September 14, 1012
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where, although we are still having warm weather, it is clear from my insistence on remaining outdoors all afternoon that fall is on its way. And although my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are relieved that my vampiresque sunlight avoidance seems to be on the wane they are not entirely pleased with my desire to resume multi hour outdoor sojourns. Like pretty much everything else that has to do with me, you just can’t win. My fall behavior is kind of like a reverse Roach Motel: I check out but I don’t check in—at least not without a lot of upper body strength on the part of my humans. And a well-stocked treat pouch doesn’t hurt either.
Well September brings many things to New York including the resumption of school. I know my humans miss school and think that there are some math equations that they wished they had learned:
Drool+ hardwood floor=trip to the emergency room
Kitchen counter + sandwich+ Hound=kitchen counter
Hound - poop=human with plastic bag hunting poop in giant bush
Rain+ Hound=lovely long walk (for Hound)
Sub zero weather + Hound= lovely long walk (for Hound)
Squirrel + Hound=dislocated shoulder
Hound+ you+ your dinner = you - your dinner
Hound + your dinner ÷ by baby gate= splinters
Hound + you + bed= you + floor
Hound + garden= facsimile of the moon
Hound + neighbor’s cat= Hound head in cat flap
Hound + Hound greeting canine friend=neighbors - sleep
Hound + Squeaky tennis ball= human + gin
Hound + vet= human - bank account
Human + Hound= no life
Human - Hound= boring life
Well you get the idea. Now even though it’s been a quiet week around here—at least if you don’t count my obsession with playing squeaky ball soccer (which by the way I have discovered is a lot more fun when I make Elizabeth play it with me instead of getting any work done)-I have been around and about a bit.
Here I am down at Lincoln Center where New York Fashion Week is in full swing. Every day my humans get to read what exciting new fashions will be in style for people who don’t live with me. For them what will be in style is drool stained jeans (spring, summer, fall collection), baggy drool stained jeans over long underwear (winter collection) drool and mud stained tee shirts (short sleeved for spring and summer, long sleeved for fall), hair and drool encrusted raggedy sweaters (fall and winter collections), an enormous assortment of ugly drool stained outerwear with multiple capacious pockets bulging with my stuff (fall and winter collections) plus must have accessories: large fanny pack (4 season) and crampons (winter collection only). Elizabeth did rebel against my style dictates once this summer and wore a short summer skirt. Fortunately she remembered not to wear a thong with it but unfortunately she forgot to bend her knees when picking up my poop. I’m probably not the only one whose going to be in a few holiday snaps.
Thus fashion remains a mystery to my humans. Also a mystery to them is how I managed to acquire a pungent and distinctive swampy odor when I have not been permitted to disport myself in any illegal bodies of water since my last bath. My humans fear that through a hideous genetic mutation I may have acquired the ability to produce swamp smell along with the more traditional Hound stink. I greatly fear that there may be a B-A-T-H in my future (perhaps if I spell it my humans won’t do it). As an aside, It is astounding how many people end up on my blog because they googled “Do Hounds Stink?” which always causes my humans to start screaming loud affirmations at the computer. Do the un-Hounded masses really not know that we stink?
Well let’s see what else is new—did you know that September 14th is the birthday of Ivan Pavlov, a man near and dear to my heart because of his profound understanding of dog drool. And in that spirit whenever I hear a pill bottle being opened I begin raining copious quantities of Pavlovian drool all over my humans’ floors because where there are pills there is turkey. Of course where there are pills and turkey there is also a talented Hound who manages to ingest one without the other. Multiple times. This maximizes the amount of turkey I consume whilst minimizing the number of pills that I swallow and at the same time maximizes the amount of hair my humans pull out of their heads. Just for variety sometimes the pill comes flying out of my mouth, sometimes the pill just seems to drop out of my mouth and sometimes the pill appears as if by magic many hours later in a variety of locations that are not my stomach.
But in honor of Pavlov here are some other of my conditioned responses:
The stimulus: Newspapers on the floor
The response: The urge to lie on top of them
The stimulus: Newspapers on your lap
The response: The urge to lie on top of them
The stimulus: Your presence on the couch
The response: The need to place my body where your feet should go
The stimulus: A human looking at a TV or computer screen
The stimulus: A human looking in a rear view mirror
The response: A need to look back at them in the rear view mirror
The stimulus: A human about to prepare a meal
The response: The need to sprawl out in the middle of the kitchen so cooking resembles a game of Twister
The stimulus: A human requiring me to move
The stimulus: A human wishing to go north
The response: The urgent need to go south
The stimulus: The appearance of dense vegetation
The response: The urgent need to poop in the middle of it
The stimulus: A human in a hurry
The response: The absence of the need to poop in the middle of anything
The stimulus: Going out for an early morning walk
The response: The need to bay loudly to let everyone in the neighborhood know
The stimulus: A human in possession of something
The response: The urge to make them in possession of nothing
Of course I have many other conditioned responses: like this week I have to once again apologize for the paucity of photos. But that is largely because when I see the camera I do something like this and it frequently takes more patience than my humans possess do get enough photos. Also I have been in the mood to take city street walks lately during my afternoons with Elizabeth. Trying to photograph me on a busy city street is an invitation for me to eat something off a table at a sidewalk café or shove my nose into someone’s purse or to fling drool in someone’s face or to ambush a passing dog or to lie down in the middle of the street so everyone has to step over me. None of which makes you especially popular with your fellow citizens.
And also on the subject of conditioned responses, here you see me apparently resting my chin on a marble railing---the fact that the Grom Gelato truck is a block away behind the trees in the exact direction that my nose is pointing is entirely co-incidental.
What is not coincidental is the fact that when Elizabeth wishes to put a warm compress on my paw I let her do it while when Maria wants to do it I initiate a spirited game of leg tug of war. I would like to tell you that Elizabeth has healing hands but really she has a healing bag of turkey. As Mary Poppins famously said, a fistful of turkey makes the medicine go down (eventually). But I digress (although given the importance of turkey in my life it’s a wholly justifiable digression).
Fortunately humans also have many useful conditioned responses—like those that involve petting, admiring and feeding a large, adorable Hound. And also not presenting the dry cleaning bill to the Hound’s less adorable humans. Anyway, I think I will leave it there for this week. I noticed another pound of turkey plus some roast beef going into the refrigerator that require my urgent attention.
Until next time,
Wimsey, 1 Hound divided between 2 Humans equals Spoiled Hound2