Entry # 249
February 17, 2012
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, the Upper West Side and Manhattan Hound About Town coming to you from the suddenly springtime precincts of New York City. (For me, it’s always spring time as I spring after squirrels, tourists’ water bottles and the contents of your dinner plate). We did have one cold day-- as you can see from some of the photos where I am caparisoned in my chartreuse fleece, bringing even more of a smile to the denizens of New York if not to my human Maria who had to wrestle and bribe me into it and to her friend Elizabeth who had to watch me roll about in the dirt wearing her carefully chosen gift.
Well it’s been quite a busy week around here what with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, which was chock full of interest this year in spite of the fact that I was not allowed on the premises to report directly. (There were those who didn’t think I should be allowed on the premises even in the years when I was actually entered owing to my acoustically robust and dynamic showing style—baying, galloping around the ring, stalk stacking instead of free stacking, flinging drool, stack dancing and trying to get to know the other competitors better, all being somewhat frowned upon by the judges and stewards).
But for a modest consideration (a cinnamon stick treat and an ultrasonic puffer fish—I can hear the squeak, my humans can’t) I did permit Elizabeth to attend the show on my behalf. And she had plenty to report.
First, there was this new Hound —the American English Coonhound, that was developed from the English foxhounds brought to America and subsequently bred to adapt to the rougher conditions extant in the colonies. I expect that being English and all, this Hound is a lot more polite than the rest of us when it steals your stuff or puts craters in the backyard and likes to take his afternoon tea in the garbage bin. However, in spite of this impressive stack (how did they get her to stand still for so long!) it was a relief to see the new Hound acting like the old Hounds.
Then of course there were the celebrities—Martha Stewart watching her Chow win in the breed ring. There was a spectator who commented that the Chows were so cute and fuzzy that she just wanted to throw her arms around one and give it a big hug. Somehow I think she’d get the same response from the dog that she’d get if she tried doing the same thing to Martha Stewart. But at least Martha wouldn’t leave teeth marks. Or at least one hopes.
And there was TV dog trainer (and Hound arch enemy) Victoria Stilwell doing a segment for her TV show. After this fellow, she pulled in a bouncy Ridgeback that Elizabeth had been talking to (bounciness being a desirable trait in a show dog much to the consternation of celebrity TV dog trainers). Under questioning from Victoria the handler told Elizabeth that she didn’t know what issue to highlight (probably being spoiled for choice) but settled on the dog’s disinclination to keep its feet where they were placed. And instead of exclaiming, “Of course he won’t, he’s a Hound!” Victoria recommended clicker training, blissfully unaware that the Hound will happily eat the food rewards signaled by the clicker and then move his feet anyway. We’re gifted like that.
There is a reason no Hounds (and definitely no bloodhounds) are featured on all these dog training TV shows. Perhaps one of these trainers should devote a whole show to their failure to train Hounds to make the general public feel less inadequate about being abject failures even when faced with the mildest of Hounds.
Next there was the judging of the bloodhounds. There were only 4 this year and of the 3 males I am happy to report that two of them were mistaken for me when they were out and about in the city.
This fellow is Garth, executing his signature move (it made the Wall Street Journal and the intro to USA’s Westminster TV coverage)—a good thing Victoria Stilwell wasn’t around. Garth was mistaken for me at an event celebrating dog art (pictures OF dogs, not pictures BY dogs—like the imaginative works we Hounds create on walls) at Bonham’s, a tony art auctioneer. Or more accurately, Karen, his human was asked if this was the dog that can heard baying all the time in Central Park. She was happy to answer in the negative, as she knows me well. In the WSJ article Karen declared that Garth was well trained, well socialized and well behaved. Clearly he could not be me.
And then there was Credo, the fine looking bloodhound who won the breed. He was out taking the air in Madison Square Park when his human was asked if he was Wimsey (at least they used my name instead of asking if this was the loud obnoxious Hound they saw creating a ruckus everywhere). The fact that Madison Square Park is about three miles from where I live gives you an idea of the scope of my activities and the range of my notoriety. Some dogs are famous; I am infamous. (Perhaps I should change the name of this blog to “Diary of THE Manhattan Bloodhound”)!
Tuesday was also Valentine’s Day and Maria went into the fancy fish store and bought me a lovely piece of salmon—“a piece” being 2/3 of a pound, portion control not being anyone’s strong suit—to show her appreciation for being allowed to live with me. And I showed my appreciation for her in the usual way by releasing lovely fish-tinged gases and breathing salmon breath on her. Elizabeth couldn’t be with us for my evening walk as she was on Westminster duty, so I felt impelled to vent my displeasure by dragging Maria over to Elizabeth’s building and refusing to move. A lovely Valentine’s Day was had by all.
Now those of you who read this blog know that a few weeks ago Elizabeth was having a business meeting at the Four Seasons in London when she was interrupted by an urgent email from Mr. Chewy offering me snacks to review. And as there really is no more important business than that conducted by someone called Mr. Chewy, especially when it involves expanding my culinary horizons, she answered in the affirmative. It is well known that I am a Hound who is never short of opinions on everything and never shy about expressing them in a forceful manner. Also I felt that being a Mr. Chewy myself would give me special insight to add to my review.
Now as it happens we had never previously heard of Mr. Chewy, but no sooner had Elizabeth returned from London than the site (www.mrchewy.com) was reviewed very favorably by the Wall Street Journal. Having been an avid consumer of the Wall Street Journal since puppyhood I was naturally eager to add my voice to theirs.
So here is the poop on Mr. Chewy: They sell dog and cat food and treats as well as litter, potty pads and flea and tick remedies. I decided to focus on selecting a snack assortment for further review as apparently the cat food does not come with an actual cat and the litter is sadly devoid of succulent cat poop.
The two things that I liked very much about the site were the selection of premium brands (I demand only the highest quality goods—everything else comes flying out of my mouth with a look of disdain that my humans find particularly humiliating) and the good prices (thereby saving perfectly good money that can be spent on all the other goods and services that I require). Also, shipping is free over $49 (and when I sneeze it costs more than $49, let alone when I desire something to eat) and the snacks I ordered Sunday night arrived Wednesday, so I can vouch for the shipping being speedy. I give Mr. Chewy 4 thwacking, bear clawed paws up. (He also gets a big tail thump for diverting Elizabeth’s attention from trivial matters of business to matters involving me).
This week’s snack is Dogswell Vitality Duck Breast strips—Duck breast and vitamins E, A and flaxseed for improved eyes, skin and coat (hopefully this snack will make me even more eagle-eyed when in pursuit of tasty bits of raccoon poop camouflaged by leaves—I give new meaning to the phrase “the unspeakable in pursuit of the uneatable-- and is good for my humans too as so much of my coat ends up on them and it’s much more attractive when it’s shiny). Naturally I would much prefer to have the real thing but I found these duck strips to have an appetizing, if subtle aroma (of course I also think raccoon poop has an appetizing aroma) and an excellent chewy mouth feel.
I was able to get up a good head of flew foam for subsequent distribution on the carpet and the snack took me a few minutes to consume thus prolonging the pleasure and increasing the foam content of my flews. Additionally, the strips conveniently fit into my humans’ pockets and fanny packs for my plein air snacking needs. All in all a fine product courtesy of Mr. Chewy.
Well before I leave you for this week, my humans were in a pharmacy that had a “no pets allowed” sign on the door and yet there was a delightful little apricot poodle within being greeted by the staff. So this made them think that really this sign should have read “no large, loud, scary or smelly pets allowed (or “Wimsey is not allowed”) and that the only way to get me in would be if I were a service dog. I have discussed before the types of services I could render but my humans thought of a few more:
Service dog for people with low blood pressure
Service dog for people with cluttered closets
Service dog for people who don’t want to invest in a paper shredder
Service dog for people who have too much money
Service dog for people who have too much self esteem
Service dog for people who eat too much
Service dog for people who don’t exercise enough
Service dog for people who are always being ignored and overlooked on the street
Service dog for people who spend too much time on the computer
Service dog for people with bad backs who need to sleep on the floor
Service dog for people who don’t want people to come to dinner
Service dog for people who want a golf course dug in their backyards
Service dog for people who need lap dogs
Well you get the idea. And also, Sunday was Lincoln’s birthday. He was one of our most esteemed presidents and I am happy to follow in his footsteps as we have a great deal in common:
Ways in Which I am Like Abraham Lincoln
We are both tall.
And in honor of his birthday, here I am about to see if this statue’s posterior has an anatomically correct smell. It’s not every Hound who can claim to have goosed Mr. Lincoln.
Well I think that’s all for this week.
Until next time,
Wimsey, all hounds to all people