February 8, 2013
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the finally snowy precincts of New York’s Upper West Side where there is a lot of excitement around here-- and not just because they dug up Richard III in a parking lot. A blizzard is due to hit this evening and forecasters can’t tell if we are to get three inches or 30 inches which is somewhat disconcerting as my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth don’t know how much of Fairway they are willing to brave in order to prepare. For the uninitiated Fairway is the local gourmet store that morphed into a pseudo supermarket except minus the space for all the customers that it attracts. A visit to Fairway not only involves long waits at the deli counter to pick up my low salt turkey but also run ins with a panoply of shopping crazed, frenetic New Yorkers mowing down everything in their paths with shopping carts and strollers (New Yorkers parents in a hurry not being adverse to pressing their progeny into service as offensive weapons).
But I have plenty of food and water which, as we know, is all that counts and my humans have crampons for their boots which is all that counts for them if they plan on staying vertical at the end of my leash. And this storm even has a name (sadly not Wimsey)—Nemo. Nemo is Latin for no one as in: “no one at the end of Wimsey’s leash is safe in the snow” and “no one knows whether Wimsey is looking for a place to poop or is just endlessly enjoying all the scent trapped in the snow” and “no one can get Wimsey to come in from the snow when Wimsey wants to stay out in the snow ” and so forth.
But I always hold out hope that the snow will cause some condition requiring me to spend the night at Elizabeth’s, this being one of the great joys of my life and one of the great banes of hers. I stayed over last Friday whilst Maria was out with friends and I subsequently declined to be moved home at the appropriate juncture. So out came Elizabeth’s sleeping pills, her eyeshade and her ear plugs (she hasn’t figured out a way to deal with the smell yet) and in came Elizabeth’s hands and her feet lest I decide to nibble them in the night. And then at 7am promptly I deposited my folds, wrinkles and drooly flews onto her face and snorted and inhaled loudly lest the drool and the wrinkles fail to wake her. And when the shrieking stopped and her heart rate returned to normal we went out for a nice walk. But not before I climbed into her bed causing it to smell while she got ready and then refused to get out of it.
And I have decided that since Elizabeth so clearly enjoys taking care of me that she is the only one permitted to cater to my grooming and veterinary needs—I simply will not permit Maria to do anything to me in the ear cleaning, ear medicating, eye medicating, tooth brushing, or warm compressing (especially of the pimple on my snout) department. (But any veterinary suggestion that involves the words “ear flushing” is off limits to everyone). I love getting up on my couch when Elizabeth comes to pick me up and having her minister to my needs. So I have one human who has to take care of me when she doesn’t want to and another human who wants to take care of me whom I don’t permit to do so. It’s what’s known in bloodhound circles as a win win.
In other news it’s been an excellent week in the present department—Elizabeth went to have dinner with friends on Sunday and came home with two new toys for me. So now my toy pile is augmented by a red rubber bulb and a very large green stuffed bone. And on Wednesday I instituted a mandatory shopping expedition to Unleashed where I was fed some canine biscotti that proved so much to my liking that Elizabeth bought a pound of them. Truth be told she feels guilty about getting dragged in there all the time not to buy anything but because I like to sniff the big bags of kibble. (She can’t buy the big bags of kibble because although I like to sniff them I don’t like to eat them).
Now as discussed last week, from time to time companies contact me and offer to send me merchandise to review. A lot of the time I am forced to decline because the company really hasn’t taken a good look at the blog and doesn’t realize that I don’t, for instance, wear jewelry (at least not voluntarily). Anyway, I agreed to review this collar http://www.dogbarkcollar.com/toughhound that contains its own identity tag (can there really be too many things in life that say “Wimsey” on them?) and I have been wearing it for two weeks.
The first thing that I liked about this collar was that it was soft and pliable—this makes for a comfortable wearing experience unlike some collars which are very stiff. My humans do not wish to subject me to any collar that might chafe or irritate the sensitive and delicate Wimsey neck. Nevertheless it is still sturdy enough so that they can get a good grip on it when I see something alluring, like say a raccoon or a pile of horse manure, that I believe requires my immediate attention. It is made out of a synthetic but it actually looks like a lot like leather which my humans also like. There is nothing cheap about me so a cheap looking collar would be anathema to them. The inside of me is so expensive that it’s a pity I can’t wear my anal glands and ear canals. (The collar is $29.95 which would buy me about a tenth of a vet visit, a tenth of a tube of a fancy ointment or a pill).
All good so far and of course the imbedded name tag, which can be ordered in a variety of fonts, is clear and easy to read and won’t get pulled off when I roll around on the ground wrestling midget dogs because as an inveterate lap dog myself I am in denial about my size (my humans wish they could also be in denial about my size too but the bruises don’t let them). And although it has only been two weeks the collar so far has been impervious to the effects of mud and drool and not for the want of exposure to both.
So all in all this seems to be a very good every day collar—not so expensive that if someone (mentioning no names) happened to chew it up it would be cause for squealing and castigation nor so cheap that it is an embarrassment to been seen in on the Upper West Side However, there are two aspects of the collar that are a matter of taste—the buckle and the colors. My regular collar goes on and off with a handy clip—this is extremely convenient when one is chasing around a dog that is perhaps refusing to go out in the pouring rain and would rather explode instead or when one is trying to undress an animal that feels the immediate and urgent need to inventory its toy pile or to ingest a spot of lunch. Also sometimes when my humans are in the process of fastening a regular collar something else commands my attention and I wander away before they have a chance to finish.
As for the colors, although it comes in brown and black my humans and I find the rest of the colors a little neon-y for our taste. (This from a Hound that wears a chartreuse fleece I know, but it was the only color on offer at the time). Now I realize that as a big city dog who is always on his leash and for whom being out of human sight for a second is unacceptable because it means I am absolutely up to no good, I have a different view of vivid collars. It is kind of impossible to lose me in Manhattan (although my humans sometimes wish they could) and as I am a rather conspicuous beast to begin with a vivid collar is not especially functional (did I mention that when we cross streets in the dark my humans place themselves between myself and any potential traffic because they would much rather that a car hit them instead of me? I of course concur. Although an injured human would be very inconvenient). So I would prefer that this collar also come in some nice jewel toned colors are well. Here in NYC we do fashion not function.
And finally, as I previously mentioned there has been much excitement over the digging up of Richard III from a parking lot. This has reignited the controversy of whether Richard was a criminally power mad monarch or just a normal King of England-- I mean even the best of of these guys was hardly likely to win a Rotarian of the Year award. And the War of the Roses has been reignited around here too with Maria tending toward the Yorkist view and Elizabeth tending toward the Lancastrian.
As you know, we Hounds have a short attention span so rather than reading a lot of thick books with too many words, here is the Hound version of events: King Edward III had a bunch of kids who, contrary to the custom of the time, did not die en masse before being old enough to spawn which meant that in very short order Edward had quite a number of ambitious and ruthless descendants who all felt that they could do a better job than whomever’s bottom was currently occupying the throne. Some were descended from or allied with a Duke of York (the white rose gang) and some were descended from or allied with a Duke of Lancaster (the red rose gang), hence decades of strife and agro known as The War of the Roses.
Ways in Which I am Like King Richard III
Richard was born with a deformed spine
I was born with no brain
In spite of being born with a deformed spine Richard was able to lead his men in battle.
In spite of being born with no brain I am able to outsmart my humans
Richard ruthlessly shoved aside his two nephews so he could occupy the throne
I ruthlessly shove aside my two humans so I can occupy the couch
People accuse Richard of making away with his two nephews
People accuse me of making away with their lunch
People accuse Richard of poisoning his wife
People accuse me of poisoning the air
Richard offered his kingdom for a horse
I offer my kingdom for what comes out of a horse
Richard dispensed titles to those he favored
I dispense drool to those I favor
We both hold court
We are both followed at all times by loyal attendants
We both frighten people with our power
We are both disinclined to take no for an answer
And speaking of Westminster, the show is this Monday and Tuesday—my humans will be in attendance at its new venue—the Piers at 57th street. They are meeting Pluto’s human there to watch handlers attempt to show 46 French Bulldogs which, although probably easier than showing 46 bloodhounds, they are wondering by how much. Good luck to all the Hounds who manage to brave the blizzard and make it to the show and as is her annual custom, Elizabeth will be watching, grateful that it is not both of us in the ring again. Apparently I did not behave very well.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I have just been out in the snow (2 inches fresh powder so far!) and need to dry myself off on Maria.
Until next time,