December 28, 2012
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where tourists are in town for the New Year and New Yorkers are conspicuously out of town for the New Year. Except of course for my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who are not permitted to go anywhere where I am not welcome- which means that they are not permitted to go anywhere. Not of course that I am not a well-behaved Hound, but I am a Hound with all the attendant behavioral hilarities that being a Hound entails. People who have Hounds know exactly what I am talking about and people who don’t have Hounds will just have to use their imaginations (which in my experience seldom even begins to approach the reality).
But I do love having tourists in town—I get bored with the adulation from the usual gang of local admirers and love expanding the reach of my fame to newer climes. And I also provide an authentic New York experience to my city’s visitors—they have been told that 1) they may see celebrities in New York and 2) that New Yorkers are crazy and 3) that you can see absolutely anything in New York City. So here I am—a celebrity canine attended by my human Maria who is crazy enough to want to live with me and Elizabeth who is crazy enough to want to take care of me during the day (more or less depending on how many of her nerves I am working and how much gin she has in her cupboard). And as Mont Python aptly observed, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition, and no one expects to see a giant baying Hound stalking the streets of Manhattan either. But if it exists on the planet it probably can be found somewhere in New York City-even giant baying Hounds who choose to hunt food trucks at the American Museum of Natural History rather than small, juicy animals or lost humans.
And of course tourists are very generous—like the guy this Sunday at the Central Park Zoo who donated half his pizza to me to help me keep up my strength for a day’s arduous pulling. I guess I just have one of those “let’s feed him” kind of faces. And the strings of drool hanging off of my flews don’t hurt either. (And if I’m chewing I’m not flinging). We also met a lovely family from Texas who have a 6-month-old bloodhound puppy. They nearly fainted at the sight of my majestic proportions and plaintively appealed to Maria to assure them that theirs won’t grow to such an extent. (It’s a female so probably not).
Then they enumerated the young Hound’s various antics (which included eating all the outdoor furniture) and they were all “she’ll grow out of it, right?” When Maria could breathe again after an attack of convulsive merriment, she informed them that in fact, no, bloodhounds don’t “grow out of it.” In fact, we sort of grow into it—size and experience adding extra dimensions to our considerable powers of destruction. She did helpfully suggest however that walking us eight hours a day might cut down on the mayhem and that no, eight hours in a big yard doesn’t count. What can I say? We are an old breed of dog whose fixation on following scent fed the ennobled masses in the Middle Ages and when deprived of this opportunity in Modern Times our thoughts and energies turn elsewhere with shocking results. The hunting and killing of human material possessions and property has become a time honored modern bloodhound task of which we are justifiably proud.
Maria’s two previous bloodhounds ate her apartment (as is so often the way of things the female one supplying the brains and the male one the brawn; her male apparently became the female’s obedient servant from the moment that she bit his testicles to get his attention.). But fortunately with me the penny dropped and with Maria, aided and abetted by Elizabeth, a dog and outdoors loving former work colleague, I embarked on a life of perambulating over hill and dale and being out and about in the city to curb my destructive urges. This is not to say that these urges were extinguished entirely. I have my moments. Like the time I was being filmed for a documentary on urban dogs and the filmmaker wanted to interview Elizabeth in her apartment. Incensed by the fact that camera was no longer focused on me I walked into frame and proceeded to chew up a table.
Anyway, we have finally been having a spot of cold weather which unfortunately means that my winter wardrobe has emerged from its hiding place in the closet. I have had to wear my chartreuse fleece the past two days much to my annoyance--when zipped into it I feel like one of those sci fi characters whose bodies have been enveloped by an alien life form. And I behave accordingly. But I did get a chance to sniff the coat extensively last night and the experience was quite intoxicating—it smells deeply of a wonderful and fragrant canine, the kind of dog that I would enjoy getting to know and in whose company I would be proud to spend many pleasurable hours. It was therefore not at all surprising when it was pointed out to me that the coat reeks of me.
And in addition to the cold what would the holiday season be without some new, exciting movies:
Wimsey’s Christmas Movies
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. All journeys are unexpected when taken in the company of Bilbo Baggy Hound, a rather small but hairy and resourceful Hound. You could for instance end up face first in a pool of mud searching for Gollum in Central Park; or else be taken on a tour of the The Magical Kingdom of the Pet Shop where all things are so easily attainable (Amex card not included); or visit The Enchanted Lake where a relaxing swim might take you to Gandalf or to ducks that might be him in disguise and you might receive a very expensive ticket issued by an Orc; or you might find yourself tracking Shadowfax on a high speed chase that ends in you standing ankle deep in manure; or you might traverse lands controlled by Fearsome Dog Trainers who threaten to modify Bilbo’s impeccable behavior using liver- enhanced brainwashing techniques and will lecture you on either positive reinforcement or the need to be the pack leader. But wherever these unexpected journeys take you you will always end up on The Lonely Mountain (aka your apartment where no one ever visits on account of the stench, the drool and Bilbo’s love of sitting in laps).
Zero Dark Thirty: The bank balance, the financial outlook and the number of times per minute that a Navy SEAL with a Hound tells the dog to get his nose off the counter. Also Bin Laden gets shot.
Django Uncrated: When his humans forget to put their Hound Django in his crate they return home to find that their house now has an open floor plan, new ventilation to the outdoors and very little else.
Life of Pie: A very short film about a very large Hound and a very unattended dessert left on the counter to cool.
Jack Reacher: The hair-raising adventures of an anomalously clever Hound named Jack who learns to use a stepladder.
Les Misérables: The human version: a film about people with Hounds; the Hound version: a film about people without Hounds.
Playing for Keeps: Four Hounds, one pot roast and a hapless human armed with liver treats compete on a dog training game show.
Well you get the idea. And it is inescapable that once again the New Year is upon us and it is the traditional season for reflection and resolutions. Even the US government has gotten into the act--it lists the top New Year’s resolutions on its web site (my humans’ tax dollars at work!). Let’s see how my humans faired:
Wimsey’s Analysis of Common New Year’s Resolutions
1. Drink less alcohol: Nope, not really possible with me around. Especially not after an afternoon spent with me and my new, dual squeaker (one high pitched, one low pitched, both loud) Giant Hedgehog. It’s kind of my job to make sure that my humans need to drink more alcohol not less.
2 Eat healthy food: It would be a good idea except that I require a regular supply of Dean’s pizza with extra cheese. Also, Maria got a nice bottle of wine for Christmas and the ladies are going to drink it with a cheese selection that I have insisted will include Morbier, one of my favorite cheeses (the French heritage of we Wimseys is evidenced by our sophisticated cheese palate).
3. Get a better job: Better jobs require more hours at work and fewer hours with me, so once again, not happening.
4. Get Fit: So how much fitter do you have to get after getting dragged around by me for umpteen hours a day?
5. Lose weight: My humans frequently wish they could lose about 130 lbs. of weight but at the end of the day I am just too cute.
6. Manage Debt: Did I mention that Maria is still paying off my surgery from 18 months ago? Managing debt with a money pit Hound is a lot easier said than done.
7. Manage stress: OK, I am done laughing now. My humans do manage stress (see resolution #1). They also would be less stressed if they lost those 130 lbs.
8. Recycle: My humans would have to let me hunt down and precycle even more plastic water bottles in Central Park—even the ones that people are still drinking from. But having a Hound around is conducive to recycling since we like to recycle your possessions into our toys.
9. Save money: This would entail a generous grant from my vet who is unfortunately in the business of acquiring generous grants from his patients.
10. Take a trip: Certainly, as stated before my humans are permitted to go anywhere that I am welcome—such as to their apartments or to Central and Riverside Parks.
11. Help others: I encourage my humans to do this by spending all their free time and much that isn’t by walking around with me and letting me cheer people up by baying at them, poking them and drooling on them.
There was also a quit smoking resolution, but I omitted this since neither of my humans smoke—it would be bad for my health.
Anyhow, I wish you all a Happy New Year and look forward to being a better Hound in 2013. (My humans are afraid of that).
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound of many resolutions