February 24, 2012
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where our spring-like weather continues just as I continue to park myself in the park and refuse to leave it’s springy precincts, much to the consternation of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth. I must say, I don’t know whether it’s the change in the weather or whether I am making up for Elizabeth’s absence while she attended
Westminster, but I am having a banner week of being bad. Everything from relentless oppositional towing (sadly requiring the all too frequent services of the heinous gentle leader) to relentlessly demanding snacks throughout my walk, to relentlessly replacing the computer’s keyboard return with my head, to relentlessly supervising food preparations to relentlessly demanding to be scratched when I wake up from my nap, etc., etc.
And never let anyone tell you that we cannot learn from the young. As some of you know, my French bulldog puppy Pluto (his humans think that he is their French bulldog puppy, but he and I know differently) has been making semi-regular appearances during my afternoon sojourns with Elizabeth and the little tyke is quite fond of fruit and quite insistent that Elizabeth share hers with him. Well, anything that is shared with Pluto must be shared with me
(Wimsey’s House Rules) and although I began by spitting the stuff out in spite of demanding that it be fed to me, I soon found myself acquiring rather a taste for it (as long as it is peeled—a new Wimsey House Rule). So now Elizabeth has Pluto to thank for the fact that I hover like a hungry fruit bat whenever a piece of fruit appears. It’s all part of the fun Chez Hound—and it’s double the fun since both Maria’s apartment and Elizabeth’s qualify as Chez Hound.
And speaking of Pluto, I did have a visit from him this week and Elizabeth has the apartment shambles to prove it. When a 127lb Hound is in hot pursuit of a 20lb bulldog puppy or vice versa there is bound to be a quite a lot of collateral damage. Especially given my propensity for throwing myself vigorously on the ground—the only position in which we can wrestle given our size differential-- with little regard for the assorted possessions around me.
But all is not necessarily bad from the human perspective; I like to wait until Pluto is around to consume my lunch—it’s very satisfying to be happily crunching kibble while the little fellow watches me and dances around and snorts in indignation because I have something that he doesn’t have. But he is proving to be very useful as his scavenging of errant, flying kibble bits cleans up the mess that I make all over the kitchen floor. This saves Elizabeth a lot of work and considering Pluto’s size I am sure he is able to actually assemble an entire meal from the stuff I deposit all over the floors.
Anyway, this Sunday is the Oscars and as it is well known that I am an avid cinephile it is once again time for me to make my helpful suggestions to The Academy for Hound versions of this year’s Best Picture nominees:
Wimsey’s Hound Oscars
The Artist: Silent canine film star, Wimsey Valentino, is devastated by the advent of the talkies. Audiences that delighted in watching his signature bay—nose in the air and lips pursed—are horrified at the actual sound produced and find it induces migraine headaches. His place in the Hollywood firmament is taken by a nice quiet Golden Retriever called Peppy. Plus the director finds that Peppy actually takes direction unlike Wimsey who was prone to extensive ad libbing. Wimsey is in despair as he hates being out of the limelight and thrives on public adoration and paparazzi attention.
He even seriously contemplates selling off his priceless bone and stuffed toy collection but then realizes that would mean that someone else would get to chew on them. Then his human is visited by an art dealer who admires the art hanging on the walls. When informed that these are merely drool stains created by Wimsey the dealer asks if Wimsey can be induced to fling drool on a canvas. Fortunately Wimsey can be induced to fling drool on anything and so inadvertently becomes the father of abstract expressionism and a major influence on Jackson Pollock.
Working in such media as dirt, mud, live vegetation, rotting vegetation, gelato and other substances that the artist elects to keep a professional secret, Wimsey becomes the toast of the New York art scene. Inspired by a gift from Picasso, Wimsey also establishes the nation’s premier horn and antler collection.
The Descendants: A large, obnoxious show dog called Stetson is accidentally let into the yard with a promising young bitch called Rum. The breeder thought that no dog could possibly have more “personality” than Stetson. Then Wimsey was born. His humans subsequently threw themselves on the mercy of a promising bottle called gin.
The Tree of Life: A Hound’s paean to his favorite tree in the innocent and idyllic times of his puppyhood where he revels in the tree’s ability to provide a vertical surface upon which he could pee, leaves into which he could poop, roots under which he could dig, branches upon which he could chew and squirrels that he could gleefully chase. He returns to the tree to reminisce and his human receives a $500 fine.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: The story of a human living with a Bloodhound (earplugs and nose plugs available for rent).
The Help: A young writer interviews a group of humans who live with Hounds and then breaks the story of the appalling level of unpaid domestic servitude. The humans insist on anonymity because they don’t want their friends, family and work colleagues to know that their real function in life is to be the servant of a Hound.
Hugo: A Hound named Hugo finds a mysterious automaton in the Gare de Nord train station in Paris. So he eats it.
Midnight in Paris: An aspiring writer named Gil and his unpleasant fiancée are visiting Paris when Gil discovers either a time portal that appears at midnight or the side effects of that cigarette he thought was a Gauloise and is transported back to the 1920s. There he meets many famous people such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald and their aspirational Hound, The Amazing, Wonderful and Great Gatsby upon whom Fitzgerald confides his novel is based, Cole Porter and his Hound, Anything Goes Into My Mouth, and Ernest Hemingway and his Hound a Farewell to Personal Possessions.
Also, he discovers the original version of Picasso’s Harlequin and Gertrude Stein’s Hound eats his novel. She rationalizes it by telling him that the Hound did him a favor since the novel wasn’t very good anyway. The Hound thought it was delicious.
He also falls in love with Picasso’s mistress and they use another time portal to visit the Belle Époque where Gil views
original works by Toulouse- Lautrec, Paul Gauguin and Edgar Degas.
Gil eventually decides to either return to the boring and unromantic present or runs out of those cigarettes.
Either way he meets a beautiful antiques dealer and her Hound, Marché aux Puces.
Moneyball: A rotund Hound puppy visits the vet for the first time.
War Horse: In an effort to innovate, the Metropolitan Opera decides to perform Don Giovanni with a Hound in the leading role.
Well you get the idea. Anyway this has also been a very social holiday week and we ran into our friend Nancy and her daughter Alicia on President’s Day. I, as usual, had to closely inspect Alicia’s stroller for the presence of desirable comestibles.
These being absent, Alicia made it up to me by gathering some sticks for my crunching pleasure and a good time was had by all (and especially by me as I am really the only one who counts) except for Nancy’s little Yorkie Zorro who is terrified of me and had to be carried out of baying range by Nancy’s husband.
And speaking of snacks, as some of you know I have been reviewing a snack assortment generously supplied as a gift from Mr. Chewy. The Snack of the Week is Three Dog Bakery’s Classic Wafers. Far from being delicate wafers, these are robust disks of approximately 1.5 inches and their shape adds an element of playability as one can roll them about and pounce on them and pretend one is hunting and consuming a wily prey item. Additionally, one can roll them under furniture and then pester one’s humans to retrieve them so the snacks have excellent interactive potential and a high annoyance quotient. The wafers are not meat based and as such have a lovely grainy bouquet and swirl around the tongue with excellent mouth feel. When one finally bites in they have a crunchy texture with plenty of structure and strong notes of peanuts and honey. In addition, they leave a spray of fine crumbs for humans to clean up. I like these snacks quite a lot and they are even better when allowed to breath—like when I sit down on my walk and refuse to move unless they are forthcoming.
Well that’s pretty much all for the week, but I do want to remind people that Wednesday, February 29th is Leap Day. Now there are many important customs surrounding Leap Day, the most famous being that women can ask men to marry them (I am sure the unattached males of New York City will take one look at me and run in the other direction) however, Hounds also have special privileges:
Things Hounds Can Demand on Leap Day
On Leap Day, Hounds can demand anything that they happened to forget on the other 365 days of demanding things.
The occasion also gives us one extra day to make our humans appreciate us. Or not.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a leaping Hound