December 6, 2013
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from the festive burgh of Houndistan- on- Hudson—otherwise known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where Thanksgiving is over and Christmas looms large. And as is the case every year the streets are suddenly lined with fragrant pine trees just awaiting a little watering by an eager Hound with a giant bladder. And as is the case every year, my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth dread the sudden appearance of these trees and in Grinch-like fashion take circuitous routes around them and keep me on a tight rein when this is not possible.
I decided this week that if I am not supposed to pee on them, perhaps there is no prohibition about pooping on them—however, there was a shriek of dismay and some rapid and forceful leash work when I attempted to back my butt onto one of their branches. So I guess there is a poop prohibition in effect also, which is strange since in a few weeks the streets will be chock a block with these things and I am then magically permitted to put them to the use that nature intended. What can I say? Human beings are a capricious lot whose natures bear little resemblance to the relentlessly consistent nature of the Hound. If we do not wish our humans to do a thing—like cut our nails, for instance—we do not suddenly wake up one day and decide to allow it. Mine have defeated the ministrations of several generations of groomers and teams of experienced vet techs and the only time that I permitted it, I had no choice. I was under the influence of a powerful anesthetic. I firmly believe that my thwacking activities would be a lot less impactful if my talons were to be trimmed.
But that is not to say that I am close-minded about presenting a well-groomed appearance. Elizabeth has me on an every other week rotation of afternoon baths to try to cut down the stench (notice I said “cut down on” and not “eliminate”) and she is a lot more generous about the concomitant turkey feeding than Maria is when she assists. Also, Elizabeth has taken to using my Zoom Groom to massage me after I have been doused with GrimeInator (yes that really is the name of the shampoo and its name was unsurprisingly the principal reason for its selection).
I am starting to find the bathing process rather pleasing, to say nothing of the extensive towel massage that follows when Elizabeth futilely attempts to dry me. It does not matter how long I am given a towel massage, nor how many towels are used, once I am wet, I stay wet (of course, getting me wet in the first place is not easy either and involves the lengthy application of a copious quantity of water from a high pressure shower attachment). My humans have tried poking me to get me to shake more and wringing out my wrinkles and skin folds but all to no avail. My fur simply refuses to dry. And as an added bonus my bath takes up Elizabeth’s afternoon (to say nothing of the time it takes to deconstruct the bathroom in preparation and then reconstruct it afterwards and to get Hound hair off the ceiling) which means that she is not sitting at her computer, or talking of the phone or reading the newspaper or (horror of horrors) leaving me alone to run errands or doing any of the other things that take her focus off of where it belongs—on ME. And then after my bath Elizabeth prepares me a lovely meal featuring baked yam and the poultry de jour following which I lie all over as many surfaces as possible in order transfer a maximum amount of moisture. But in one of those remarkable Hound achievements, I still remain wet.
Anyway, Christmas is coming—I found this pop up Christmas tree in Central Park—and there are a lot of tourists in town to soak up the magic of Christmas in New York of which I am a well-deserved part. On the downside, any day now the bag containing my seasonal headgear and festive ruff will make its appearance and my humans will try to get me to pose to give the impression that I am content to calmly perambulate about the park caparisoned in antlers and elf hats instead of trying to shake off the vile things and kill them.
And today, since it was chilly and wet I decided it was a good time to take a nice long walk to visit the Christmas Fair at the southern end of Central Park. Unfortunately, Elizabeth decided that this was inadvisable as four hands are better than two in restraining my shopping proclivities. And since the fair is such a colorful and traditional scene, my visits deserve to be immortalized photographically, which is difficult to achieve whilst thwarting a Hound with an ardent desire to inspect and test merchandise. But hopefully the three of us will make it down there soon. If not, Elizabeth will be forced to endure an afternoon visit fraught with photographic terror.
Nothing much else is new, unless you count the fact that my humans’ birthdays are coming up in January and Elizabeth is busy planning her annual Escape from Me which ends up being her annual Shopping Trip for Me. Last year it was Istanbul and this year Maui and Brazil are the leading contenders. She is learning to say, “where is the most expensive pet store in town” in both Hawaiian and Portuguese and I am helping her get bikini ready by dragging her around and eating her food. No one can ever accuse me of being a lily of the field. We Hounds are always hard at work and we are very good at what we do. It’s what our humans love about us so much. Or not.
And there is never any mystery about what Hounds do—one has only to talk with a human who lives with a Hound to hear astonishing tales of our powers of destruction and other assorted hilarious antics--among them the fact that although we are unable to understand the word “sit” no matter how many times it is repeated, we morph into mini Einsteins when it comes to figuring out how to get something that we want. And unlike the popular song, “What Does the Fox Say,” the whole neighborhood knows what we say. But here are some nuances:
It was on the counter and then it suddenly fell on the floor.
I can fling faster than you can wipe.
There is no such thing as inedible.
Those shrubs were in my way.
The floor is good for your back.
I didn’t drink it, I only tasted it.
You can’t work on the computer if you can’t see the screen.
The couch was delicious.
Holes are the new black.
Are you really taking me into the show ring with just that little string around my neck?
Hello! Are you awake? Good, you can scratch me.
I can fit.
Engage tractor beam.
That dream I’m having—I gotta run fast. You want your bra back.
Don’t be ridiculous; we’ve only been out here for a couple of hours!
Your lap, my ass--perfect together.
But they’re trees!
But the trees have toys hanging from them!
Candy canes give me minty fresh breath.
Did you say something?
I was invited to that picnic—they were eating on the grass!
Watcha got in those bags?
Here have some manure, it’s delicious!
You’re home. Good. My belly needs scratching.
Well, you get the idea. I’m a very verbal Hound. Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I have a lot of Christmas shopping to do. My humans just hope that it doesn’t involve their shoes.
Until next time,
Wimsey, I say AHROOO! (Mostly at 6am).