March 31, 2012
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where March seems to be going out like a very irate and very cold lion instead of the usual warm and cuddly lamb. Gone are the t-shirts of last week and back are the sweaters and long johns of our mostly absent winter. This has led to much grumbling on the part of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who cannot keep the seasons straight in their closets and always seem to be either too warm or too cold during our park perambulations. I myself have no such problem as my serviceable black and tan coat is good to go (or to tow) in all seasons. Of course I do lighten things up a bit for summer but so far the erratic weather has precluded any seasonal shedding on my part, much to the relief (however temporary), of my humans and their rugs.
Elizabeth did buy a new Eureka Mighty Mite vacuum cleaner in anticipation of this blessed event-- too bad she can’t vacuum her clothes, dishes and food. Once I get going the only hairless place to be is under a strong shower. (My humans especially appreciate Hound hair in the cleavage which causes them to do embarrassing things in public).
Heavy shedding is but one of the many joys of living with me (even on a part time basis as does Elizabeth who is responsible for catering to my needs during the day when my primary human Maria is at work to pay for the catering to my needs) and is the subject of another of the misconceptions that people have about bloodhounds. “Does he shed?” is right up there with “Does he drool” and “I’ll bet he’s really smart” and “Look how well behaved he is.”
I of course love these comments, especially when I am smearing hair and drool all over these folks, baying at them for their water bottles and deciding that the guy doing tai chi must be a scary space alien. Then naturally there is the issue of how devoted I am (I am devoted-- to me) and which of my humans I “love” the best (Elizabeth—she wears a pound of turkey around her waist). But everyone thinks I am wonderful except my humans who think I am evil. But what do they know—they are stupid enough to have me.
We interrupt this blog for a Special Report.
CNN Special Report: America’s Brattiest Hound
Wolf Blitzer: Hello and thanks for joining us. Today Anderson Cooper and I take a break from bringing you exciting news about all the murder and mayhem around the world to profile a living legend. America’s Brattiest Hound.
Anderson Cooper: Why are we doing this Wolf? I thought we were going to do a second by second recap of that Jet Blue flight where the pilot went postal and had to be sat on by a herd of beefy passengers?
Wolf Blitzer: It got pulled, Anderson. The producers felt that since no one actually died it was insufficiently newsworthy. Also ratings are down and one of the producers read that animal shows are very popular with the public. They said it was a chance to show our lighter side.
Anderson: But I’ve spent years covering up my lighter side!
Wolf: It’s in our contract Anderson. We have to do this show.
Anderson: Is there any blood in it at least? I mean I’m known for gore.
Wolf: Not unless you count the occasional leakage from an infected anal gland. But I think that’s too graphic even for CNN. Let’s proceed. Today we are profiling Wimsey, winner of the America’s Brattiest Hound Competition.
Anderson: But aren’t all Hounds bratty?
Wolf: A good point Anderson. But this one far exceeds the brattiness standard for which these dogs are justifiably famous.
Anderson: I did hear that he started slow in the preliminary rounds by doing such ordinary things such as refusing to leave the Boat House café unless he was hand fed a tuna sandwich and baying in front of Grom Gelato.
Wolf: Very true, but he didn’t want to peak too early. Competition for bratty behavior in the Hound Group is fierce you know. We’re not talking sporting dogs here.
Anderson: Well the judges were impressed in the next round by his incessant stopping and refusing to move unless he was fed a continuous stream of bribing snacks.
Wolf: Yes of course that was in the wider context of his refusing to leave the park in general and where he displayed a masterful ability to prolong his exit by well over an hour.
Anderson: But he really upped his game in the final rounds—I understand he has been towing to the Boat Basin Café at the Hudson River marina and lying down at the bar until his humans buy him a beer.
Wolf: Well yes, but it’s not the beer he is after—he actually permits his humans to drink it after he has sanctified it with a bit of drool—he just wants the plastic glass to play with.
Anderson: Ouch! That can’t be good for the pocket book.
Wolf: Or the liver. But then there is his decision to refuse to take his early evening walk unless both his humans are present. That’s been another crowd pleaser. Merely one human admiring him relieving himself and gathering and inspecting the evidence is simply not sufficiently respectful of all the effort he puts into the process.
Anderson: Very impressive. I hear it can take him an hour to find a good piece of real estate on which to poop. People in New York buy condos in less time.
Wolf: Yes, but that’s only in good weather; if the weather is inclement it can take him much longer. But of course pooping is not even on the table, so to speak, unless his entire entourage is present.
Anderson: I hope they are as entertained as the rest of us.
Wolf: Probably not. Making humans happy is anathema to Hounds. Anyway, Wimsey cinched the title with his evening snack exploits.
Anderson: What was that about Wolf?
Wolf: Well apparently his auxiliary human, Elizabeth, prepares a snack for herself preparatory to his early evening walk in order to have the energy to manage him. Of course, being a Hound, Wimsey demands a share of this snack, which lately has been a bowl of popcorn. But Wimsey’s fondness for being hand fed kernels of popcorn results in a considerable diminution of the popcorn supply so Elizabeth made him a bowl of his own.
Anderson: Surely that must have pleased the Great Hound?
Wolf: Well for an ordinary Hound, perhaps, but this is Wimsey we are talking about. Attempts to feed Wimsey from this extra bowl resulted in a pile of spat out, drool infused kernels stuck to the carpet. He will only accept the kernels that come from the bowl Elizabeth is eating from.
Anderson: But they are exactly the same.
Wolf: Yes, of course except that one bowl belongs to her so that’s the one he wants. It’s a matter of principle.
Anderson: It’s Brown vs. the Board of Education all over again!
Wolf: Yes, not only is Wimsey a brat but he is a constitutionally correct brat.
Anderson: Separate but equal is clearly doctrinally unacceptable when applied to snack sharing.
Wolf: Anyway, that was the exploit that had Wimsey declared America’s Brattiest Hound.
Anderson: That’s pretty bratty, but I hear he’s now insisting that his goosing activities be known as No Tush Left Behind.
Well you get the idea.
But on the subject of beer, I am pretty passionate, as one would expect from the spokes Hound of Baying Hound Aleworks. Beer and Hounds just naturally go together like my mouth and your dinner. I even enjoy the advertising slogans:
Schlitz: The beer that made Milwaukee famous. (Wimsey: the Hound that made the Upper West Side infamous).
When you say Budweiser you’ve said it all (When you say “Wimsey, come”, you’ve said absolutely nothing at all).
For all you do, this Bud’s for you (For all you do, it’s still not enough).
Budweiser: The King of Beers (Wimsey: The King).
Where there’s life, there’s Bud (Where there are gullible humans, there’s Wimsey).
Coor’s Light, it won’t slow you down (Wimsey, he won’t allow you to slow down).
Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach (Wimsey steals the stuff other Hounds cannot reach).
It’s Miller time (It’s large glass of Tanqueray time)
Olympia. It’s the water (Wimsey. It’s the drool).
If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer. (If you’ve got the cash, I’ve got the vet)
Everything you’ve always wanted in a beer. And more. (Nothing you’ve ever wanted in a dog and more. A lot more).
Carlsberg. Probably the best beer in the world. (Wimsey. Definitely the worst dog in the world).
St. Pauli Girl: You never forget your first girl (Wimsey. You never forget your first Hound. Neither does MasterCard).
Michelob Ultra lose the carbs. Not the taste. (Wimsey Ultra lose the hair. Not the stink).
Stella Artois. Reassuringly expensive (Wimsey. Even more reassuringly expensive).
Foster’s. Australian for beer. (Wimsey. English for you need to have your head examined).
Well anyway, it’s been a quiet week around here—if you don’t count the Greek parade that we ran into (although the way things are going over there maybe they should have had German flags)—no visiting writing celebrities, no wrestlemaniac French bulldog puppies and no getting swatted at by residents of the cat hospital. Just a regular week with one of my regular visits to the vet to deal with my anal glands and with my regular stellar behavior—so stellar in fact that on Friday Elizabeth had recourse to the heinous gentle leader to get me out of the park. Uncomfortable but satisfying nonetheless.
But there is excitement to come: Elizabeth’s building is being wired for FIOS and Elizabeth had a preliminary visit from a technician to inspect her wiring. I was not present at the time but Elizabeth was at great pains to explain that there would be a rather large Hound in the midst of the proceedings so it might be prudent to send someone who is not afraid of dogs. I had the opportunity to meet the technician who did the inspection when going out for my walk the next day and he was so taken with me that he is hoping to be assigned Elizabeth’s apartment. Of course he may feel differently when he finds out that I am taken with his tool kit and wires and that kneeling on the floor in my presence leads to an inspection of an intimate nature. Not to mention tripping over my toys and bones (and on me!) and finding kibble in places where kibble ought not to be.
But I hope he doesn’t reduce the number of cable wires as I am quite fond on napping on these and causing Elizabeth’s TV not to work. But she will finally be getting a new, large flat screen which I am looking forward to decorating in my usual artistic, mixed media fashion. And given the impending warm weather I can promise that most of the characters on TV this season will be sporting some interesting facial hair.
Anyway, while spring brings nice weather (and fewer stinky Hound clothes to launder and clean) to my humans, to me, spring is a season of unmitigated joy —from flower beds in which to pee, to newly active squirrels, to throngs of admiring tourists, to an abundance of water bottles, to extended daylight hours in which to tow my humans, to time spent in my little garden trying get to know the neighbor’s cat better-- spring is simply my favorite time of the year. (Except of course that it is the Dreaded Flowering Tree Season, which has come early this year, and means many more photographic interruptions of my walks). Hope you are all enjoying it too—I know my humans are looking forward to next month’s slippery mud season—another Wimsey favorite.
Until next time,
Wimsey, in spring a large Hound’s fancy turns to thoughts of dragging his humans through the mud and into the lake.