March 8, 2013
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, New York’s wunderhund, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where we have finally had some snow! It’s just a few inches but quite enough for me to roll around in, track foot and paw prints through and cause my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to lose their footing when holding (or clutching) my leash. And in honor of its likely being the last snow of the season I was permitted to enjoy it without wearing my usual snow suit (although “permitted” is probably the wrong word when one’s humans are just too fed up with the high degree of difficulty entailed in getting one to wear the thing).
And of course there is always the tantalizing prospect of pulling one of my humans over—generally this would be Elizabeth since I am bigger than she is and she is foolishly disinclined to walk me using the Heinous Gentle Leader (although Maria for her part tends to pay insufficient heed to the importance of grippy footwear in inclement weather. So they are really both vulnerable, just for different reasons).
Anyway, I was happy to be out in the snow today and had a long afternoon walk in the fresh powder of Riverside Park with Elizabeth. The beauty of snow is that every time (which is really all the time) Elizabeth wants to go one way and I want to go another way I flop down and begin an extensive rolling session. And while Elizabeth is still busy marveling at how cute I look, I pop up and go the way that I want to go.
Well this week I’ve been somewhat under the weather. TMI Alert: there was a hemorrhagic gastroenteritis going around the neighborhood that I managed to pick up last Friday, the bloody results of which scared the heck out of my humans. But as I seemed to be recovering slowly, even after the symptoms abated, we trotted off to vet and, as per usual when ill, I had the Full Monty. The great thing about Full Montys is that they entail getting a urine sample from me and whereas one would think this would be easy, one would be very wrong.
As soon as I see the cup I have an urgent need not to pee. I sniff everything in the most promising manner possible and sometimes even start to lift a teaser leg before giving my humans a “just kidding” look. Elizabeth escorts me to all kinds of desirable eliminatory real estate whilst Maria waits with gloved hand and cup, ready to dive under me at the first sign of micturition. And when I do finally oblige I have perfected the art of kicking the gloved hand so that my precious bodily fluids end up everywhere but in the cup. Then Maria claims that Elizabeth positioned me incorrectly and Elizabeth claims that Maria put her hand in the wrong place and meanwhile I move on to sniff another few dozen places in which I am not going to pee. It’s all such good fun.
So I had complete urine, stool and blood analysis (plus thyroid levels and some vaccine titers thrown in for good measure) and anti-nausea and anti-inflammatory injections plus a supply of flagyl and probiotics. When the practice manager looked at the bill she told my humans that it’s a good thing that they love me. Also that they have a Visa card with a large credit limit. Whereupon Maria looked at Elizabeth and declared, “You know it’s one of Wimsey’s principles that the more expensive the tests the more normal the results are going to be.”
Sure enough, several days later the vet phoned, clearly elated at what he called an absolutely beautiful report replete with no infections, no abnormal blood levels anywhere of anything and excellent kidney function to boot (kidney function in this case being defined biologically and not behaviorally). So my humans were of course very happy and the reasons for my slow recovery will forever be another of the many expensive Wimsey medical mysteries to which my humans are so accustomed.
But during the week, slow recovery or not, I did still manage to have a bit of fun. Elizabeth decided to pay a visit to the bank during one of our afternoon walks and I decided to pay a visit to a large bowl of dog biscuits therein. I was fed one by a helpful bank employee (Elizabeth warned him that I am finicky and might not eat it, so naturally I consumed it with great gusto) and then helped myself to more on the way out. So now I try to drag Elizabeth over to the bank in addition to the pet stores and snack shops. At least at the bank she can do something useful like withdraw money to pay for all the stuff that I require.
Then because the bank visit whetted my appetite for snacks I towed Elizabeth over to my favorite pet shop, Unleashed, where I was not disappointed. Fistfuls of my favorite biscotti were presented for my gastronomic pleasure by a helpful member of the staff. (Elizabeth had previously purchased a pound of these but then discovered that although I like them very much, they are large and break into an unpredictable assortment of sizes and I refuse to eat any that I deem insufficiently large). Anyway, when the pet shop snacking and my kibble bag sniffing rounds were completed I tried to help myself to the twin of my large, dual squeak hedgehog, Hedgie. Elizabeth should have purchased it for me since I went back to her place (where Hedgie reigns supreme over a very large toy pile) and shredded him all over her apartment. Now I have a legitimate reason for visiting Unleashed other than sniffing their stuff and inducing the staff to feed me.
Anyway, as a Conspicuously Large and Loud Hound who is out and about in the middle of a major metropolis (or THE major metropolis as the residents of New York think of it) I come in for my fair share of comments from the peanut gallery (otherwise known the humans who live there). As one would expect, most of these comments are admiring and laudatory in nature (“amazing” and “”cute” figure prominently). But frequently there are other comments and interactions, so it is time for an episode of:
Woman: What an amazing dog! He’s beautiful! Oh, is it raining out?
Elizabeth: Yes, it’s raining out.
Woman: Is he friendly? May I pet him?
Elizabeth: Yes, but he’s wet and he drools.
Woman (to her husband): “Eww! He’s all wet! Do you have a tissue?!”
Man: What a beautiful mastiff!
Maria: He’s a bloodhound not a mastiff?
Man: Are you sure? My brother-in-law has a mastiff and he looks just like him.
Man: Is that a bloodhound?
Man: Have you had him long?
Maria: Yes, since he was a puppy; he’s my third one.
Man: Did you know that bloodhounds have a powerful sense of smell?
Maria: You’re probably thinking of basset hounds; they’re much smaller.
Man: Well what kind is he?
Maria: He’s a bloodhound.
Man: Wow he’s the biggest bloodhound I’ve ever seen.
Elizabeth: He’s a bloodhound.
Woman: What’s he mixed with?
Elizabeth: Nothing. He’s a purebred bloodhound.
Woman: I don’t thinks so. He doesn’t look like a bloodhound.
Man (pointing at me to his companion): Bluthund!
Elizabeth (who thinks she can speak German): Ja! Er ist ein bluthund!
Man (to Elizabeth): Sorry, I don’t speak German.
I must eat a lot
I am a vast assortment of other breeds and mixes none of which includes bloodhounds
I am strong
I need a large apartment
I am not a city dog
They are cruel for making me live in a city
I am cute
I am awesome
I am amazing
I am fantastic
And my very favorite:
I am well behaved
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. Between my upcoming birthday on the 19th and having been ill the indulgence level has been pretty satisfying—perpetual on demand scratching and forcing Maria to either sleep on the couch or in any spot on the bed that I choose to leave unoccupied. Which reminds me of one of my favorite stories—one of the elevator guys in Elizabeth’s building looked at me one day and asked if she had a nice big bed for me. She told him that yes she did--“It’s called the bed.”
Until next time,