January 10, 2014
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey of the Arctic (or of Manhattan’s Upper West Side) with a quick and drooly post to let you know that I survived the Polar Whatchamacallit and sadly my new winter coat did too. No amount of producing my patented Wimsey Martyred Expression, which generally causes my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to reconsider whatever it was that they were about to do to me, proved effective against the Dreaded Coat. And Elizabeth also survived, which is surprising since her love of extremely cold weather and her persistent chirps of “Isn’t this great!” caused those around her to think homicidal thoughts. But she had a few of her own this week as the extreme cold proved absolutely no deterrent to my intention to make our afternoon walks together as long as possible. Needless to say there are very few photos because taking one’s hand out of a glove, cold weather loving aside, was not high on anyone’s agenda.
Paradoxically, Elizabeth is leaving next Friday for her annual birthday Vacation From Me by going to Maui where it’s 80 degrees. But I know how these vacations go—there is a short period of elation at not having to deal with me every day while Maria is at work that is quickly followed by frantic “I miss him” and “How is he?” texts to Maria. I remember last’s year’s vacation in Istanbul where she scoured pet shops in the trendy Cihangir neighborhood for gifts for me and failing to find anything suitable (or large), she stopped off in the UK to purchase me a white stuffed bear. The year before that it was Oslo where she shopped for Hurta coats for me and bought me a green hedgehog (I am inordinately fond of hedgehogs). The year before it was London where she eschewed the normal sites in favor of visiting and photographing pet shops in all the city’s neighborhoods (and purchased another hedgehog gift). And from Santa Fe I received a fancy turquoise and silver southwestern collar that she spent an entire day selecting and a bag of freshly baked cookies from a famous dog bakery. Hawaii should be equally fun—I am hoping for luau leftovers.
But I completely understand her missing me—I am such an enjoyable companion and I do everything from introducing my humans to exciting construction sites to helping them meet new people by invading strangers’ shopping bags to dragging them over hill and dale for some healthy exercise because I caught whiff of a mound of horse poop or a discarded sandwich (so much more rewarding than finding lost people!), etc. And after my busy afternoons out and about annoying the population of New York City and humiliating Elizabeth I have developed a wonderful routine that we both enjoy very much:
My Weekday Afternoon Routine
1. Come in from my afternoon walk. Bay at favorite elevator operator. Frighten everyone else.
2. Exit elevator. Fling drool on hallway walls.
3. Enter apartment. Inventory toy pile.
4. Have long drink. Wipe face on Elizabeth, the couch or both.
5. Stare at Elizabeth until bowl of kibble is augmented with poultry du jour, pumpkin and baked yam.
6. Eat—making sure to store assorted bits of kibble in flews for subsequent postprandial distribution throughout the apartment.
7. Dig in toy pile for something to chew for dessert.
8. Failing to find anything acceptable, stare at Elizabeth until she gives me a new bully stick.
9. Chew bully stick making sure to use enough drool to firmly cement bits of it into the carpet.
10. Begin nap in inconvenient location.
13. Wake up an hour before next walk.
14. Stare at Elizabeth to come scratch me.
15. Have a refreshing drink of water. Wipe face on Elizabeth, the couch or both.
16. Sit on some part of Elizabeth and thwack her for more scratching.
17. Shred the newspapers she was trying to read.
18. Elizabeth eating apple--time for a snack! Demand she bite off chunks of it and hand feed them to me. (NB: I also demand to be spoon-fed her yogurt or hand fed individual nuts).
19. Am bored. Is it time to go out yet? Shred some more papers. Squeak hedgehog.
20. Help Elizabeth with lavatory activities. Attempt quality control of the results before lid rudely dropped on my snout.
21. Accelerate the getting dressed for walk process by snuffling Elizabeth’s bare skin.
22. Maria is here! Bay at her and roll over so she can scratch my belly.
23. When everyone is ready, lie down on the carpet, shut my eyes and make snorey noises.
23. Open my eyes, get up from the carpet and cease making snorey noises only when a piece of turkey or a cream cookie or a piece of ostrich is produced.
24. Finally leashed up and ready to go—time to hunt Little Teddy, the neighbor’s terrified-of-me mini-doodle in the hallway.
25. Refuse to walk down building steps until someone feeds me a cookie.
26. Carefully consider which route to take while munching cookie. Decide on the one that my humans don’t want me to take.
Is it any wonder that Elizabeth misses me so much! And today she was making a call that needed to be on speakerphone so she could take notes and I lay down close by and began loudly snoring to add to the professional ambiance. But I don’t want to give you the impression that I reserve my efforts solely for Elizabeth—Maria comes in for more than her fair share too. Like when I monopolize the bed (a queen) and she ends up sleeping on the couch or when I sleep with my gaseous hind end pointing into the bedroom and my nose pointing out of the bedroom so I don’t have to smell it. Or deciding that I no longer wish to eat the salmon flavored Blue Buffalo kibble that Maria serves but prefer the new duck flavor kibble that Elizabeth feeds me and use my snout to flip the salmon kibble out of the bowl all over the floor. But don’t worry, it won’t go to waste—the mice like salmon kibble. Or when Maria is tired or hungry or in a hurry or all three and I saunter around the neighborhood for 20 minutes before I remember that I am supposed to pee. And while Elizabeth is away I will tow Maria over to her building on all our walks and demand immediate entry. And there’s much more where that comes from that modesty forbids me from enumerating.
So today when Elizabeth was leaving to pick me up one of building staff requested that she make me bay when we return. Elizabeth was forced to explain that “getting” me to do anything is not exactly how it works. Perhaps if I was supposed to be quiet he’s have a shot…. like when I was in the show ring, for instance, I was quite chatty. But he actually did get to hear me bay (I saw my favorite elevator operator and had to make him aware that I was happy to see him) and he commented that “everyone loves that sound.” Tell that to Little Teddy or to the people whom I’ve nearly sent into cardiac arrest or to the people still asleep at 6am when I see my Frenchie friend Pluto or to the people trying to have a conversation ringside when I was at a dog show.
Anyway, I think that I will leave it there for this week. I can hardly wait to help Elizabeth with her trip preparations ---it will be warm in Maui and I am sure that she will appreciate some extra ventilation in her clothing.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a chillin’ Hound