June 1, 2013
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where there is only one topic of conversation on everyone’s lips: the weather! I am now officially joining my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth in their dismay about the week’s conditions. The last time we all agreed on anything it involved a large Dean’s pizza with mushrooms and extra cheese not a worst of all seasons weather marathon. My humans have been wearing winter jackets one day and t-shirts the next and I have been wearing a raincoat one day and my summer cooling coat the next. I am not happy. The only good thing is that neither are they--but I prefer to be the one responsible for that.
And speaking of responsibility, who or what is responsible for all this weather weirdness? I refuse to blame global warming since this would inevitably lead us into a discussions of animals that produce quantities of noxious gas and I’d rather not go there. And global warming also does not explain some of the ridiculously frigid conditions that have occurred for a good part of May, although they are much to be preferred to the 90-degree temperature and 90% humidity that we have now. I have heard some twaddle about the jet stream not being where it’s supposed to be but Hounds are never where they are supposed to be and we don’t wreak climactic havoc. Just the regular kind.
Anyway, I’ve decided to blame my humans, as they seem to be responsible for most of the unpleasant things that happen to me. Individuals capable of squirting stuff down my throat and into my ears and eyes, to say nothing of smearing ointment on my tush and making me stand lathered in de-yeasting soap whilst bath water rises dangerously to my ankles are capable of anything. They even gave me a bath on Memorial Day when normal people are out grilling tasty meats for their Hounds to steal.
But the week actually wasn’t a total loss. Sunday was quite a temperate day and during a lovely walk around the Central Park Reservoir I ran into Bowser, a six-month-old blue brindle pit and we had a vigorous extended play session that is partially captured here for posterity. I say partially because photographing a charging Hound at the end of a 20-foot leash was deemed inimical to Elizabeth’s continued good health so she contented herself with photographing me getting pushed around by the little tyke.
I particularly enjoyed it when he stood on my head as getting a good whiff of the underside of a fellow canine is a gift from the scent gods. I of course never get to push other canines around given the usual size differential so I have to content myself with pushing around my humans instead. It’s not quite the same thing but they do squeal in a very appealing manner.
And I had such a good time on Sunday that the ladies kept having to dangle the heinous gentle leader in front of my nose to get me to move instead of flopping down in the grass and doing my best imitation of a 130 pound garden gnome. Somehow I don’t think the guy who invented the wretched thing meant it to be used like that but dangling works just as well as when I am actually wearing it and it’s certainly a lot more comfortable.
But in the end it was a good thing that we had a long outing on Sunday because our return pre-bath park trip on Memorial Day was considerably less successful—the temperature had started to rise and the park was so packed with people that it was more like Times Square than Central Park. And walking through Times Square with a giant Hound is not a relaxing experience. Of course walking anywhere with a giant Hound is not a relaxing experience—eternal vigilance is the price my humans pay for keeping me out of trouble. Just yesterday Elizabeth’s attention slipped and in a trice I had ingested a large bone that I scavenged in the park (I hope it wasn’t CSI evidence or anything). I am now on 72 hour “bone watch” (I have a lengthy and leisurely digestive system) and will be carted off to the emergency vet’s at the slightest sign of trouble.
Anyway, the rest of the week was pretty much a bust—rainy weather followed by hazy, hot and humid conditions which necessitated the premature reappearance of the dreaded cooling coat. Having a cold, wet coat thrown over one, no matter how much it reduces the risk of heat stroke is never a pleasant experience—it just seems to make so much more sense to drag my humans into a cold, wet lake instead. And given the fact that city pavement becomes hot, I greatly fear that the invention of cooling booties is next.
And then there is the aggravating situation of Elizabeth continuously messing with her new phone and trying to assemble a satisfactory assortment of apps for it. I’ve been checking into these apps I find that they all have serious deficiencies so I have some improved ones that I think should be developed:
Yelp: This app can be used to find the closest outdoor cafes where you can cruise by with your Hound so he can cadge or steal food from unsuspecting diners. The app is aptly named since this is the sound people make when their food is disappeared from their plates by a large, swiftly moving Hound.
Groupon: An excellent “deal of the day” app where you can find discounts on pet massages, bully sticks, gourmet snacks, cushy beds and a vast array of items pleasing to your Hound (coats, vet visits, nail clippers and things that get poured or sprayed into orifices are not included).
Evernote: A great app for keeping “to do” lists for your Hound and all his doings. Everything from his busy social calendar crashing weddings in the park to pouncing on fellow Hounds to reminders of his extensive belly rub schedule. It’s a very useful app for keeping track of all the cute things that your Hound does—such as following people eating ice cream and baying at them---so you can share his antics with others.
Foursquare: Foursquare lets you alert everyone as to where your Hound is at any given time. This enables people to choose locations for their picnics out of harms way and for pedestrians averse to having drool flung in their faces to choose a drier route. Additionally, it informs humans bearing Hound tribute as to where they can bring their sandwiches, water bottles, pretzels, and assorted other desirable comestibles for Hound consumption.
Angry Hounds: An entertaining game in which Hounds deprived of the best spot on the sofa or denied the contents of the refrigerator or garbage can fling drool on humans, dislocate their shoulders, pin them to the couch, eat their underwear, TP the house, dig up the garden, bay at the neighbor’s cat, drag their humans into bodies of water or otherwise make their displeasure known. The game teaches humans that giving a Hound what he wants is a whole lot less disruptive than the alternative.
Grub Hub: An excellent app that lets you order in takeout food after you accidentally left your dinner unattended on the kitchen counter.
Google translate: This is a wonderful app that translates such useful phrases as “Beware of the drool,” “My Hound wants your meal,” “It will come out in the wash,”
“My Hound wishes to inspect your bag,” “That wasn’t my hand, it was my Hound’s nose,” “Would you like these earplugs,” “Yes, his hair sticks to cleavage,” “Here, let me help you up,” and of course the number one essential phrase for anyone with a Hound, “I’m sorry!”
iBay: This app is like Google translate except it translates your Hound’s bays into human phrases such as “Gimme that!’ “Gimme that now!” “If you don’t gimme that I will take it!” “These people are in my way, move them!” “This fence is in my way, move it!” “Let’s go. These people are boring and they have no food!” “Hello neighborhood! Wake up, I’ve just seen my friend Pluto!”
Google Maps: This app will direct you to all the snack shops, pet stores, and outdoor cafes in the city. Also to assorted vertical surfaces such as people’s bicycles upon which you are not supposed to pee but will anyway, SUV running boards (Aka pooping platforms) and to all locations sporting a “No Dogs Allowed” sign.
Houndflix: A movie app that continuously streams Best in Show.
PayVet: An app that allows the seamless transfer of funds from your bank account to your vet’s.
Well you get the idea. Right now Elizabeth’s phone is programmed to say “He is a bloodhound,” and “He drools” in Spanish. And last week Maria could have used my translation app-- she initiated a conversation in Hungarian with some folks that she heard commenting in that language on my snatching a piece of garbage from the gutter and then realized that her Hungarian vocabulary had a serious omission. She did not know the word for “drool”
But I did have a bit of revenge for all the phone stuff though—Elizabeth was on line at the phone store and the clerk sniffed the air and said, “I smell a dog. Is there a dog in here?” and I wasn’t with her. At least not physically. There are no products to combat body odor when the body in question isn’t your own.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. This weather is supposed to continue until Monday so you will find me with my nose in front of the AC trying to set a new record for how long I can refuse to go out and use the bathroom.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound of many tongues, all of them wet