February 1, 2013
Hello Everyone—it’s me, Wimsey and yes, I am BAAACK as promised after my blogging hiatus of a couple of weeks and I have been making up for lost time in baying at and flinging drool upon the denizens of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I reside. My human Maria is very pleased to have her friend Elizabeth back from vacation in Istanbul and the UK so she no longer has to spend her lunch hour attempting to get me to eliminate in a timely manner and to endure my indignant stares engendered by these much abbreviated afternoon walks. As those of you who read this blog know, Elizabeth picks me up midday for what she always hopes will be an abbreviated walk but which I turn into an afternoon park perambulating or pet shop visiting extravaganza. And then I go home with Elizabeth where I do my best to prevent her from getting anything that does not involve me done until Maria is finished earning money to keep me in vet visits and dog toys.
And speaking of dog toys (and preventing Elizabeth from getting anything done) I found it most distressing not to be able to go over to her apartment and take daily inventory of the ever growing toy pile that I have laboriously assembled over there. It’s the first thing I do when I enter Elizabeth’s apartment and the last thing I do when I leave. I mean anything could have happened to my toy pile while I was not there to supervise—someone might have rearranged it or played with it or (God forbid) pruned it in my absence. And I know that Elizabeth desperately missed listening to the loud and extended conversations that I regularly hold with Hedgie, my giant Christmas Hedgehog with the dual squeakers.
Now I know that many of you are excited to hear about Istanbul—I know I was—so here are some pictures of the most important sights.
Istanbul it turns out is a Very Cool City (at least if you stay out of the old part). Elizabeth has visited it before so was more interested in the contemporary areas and was thrilled to find that owning a dog (or more accurately being owned by one) is an up and coming status symbol there.
And when she was trying to decide which street exactly led from the waterfront to the trendy Cihangir neighborhood (often compared to New York’s Soho) she was helped immensely by the sight of a couple wearing black clothing coming down one of the streets walking a pit bull. Pit bulls it turns out are a very classy breed in Istanbul. Elizabeth reported seeing a little red nosed beauty zipping out of a building on Istanbul’s most expensive shopping street (think a who’s who of designer shops plus an outdoor Champagne bar) sporting cropped ears and an expensive harness. She also saw a couple of Rotties including a frisky youngster who decided it would be entertaining to chase a street cat (of which there are many, but there are bowls of water and food left out of for them everywhere and none of them appear particularly feral so they are apparently Istanbul’s answer to New York City’s Rat Czar) and she did not need her Turkish translation app to understand the meaning of his human’s “Oh hell no you don’t” in Turkish. Messing with the city’s feline Rodent Control Officers is strictly off limits to Istanbul’s canines.
But I digress. It turns out that Elizabeth was able to use this Hipster GPS to navigate to the trendy neighborhood by following the trail, not only of the couple with the pit bull, but also of people wearing black, black leather and displaying asymmetric hair cuts. Urban hip is a universal language whether one is on the shores of the Hudson or on the shores of the Bosphorus. Of course the night she walked along a street in an upscale Bosphorus neighborhood and realized that it looked a lot like Prospect Street in La Jolla, California was a bit disconcerting considering all the time and effort that she had spent getting to Istanbul.
And although Elizabeth had the best of intentions about buying a new carpet to replace the one that I have made my own, she lasted about 5 minutes in old town’s Grand Bazaar before fleeing back to The Land of Black. (One person’s Olde Worlde Charm being another one’s Get Me Out of Here Now).
But then all too soon she was off to the UK (in spite of the chaos at Heathrow caused by a bit of snow—hard to believe that these are the same folks who built and ran an Empire) ostensibly to visit a friend but really to visit this guy. I posted his picture when Elizabeth visited last year—his name is Ollie and he is a sweet, gentle, submissive Golden Retriever (kind of the anti-Wimsey) except of course when you clip a leash on him and take him out—then he becomes Ollie Master Field Dog Who Only Vaguely Remembers He is With a Human. Elizabeth took him out for his afternoon walk and he dragged her around to all his favorite off leash fields, relentlessly in pursuit of fragrant smells, juicy critters and the multiple manures of the animals of Albion.
This caused Elizabeth (who had no idea where she was, except for the fact that it involved climbing over a lot of stiles which is not easy to do when wearing a long down coat, new boots and hanging onto a flexi whose attached canine is eager to be let off his lead) to text Ollie’s human in a panic asking whether Ollie would lead her home when he was done (unlike someone else she knew who would most definitely lead her in the opposite direction). But in the end Ollie did show himself to be the anti-Wimsey: when he completed his appointed rounds he led Elizabeth (much to her astonishment) back home.
Then in the process of cleaning copious quantities of mud off of Ollie’s heavily feathered legs (at least I am easier to clean although much less cooperative about it) she discovered a bump requiring (yes, you guessed it) a visit to the vet! Elizabeth excels at finding things that require expensive vet visits regardless of the country of origin of the canine. So off they all went that evening to discover that Ollie has a lick granuloma just like the one I decided to create last year! I found the fact that Elizabeth’s stay in the UK included getting dragged around fields and visiting the vet very gratifying; all it needed was for her to actually be paying the bill and to have gotten pulled over in a field to make it perfect.
Anyway, here is one of the most important local sites without which no visit to the UK would be complete.
And here is the gift that was selected for me although I would have very much preferred to get one of these instead. And another canine that would have preferred one of these in Elizabeth’s luggage was the food contraband- sniffing beagle at JFK who decided that there was something extremely interesting in Elizabeth’s carry on bag. There was—my white squeaky bear and a toy for Pluto my Frenchie friend (which is currently residing on a high shelf in her closet--the toy, not Pluto--lest I decide to impound it for my burgeoning collection). The enterprising airport Hound tried to lift the toys from her luggage. It’s heartening to know that even a trained beagle isn’t.
Handler: OK, remember we are looking for illegal meat and fruit. Have you found something already!?
Wimsey: Yes. This bag contains some lovely dirty underwear.
Handler: But that’s not illegal!
Wimsey: It should be. I wish to go into the Ladies Room now and search for used sanitary products—those unused ones in that lady’s bag have put me in the mood.
Handler: No. Fruit and meat! Remember your training.
Wimsey: Was that what that was about? I thought it was just random feeding.
Handler: Now what are you doing?
Wimsey: I’m looking for fruit and meat.
Handler: In that guy’s crotch!?
Handler: Well stop being thorough then. Look for fruit and meat in people’s luggage.
Wimsey: How about these nice leather gloves that I just stole from that lady’s pocket? They used to be attached to meat?
Wimsey: Well if I find some fruit or meat do I get to chew a hole in the luggage to get it?
Wimsey: Well then do I get to eat the meat and fruit that I find?
Wimsey: Do I get to bay loudly at the people who have the fruit and meat in their luggage?
Wimsey: Do I get to bay loudly at people who have plastic water bottles?
Handler: Plastic water bottles?
Wimsey: Yes, I like to play with them.
Wimsey: Will you rub my belly to induce me to sniff each bag?
Wimsey: So let me get this straight: no dirty underwear, no sanitary products-used or unused, no poking crotches, no stealing stuff from people’s pockets, no chewing up the luggage, no eating the contents of the chewed up luggage, no terrorizing people by baying at them, no filching plastic water bottles and no being bribed with belly rubs! This sucks. What kind of job is this?
Handler: A government job.
Wimsey: Well all this sniffing is very moist work. Would you like me to shake my head and fling drool on everyone in general or to just wipe it on you in particular?
Handler: Beagle!!! Get me the beagle!!!
Well you get the idea.
So in addition to contributing to my insatiable desire to collect and preen over an army of stuffed toys Elizabeth also procured a very delectable salmon head from her fish guy Steve by way of making amends for leaving me alone with only my primary human for company. She elected to boil the head in a stockpot unaware of the fact that all things in her kitchen would be imbued with fish head vapor and the taste thereof. And salmon head does not taste or smell like salmon meat thereby causing a significant amount of nausea. The fact that the head was fresh and sushi grade apparently did not impress her.
Elizabeth brought this delectable treat over to my apartment and as Maria refused to touch its gelatinous goodness it was left to Elizabeth to prepare the morsels for my food bowl whilst I danced (literally) in attendance. She should have worn gloves. (Note to those preparing boiled salmon heads: soap does not remove the odor). But I enjoyed it immensely as I do most things that disgust and revolt my humans. Nevertheless somehow I don’t think that salmon head is about to make it onto the Wimsey Table d’ Hôte any time soon—in addition to the stench of the actual head and its lingering and penetrating vapor there was also the pungent and apparently gag worthy aroma of the fish head gas that I produced—not to mention the subsequent poop that emerged from my much maligned posterior.
Moving on, some of you may have noticed my snazzy red collar in a few of this week’s photos. This was given to me by http://www.dogbarkcollar.com/toughhound to review which I will do next week for space reasons and also to see how it holds up over two weeks of Wimsey wear.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. Vacations are so exhausting. I hope everyone enjoys their Super Bowl weekend—I myself will be watching the Puppy Bowl instead and wondering if I can persuade my humans to prepare fish head nachos for me.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a sadly headless Hound