November 10, 2012
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where as you have no doubt heard the weather has been intermittently uncooperative. I can relate—except to the intermittent part. And it is on this very subject of non-cooperative behavior that I would like to expound. I could write about many things this week—including a presidential election—but really nothing else is as interesting as I am, so unless President Obama starts drinking beer from my brewery, Baying Hound Aleworks, I will keep my nose firmly out of politics and squarely where it belongs in somebody’s food or in some stranger’s butt. (But I took full political advantage of Elizabeth’s absence when she was out voting to relocate her sweater from the sofa where she had left it to my toy pile where I prefer it).
Anyhow, as many of you know my humans Maria and her friend Elizabeth are frequently approached or written to by people admiring the Splendor That is Me who evince a strong interest in acquiring one of me for their very own. My humans fall into two camps when queried on this subject: there is Elizabeth (who has a wide experience of regular dogs) whose advice is DON’T DO IT and Maria (who apart from her childhood dog has only had experience with bloodhounds) whose advice is DON’T DO IT UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO PUT UP WITH: insert choice of: stubbornness, disobedience, not listening or caring, food stealing, clothes shredding, book eating, furniture chewing, drool flinging, stink producing, hole digging…. etc. And like many people who read my blog, the reaction is “Oh, no, these things can’t be true—they’re just exaggerating for comic effect. No dog could be that bad!” But as the French say, au contraire, mon ami.
So it is no surprise that yesterday my human Maria and I were the recipients of a couple of illustrative emails, excerpted below, which I personally found quite enjoyable and my humans probably less so:
Wimsey, I met you 3 years ago in the park in NY. I am a lab breeder and I saw you and fell in love. Well, I wrote you and you advised me not to buy a bloodhound and check into the breed. Well, I did. And yes, I did buy a bloodhound named Madam Molly Margaret from a lady who shows and trains bloodhounds. Well, after 1month, we changed her name to Monster Molly. Molly has chewed up everything in sight. Even my new end tables and the slats around the swimming pool. She brings everything in the house. Even mud balls from the garden. One thing is for sure, the kids have learned to pick their stuff up! I don't know about you but she loved going swimming in the pool this summer. Molly is now going to school everyday for obedience, it is not going so well. It is like the movie Xmas Vacation and someone yells "squirrel !" She has a small attention span. But we are coming along. Just a little bit longer. But she is the funniest dog you will see. She is always looking to see what kind of trouble to get into. Just wondering... does this run in your family?
Needless to say, I assured the woman that the fault lay not in her training but in our genes. Bad behavior does indeed run in the family. And the best thing is, we never grow out of these bad behaviors! If we are around, they are around. Then next we received an update from our friend Edie and her wonderful bloodhound Gus who is quite frankly a legend around here:
Gus is such an idiot. He has peed on the brand new carpet in this condo 3 times. (Editor’s note: Gus is not a puppy—he’s 4) I'm going to kill him. Now that it's cold (below zero!) we don't run across many other dogs when we go out with him, thank God. (Editor’s note: his extreme desire to reach these dogs has necessitated the use of both gentle leader ((he’s chewed through 3)) and prong). Amanda's boyfriend took him out the other day, and we all had a good laugh when we watched Brandon run by the window chasing Gus, who was merrily galloping just out of his reach. Even Mr. World Tae Kwon Do Champion couldn't hang on to him!
And of course Gus was recently responsible for the disappearance of a pair of new panties, the mystery of which was only subsequently revealed by its reappearance when he squatted in a bush as well as for redecorating a white carpet with indelible orange chai tea. He’s my hero.
What can I say; to know us is to hate us. But we are awfully cute.
Anyhow, Central Park was finally open on Sunday and I was able to inspect some of the damage—not too bad considering what happened to the rest of the region. And in reviewing my rotating roster of bad behaviors it occurred to me that it had been a while since I had had a go at eating sticks and now that there are so many at hand (or at paw) so to speak I was able to remedy the situation. Stick eating is great because the undesirable nature of its gastric effects virtually ensures the prompt dispensing of tasty snack substitutes.
And then we had a nor’easter which in my case I turned into a nor’eater as I vented my displeasure at 1) having to wear my raincoat and 2) having to walk in the storm by incessantly cadging cookies. There is nothing quite as frustrating to the human as being out in vile conditions with a recalcitrant Hound who appears to have minimal interest in taking care of business and maximal interest in getting fed snacks. But when it started to sleet on the way home, I must say I made tracks. Galloping tracks. Now being at the end of the leash of a large, galloping sleet avoiding Hound in slippery conditions is not exactly a recipe for a safe arrival anywhere other than at the emergency room so I recall being squealed at quite a bit. Especially as it was the second time this week that Elizabeth felt that I had put her life in danger.
During Monday’s afternoon walk I felt an urgent need to inspect the damage (and sticks) down by the Hudson and was most insistent that we use the steep flight of stairs down to the river rather than take the long ramp path. I did a rather good impression of a Cement Hound at the top of the stairs and as there were no other movement options open to her other than down, Elizabeth bowed to the inevitable and shortened the leash for the downward descent. Unfortunately all the negotiating (pleading) at the top of the stairs had made me a tad eager to be on my way such that when finally released onto the stairs I did rather elect to take them at a swift gallop. Now the effect of a large mass with gravity on its side on a small human with nothing on her side except an insurance card was not overly conducive to sustained verticality. At least for the human. I did get loudly told off as I recall and I do remember being threatened with the heinous gentle leader.
But the nor’easter did end up having a silver lining as it brought us a bit of snow on Wednesday evening and if there is one thing that makes me a Happy Hound it is snow. Unfortunately this meant the premature appearance of yet another piece of apparel, the infamous Speedo—a stretchy, insulated snowsuit more correctly known as the Ruff Wear Cloud Chaser. The stretchy fabric makes it form fitting so as not to impede my movement when I engage in such winter activities as pulling my humans over in the slippery snow, dragging them into freezing snow banks, pouncing on other dogs or executing quick lunges to snag water bottles. Its snug fit also shows off my rippling wrinkles to great advantage and the suit is much admired whenever I am caparisoned in it.
My humans love this suit because it encases my extensive underside making post snow clean ups much less messy and they are therefore immune to my looks of extreme martyrdom when I am captured and zippered into it. So enamored are they of the Speedo that they bought me a second one in black (aka The Tron Speedo) to wear when the first one is wet. I have had a request for pictures but as my walk occurred in the dark there were none so here are pictures from a previous winter of both Speedos.
On Thursday morning Maria and I ran into my French bulldog buddy Pluto and he and I enjoyed engaging in simultaneous zoomies which are of course much less alarming when one’s canine is only 25 lbs. I wonder if they make Speedos to fit square shaped dogs?
And my post hurricane sniff-athon has still not abated and I am pleased to report that I have once again instituted The Endless Afternoon Walk wherein I get maximum walking time and Elizabeth gets minimal working time. Often these walks entail forays into both Central and Riverside Parks on opposite ends of the Upper West Side and it was during a Riverside Park perambulation that we ran into our friend Nancy and her daughter Alicia.
Now these meetings are always cause for much celebratory baying because although Alicia will be five in a few months she has a very small appetite which means that Nancy hand feeds me her delicious lunch leftovers. I also bay furiously because her little terrified Yorkie, Zorro, refuses to let me sniff him because I am baying furiously at him because he won’t let me sniff him. So Nancy and Elizabeth have to shout to have a conversation which is then completely audible to all the park workers and passersby who have gathered to listen to my fine vocalizations. It’s not every day that you get to hear a loudly baying Hound in the middle of a major metropolis (unless you are my humans) and not every day you get to hear the intimate details of the impending birth of Nancy’s new baby and the marital difficulties entailed in naming it therein. Personally, I am looking forward to the return of The Snack Stroller and the possibility of polishing off two lunches in the near future.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there for now. And whether your candidate won or not, remember it could always be worse—you could live with me!
Until next time,
Wimsey, Charter Member of the Bad Pets Club