Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #320

Entry #320
October 12, 2013 

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I have been creating the usual ruckus among its inhabitants and garnered quite a few “wretched Hound”s this week from my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who must bear the brunt of my Houndly activities.  This is owing to the fact that Maria is foolish enough to like bloodhounds and Elizabeth is foolish enough to help Maria out and take care of me during the day. But to be fair, Elizabeth thought she liked bloodhounds before she got to know me better. Now she just looks at Maria, shakes her head and utters the existential question that has plagued mankind for centuries (or at least since the Middle Ages when my ancestors arrived at the Monastery of St. Hubert), “Why?” I think a lot about this too, because bloodhounds certainly wouldn’t put up with bloodhounds if we were human—we are far too devoted to our comfort and getting our own way for that. Also, we are apparently too intelligent.                                     

Yes! In an astonishing document that has been burning up the track of bloodhound social media, bloodhounds rank #3 in intelligence according to a new AKC list! Well this was certainly news to anyone who has ever tried to train one and it did produce a momentary frisson of fear in me that I would suddenly be expected to obey obedience commands. But as with most great things, the devil is in the details—in this case, a couple of all important weasel words, specifically: “10 dog breeds that excel in intelligence, especially when it comes to the job they do.” (Italics mine).  Without those weasel words, bloodhounds usually make the list of the most unintelligent breeds  (of course I have been sleeping in the bed this week and Maria has been sleeping on the couch so that point is arguable as well).

For the uninitiated out there, weasel words are beloved by those who ply the pen for a living but if you are unsure of what these are, here are some helpful examples:

The Bloodhound is generally an easy going canine (assuming he always gets his own way).

Bloodhounds can be quite entertaining (except when eating the couch)

Bloodhounds usually make good family dogs (assuming your kids don’t mind being deprived of their food and toys and don’t bruise easily when knocked over).

Bloodhounds are sometimes stubborn if not properly trained (but of course we can’t be trained, properly or otherwise)

Bloodhounds are occasionally destructive (those occasion being when they are awake), especially if not exercised enough (enough being defined as all waking hours).

The Bloodhound is probably not a dog for everyone (or anyone).

Anyway, getting back to the list, as you can tell, I was very taken with the phrase “especially when it comes to the job they do,” not only because of the weasel word content but because we do so many jobs.

Jobs That Bloodhounds Do

Nutritionist: We make sure that the bulk of any highly caloric food never makes it into your mouth and sometimes not even onto your plate. We confiscate dangerous foods such as steak (heart disease), hamburgers (E. coli) chicken (salmonella), sausage (who knows what’s really in it) cheese (listeria), and cakes and cookies (too much sugar) and the like.
Interior Designer: We change the look of your home through regular repurposing of your furniture as chew toys; we are experts at the art of unupholstering and the creation of one of a kind wall and ceiling art; we excel at carpet aeration as well as stuffing liberation for all your pillows, cushions and duvets.

Landscape architect: We extensively fertilize and water plants using only the freshest materials; we deadhead flowers, engage in shrubbery root oxygenation, give your fences and ornaments a distressed, rustic patina, excavate those pesky gophers and voles and even conduct some mining and oil exploration operations.

Clothing designer: We alter the shape, pattern and armhole content of existing wardrobes to create exciting new looks. You will never be accused of being too matchy-matchy by wearing the same shoe on each foot. We also turn clothing into a multi-sensory experience using our proprietary aromatherapy process.

Massage therapist: We apply both constant and intermittent acupressure as well as selective poking and thwacking to the nerves in all parts of your body, and especially to those troublesome spots like your bladder and gastric organs to increase nerve conduction and blood flow. Because of the vigor of the treatment it is recommended that gentlemen wear a cup.

Orthopedist: We insure that your spine stays in proper alignment by insisting that it get the support it needs when you sleep. During your nights on the floor we carefully monitor your alignment from our vantage point on the bed and we generously permit a blanket and pillow to be used unless they are too cushy.

Homeland Security Officer: We conscientiously conduct random inspections of all bags, purses and conveyances carried by the perambulating public and confiscate items requiring advanced inspection.  In addition, we conduct surprise nose wand inspections of the legs of selected pedestrians, particularly those whose legs are bare and make sure that no one is carrying anything unusual in their underwear.
Comedian: We are a never-ending source of fun and entertainment as we pelt people in the face with gobs of drool scare the bejesus out of them by sneaking up on them and baying loudly, sample their sandwiches, steal their water bottles and create hilarious smells when they try to eat. 

Household Ecology Officer: We ensure that your household stays green by taking everything and anything and turning it into (large) mounds of useful biodegradable organic matter.  We helpfully precycle the recyclables by shredding them into small pieces to make it easier for them to be processed

Fitness Trainer: We make sure that you never sit on the couch again (assuming that there is one left to sit on) by insisting on long, aerobic walks that simultaneously require both upper body and core muscle strength as you attempt to hang onto us.  We also ensure that you develop excellent balance and fast reflexes by employing our patented “I see a squirrel” workout protocol.

And in addition to all these many jobs, we also engage in the traditional employment of bloodhounds and find things. Important things such as the neighbor’s cat or that expensive handbag that you thought that you hid in the back of the closet or that dinner you were preparing but turned your back on.

I think that it is also a mark of high bloodhound intelligence that I can turn any situation to my advantage. As many of you know, taking me to the vet is one of my humans’ hobbies and they rather like the idea of peering inside me to make sure all is as it should be via X-rays and ultrasounds.  They are able to satisfy their endless curiosity as to the state of my innards because I like being X-rayed and ultra sounded (a whole team of people focused on me!) and don’t require sedation. So on Wednesday Maria took the day off and we all took a leisurely mile walk down to Blue Pearl, my specialist vet, to X ray my lungs and heart (apparently my regular vet doesn’t have equipment large enough for a canine of my magnificent proportions).  While I was being admired and fussed over by vets, vet interns and vet nurses my humans took themselves off to a Starbucks which just happened to be next to a pet store. So in they went and purchased a bag of what they thought were treats, but were really yummy freeze dried Orijen meat patty meals for small dogs. Oops. But to be fair, what is a meal for a small dog is a snack for me.

Anyway, heart and lungs were all good but my humans felt that the freeze-dried meat dog food was insufficient recompense for getting me zapped so we dropped by the Grom Gelato by Central Park (sadly the one around the corner from me closed). When the gelatista was informed of who was to reap the benefits of her gelato scooping skills she declined to charge my humans because it is not every day that there is a large baying Hound demanding your services. She was immensely tickled by the fact that Maria requested a spoon because I require gelato to be spoon-fed. All the central Park-bound tourists seem to share her amusement and my gourmandizing will certainly be the highlight of many vacations snaps.

Then as I had my two humans with me I decided that it would be an excellent thing to spend the afternoon in Central Park and engage in periodic al fresco snacking of those freeze dried patties.  My humans did not necessarily agree with this plan but somehow—I am guessing by dint of my superior intelligence-- I prevailed. And a mere 5 hours after leaving for the vet I returned home replete with gelato, a bag of small dog freeze dried meat dog food and the copious quantities of turkey that Elizabeth never seems to be without.  We also met a tourist in the park who asked in all seriousness about my abilities to come on command when off leash which, after my humans stopped laughing, elicited a polite version of  “Don’t be ridiculous, he’s a bloodhound” that I found very satisfying.It was almost as satisfying as what 5 hours with me did to Elizabeth’s new black autumn Hounding pants. In fact, they now look very similar to her black summer Hounding pants. Let’s just say that they are no longer black.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I stopped by for my usual visit to Unleashed on Friday where I spat out the crème cookie that I usually eat and that Elizabeth had assured the clerk that I would happily consume.  Then Elizabeth bought me a very loud Halloween monster head stuffie that I know she later regretted as she reached for the aspirin bottle. Maria once again accused Elizabeth of spoiling me, but this had minimal effect coming from a human who spent a good part of the week sleeping on the couch because she couldn’t bear the thought of disturbing me whilst I was asleep on the bed.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Genius Hound

1 comment:

Bentley said...

My humans had not heard about that list until reading your blog. They nearly fell over with shock.

Excellent entertainment, as usual.