April 19, 2013
Hello everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have, as usual, been out and about making my imposing presence known to my fellow citizens. Around here it’s not “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s Superman!” but “Is it a mastiff? Is it a pony? Is it a mutant basset hound?” No, it’s Wimsey—a very large, very loud and very smelly slobber slinging Manhattan Bloodhound. But I am gigantic like a mastiff, expensive like a pony and as stubborn as any basset, hound, mutant or not.
But of course my favorite question is “What kind of dog is he” because my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have all kinds of replies to that one, most of them unprintable. Apparently they consider me difficult. Not the least because this week I have been spectacularly uncooperative in the matter of posing for photographs. But of course I am perfectly willing to pose for photographs—particularly when attending weddings to which I have not been invited (see last week’s post). And of course this week there was the small matter of declining to take lovely spring walks in the park in favor of visiting my favorite pet shops and constructions sites—neither apparently rate very high in the pantheon of desirable photo locales.
But I know what awaits me if I go to the park—the Dreaded Flowering Tree Season has begun and I will be forced to pose pointlessly in front of any number of decorative trees instead of doing to them what male dogs with gargantuan bladders prefer to do to them. On Sunday for instance we went to visit the cherry trees along the bridle path which are just starting to bloom. I was fortunate however in that the harsh spring sunlight proved so displeasing to Elizabeth’s photographic ambitions that we did not linger long. And although I was not directly responsible (in this case) for thwarting my humans’ desires it still resulted in the blessed banishing of the camera.
I have spoken many times about the joys of spring—usually in regard to my predilection for depositing excrement in flower beds (or better yet, on top of a bloom itself) but there are many other activities to which I reintroduce my humans every year. And although mud puddles tend to figure prominently in them there is also the whole matter of grass. Like any giant Hound who fancies himself a ruminant manqué I enjoy a good grass chew. Unfortunately because I don’t seem to chew enough (or perhaps because I lack the grinding dentition of a true herbivore) and because my digestive tract lacks the apparatus necessary for grass digestion, what comes out is pretty much what goes in: long, luscious blades of grass which my humans are frequently forced to extract from my nether bits by hand. Can there really be any other harbinger of spring quite as delightful as the sight of my humans crouched over my posterior examining it with all the intensity of a couple of curators inspecting a Vermeer? Fortunately the grass itself doesn’t upset my stomach—that job is left to all the stuff I ingest when my humans aren’t paying enough attention.
And of course as soon as there is grass I employ my patented “drop and roll” maneuver whenever my humans want me to go in one direction (especially those that lead in a homewards direction) and I wish to go in another (especially those that lead opposite to a homewards direction). My humans are indeed fortunate that my black and tan coat does not show the grass stains but they are not so lucky with the earthy, swampy smell that extensive grass rolling imparts. Ah spring!
Anyway, there were no weddings to crash this week but there were Frenchies, Frenchies, Frenchies! It was pretty much a daily Frenchie Fest. I love French bulldogs (even though as a true French breed I should resent the fact that they are actually English imposters). Three fawn Frenchie puppies now live on my block in addition to my buddy Pluto, the tricolor guy who lives around the corner. But they have become so popular in New York that I even meet them when perambulating in the park!And Frenchies tend to like big dogs which is fortunate, although I generally think of myself as a little dog (especially when it comes to sitting on laps) and I am quite willing to get down to their level lest they find my size inimical to social interaction. The fact that they snore and are very flatulent and extremely stubborn gives us so much to talk about!
Also this week on Thursday I decided to visit Columbus Circle. There is a statue of Christopher Columbus on top of a pedestal so high that you can’t actually see him very well. But considering some of his antics, maybe that’s a good thing. My ancestor Pedro Huberto de Trasero d’Oro Wimsie (expensive anal gland issues run in the family) who was El Sabueso Supremo to their royal majesties Ferdinand and Isabella had his own account of things which has come down through the Wimsey family:
Highlights from the Life of Christopher Columbus
King of Portugal: No.
King of England: No
Ferdinand and Isabella: No.
Columbus: But Japan is only 2400 miles from Spain!
Royal Cartographer: It’s not you know.
Ferdinand and Isabella: You’re annoying—if we ask for a proposal will you go away?
Columbus: Not really, I have a date with destiny. I also have a proposal--I want you to make me an Admiral and I want you to give me a share of the profits from my discoveries.
Isabella: That’s outrageous!
Ferdinand: Let’s give him anything he wants—we’ll never see this clown again anyway and the trip will get rid of him. Permanently.
Ferdinand and Isabella: OK. Deal. Go. Bring us back some sushi.
Columbus: Here I am in Japan!
Navigator: We’re in the Bahamas.
Columbus: But that’s somewhere in the Indies, right? If I refer to these people as Indians no one will ever know. Anyway, I’ll just declare the Bahamas part of the Indies and since I’m the guy making the maps if I say we’re in the Indies, we’re in the Indies.
Ferdinand and Isabella: Where are the gold and the spices?
Columbus: I’ve got some might tasty coconuts here.
Ferdinand and Isabella: No gold. No spices. And we hear that you suck as a Governor. We’re arresting you for abuse of power.
Columbus: Since when did killing people become illegal?
Ferdinand and Isabella: Well we only kill people who we think deserve it. And anyway we’re the king and queen so we don’t count and you’re just a guy who spent a lot of our hard non-earned money discovering some nice beaches.
Isabella: Clap him in irons!
Ferdinand: OK, but let’s release him after a month or so and we can send him off on another Voyage of Discovery.
Isabella: All right but let’s hope that this time that he discovers how to be fish food. And you’re such a softie that it’s amazing that The Inquisition gets anything useful accomplished.
Columbus: OK, I’m baaack. I’ve made my 4th voyage and I’m retiring. I’d like my 10% cut of the New World please.
Ferdinand and Isabella: You again! 10%! Who do you think you are, a Hollywood agent?! We are the Absolute Monarchs of the Spanish Empire—we take people’s money we don’t give it to them. Anyway, the 10% is of the net not the gross, so when we deduct all the expenses you actually owe us money. But we’ll forgive the debt and you have the thanks of grateful omnipotent autocrats.
Columbus: I’m suing!
Ferdinand and Isabella: He’s gone native! He’s an American!
Well you get the idea.
And my humans can relate to Columbus’ plight since they frequently try to get to one place but end up someplace completely different. Fortunately they do have the grace to admit that they are in a pet shop and not in the park. And I am very glad that Columbus made his voyage because I get so much enjoyable attention walking around his circle.
Anyway, after strolling around Columbus Circle and reflecting on history, I felt the need to take a refreshing dip in the fountain at 59th street but I was cruelly prevented by Elizabeth who frowns on pubic bathing. She also frowns on the expensive tickets that public bathing engenders. But since she cruelly prevented me from going into the fountain I cruelly prevented her from going home. For three hours. It was a lovely afternoon (at least for me) and the light was perfect for photography. Unfortunately I was not perfect for photography so she has very little documentation of those many happy hours of me procrastinating in the park.
I think I will leave it there for this week. Our friend Nancy (she of the new baby whose debut in a snack feeding stroller I am eagerly awaiting) bought me a gift that she found on her last trip home to Canada (because what’s a trip home to Canada without a little shopping for me). It’s a possum that has a squeaker and a Velcro pouch for an empty, crunchy water bottle! Could anything be more perfect for a water bottle loving (and stealing) Hound such as myself?! I already figured out how to remove the water bottle so now my humans have to buy an endless supply of my preferred brand and size to re-equip the toy. It gives a whole new meaning to playing possum. Thank you Nancy!
Until next time,
Wimsey, the Gem of New York City