Friday, March 9, 2012

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #252

Entry #252

March 10, 2012

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where my own version of March Madness is well underway as our weather oscillates seemingly at random between winter and spring and I oscillate seemingly not at random between being loud and obnoxious and being really loud and obnoxious. But of course the madness that I cause is pretty much in the mind of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who mange to be mad about and mad at me all at the same time.

Well it’s been a very busy week around here as Sunday kicked off Wimsey Birthday Month. The actual date is March 19th and as usual it is a challenge to provide me with goods and services that I don’t already possess. Fortunately on Sunday my humans realized that it had been quite some time since I last got my capacious flews around a tuna sandwich from the Boat House Café in Central Park, so off we trotted thither.

Now it is often said that anticipation is one of the most important elements associated with the pleasures of receiving a gift and I can personally vouch for this. First there was the wait as Elizabeth went inside the cafe to stand on line; then there was the wait as they made the sandwich to order; then there was the wait as I could see (and smell) her approaching me with the delectable comestible. And finally there was the anxious wait as Elizabeth tasted the sandwich to make sure that the recipe still contained no onions which are toxic to those of my kind (the whole tasting thing is a mixed blessing—on one hand I enjoy being a bloodhound important enough to swan around with my own personal food taster—and of course I reciprocate the service frequently-- but on the other hand SOMEONE IS EATING MY SANDWICH). Well as you can imagine the anticipatory effects of an impending tuna fish sandwich on the Wimsey salivary glands was pretty impressive, a situation that was much admired by passersby and much feared by Maria who knew very well what the effect of even a small shake of my head would be on those onlookers.

Anyway, I ascended a bench in front of the cafe and prepared to be hand fed this large mound of heavily mayo’ed tuna on a fresh Kaiser roll. Hand feeding is essential to the full enjoyment of most meals but especially this one as the tuna is quite mushy and requires just the right proportion of bread to ensure that none of it escapes my loose but eager lips. Well of course a giant Hound seated on a bench being fed bite-sized pieces of tuna sandwich is not a sight one sees everyday and as such we attracted quite a crowd. Just the thing to whet one’s appetite before a spot of lunch! (My audience was probably considerably less squeamish than Elizabeth, who, upon seeing the effect of copious quantities of drool upon tuna fish, let alone on her hands, opined that she may never eat another tuna sandwich again.)

But still watching was preferable to my mini-invasion of this English family’s snack at Le Pain Quotidien (here I recommend the chicken sandwich on a baguette)—they all thought it was pretty funny when I shook my head and the inevitable happened, especially since my efforts seem to have concentrated themselves on their son not on them. But what can I say? Tourists are warned that New York is a dangerous city.

And in late breaking medical news, it’s official—I did not give Elizabeth the tick that caused her newfound Lyme Disease! My tick panel is once again negative so unless a Lyme tick just decided to hitch a ride to her apartment without snacking on me, I didn’t do it! Personally I am leaning towards the theory that my natural fragrance affords me some degree of protection from these critters—I mean even getting to my actual skin would require a laborious journey though a very smelly and dense jungle, so why bother when there are so many more pleasant options—like hairless and hygiene obsessed humans. Also biting through my skin can’t be very easy—I’m told it’s very thick. So it’s nice that Elizabeth can stop giving me those dirty looks every time she reaches for that jumbo-sized bottle of antibiotics.

Also this week, Elizabeth has a houseguest for six days—Pluto, the little French bulldog puppy whose prowess at being a little chip off the old Hound grows apace. On Friday for instance, he decided to augment the generous supply of kibble that I toss about on the kitchen floor (Pluto likes to hunt and consume the bits of kibble that I liberally distribute around Elizabeth’s apartment) by ducking under my fully loaded feeding station and then standing up! He’s small, but not that small. Water, kibble and bowls went flying everywhere! And better yet, Elizabeth was on the phone when it happened! He’s a real mini me!

And in addition to having the opportunity to play bitey head with him (his face is too small for actual bitey face) I also appreciate his wide repertoire of vocalizations. Now as many of you know, I have been known to bay. And while I have a variety of bays to suit every occasion, to the uninitiated they mostly all sound alike—loud and like there’s been an unexpected prison break. I do also make a noise like a squeaky hinge, but unless you count the occasional air woof, that is pretty much it. Well my protégé Pluto has an endless stock of snorts, wheezes, chortles, yips, grunts, groans, squeaks and barks and nothing really puts a human in their place (other than being loudly bayed at) than an indignant and contemptuous snort from a little bulldog. In addition the talented little fellow can also make a noise like a West Country pirate and Elizabeth very much fears she will hear an “aye matey” escape his lips one day. And he can also make a noise like a sheep! (Although there is some controversy about this as Pluto’s humans think he sounds more like a goat). It’s all very inspiring.

But along the lines of would you rather be stabbed or shot, I present

Wimsey’s (and Hobson’s) Choice:

Would you rather be:

A) Bayed at until your ears hurt and people come running to see what horrible thing you’ve done or failed to do for your lovely, large Hound or

B) Snorted at indignantly in a manner that proclaims you to be a deeply flawed human being incapable of any generosity whatsoever, especially when it comes to the contents of your dinner plate.

Would you rather be:

A) Woken at intervals throughout the night by the drool, wrinkles and icy olfactory organ of a diligently bed checking Hound or

B: Woken at intervals during the night by a bulldog puppy too small to jump on the bed who circles it making loud pirate noises.

Would you rather:

A) Trip over the leash of a large dog in pursuit of a fast squirrel or

B) Trip over the leash of a small dog in pursuit of a slow pigeon

Would you rather be:

A) Unable to go in the direction you intended owing to the presence of a large, immobile Hound who wishes to go in any direction other than the one you choose or

B) Unable to go in the direction you intended owing to the presence of a small, immobile bulldog who will go anywhere you want to go as long as it is the same way he wants to go

Would you rather be:

A) Sat upon by a 125lb Hound who won’t let you read the newspaper or

B) Sat upon by a 25lb bulldog puppy who wants to eat the newspaper

Would you rather be:

A) Woken up at dawn by a cheerful flow of wrinkles and drool in one’s face or

B) Woken up at dawn by indignant little paws scratching one’s head.

Would you rather be:

A) Tripped by a giant Hound who has become convinced of the necessity of occupying the middle of the kitchen floor while food preparations are underway or

B) Tripped by a small bulldog who has become convinced of the necessity of occupying the bathroom mat while you are in the shower.

Would you rather:

A) Have the recyclables pile torn into small pieces by a large dog or

B) Have the recyclables pile torn into big pieces by a small dog

Would you rather:

A) Explain to someone why Pluto is not an English bulldog

B) Explain to someone why Wimsey is not a St. Bernard

Would you rather be:

A) Humiliated by an incredibly cute, entitled and stubborn large Hound or

B) Humiliated by an incredibly cute, entitled and stubborn small Frenchie

(As an aside, my humans want to know how come when people see Pluto they say, “Oh Frenchies are very cute but they are very stubborn” but when they see me they say, “Oh, he’s very cute and so intelligent and so well behaved”. Nooooooooooo!!!!)

Well all I can say is that Pluto’s humans are very lucky that he is not my size---the things he’d see (the buffet on the kitchen counter) and the places he’d go (into the garbage bin). Also if he were bigger I wouldn’t be able to take all his toys away from him, which I enjoy doing so much that Elizabeth, whose experience has taught her that if I enjoy doing something it is very probably not something that she wants me to do, was forced to hide them in the closet. I mean really—I can smell a discarded sandwich twenty blocks away but she thinks I won’t smell heavily Pluto-scented toys in the closet! (And I’m the one who has a reputation for being a few neurons short of a full brain???) So all this means is that I keep trying to break into the closet. And Elizabeth keeps trying to break into the gin bottle.And lest one think that Elizabeth is being cruel about not sleeping with Pluto, her previous nap experience with him was not a great success on account of the fact that he likes to sleep with his head on her shoulder so he can snore in her ear. She is very unlucky in the bed sleeping dog department—I won’t sleep on the bed unless I am its sole occupant, unless it is very cold and I require the services of a human heating pad. (And while Maria has never actually spent the night on the floor where I shoved her, she has been known to sleep on the couch because it’s easier than disturbing me when I am comfortably ensconced in her bed).

There was, however, one noteworthy exception when we were on the road at a dog show—Elizabeth discovered that by dint of occupying the merest sliver on the edge of a California King I could be persuaded to occupy the rest of the bed. It was thought that perhaps if I had beauty sleep of a sufficient quality I might perform better in the show ring. But alas like so many promising hypotheses this one too was quickly disproved (although as I recall the decibel level of my baying was considerably enhanced and my galloping during my down and back had a certain something extra on it).

Pluto has also been very useful in helping me with my evaluation of The Snack of the Week (courtesy of Mr. Chewy who donated the snacks to me because of my reputation for having a fine and discerning palate). This week we have Newman’s Own organic Salmon and Sweet Potato dog cookies, which I must say, are quite tasty. They have a fine nose with a well balanced blend of grain (barley in this case) and fish and are of a sufficient size to give them good mouth feel and a reasonable degree of playability should one desire to push them around with one’s nose in order fulfill one’s live prey hunting fantasies (my humans disapprove of these fantasies which they fear might lead all too quickly to some live prey hunting realities). I might have preferred stronger notes of fish in the bouquet but I suspect my humans would have objected to this as they usually do to really pleasing smells such as rotting rodent.

Anyway, the cookies have a very satisfying crunchy quality and are heart shaped in order to emphasize how much our humans love us. The heart is scored so it can be broken into two pieces for those not fortunate enough to have a large canine such as myself. Personally I like the symbolism of breaking hearts and grinding them up—makes up a little for the cookies not being actually alive—and for those tubby types they are only 6% fat. Pluto concurs with everything I said as is prudent when dealing with someone who is five times your size. Frenchies might be small but they’re smart.

Anyway, I think I will leave it there for this week (a good week to buy stock in Tanqueray by the way). March is so far off to a great start even for a month that contains such exciting events as my birthday, St. Patricks’ Day, the official start of spring and of course the Ides when my humans fear I will do something even more piloerectory than usual.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Large, The Loud and the Ludicrous (but not The Lymed)

PS: If anyone should be able to make pirate noises it should be me!


Bentley said...

I'm excited. Friends of my humans are adopting a Frenchie! I hope I'll be allowed to play with him sometime and have as much fun as you do with Pluto.


Anonymous said...

Hey Wimsey! Our mom *thinks* she hides our treats in the pantry but we know they are there!! We Hounds are so smart!! JAKE & TOBY, BASSET HOUNDS!!

Kingsland kennels said...

Nice blog

Tom said...

Wow...getting mentioned in the Wimsey Blog...

Speechless as a Pedicab rider after a Sir W bay!