September 14, 2013
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have been lurking in weather-imposed exile much to the consternation of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who would prefer to have a Hound that actually walked outside instead of one who:
1. Casts a languid and unenthusiastic eye over his collar, harness and leash whilst sprawled on his air-conditioned perch atop the bed or the couch.
2. Demands to be fed turkey in order for them to have the privilege of putting his equipment on him.
3. Gets outside, realizes that the temperature is not to his liking and tries to retreat whither he came.
4. When cruelly prevented from retreating whither he came, plots the shortest distance between his air conditioned apartment and Elizabeth’s air-conditioned apartment and attempts to proceed there with the greatest of celerity.
5. When cruelly prevented from both retreating whither he came and following the shortest distance to Elizabeth’s apartment, attempts to execute dynamic and robust forays into air-conditioned businesses, preferably those like banks and pet stores where they feed him.
6. When finally hauled, much against his will, to the leafy precincts of Riverside Park, lays down in the field opposite Elizabeth’s building and refuses to move, let alone exert the energy it takes to lift a leg.
So in short my week can be summarized as follows:
Sunday: It’s too hot
Monday: It’s too hot
Tuesday: It’s too hot
Wednesday: It’s way too hot (so much so that I had to wear the dreaded cooling coat)
Thursday: It’s too thunderstormy
Friday: It’s cool! You and what army of dog wranglers are going to get me to leave Central Park!
This week has been even more proof positive that my humans absolutely cannot win. But to be fair in the evenings I did deign to walk over to Riverside Park and fraternize with some of my canine buddies. Chief among them is Phineas the one-year-old Ibizan Hound who according to his human is exhibiting a surfeit of “personality “ the degree of which required Phineas’ human to enlist the services of a dog trainer. Since the results of this exercise are apparent to no one, including his human and certainly not to Phineas, Elizabeth (who has experience training shelter dogs who are also not short of “personality”) offered to work with him. And I of course am a shining example of Elizabeth’s training techniques!
Then there is the 15-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, Theo, who also has an abundance of “personality.” Apparently Theo likes to steal food and the fact that you are eating it has a minimal inhibitory effect on his activities. His human opined that I probably do pretty well in the stealing food department which forced my humans to confess that actually I don’t steal food—I get them to serve it to me. And not only that, they have to serve it to me in the preferred form. I reference last week’s post about how I need to have my duck hearts sliced. This is in addition to wanting my yogurt and gelato spoon fed to me and to having my pizza cut up into bite sized bits. I also will not eat apples—of which I am very fond—if they are sliced. Rather I demand that my humans bite off chunks of an intact apple and feed them to me.
And it is not just my humans who feed me. Complete strangers on the street and dining at cafes also feed me. If war is a failure of diplomacy then food stealing is a failure of charm. Also, of baying and drooling. Humans generally find that it is easier just to give me what I want rather than listening to ear exploding high decibel baying (the Wimsey Vocal Technique calls for every exhale to be a bay) or to deal with the copious quantities of Anticipatory Drool that I drip and fling with abandon. For instance, when I want Elizabeth to cut up her pizza for me, I position my head over her lap so that failure to feed me in a timely manner results in her looking like she is badly in need of a shopping trip to the Depends aisle of the drugstore. Thus, I don’t steal food because I am well behaved-- I don’t steal food because I don’t need to steal food.
Anyway, in other news, the nice people at Kuranda sent us an email asking if I would like to compete in their “dog of the month” contest. Since this involved sending in a picture of me actually on the Kuranda bed, my humans had to politely decline. Wherever the Kuranda bed is, I’m not. Nevertheless my foolish humans continue to place it at various points around the yard hoping that they will find the magic location. I like to lie down right next to it just to annoy them. Or annoy them more.
And speaking of being annoying, yesterday was Friday 13th a day on which Hounds get to show their humans how lucky they are to have us around. For Elizabeth, who takes care of me during the day, it went something like this.
Elizabeth: Hello Wimsey! Do you want to go out?
Me: No. Scratch my belly.
Elizabeth: I’ll give you a nice big piece of turkey if you’ll go out!
Me: Pay the toll to the troll and we have a deal. Hey! What happened to the weather! It’s cool! I’m heading to Central Park. You can come too if you like.
Elizabeth: Well, OK, but remember, Wimsey, I have to work on my project.
Me: Did someone say something?
Friday Park Perambulations with Wimsey
So here I am heading north on the bridle path, which is in the opposite direction to any park exit that will take us to Elizabeth’s. And when I work up an oppositional towing thirst I simply signal my servant that she should fill the water bowl that she so attractively carries about hooked to her pants.
Next I decided to explore the back regions and stage door entrance of the Delacorte Theater. The fact that we had to pass the snack bar was wholly incidental. We did see a good-looking actor heading in for his costume fitting. He smiled his approbation at me. I flung drool on him.
Next I explored this field under Belvedere Castle and watered some flowers. I am now heading east, which is once again the wrong direction for going to any of my apartments.
I have now climbed the stairs to Belvedere Castle which sits on a promontory that has excellent air currents for me to sniff. It also had a little white dog and here I am calling out to him to come and be sniffed by my giant, vacuum cleaner- like nose. He did not comply with my request (small white dogs seldom do in my experience) but my enthusiastic attempts to induce him to come be inhaled caused me to be photographed by the numerous tourists present which caused Elizabeth to have to pay me me with fistfuls of turkey.
And here Elizabeth has cruelly prevented me from continuing east so I have elected to make her wander in the Ramble. I delayed our westward progress by eating some exceptionally delicious plants that she will have to pull out of my butt at some future date.
I am very irate. The Stream is right behind me and I had every intention of indulging in a nice muddy splash and a drink when I discovered that the spot was being occupied by a photo shoot. I hate people who monopolize valuable real estate to take pictures. Especially when they are not of me.
Then I decided that having been prevented from a dip in the Stream I would jump in the Lake. I found this sign which I interpreted to mean “No Dogs in Water Except for Wimsey” Also it said nothing about Elizabeth not joining me as I always attempt to have her share the experience.
OK so here I have found a field on a hill which is a lovely place to linger. The only thing marring the experience was some background squawking about some project or other.
And finally 2 hours later I am on the path to leave the park. But being on the path to leave the park and actually leaving the park are two entirely different things.
So that was how Friday 13th went. We did eventually make it back to Elizabeth’s where she prepared me a lovely lunch of yam, turkey, pumpkin and kibble. I settled in for my nap at about 3:30. Sadly for Elizabeth’s project my nap lasted a scant 2 hours as I found all the exercise invigorating and had an urgent need to repeat the experience. Apparently it is difficult to work with a large Hound squeaking a large Hedgehog in one’s face. And Maria, who thought she could work late because I’d take a nice, long nap, was forced to hustle home to accompany me on my investigations in Riverside Park. So my humans are lucky to have me because otherwise they would actually have to work.
Also notable, Friday the 13th marks the day in 1788 that New York was declared the capital of the United States. No one told anyone here that it’s not.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Fall (en) Hound