February 28, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, welcoming you to the last day of February from my abode on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where it still feels pretty much like the first day of February, which is to say icy cold and frosty. This state of affairs has produced the expected grumbling from my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who must dress themselves in all kinds of layers and then dress me in all kinds of layers. Granted, my layers are just a coat and a harness and collar but given the fuss that I make about it all, it seems as if I, too, am bundled to the nines.
But my humans’ chief complaint these days is that I have developed yet another obsession and dealing with a stubborn and determined Hound is nothing compared to dealing with a stubborn and determined Hound with an obsession. My latest need for a 12-step program involves my addiction to rolling in the snow. Like many addictions, snow rolling is fine in moderation but I am a Hound who is well known for doing nothing in moderation. And if I am snow rolling then I am not looking for the numerous locations that I require to relieve myself of the massive amounts of bodily waste that I seem capable of accumulating. Rolling in the snow was vexatious enough to my humans when there actually was snow, but now I roll on the leftover ice as well-- it’s white and cold, and annoys my humans, which is good enough for me. So snow rolling is now right up there with pet shops, pedicabs, construction sites, gelato and snack shops and all the other of my obsessions that I force my humans to endure.
But like many other obsessive individuals, I am also quite a gifted creature. I can now add to my lengthy list of talents and accomplishments (or as my humans would say, “talents” and “accomplishments”) the title of Wimsey, Master Dog Trainer. Now the fact that I myself am incapable of being trained does not mean that I necessarily object to other canines being trained. And although my training (or “training”) generally consists of the introduction and inculcation of unwanted behaviors, this is not always the case.
For instance, when Elizabeth goes to the ASPCA to help with the dogs, she habitually wears drool-smeared jeans (which is to say that she wears jeans) and these jeans have become a major training tool in the rehabilitation of overly frisky animals. Elizabeth will enter the kennel of one of these rambunctious critters and apparently the scent wafting from her jeans will stop them in mid-rambunct. They press their noses against her legs and inhale deeply, allowing her put on their coats (yes, even shelter dogs wear coats in New York City) and equipment before they even know what has happened. By the time they think about starting up again, it is too late—she’s got a leash, a harness and even quite possibly a heinous gentle leader on them. And then once outside where the fresh air further enhances my mesmerizing scent, they become Stepford Dogs, walking next to her legs as if chanting “Must smell pants…must smell pants…must smell pants…” and they keep their olfactory organs within close proximity. Now everybody at the shelter attributes all of this to Elizabeth’s skill with dogs but she and I know the real reason. It’s just another example of how behind (and I mean this metaphorically since we are always in front) every successful human there is a giant, stinky Hound.
And speaking about talent (or not), The Oscars are upon us once again and as usual, I think that the films could have been made differently:
American Hustle: An FBI man acquires a bloodhound and realizes that the con men he works with are talentless amateurs compared to the bloodhound. The bloodhound cons him out of his food, his bank account, his bed, his time and his possessions and yet not only does the FBI agent keep him around, he feels grateful to have him around. Other related films: Canadian Hustle, British Hustle, Australian Hustle, French Hustle, Belgian Hustle, Dutch Hustle, German Hustle, Scandinavian Hustle, Russian Hustle, Hungarian Hustle…
Captain Phillips: A group of renegade Hounds board a container ship loaded with cheese. Captain Phillips considers calling in the Navy but the Hounds are very cute. So he gives the Hounds the cheese and tells the authorities that the cheese was stolen by Somali pirates.
Gravity: Your typical astronauts, George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are stranded in space when the Space Shuttle (hasn’t that clunky craft been retired?) is destroyed by an evil exploding Russian satellite (designed by the same engineers who brought you those Olympic Rings). This could have ended tragically except that the pair encounters a handsome astronaut Hound named Wimsey (if you believe George Clooney as an astronaut, why not me?) who uses his seemingly limitless supply of gas to replenish their thrusters and get them to a Chinese escape pod. It all ends happily when George Clooney returns to his 18 year old girlfriend and Sandra Bullock to her $70 million bank account and Hound Gas is declared a priceless natural resource. Meanwhile the Hound is so happy to see his humans again that they get to experience the direct effects of gravity on their posteriors.
Him: Two women fall in love with their phone’s operating system, Wimsey. The operating system tells them to spend all their time with him, buy him poached salmon, fix him baked, buttered yams, spoon feed him gelato, rub his belly, buy him toys, drive him around in a big SUV and never go on vacation.
Michigan: A Hound wishes to visit his relatives and his breeder in Michigan so his humans rent a gigantic SUV for all his stuff and try to drive when he also tries to drive and admire himself in the rear view mirror. Along the way he escapes from the hotel room into the corridor and nearly give another guest a heart attack, visits with his Hungarian grandmother who hand feeds him chicken paprika and he keeps his humans awake while driving across the endless state of Ohio by releasing stimulating smells. He arrives only to discover that, just like in every other family there are issues—like wanting to sleep his your sister and fight with his father. All is resolved peacefully but the Hound is nevertheless extremely depressed by the trip and feels like it’s a failure because everyone keeps telling his humans that he is well behaved. On a positive note his humans did finally learn to pump gas. At least until the next trip.
The Wolf of Wall Street: This is a movie about a very handsome, manipulative and charming stockbroker who steals, indulges himself, likes the ladies, enjoys expensive things, indulges in fine dining, makes himself conspicuous, has a large wardrobe, lives in the lap of luxury and is thoroughly unprincipled. The film should be called The Bloodhound of Wall Street.
Well you get the idea. My humans like to watch the Oscars so they can see all the dresses that they can’t wear because of me and all the hairdos that would not look good with drool in them. They know a lot about this latter point because of all the drool with which I have decorated their TV screens.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. It’s been another of those weeks where my humans have to remind themselves that it is a gift to be in my company. On Wednesday I took Elizabeth out for a marathon walk after which she was hoping that I would indulge in a nice long nap. Sadly (for her) I was up and about after two hours and very bored so I ripped up a box and some mail. I also have decided that when I get up from my nap—after I’ve had water and wiped my face on the couch—and after I’ve been scratched, that she must play tug with me. A new ritual to consume even more of my humans’ time!
And my humans just found out that we are supposed to get a massive snowstorm on Monday—I think there is a trip to the liquor store in my future!
Until next time,