August 17, 2012
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where summer is just rolling along and I am just towing along followed by my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who appear to be growing weary of my summertime antics. Prominent among them is my propensity to visit the water features of Central Park and to take my now habitual cooling mud bath in a section of the Stream. My humans have discovered that walking around the park with a mud encrusted Hound has added a new layer of challenge to counseling passersby who wish to pet me. My humans think I should come with my very own black box warning like the ones pharmaceutical companies have to put on drugs that might result in a sudden loss of viability.
Wimsey’s Black (and Tan) Box Warning
YES, you may pet the Hound unless:
The Hound is following a line of scent leading to a discarded, rotting sandwich or another equally desirable comestible;
The Hound is on the trail of a fast moving, small animal to whose futile pursuit he is entirely devoted irrespective of years of negative results;
The Hound prefers the person standing next to you for reasons that may include but are not limited to: the carrying of a snatchable or filchible plastic water bottle, the carrying of an item that is edible, was edible or could potentially be edible, the carrying of a bag, purse, satchel or other conveyance whose contents must be investigated, the fact that said person smells like a cat, the fact that said person appears easy to knock over, the fact that said person appear hesitant to accept the attentions of a giant, gregarious Hound;
The Hound is heading towards a snack shop, a pet shop, a gelato stand or a small dog that requires baying at and terrorizing;
The Hound is not in the mood;
Petting or otherwise interacting with the Hound may have unintended consequences that include but are not limited to:
Getting hit in the face with a sticky solid, non-physiological
material, such as mud, rocks, twigs, leaves and miscellaneous organic and inorganic matter (aka, “crap”) with which the viscous fluid is infused;
Subjecting your clothing to the acquisition of the partial contents of the streambed in which the Hound has been taking his mud bath;
Subjecting your face, arms, legs, clothing and undergarments to the onslaught of an itchy coating of spikey black and tan hairs;
Subjecting your body to the acquisition of an anti-social odor (aka “Hound stink”);
A ruptured tympanic membrane.
Of course living with a Hound should itself come with a black box warning. Or several. Nevertheless there are brave people in the park that are willing to take the risk of meeting me anyway. Here I am with a lovely group of ladies from Ohio who initially stopped my humans to ask how to get to Belvedere Castle via the Ramble (not very easily) until I inserted myself into the process. And of course explaining how to get to Belvedere Castle through the maze of the Ramble is always more challenging when one is struggling to be heard above the sound of a loud Hound who is stimulated by the proximity of tuna sandwiches at the Boat House Café.
And in other exciting news, I received a jumbo shipment of assorted snacks that was purchased for me from the vast selection at Mr. Chewy. Elizabeth loves to order things online but apparently feels less guilty if the stuff is for me. It’s probably the only time that I am happy to be of service to her so I hope she enjoys it.
Some old favorites snacks are returning--Three Dog Bakery’s Classic Dog Wafers and Newman’s Own Organic Salmon and Sweet Potato heart shaped biscuits-- as well as many new ones, including the current rabbit, ginger and apple cookies. All of this means that Elizabeth’s bookshelves don’t contain books they contain my dog snacks (Who wants to look at The Complete Works of William Shakespeare when you can gaze upon a box of Wag More Bark Less Peanut Butter Cookies—although I am sure the Shakespeare is delicious too) owing to the fact that New York City apartments are notoriously short on storage space. Also if Elizabeth tries to give me one of the Old Mother Hubbard default cookies it gets spat out with an appropriate expression of indignation (we Hounds being blessed with highly expressive faces). Maria, on the other hand, is freely permitted to give me all the Old Mother Hubbard cookies she likes because I know that she doesn’t have the other ones. Contrary to what people who try to teach me obedience commands think, I am not stupid. I’m just selectively intelligent.
Anyway, the Olympics ended this week but after two weeks even the most exciting events got a tad repetitive. A fellow Tweeter suggested that rowing could be made more interesting by having the competitors wear pirate clothes and have the boats carry small cannons. This got me thinking that the addition of Hounds could also liven up the event.
Wimsey’s Olympic Events
Synchronized Swimming (silly sport alert): So called “deck work” (prancing in unison) to be enlivened by the presence of a trainer trying to get two Hounds to do anything at the same time. Hounds to be rewarded by getting to play with all those waving legs in the water and by licking off the swimmer’s heavy makeup.
Swimming: At least one lap to be swum entirely by the athlete’s Hound in pursuit of a squirrel being towed on a raft.
Water Polo: While two human teams compete to score goals an aquatic Hound team enters the fray to steal the ball and eat it instead (for added appeal the Hounds also get to wear those cool aviator swim caps and goggles).
Canoeing and Kayaking: Athletes compete not only to complete the course in the fastest time but also to keep their boats upright whilst an exuberant Hound enjoys a vigorous game with his squeaky tennis ball.
Rhythmic Gymnastics (silly sport alert): Ladies compete to try and keep those twirly banners from being turned into tug toys by a Hound who outweighs them (which makes most of the Hound Group eligible to compete).
Regular Gymnastics: Vault: The path to the apparatus to be littered with a random assortment of Hounds enjoying their rawhides. Just like trying to make a cup of tea in the kitchen.
Regular Gymnastics: Balance Beam: An already challenging event made more exciting by the presence of a Hound who likes to lick toes.
Beach Volley Ball: Whilst one Hound ups the danger quotient by digging holes in the sand another ups the sex appeal factor by trying to remove those little bikinis.
Dressage: A Hound doing freestyle competes next to the horse.
Eventing: Horses and riders follow a course set by a Hound chasing Usain Bolt smeared with liver.
Badminton: High jumping, shuttlecock stealing Hounds level the playing field by making it easy for all teams to lose, not just the Chinese, Indonesians and South Koreans.
Boxing: Boxers are encouraged to speed up their footwork by the presence of teams of ankle nipping dachshunds.
Wrestling: Competitors wrestle a Hound for possession of a bed; the loser sleeps on the floor of the Athlete’s Village for a week,
Fencing: Foils, épées and sabers are dispensed with as athletes compete with a Hound to see who can dig themselves out of a fenced yard the fastest.
Long Jump: Athletes compete to see how far they can jump after a large, cold and wet Hound nose has been poked into a sensitive part of their anatomy.
High Jump: (see long jump)
Triathlon: Athlete must swim 1.5 km, bike 40 km and run 10 km whilst carrying a large Hound who doesn’t like exercising in hot weather.
Rowing: An element of variability is added to the event by having each boat controlled by the tail thumping of a Hound coxswain who is busy watching a loose rodent.
Well you get the idea. Time precludes me from discussing all the contributions that Hounds could make to Olympic Sport. (And BTW, the way I comported myself in the show ring, should have made it a contender for an Olympic sport--I refer you to my post on Extreme Show Handling). And as far as other appealing events, I personally have always loved an event called “pursuit” but think it’s a shame that it just involves bicycles. But humans have strange taste in sports—like riding a bike over a track that’s shaped like a Pringle’s potato chip. I’d rather eat the potato chip.
But anyway, I took a stroll down by the Hudson River the other evening and discovered that there is a whole new batch of sculptures for my humans to pose me in front of. This one is called Existence Within. I will have picture of the others in upcoming posts since I am well known as an art loving Hound and feel that these sculptures always look better with me in front of them.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week.
Until next time,
Wimsey, an Olympic Sport