January 6, 2012
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey here to welcome you to the first post of the New Year from my Houndly outpost on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where my resolution to become a better Hound threatens the sanity of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth. As we know the better the Hound the worse the dog, or at least this appears to be the case from all the ‘Wimsey No’s” I achieved this week.
But fortunately my humans do have a sense of humor (you’d have to to be around me). When, after one particularly gruesome and extended spate of oppositional towing, illicit stick eating and garbage, horse poop and water bottle hunting, I parked myself in front of a fountain demanding water service in true Hound Pasha style both my humans cracked up. It was all “He’s really dreadful isn’t he” amidst even more chuckling at the audacious nature of my sense of entitlement. In the hands of normal people I’d have been sentenced to remedial classes or worse a long time ago but if Hounds are a special breed of dog then the humans who live with them are a special breed of people. Not sane but special.
So as today is the Feast of the Epiphany I thought I’d offer some epiphanies regarding Hounds (although I myself would have preferred the feast):
Human Epiphanies Regarding Hounds
It’s not all about me; it’s all about the Hound.
Having a dog sit in your lap can be a painful experience.
Hounds are unceasing founts of unconditional love—for themselves.
Electronic devices are edible.
Hounds are neither deaf nor stupid they just don’t want to do what humans want them to do.
All those things that disappeared didn’t get lost.If I If If have it he wants it.
If I want to do it he won’t want me to do it.
If I don’t want him to do it he will want to do it.
Handsome is not necessarily as handsome does.
Cute on the outside leads to bad behavior on the inside.
Whereas the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man, the outside of a Hound is good for shoving a man off a bed.
One can lose one’s lunch without ever having eaten it.
Who’s walking whom is never really in question.
The purpose of a Hound’s flews is to collect miscellaneous and contraband material (unswallowed pills, rotting tennis balls, decayed vegetation, pieces of kibble, etc.) for later dispersal in locations likely to cause the most inconvenience (under the sheets, on top of the furniture, in the bathtub, on the walls etc.).
Pedestrians do not have a sense of humor when being hit in the face with flying drool.
Hounds have a wonderful temperament as long as they get what they want.
People who told you about their Hound’s antics weren’t exaggerating.
Anyway, my human Maria had an epiphany about me—she realized that if I am exercised extensively and until exhaustion I am less likely to destroy her house, something she realized too late with her previous two bloodhounds.
As a consequence Maria called upon the services of her dog-loving friend Elizabeth to help out, as exercising me extensively and until exhaustion is manifestly a two-person job. Then Elizabeth—who has been very successful as a volunteer trainer of shelter dogs—had an epiphany about me too: I’m not trainable. Fortunately she is, so we get on quite well.
But it would be remiss of me as a history loving Hound not to note that January 6th is an auspicious date for things not working out too well for the English monarchy—King Harold was crowned on this date in 1066, an event that William the Conqueror had something forceful to say about. But Our Bill did bring bloodhounds to the Scepter’d Isle so it all worked out in the end. Except if you were a Saxon king. And today is the birthday of Richard II who inherited the crown of England as an obnoxious ten-year-old boy and got deposed as an obnoxious 32-year-old man. He had apparently not learned that crucial Houndish lesson that being obnoxious, dictatorial, self-worshipping, self involved and abusing power are all absolutely fine as long as you are also cute and charming.
But in the here and now, what week would be complete without spending my humans’ money on a visit to the vet! This time it was for anal gland issues, a condition which has given a whole new dimension to my usual Hound stink and engendered yet another round of (turkey administered) medication. I also got to weigh in and am finally up to 128lbs—my weight before I got sick last spring!
The important thing about gaining my weight back is that I have regained my weight advantage over Elizabeth. It was bad enough being sick but having her outweigh me led to some serious consequences, like not being able to go where I wanted. (Sadly, my other human Maria is too tall to ever offer me much of a weight advantage).
But Elizabeth did figure out a way to use my weight advantage, especially when I want to go one way and she another (which is most of the time) to perform an exercise recommended by her physical therapist (a good physical therapist is de rigeur for anyone involved with Hounds). The exercise is usually done by holding onto something immovable, like a ballet barre or a locked front door knob and leaning back with one’s full weight to stretch the back muscles. Being the immovable object in the exercise is quite an impressive feat of strength on my part and a real crowd pleaser. But after showing off my cement block-like abilities I like to move unexpectedly which releases the tension on the leash and sends Elizabeth flying backwards. It’s all good fun and at least when she’s done picking herself up off the ground her back muscles have gotten a nice stretch. And some people a good laugh—I’m all about entertainment
Well as you can imagine I have been out and about quite a bit this week—meeting and greeting and cadging and stealing to celebrate the New Year. We had a couple of arctic like days, which necessitated me getting fleeced, not something I am generally in favor of or cooperative about.
However, as with everything I do there is entertainment value and I rather like being chased around by frustrated humans brandishing my chartreuse fleece. And as the chase all ends with mouthfuls of turkey and fistfuls of cookies it is a game well worth playing.
But as befits the first full week of the New Year I would like to examine some top New Year’s resolutions and see how having a Hound like myself affects the process:
Top New Year’s Resolutions
1. Drink Less Alcohol: On the one hand the potential deleterious affects of walking a large, powerful and advantage-taking Hound whilst in a state of inebriation are unlikely to be conducive to staying out of the Emergency Room. But on the other hand once the large, powerful advantage-taking Hound has been walked humans often find that the salubrious effects of a large glass of gin are a helpful remedy in recovering from the experience.
Particularly if the Hound has stuck his head into someone’s shopping bag or poked a neighbor in the backside.
2. Eat Healthy Food: This one only works if the Hound somehow dislikes the healthy food and is disinclined to steal it. Hounds impede the eating of any type of food through mechanisms such as stealing it, leaving nose prints on it, flinging great gobs of shimmering drool upon it or releasing large quantities of appetite suppressing gas
at meal times.
3. Get a Better Job: Hounds can be quite helpful in this regard owing to the incentive our humans have to earn increasing amounts of money to pay for all the stuff we destroy, our vet bills and the large numbers of toys we require to distract us so we don’t destroy even more stuff. That is in addition to acquiring excellent health insurance benefits for the odd Hound-related tumble down the stairs and other such mishaps.
In addition, humans who live with Hounds make excellent employees as their Hounds permit them to take few vacations.
4.Get fit and lose weight: Here we Hounds really excel at being helpful (if you net out the gin effect). We require copious amounts of outdoor exercise (cardio), pull like freight trains (abs and upper body) and change directions abruptly and powerfully in response to scent that you can’t see or smell (balance, agility and flexibility).
We also make eating rather difficult (see eat healthy food) and are prone to exercising our droit de seigneur in the matter of food sharing, particularly for foods high in calories.
5. Save Money: We Hounds do not encourage the saving of money; we encourage (require might be more accurate) the spending of money. On us.
6. Quit Smoking: Hounds can help with this. First if you smoke it is difficult to breath when in pursuit of a Hound in pursuit of a fast moving furry animal, a dog it wants to play with or a distant piece of garbage detected by its powerful nose. Second, the money spent on cigarettes is going to be needed to pay the Hound’s bills.
7. Manage Stress: Although normal dogs have been shown to lower blood pressure we Hounds are guaranteed to raise it. But we can help you achieve a Zen-like tranquility if you are willing to forgo your attachment to material objects and the esteem and approval of your fellow humans.
8. Take a Vacation: Don’t even think about it.
Well I think that is all for this week. The New Year is off to a fine if smelly start.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Resolute Hound