July 20, 2013
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the hot, humid and Houndy precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the question on everyone’s mind is how am I coping with the unfavorable climactic conditions currently afflicting our little island. This question is posed endlessly to both my humans—Maria who is my primary human and her friend Elizabeth with whom I spend my time when Maria is off fruitlessly trying make enough of a living to keep up with my high living Houndy ways. No one cares about how they are coping with the heat, regardless of how much sweat is pouring off of them or how close to heat exhaustion they look. But then again New Yorkers always have their priorities right.
But to answer the question, I am coping about as well as can be expected from a Hound that carries on like a Drama King in the face of the least amount of personal discomfort and inconvenience. This involves trying to hide from the Dreaded Cooling Coat in hopes of being spared the need to wear it, not wanting to move once we get outside and then when forced to move trying to run between my humans’ air conditioned apartments, taking care to stay only in the shady spots on the street regardless of where these may occur. I did make it down to The Boat Basin once or twice where the staff fed me cookies and brought me a bucket of water and ice cubes into which I like to dunk my head. This makes everyone laugh until I threaten to overturn the bucket on their feet. And during my Sunday “walk” in Central Park we headed over to a very densely shaded bench in The Ramble where I lay down in some cool earth. Then we headed over to The Stream where I lay down in the water and mud and attempted to nap which created a very popular photo opportunity for those tourists foolish enough to be out. Not an exciting walk, but a cool one.
Mostly though, I hang out inside chewing bully sticks, eating cold, mashed yam and waiting for it to be autumn again. My humans have their own heat coping methods, largely involving two different but equally ridiculous fashion strategies: Maria has decided that since she will sweat through and ruin anything she wears (and what she doesn’t sweat through I will smear my copious muddy drool on) it’s best to emulate Stanley Kowalski and wear a white Hanes t-shirt topped off with some baggy jeans to promote air flow. It is as stunning a look as it sounds. In contrast, Elizabeth has decided to go the skimpy route, buying a collection of tank tops to wear over a short skirt. Unfortunately in order to safely walk me she also has to wear sneakers so she resembles nothing so much as a 15-year-old girl about to play the back nine. It’s a sad commentary on my humans’ fashion sense when I am the best dressed one of the trio.
And it’s been so uncomfortable outside that I only go out into our little shared yard to inspect it and then come right back in to the air conditioning. This has prompted some discussion of perhaps installing a dog door for me. But then my humans realized that a dog door for an animal of my size would be the actual door. Pretty much like a dog bed in my size is the actual bed. When living with a Giant Hound everything is relative. Now whereas Einstein’s theory of relativity states that various measurements are affected by the velocity of those doing the measuring. The Wimsey theory of relativity states that various measurements are affected by the size of the Hound of those doing the measuring. For instance, when Elizabeth walks some petite 60 lb. pit bull when she volunteers at the shelter, kennel staff are prone to remark that the critter in question is strong. But for Elizabeth, not so much.
Strength: Strength is related to how fast a Hound who has evinced an interest in a passing squirrel can pull over his human. Also to the number of feet/second that he can drag them. Additionally, strength is related to the number and size of the humans he can knock over because they happen to be in his line of scent and also to the amount of force (in newtons) that he can exert when shoving his human off of the bed. Another measure of strength is related to the number of pounds per square inch of earth a Hound can move when excavating in the garden.
Size: Size is related to whether any of the couch is available for human use when a Hound decides that that piece of furniture constitutes a desirable spot upon which to nap. It is also related to how much of the table the Hound’s head can reach when standing on all four paws, how much of the kitchen counter the Hound’s head can reach when standing on two paws and how much of a giant step his humans have to take when he decides to nap in the kitchen doorway.
Speed: Speed is related to how fast a Hound in possession of a desirable item such as your lunch or an $80 bra can run to evade capture as well as how fast he can arrive in the kitchen in response to the opening of the refrigerator door.
Cuteness: Cuteness is related to how many people per minute stop on the street to admire the Hound, to photograph him and to share their food and water bottles with him. Cuteness is also measure of the continued viability of the Hound after he has eaten the couch and has had the contents of the garbage bin for dessert.
For other kinds of dogs, cuteness is an asset. For a Hound it is a necessity. And I can find ways to be disruptive even when I am asleep. For instance, I can make quite a racket even whilst taking a supposedly peaceful nap on the bed. In addition to producing snores, the decibel level of which requires noise-canceling headphones, I can create quite a ruckus by raking my giant talons across a sheet while running in my sleep and by thumping my heavy weight tail on the mattress. I like to insure that the only one having a peaceful nap is me. As I’ve said many times before, Hound people are special people--they have even fewer neurons than their Hounds.
And speaking of being short a few neurons, apparently the folks at NASA are devastated (no, not because they weren’t the ones who discovered that a planet is colored blue) but because Congress won’t grant them billions of dollars to land a person on an asteroid and collect some dirt. Just imagine the crowned heads of Europe funding the Age of Exploration so that Columbus and his cronies could bring back a bucket of loam and maybe a rock or two. And I speak as a Hound with an abiding interest in dirt—the rolling around in which and distribution of throughout my abode is a never ending source of satisfaction to me and a never-ending source of the need to buy cleaning supplies to my humans. Of course in this heat wave it is more likely to be mud that I am tracking around which I know we all very much enjoy.
Anyway, I am off to plot walk avoidance strategies and to figure out how to outrun my cooling coat.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Cool Hound