May 18, 2013
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, celebrating the Merry Month of May in the sylvan precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where, although the temps have still been a bit chilly, the sun has been shining and it has begun to warm up. So much so that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have had to put the AC on a couple of times in their respective apartments to keep the indoor temp at a comfortably ambient level for yours truly. As a rather generously proportioned canine my humans live in fear that I will overheat at the slightest rise in the thermometer and anyone who takes issue with this will be treated to Elizabeth’s long and boring treatise on the surface to volume ratios that cause we large mammals to retain heat and keep ourselves toasty. Generally she trots out this lecture for the benefit of vocal and combative Manhattanites who are misguided as to the purpose of my summer cooling coat and yell rude things. By the time she’s done setting them straight their eyes are glazed over but at least they are no longer angry about a dog wearing a coat in July. She’s considering carrying thermal retention charts on her iPad to illustrate her subject more thoroughly but I think she should carry pictures of mastiffs, bullmastiffs, Great Danes, St. Bernards, shar-peis and all the other breeds for whom I have been mistaken instead.
Anyarhoo, the week got off to a fine start on Sunday as Central Park was packed with people for Japan Day which I considered to be Wimsey Day (although every day is technically Wimsey Day) and my humans had to employ a variety of clever stratagems (and much turkey) to prevent me from invading the ramen tents (mysteriously, all the paths that I wanted to walk down seemed to lead back to these tents). And because the park was hosting a special event there were medical personnel in attendance and I managed to locate this ambulance and its EMTs for my personal perusal. There was much that looked like it required further investigation in the back of the ambulance (although sadly no injured human in need of health giving slobber) but I was about as successful with my ambulance invasion enterprise as I was at the ramen tents. Nevertheless, I managed to garner much admiration and scratching for my efforts.
And then when we were on our way out of the park (or more accurately, when my humans were on their way out of the park, I was on my way somewhere else entirely), this nice woman with a very fine looking basset Hound came running down the hill to ask if I was Wimsey. She had apparently started reading my blog years ago when investigating whether her move to New York from Georgia would suit her Basset Hound and has been keeping an eye out for me ever since. Elizabeth tried to get a picture of her Hound and me but getting a picture of two Hounds together was more of a challenge than she had the patience for after an entire afternoon spent photographing my posterior and my profile. It is always wonderful to meet my fans—especially when they have the effect of delaying my departure from the park.
But although Sunday was fun, Monday was even more entertaining. At least for me. It had apparently been far too long since my last visit to the Blue Pearl Vet Clinic (formerly NY Vet Specialists—the folks who operated on me a few years ago and to whom I am taken to see specialist vets) so on Monday I went to see the neurologist. This time it was to ascertain whether a bone spur in my back is impinging on a nerve and making me stiff. So in the spirit of a diary within a diary, I present:
12:30 pm: Elizabeth arrives at my apartment. I am napping on Maria’s bed and require that my reanimation involve the substantial rubbing of my underside.
12:40pm: I am awake but have no intention of removing myself from the bed without sufficient inducement. Inducement arrives in the form of turkey and wheedling.
12:45pm: After a long and messy drink of water, I ascend the Tribute Couch and drip all over Elizabeth while she scratches me and sucks up by telling me what a good boy I am. In return I magnanimously allow her to apply my eye ointment, clean my ears and brush my teeth. Then I lift my head to indicate that it is time for the scratching between the flews portion of the programme.
12:55 pm: My collar and harness are presented but I have no intention of getting off the Tribute Couch until more tribute is forthcoming. This time it is in the form of the magic words “Wimsey, do you want a cookie?”
1pm: After another drink of water, most of which has now been wiped on Elizabeth’s pants, we are out the door! Just in time for another cookie.
1:10pm: Our appointment is for 2pm and the vet clinic is a 20-minute walk as the crow flies; it is, however, a 1-hour walk as the Hound perambulates.
1:30pm: I have decided that I must revisit the Time Warner Center and Columbus Circle and take a relaxing walk down Broadway and then on to 8th Avenue which is packed with charging people, honking cars and screaming kids-- all of whom make walking a giant, nosy Hound akin to playing an obstacle dodging video game. I could have walked through either Riverside Park or Central Park but why walk in serene greensward when one can charge inconveniently through the heart of a loud, throbbing city?
2:00pm: After a few more urban detours we arrive! Elizabeth has an extensive pre-exam discussion all about me with the vet tech. This is very gratifying, although I am not crazy about being weighed and having my temperature taken. I find consolation in the immediate application of some turkey.
2:15pm Neurologist and his team arrive! Love this guy—I was taken to see him previously for mysterious jaw twitches. Elizabeth confesses to him that like so many of my ailments, the jaw twitches miraculously vanished after my visit with him. After some preliminary examining (and petting) team decides to escort me outside to watch me walk. I love walking with an entourage! Team looks at Elizabeth funny and asks her what exactly my problem is. I am in fine fettle!
2:30pm: Lots more touching and petting by team. Everyone impressed by the state of my nails—middle ones worn down and outer ones like talons. When was the last time they were cut? Elizabeth mumbles, “uh, like never.” (Not quite true, they were slightly trimmed once many years ago when I was unfairly placed under anesthesia).
2:50pm: Elizabeth and team sit around and discuss ME. I have a lovely nap on the floor while everyone admires me and while potential options for expensive joint easing remedies are discussed. I am apparently neurologically normal and Elizabeth is apparently neurologically alarmist.
3:00pm: Elizabeth hands over credit card on my behalf (again) and I escort her to bathroom to supervise the interesting activities therein.
3:05pm: We are out the door but instead of going straight home I find that I have an urgent need to explore 8th Avenue again.
3:15pm: Decide that it’s time to head over to the far west side and check out the John Jay College of Justice (whose sports teams have the bloodhound as a mascot) to see if I am recognized.
3:30pm: Decide that a nice walk in Riverside Park is in order after all.
4:00pm: Carry on at the Pier One Café looking for food.
4:30: Arrive at Elizabeth’s apartment at last! Inventory my toy pile then stare at her to demand that she puts something other than kibble in my food bowl.
4:35pm: Yam, turkey and pumpkin deemed acceptable. I tuck in. Vet visits are hungry work!
4:40pm: Elizabeth wonders if it is too early for gin.
I wish every day could be Monday! The rest of the week paled by comparison-- although I have been dropping by the Boat Basin quite a bit to snag a few of the large Milk Bones that they feed me there. My humans find my Milk Bone enthusiasm deeply annoying since I have bags of organic, gourmet snacks at home that I routinely spit out. And since the weather has been so fine, I quite enjoy parking myself in an adjacent field and watching the boats float down the Hudson whilst Elizabeth sits and watches me watching the boats float down the Hudson and thinks about all the other things that she should be doing instead.
Well I think I will stop there for this week. But before I go I must apologize for the late blog post. I was almost finished with it yesterday when Maria called and insisted that Elizabeth and I meet her in Central Park after work and then that we all go back to my apartment for Dean’s pizza—my favorite! What with all that park perambulating and pizza mawing I’m afraid I went to sleep instead of finishing the post. All this is by way of explaining that yesterday, when most of this was written, was May 17th and May 17th is both the anniversary of the birth and the death of the great Renaissance artist, Sandro Botticelli. My tribute to him from my personal collection at The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art his below.
Until next time,
Wimsey, neurologically normal and driving humans neurologically insane