March 21, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the spring-ish precincts of Manhattan's Upper West Side where I have been busy celebrating my birthday week in the manner that best befits a Hound—namely making my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth crazy. Now I know the question that immediately springs to mind is “How can a supremely entitled and indulged Hound such as myself become any more so to celebrate his birthday?” It is difficult, I must admit, even for me, but where there is a Hound will there is ALWAYS a Hound way. In fervent gratitude for the fact that I have condescended to live amongst them, this is the week that my humans try to relax whatever modest restrictions they usually feel compelled to apply on my activities. Needless to say, I feel compelled, as I usually do when sensing any lassitude on their parts, to take full advantage and push the envelope of indulgence. What can I say? I am a “can do” Hound.
All this is by way of saying that it was a pretty good week around here. It continues tomorrow when Maria and I are paying a Saturday evening visit to Elizabeth--Maria to sample the results of Elizabeth’s mai tai experiments and me to eat birthday pizza. We are also beginning to have some lovely, windy March weather of the kind that is near and dear to a Hound’s olfactory organ, which means that demanding to stay outside for hours is one of the primary ways in which I have been able to up the obnoxiousness quotient of my birthday week activities. And although my humans strive to explain to my admirers why, contrary to appearances I am 1) not well behaved and 2) an obnoxious animal, they generally fail utterly. This is because I am 1) extremely cute and 2) the attitude and behavior that they find so objectionable is less related to one or two spectacular events (like eating the couch, for instance) and more related to the impact of my steady and relentless antics wearing away their sanity. So if my humans try to come up with an example of my supposed awfulness the reaction they get is “well that’s not so bad.” Well no, it isn’t but added to the other 100 things I did to them that day…
1. I am not allowed on the Plaza at Lincoln Center. This insures that I always wish to visit the Plaza at Lincoln Center. Last week two people were eating their sandwiches there, so I parked myself in front of them until they fed me. But they did actually want to eat some of their sandwiches themselves which I found objectionable.
I had to be dragged away while the Lincoln Plaza security guard glared at us and the people apologized to me for wanting to retain some of their lunch.
2. In honor of my birthday week I visited my favorite pet shop, Unleashed. As usual I parked myself in front of their cookie bar and demanded a snack from an employee. After Elizabeth pointed out which cookie I would not spit out (I am notoriously finicky in the matter of cookies), the clerk gave Elizabeth the cookie and went off to take care of somebody who was actually buying something. Elizabeth gave me the cookie. I spat out the cookie. Elizabeth had to find the clerk and get her to give me the cookie. (As I’ve pointed out many times, getting served is more important than what is being served). As an aside, the clerk made up a special bag of the cookies as a birthday present and I was perfectly happy to accept them from Elizabeth’s hand as soon as we exited the store).
3. A lady on Broadway wanted to say hello to me. I refused and kept towing south. Elizabeth had to apologetically explain that I was heading to Baked By Melissa ten blocks away. I consumed 5 cupcakes. It’s my birthday week.
4. One of my favorite things to do is exit Central Park across from the Museum of Natural History. I visit the food trucks along this stretch and try to cadge food from the vendors and customers, also being sure to check along the park benches for any dropped items. Then I tow across the street to the museum itself and try to enter the museum. After being thwarted in this, I park myself on the stairs or in front of the museum and poke tourists with my nose. I like the way they smell. I like the way they squeal. And I especially like that they either pet me or feed me or both. Last week I was surrounded by a tour group and lost count of all the hands petting me. The leader announced that his next dog is going to be a bloodhound. Elizabeth went white and suggested that he do research. A lot of research. The guy’s current dog is a German shepherd so I am sure that he feels like he can handle anything. He’ll learn.
5. This last one is my personal favorite. As many of you know I require a door snack before being taken out. The snack has to be of sufficient value to make it worth my while to stop whatever it is I am doing and go to the door. The door snack du jour for my after work walk at Elizabeth’s is freeze-dried duck hearts. But I will not eat the duck heart whole—it has to be cut into mouth watering slices for me. Since this slicing has to be done in the kitchen I get fed the duck heart in the kitchen. But this makes it a kitchen snack and not a door snack so I demand an additional snack at the door. We Hounds are nothing if not well versed in semantic niceties.
But a picture is worth a thousand words, so here is a selection of how I’ve been spending my time (and my humans’):
This is me ostensibly standing around. But really I’ve been “visiting” (baying at, poking and annoying”) the 72nd street pedicabs guys. When they see me they all start baying.
Here I am perching my posterior on the Fountain at Columbus Circle. It was 25 degrees out and windy which meant that it was a perfect day to make Elizabeth take me on a long afternoon walk. Sitting on the fountain was a delaying tactic as by this time she had had enough and was trying to get me to move in a northerly homeward direction whereas I was attempting to move in a southerly (non-homeward) direction. When disagreements of this type occur, I generally park myself in a neutral location under the assumption that the pause will make my humans forget in which direction they wanted to go and we can then resume walking in the direction that I want to go.
Aren’t I a handsome devil? Sadly for my humans, handsome isn’t how handsome does, as this is my “I’m not moving until you give me a cookie” face.
Here I am just after “visiting” with the 77th pedicabs guys. You can see them in the background. They’re probably trying to clean the drool off of their clothes (after every bay, I fling. Keeps people on their toes).
Here we have me on a bench. I get up on benches when my humans wish to exit the park and I don’t (which is to say, all the time). I also get up on benches when I wish to be fed turkey, hence “the look.”
Here I am by The Lake apparently engrossed in watching the raw ingredients for duck à l’orange but am actually engrossed in refusing to look at the camera.
As you may have surmised, climbing on fountains is one of my main tactics for delaying a walk that is going in a direction that I do not wish to go in. In the summer I threaten to jump into the fountains which seems to get my humans pleasingly agitated.
Here I am at the end of my 20-foot leash studiously ignoring the fact that my humans are going in one direction and I am not.
This is me on St. Patrick’s Day. It was too cold to wear my green, sequined cravat but fortunately my coat has a green collar. If you look closely you will see that I am also wearing a green, sequined ribbon around my neck. In New York everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day. Even me.
Here I am in front of the Apple Store which I am always trying to visit. The store does allow dogs but my humans assume that this means regular dogs, i.e. ones that can’t gum up thousands of dollars worth of merchandise with a shake of the head.
Finally, the actual day of my birthday! Here are a couple of pictures of me inspecting the merchandise at Furry Paws. Nothing really pleased me—the stuffed toys that were big enough made idiotic talking noises when squeezed (anything that talks, by definition, should not be listened to) instead of making pleasing squeals like the ones my humans make when I sit on their internal organs.
My birthday walk turned into a 2-hour extravaganza of shopping. After finding nothing at Furry Paws I towed south to visit a pet store that I have not heretofore been allowed to visit—Greenland Pet Store which is fortunately not actually in Greenland-- but which nevertheless have not forgotten about (I never forget the location of crusts of bread let alone pet shops). But since it was my birthday, in we went and I found a treasure trove of stuffed toys that were of a suitable size and shape (I require round full shapes that I can really get my mouth into) and emitted pleasing squeaks. I bought a dinosaur that both squeaks and makes a crinkly noise and the manager gave me a package of snacks for my birthday. I will be back.
Since I was able to keep Elizabeth out for 2 hours on my birthday I decided that we should stay out for 3 hours on the day after my birthday. Here I am next to a tree refusing to leave the park
And we already know what I’m doing on this bench. Sadly there are no pictures of me trying to eat a picnic lunch (someone else’s) and join in a Frisbee game. It was definitely one of those afternoons when the email exchange between my humans went like:
Elizabeth: I hate him
Elizabeth: Pick something
I also dragged her into Little Creatures on the way to the park, although I think it should be renamed Big Creatures if I visit it. So all in all, a pretty successful week. For me. Modesty forbids me to discourse on the subject of the intense shedding that is underway and the fact that I started reeking in record time after last week’s bath.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there for this week. Am looking forward to peeing on the emerging flowerbeds and rolling in the spring mud.
Until next time,
Wimsey, It’s springtime for me! For my humans not so much