest sleeping human in the middle of the night. The ears must be densely furred allowing water, drool and other inconvenient liquids to adhere for subsequent transfer to clothing, furniture and walls.
The nose must be prominent, cold and wet in order to achieve maximum effect in its unexpected encounters with bare human flesh.
The teeth must be of an even appearance and convey the strength necessary to shred even the densest fabric and chew through the largest pieces of furniture.
The neck must be strong and muscular and capable of resisting the largest of prong collars. Its lovely dewlap must frame the Hound’s charming face lending it a distinguished Elizabethan air. The dewlap must be kept in top condition by frequent stroking of an extended duration.
The Wimseyhound must have a deep chest and well sprung ribs giving it the oxygen capacity it needs to tow humans over rough ground for the entire day and to vocalize at volumes that make it suitable for appearances at the Metropolitan Opera House. The straight topline lends the Hound a balanced and pleasing appearance while the size of the body makes it especially effective when body slamming or otherwise persuading humans of the advisability of getting out of its way.
Legs and Feet
The legs should be strong and muscular with hindquarters capable of propelling the Hound with sufficient force to topple humans coming home from work. The forequarters must be flexible enough to thwack at a wide range of angles. The feet must be very large and resemble bear claws both in form and function. The Hound’s feet must be capable of shredding both fabric and paper of high density as well as calling immediate human attention to a Hound in full thwack. Nails should be long and luxurious (cutting is grounds for disqualification) and must inflict the characteristic “tire track” pattern on human flesh. The pads must be sensitive and require extensive anointing with soothing emollients to keep the Hound happy in winter weather.
The tail must be long and curved, thick and powerful at its base allowing for maximum clearance of expensive coffee table knickknacks, beverages and electronic devices. The tail must be strong enough to cause substantial pain when used on companion human animals causing them to hop about and shriek.
The coat must be short and dense with uncomfortable spikey hairs that can be shed in porcupine fashion and which have exceptional adhering ability, principally when applied to the insides of bras and panties. The coat must be porous enough to hold and retain the characteristic houndy odor that is the hallmark of the breed and tenacious enough to resist all attempts to wash it away. The porous nature of the hair must also act as a vehicle for conveying quantities of smelly mud while its non-drying properties require extensive and extended towel massages when wet. (NB: Hair dryers must never be used on the Wimseyhound).
Wimseyhounds can be any acceptable Hound color. However, the preferred color for the Wimseyhound is the one that stands out in greatest relief against one’s clothing and furniture.
See blog posts #1-198. (The short version: stubborn, determined, willful, contrary and annoying. But they are very cute)
I think there are enough Wimseyhounds out there that we would have quite a competitive class. And that’s not even counting the field trials!
Anyway, I think that’s it for this week. Time to go hunt for that lady Hound and drive my humans (more) insane.
Until next time,