August 3, 2012
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, once again coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I am back from taking my show on the road to Rockville, Maryland last weekend to visit my brewery, Baying Hound Aleworks. But before I left, my vet visit in the week prior to the trip was a corker—my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth left the vet’s office with armloads of remedies for my skin yeast and with pockets as light as their arms were heavy. De-yeasting a Hound with as much surface area as I possess doesn’t come cheap, but then things involving me seldom do.
The de- yeasting process required two medicated, double wash baths 48 hours apart, which meant that Elizabeth barely had time to clean up her bathroom before I was there again for Round Two. And imagine my humans’ dismay when they realized that the directions specified that the second wash had to be left on for ten minutes. Now you have absolutely no idea how long ten minutes can be when you are trying to contain a giant, wet, annoyed Hound with aspirations to remedy his situation by executing a mad dash out the bathroom door. The pleading, the petting, the pounds of turkey! There was a lot of post-bath caipirinha drinking, I can tell you.
The de-yeasting processes also required multiple powderings of my feet. My humans determined that the best (and only) way to accomplish this was to sneak up on me whilst I was in the midst of a very involving nap and to powder and flee before I realized anything was amiss. I find the lack of fair play reprehensible. And they castigate me for sneaking up on them and flinging a little innocent drool in their faces.
Anyway, I also had one of my semi-annual ultrasounds to which my humans like to subject me to make sure that my innards are still where they should be (and to make sure that my brain has not actually migrated to my stomach where they suspect it resides). The vet pronounced the ultrasound report “beautiful.” It’s nice to know that even my viscera are attractive. And frankly I always love ultrasound exams—having my belly rubbed with warm gel is such a relaxing experience that I am trying to convince my humans to buy me my own machine.
But apart from helping the vet to add a new wing to his house, my humans spent most of the week preparing for the trip to brewery—trip planning around here being something akin to the Normandy invasion. It is enough to say that it involves a lengthy color-coded travel list.
And as usual on Friday there was much drama over the obtaining of a suitable Wimseymobile owing to the lack of choices during weekends in the summer and the unfortunate tendency of makers of jumbo cars to install bucket seats instead of bench seating in the back seats. The vehicles also need to have an EZ pass for tolls (the stop and go traffic of lengthy toll lines being inimical to the enjoyment of my car nap) and be large enough to accommodate my soft crate (Elizabeth, who acts as my chauffeur tells the rental car people that she has a large painting to transport, being somewhat reluctant to reveal that their vehicle is about to be occupied by a large, sheddy, drooly and smelly beast. Although to be fair, my humans are expert car de-Hounders and they return cars cleaner than when they picked them up). She also tells them that she needs bench seating to accommodate something that must lie flat, which is true—at least when I am not admiring myself in the rear view mirror or nose printing the windows.
Anyway, after much waiting and debate (and the rental clerk wanting to be rid of her) she was awarded a GMC Yukon, perhaps the largest Wimseymobile yet. (Although there was some debate about this because in the Jeep Commander Elizabeth’s arms were too short to reach the windscreen to position the GPS, whereas she could in the Yukon). And as usual she drove the thing like a tank since she had no idea how wide or long it was and felt it was safer to err on the side of caution. Although I will say that in addition to being large enough for me and my chattels we all appreciated the fact that the car basically yells at you if you are about to back into something (it beeps in an alarming fashion). Too bad they didn’t have something like that for the front. Personally I think that Elizabeth, who is small of stature, likes driving these big cars for the same reason that she likes being with me—it makes her feel powerful. Or look ridiculous.
Well after we were all loaded (and given the height of the vehicle we could have used a forklift for yours truly) and the GPS (which the ladies like to argue with) was programmed with our destination, the Sheraton in Silver Springs, Maryland, I gave the order to “make it so”, and off we went--into an hour’s worth of traffic to get through the Lincoln Tunnel. But Maria used the time wisely to read the car’s manual so she actually knew on what side of the car the gas tank was located and could tell Elizabeth the meaning of all the icons that appeared when she inadvertently pushed various buttons. A speedy five hours later we arrived in style-- or as much style as you can muster whilst bumping the front of your car into the wall of the parking garage.
Now arriving at a hotel with an oversized, conspicuous dog who you are hoping that somehow no one will notice (most pet friendly hotels having weight limits far below my ample avoir du poids) requires a bit of strategy. I was taken out of sight for a walk whilst Elizabeth checked into The Wimsey Suite (2 connecting rooms draped in my sheets and towels) and with the help of the bellman unpacked the car. Then armed with a spit rag she found us and I was marched between my humans in a straight line from the lobby door to the elevator in the most casual manner possible. Only one person screamed and ran.
Now once ensconced in my suite it was time to receive visitors—our friend Ilonka (whose husband Paul founded my brewery) arrived to engage in a little pre-prandial Wimsey worship. And I was so excited to see her, that contrary to the restraint I usually exercise in the matter of indoor baying, I let fly with my most joyful efforts much to the consternation of my humans—loud baying not being helpful in the inconspicuous dog department. In the end they had to feed me turkey to get me to shut up. It’s not for nothing that turkey is known around here as the magic meat.
And once again I determined that the best place for me to hang out was in Elizabeth’s room because I am not supposed to hang out in Elizabeth’s room. The whole purpose of the suite is to allow her to sleep without my nocturnal snoring, ear flapping and bed checks. Nevertheless when we travel I always sniff everything thoroughly then head into her room, find a comfy spot and turn into 125 lbs. of dead Wimsey weight. But the ladies were so tired and I looked so comfortable that the connecting door stayed open and I spent the night with Elizabeth—a win-win situation since Elizabeth doesn’t sleep well when I am around and Maria doesn’t sleep well when I’m not.
Well after a leisurely Saturday morning that included being hand fed sausage from the breakfast buffet and taking a nap with Elizabeth on the spare bed in her room (she was apparently tired) we picked up Ilonka and headed out to the brewery which was celebrating its second year of operation. Part of the proceeds of the event went to benefit the Montgomery County Humane Society and I’m afraid I terrorized the two attendant pit bulls with my baying. But where else is one supposed to bay if not at the Baying Hound Aleworks. (Elizabeth was thrilled that there were pit bulls there. She loves pit bulls. She says they listen to her). Anyway, because it was so hot there were a lot of water bottles in evidence which meant that there were quite a number to steal or cadge and to precycle. I did periodically go into the brewery itself where I conveniently monopolized the fan much to the delight of all the people who had to step over me.
The event was very much a success—obviously people like drinking beer with my picture on the label—although ironically neither of my humans got to partake-- managing a giant Hound and driving a giant car not being especially conducive to having a relaxing brew. But Maria did bring some beer back for work colleagues and tomorrow we are bringing some over to the vet’s. Probably they could use something stronger after having to deal with me so often, but until I acquire and rename the following brands the beer will have to do:
Absolut (Absolut Obnoxious)
Johnnie Walker (Wimsey Dragger)
Chivas Regal (Shove Us Regal)
Grey Goose (Cold, Wet Hound Nose Goose)
Wild Turkey (Wild Wimsey)
Smirnoff (Smear On)
Jose Cuervo (Wimsey No Go)
Mount Gay (Mount Bay)
Stolichnaya (Stole It From Ya)
Well you get the idea.
Anyway, one of the highlights of the event was the dunk tank. There was some talk of trying to get me to press the red button to dunk Paul but as satisfying as it would have been to give a human a bath I like Paul too much. Instead Elizabeth did it because it was her chance to give someone a bath without taking one herself.
And of course I got to take extensive walks around Silver Spring and in spite of never having been there before I always had a specific route in mind which was somehow never the one that my humans intended. Even they were impressed by my ability to decisively drag them as if I actually knew exactly where I was going. But. I did know exactly where I was going. Whichever way they weren’t. And we found a farmers market that I enjoyed visiting very much although my humans cruelly prevented me from inspecting the merchandise to my complete satisfaction.
But the highlight of the trip was a lovely walk in Sligo Creek Park with Paul, Ilonka and their quarter Hounder, Bernie. Prior to this, on my morning walk I had put my foot down the wrong way, causing my humans to alert Paul and Ilonka to the fact that I was lame and not up to much walking. Once at the park, however, I proceeded to charge out of the car and drag Elizabeth along the trail at speed. Then it was all “I thought you said he was lame!” There is nothing like making your humans look like over reacting buffoons.
I especially liked Sligo Creek itself although Elizabeth and I had a disagreement as to the route we should take—I thought we should walk through the actual creek but she didn’t want to owing to something petty like having to drive 5 hours in wet jeans and shoes. My humans should be used to me getting them soaked.
But before I leave you to go play with my latest favorite obnoxious toy—a squeaky tennis ball that I found in the park—a big shout out to my young Frenchie friend Pluto and his humans Kim and Andre for passing their therapy dog test. This means that Pluto can go places and have people pet him and feed him snacks. I guess I am a therapy dog too, except for the whole listening to humans part of it. And of course after spending time with me people do need therapy so that should count for something.
Any ahrooo, until next time,
Wimsey, the toast of Rockville