March 1, 2013
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the temperature is finally in the 40s and my winter wardrobe is hanging firmly (and I hope permanently) on the pegs in the hall. Of course hanging them in the hall is meant to air them out but the reality is that they are acting as Hound scent diffusers to perfume my entire apartment with my fine aroma. There can be no doubt as to whose apartment it is even without the sight of me sprawled on the bed or stretched out over the length of the couch not already occupied by my stuffed toy collection.
My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have discussed washing my wardrobe but both are convinced that this will bring down a torrent of winter weather upon all our heads. My coats will at some point end up in the washing machine in Elizabeth’s building in direct contravention of the obnoxious signs imploring residents not to wash pet beds or blankets in the machines. And although Elizabeth is generally a rule-abiding individual the reality is that everything that she owns constitutes a pet bed.
Anyway, I want to welcome you all to March, my personal Birthday Month (I was born on the 19th) and as usual my humans are trying to come up with a way to make the month special. This is tough because how do you indulge an already indulged Hound? What do you buy for an animal whose toy collection consumes a sizeable chunk of real estate in two separate apartments? I am confident, however, that during the course of the month I will think of a few things and as is my habit, I make my wishes known (ear plugs not included).
Well this has been a pretty entertaining week, at least for me, which means that for my humans, not so much. I have been in what my humans euphemistically describe as “a mood.” These moods tend to involve a lot of loud baying, urgent needs to visit places no one else wants to go and generally making a pest of myself among the citizenry of the Big Apple (and demanding chunks of such from any actual apples that my humans happen to be eating).
But first a Snout Bulletin. I am sure all of you are avidly awaiting exciting news of The Pimple on My Snout (you remember the one that my humans rushed me to an expensive vet visit for because they thought it was a tumor). I am pleased to report that The Pimple is gradually receding. It would be receding a lot faster except that I have decided that Maria is not permitted to put warm compresses on it. When she tries my Plan A is to run away and my Plan B (should Plan A fail owing to being inadvertently cornered or sat upon) is to use the abundant snout muscles with which bloodhounds are fortunately endowed to disrupt the placement of the compress. If, however, during our afternoon sojourns together in her apartment Elizabeth approaches me with a warm bowl of snout compressing solution, I lie down and expose my underside so she can scratch me while she compresses. Sometimes I fall asleep. Just another one of the many ways, large and small, that I find to annoy my humans.
Oh, and the process of applying the compresses is known around here as snouting. Snouting joins the many times that I have had to be tushed, eared, and eyed. Of course should my humans encounter a document at work or in the popular press in which a noun has been turned into a verb it triggers vociferous grammatical invective on the decline and fall of the English language. As a Hound I am happy to have a hand in the decline and fall of anything (especially if it’s eatable).
Anyway, my week got off to an excellent start on Sunday when one of Maria’s bosses was across the street at the Beacon Theater with her child attending a performance featuring Scooby-Doo. Maria, always eager to show off her Magnificent Hound to those with whom she works, suggested meeting up after the show. I guess it seemed like a good idea at the time until I relieved the little tyke of his stuffed Scooby-Doo with the predictable lachrymose effects. Sadly this new toy was cruelly removed from my mouth and restored to its rightful owner whereupon I noticed that in fact the streets were crowded with young ‘uns of all sizes carrying all kinds of Scooby- Doos. I am sure Maria hoped that this was just another one of those bloodhound nightmares and that she would wake up to find herself in her apartment with absolutely no Scooby- Doos in sight. But then all the baying would have woken her up.
I am also sure that my antics were very career enhancing, especially when I pranced around her boss’s little boy (who was by this time being carried by his father) and tried to retrieve my original prize. I expect that my humans’ dreams will be haunted by images of me on a street packed with children and their Scooby Doos for many moons to come.
But the rest of Sunday proved equally as satisfying. We ran into these two ladies playing Lacrosse and I naturally attempted to join the game. They were quite taken with me and especially with my loud requests for them to fork over the ball (I also have a Lacrosse ball collection) and were abjectly apologetic that they only had the one ball and that if they gave it to me (and they really wanted to) they wouldn’t be able to play. And.
But really I completely understood their dilemma, as humans are very prone to want to give me things. Later in the week, for instance, I followed a woman eating ice cream down the street baying at her and she was seriously considering giving it to me except that it was coffee flavored and she didn’t know if that would be healthy. Anyway, with respect to my Lacrosse players, I had to settle for scratching and admiration. Also they weren’t able to resume their game until my humans hauled me out of the field as the very sight of the ball caused me to recommence my acquisition activities.
I then decided it was time to pay a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art whose cafeteria is very conveniently made of glass allowing me to stare at, drool at and bay at people trying to eat lunch. I spent a considerable amount of time looking for a way in, as I am sure that my efforts would have been richly rewarded. I am equally sure that the museum’s maintenance staff will appreciate the artistic array of nose prints that I left all over the glass.
I am happy report that the rest of the week continued in this vein, especially on the afternoon walks I take with Elizabeth. Now it has been decided (principally by me) that since I am the one who is actually going to be relieving themselves that I choose the route for our walks. This has resulted in a series of city walks that no one wants to take except me (I do not include park excursions that entail dragging humans into the Lake to visit the ducks or tours of park snack shops):
Wimsey’s Guide to Obnoxious City Itineraries
The Museum of Natural History: This might not seem like an obviously obnoxious destination except for the fact that despite not being allowed into the museum I try to drag Elizabeth up the stairs anyway. Repeatedly. But chief among the attractions here is the collection of food trucks that line both sides of Central Park West by the museum. There are abundant opportunities to recycle dropped food, part tourists from their lunches and water bottles and to loudly induce food truck personnel to make generous contributions to the Wimsey gullet. The street in front of the museum is also very crowded with tourists into whom I like to poke my oversized proboscis and inhale deeply. This frequently elicits squeal which I greatly enjoy hearing even if no one else does.
Wimsey the Builder: This is another route that I love. There is construction going on at both the south end of Lincoln Center and at Fordham University. This takes us into the low west 50s and 60s and I love to tow over there and inspect these construction sites, sniff the materials and say hello to the builders. It’s noisy, it’s dirty, and it’s busy. My kind of place!
Endless North: This is one of Elizabeth’s least favorite routes and therefore a perennial favorite with me. In spite of living between two beautiful parks and amidst numerous architecturally pleasing landmarked blocks I often choose to high tail it over to Columbus Avenue, a busy commercial street, and then tow endlessly north. I do make a detour to the back of the Museum of Natural History to try to enter this small astronomy museum and then over to a flight of steps that I am not supposed to be on that lead to the main planetarium. After being thwarted in both these pursuits I head north on Columbus Avenue and refuse to deviate either to the east (Central Park) or to the west (Riverside Park and home). Elizabeth has often been curious as to just how far north I will go before I change directions. However, after turning onto Columbus at 77th street she ended the exercise at 103rd street when my nose was still pointing north. And naturally when forced to finally go west I display my displeasure by dawdling incessantly. If Endless North is bad getting me home from Endless North is even worse.
Pet Shop Circuit: Another excellent route. In this one I tow east up 72nd Street, plastering myself against the sides of the buildings so there is absolutely no doubt that we are heading to Petland. Occasionally I also like to go into the GNC where Elizabeth buys vitamins and they have to be nice to her in spite of the fact that she is accompanied by a 130lb Hound who is busily inhaling their merchandise.
Petland is an excellent store with a large variety of dog and cat products for me to sniff. (I am quite well behaved in pet stores—I seldom steal anything but sniff everything). Also the staff here feed me at the counter—not gourmet stuff but at least the snacks are Wimsey sized biscuits. And if I’m not in the mood for this plebian fare I spit it out. (Elizabeth’s Petland Guilt Purchase: stuffed toys).
Then I turn south on Columbus Avenue to my favorite pet shop, Unleashed. But on the way there there are numerous outdoor cafes in which I stop to see what people are eating and to encourage sharing. And of course nothing stimulates the appetite like the sight of me relieving myself a few feet away at the adjacent curb.
Unleashed is great—lots of large bags of premium kibble for me to sniff (of course if you tried to feed me any of it I wouldn’t it eat it) and the staff feed me snacks from their gourmet bakery and play with me. (Elizabeth’s Unleashed Guilt Purchase: stuffed toys and gourmet snacks).
Next I tow south for a couple of blocks and hang a right and head west to Amsterdam Avenue and Furry Paws. Furry Paws is small which makes it easy for me to knock things over and block the aisles but the selection isn’t great and the staff doesn’t feed me (Elizabeth’s Furry Paws Guilt Purchase: nothing owing to the selection, so she tries to prevent me from visiting).
Next we head back over to 72nd Street, this time heading west to the Pet Market. This is also a small store but with a good selection of sniffables. Also they have a cat. I like cats. Also the staff feed me. (Elizabeth’s Pet Market Guilt Purchase: bully sticks).
This week however I added a new store to the 72nd Street route—Spot. This is a business that has grooming, boarding and merchandise for small dogs so we have never visited. However, one of the clerks saw me and came running out with a large fistful of freeze-dried beef that he fed me. He told Elizabeth to bring me in any time for some love. Love is OK but I want more of that beef.
So that’s pretty much been my week. That and pouncing on dogs with whom I want to play, sticking my head into people’s purses and bags, demanding to share Elizabeth’s pre- evening walk snack, forcing Maria into a little spot on the bed, refusing to leave the park, baying at the elevator guy in Elizabeth’s building and holding a squeak-a-thon with my hedgehog. And so much more. My humans are seriously wondering whether my new powdered joint supplement contains cocaine.
Anyway, I will leave it there for now. I hope everyone (except my humans) enjoys their days as much as I do.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Scooby Doo’s #1 fan