April 4, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the inhabitants so want it to be spring that as soon as the weather gets above 50 degrees they are running around in shorts—a kind of “if you dress for it, it will come” approach to climactic conditions. It’s the New York equivalent of a rain dance. But the spring flowers have taken a different, “hell, no” approach and I still do not have flower beds to pee in and actual flowers to poop upon, which I am finding quite distressing. What my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are finding distressing is that spring has fully sprung with respect to the annual and lengthy shedding of my dense and tufty winter coat. This week I ejected a tuft so impressive that Elizabeth left it in situ when she came to pick me up so that Maria could admire it first hand when she got home. My humans are justifiably cheesed off that although there is not as yet any reliably warm weather or spring flowers there is nevertheless a coating of stinky, surplus spring shedding fur all over them and their possessions.
Anyway, what can I say, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks doing what I do best—making my humans crazy and pushing them to the breaking point. I’ve been making Elizabeth take me out for extended walks in the afternoon then returning to her place and baying at the staff in her building. After hearing my fine voice, a woman who apparently lives on the 7th floor took the stairs rather than risk a potential elevator trip with me. My favorite elevator operator guy loves it when I scare the residents!
And then there is the matter of my extensive demanding and finicky al fresco snacking behavior, my oppositional walking and my mandatory pet shop visits. This week I added a new store to my roster of desirable retail outlets with a visit to Apple. The store keeps a very large water bowl near the entrance but heretofore my humans have cruelly prevented me from availing myself of it under the theory that their dog friendly policy applied to normal dogs, i.e., not 130 pound canine drool flinging behemoths. This week, however, Elizabeth relented and after taking a token drink I did my best to explore the rest of the store. I was unsuccessful but as we know, Hounds are relentlessly persistent and I will eventually penetrate further into the store.
Hound behavior is like an absorbing game of chess, with intricate moves and counter moves. For instance, since my humans pill me with turkey I have developed a talent for eating the turkey and spitting out the pill (or even better, secreting the pill in a capacious flew for later, and unobserved disposal). So then my humans put the pill in a yam ball. This week Maria found an intact yam ball behind the bed—a consequence of Elizabeth confidently turning her back on me after popping it into my mouth. Also this week, before my midday walk, I have begun sneaking back up on the couch after being lured off it with turkey to be leashed up so I have to be lured back off of it again with more turkey. And before my evening walk, Elizabeth sliced my leashing up duck heart snack (I need to be lured off the futon in her apartment) into 3 pieces instead of the customary 4. I refused to move until a 4th piece of duck heart was forthcoming. I may not know what “sit” means, but I can count!. It’s been one of those weeks where the alcohol flowed freely and my humans kept reminding themselves that I am a gift.
Anyway, enough about me. Just kidding—a belated April Fool’s joke—can there really ever be enough about me? I think not. So after my last post on the subject of my obnoxious behavior it occurred to me that it might be fun to comb through my photo archive (my humans have between 5000 and 10,000 photos of me—no joke!) and start posting examples of some of this behavior. Sadly, the best of the worst has never been photographed for posterity, usually owing to the fact that my humans had to keep two (or four) hands on the leash to curb, manage or prevent whatever it was that I wanted to do or was in the process of doing. This left no hands for the camera. But let’s enjoy a stroll down memory lane and look at of some my less obnoxious but still annoying behavior, shall we?
Wimsey’s Pictorial Guide to Obnoxious Hound Behavior (otherwise known as Hound Behavior)
OK, first we need a shot of me baying (spoiler alert: there will be a lot of these). What can I say? I am a Pisces and we are very musical. Also, I can’t help it—it’s genetic, my father Stetson was also a vocally expressive Hound.
Here we have a shot of me roaching in the grass. I also roach in snow and mud for variety. Usually I do this because it feels good, but I also do this when my humans try to get me to go in a direction in which I do not wish to go. It’s very difficult to drag a roaching Hound.
And this is what happens when someone I like tries to say hello—I stand on my head, preferably with my full weight on their foot.
What have we here? A very common reaction to the appearance of the camera. My humans have lots of photos of my nether half, the back of my head or the tuft of my tail. When they do manage to photograph me I demand to be paid in turkey. My fee also applies when anyone else photographs me, although since tourists rarely carry turkey my humans have to bear the cost of my admirers’ enthusiasm.
This is me on the king sized bed in a hotel room at a dog show. As a recall, Maria got the sofa bed in the living room of our suite (only the best for me!) and Elizabeth got the merest sliver of the bed on the inconvenient side nearest the wall. And although the sofa bed was too uncomfortable for my delicate sensibilities I did periodically ascend it to give Maria a brief shove just on general principle.
Ah yes, another wonderful picture from my storied career as a show dog! Those of you who read this blog know that I have an abiding love of the Lady Hounds that I (and my humans) found it impossible to suppress, even in the show ring. Here is a rare picture of me attempting to get to know one of these beauties better. My humans are pretty sure that I was awarded my championship because of my entertainment value.
Here I am with a dog called Blue (really, that was her name). If another dog is in possession of a stick, I find suddenly that this is the most attractive stick in the world.
Here I am in one of my many, many unsatisfactory raincoats—I think the neck of this one ripped under the pressure of my extravagant ruff—chewing up a plastic bottle in the park. Plastic bottles are one of the many banes of my humans’ existence—I hunt down stray ones in the park and all operations must come to a grinding halt whilst I remove the cap and the ring and crush the bottle with my powerful Hound jaws. Sometimes I insist on taking my favorite ones home for my toy pile and sometimes I attempt to steal the ones that are still in use by passing humans—my solution to litter is to prevent it before it happens.
And here are these people sitting on the grass, minding their own business totally unconscious of the fact that their water bottles are also on the grass and subject to filching by a giant roaming Hound
Did I mention that there would be baying? (NB: After I bay, I shake my head and when I shake my head I fling drool a prodigious distance away. My humans never know exactly how big the radius will be or in what precise direction the drool will fly and consequently how many passersby they will need to warn to duck and cover.
And speaking of baying, I bay for many reasons and in many situations. Here we have one of my more endearing auditory habits—I bay at traffic lights to get them to change so that my walk can proceed unimpeded. It always works.
That is Elizabeth’s hand holding my beer. I say my beer because when the Boat Basin Café opens for the season I drag her thither and park myself at the bar until she buys me a beer. Or more precisely a nice plastic beer cup that it pleases me greatly to play with. She is permitted to have the beer provided that she drinks it quickly. Otherwise guess what happens? (hint: see above two photos).
Well that seems a pleasant note on which to end this week’s post. We will resume our photographic odyssey through my exemplary behaviors next week. I need not add that there are many more where these came from.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a picture perfect Hound