April 25, 2014
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from here, there and everywhere on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the daffodils are pooped upon and my humans are just plain pooped with all the work involved in the care and feeding of me. My human Maria and I have been battling for possession of her lap into which she wants to put her computer and into which I want to put my tush; and her friend Elizabeth and I have been battling over the whole concept of coming in at all from our afternoon walks together. Spring has definitely sprung but it has still been too chilly for the massive yard work clean up project that my humans intend to undertake and I intend to supervise. We are all looking forward to it so stay tuned.
Well yesterday was apparently Feed Wimsey Day on the Upper West Side. It was a beautiful day so I naturally I decided that instead of going to Central Park where Elizabeth wished to go I wanted to do some shopping instead. I took Elizabeth up to the northern most pet shop on my shopping route, Little Creatures, on Amsterdam and 97th. Now this is a very small store that sells some lovely high end food and snacks which Elizabeth and I were in the process of investigating –--Elizabeth is always on the lookout for new snacks for me and the benefit of shopping in a store is that she can actually see the size of the snacks themselves. More than once a bag of snacks bought online was found to contain snacks so miniscule as to be beneath my gastronomic notice and they had to be donated to friends with more appropriately sized critters. Anyway, as I said, we were shopping when the nice lady behind the counter pulled out a long tubular jerky type snack for me, which I greatly enjoyed. Next I became very attracted by a basket of Merrick patties and a tripe flavored one was selected and offered to me prior to purchase to ensure that it was pleasing enough for the Wimsey palate. The other flavors were turkey and chicken which seemed a pointless purchase since I get so much of the real thing. The tripe, by the way, was excellent and a package was procured for my future snacking pleasure.
Those culinary tidbits whet my appetite so I wished to head over to Baked By Melissa for some cupcakes but was cruelly prevented by Elizabeth who was determined to get us into some greenery-- in this case nearby Riverside Park. On the way, however, we ran into a human who is owned by an Irish Setter puppy of my acquaintance who had just done some shopping and was pleased to offer me a handful of Milk Bone snacks that she had just bought for her beast. They were lovely but then we ran into the dog walker who cared for me during the day when I was a puppy who was excited to have Stella and Chewy patties for me (the quality of her snacks often leaves something to be desired. On the last few occasions the ones she proffered failed to meet my exacting snack standards and were spat out with my accustomed alacrity). We also met the usual gang of random Hound petters and scratchers, but meeting Hound feeders is preferred when one is peckish. Once in the park I lobbied hard to visit the Boat Basin Café (and their basket of large milk bones) but as we had already hit the two-hour mark this was deemed excessive. Instead I parked myself on a bench and made Elizabeth scratch me whilst I digested the afternoon’s takings.
And speaking of digesting, I have miraculously found a new way to extort turkey before my afternoon walk. As those of you who read this blog know, I must be bribed off the bed and onto the Tribute Couch with turkey and then I must be further bribed off the Tribute Couch and into my harness with even more turkey. But one can really never have enough turkey so this week I discovered that if I nibble my kibble prior to my afternoon walk (I free feed but like to eat after a walk, not before, and if I eat before my walk it has to be delayed for an hour on account of bloat issues) Elizabeth shrieks “ No, Wimsey, no!” at me and lures me away with a fistful of turkey. Apparently she does not have a spare hour to sit with me on the Tribute Couch and watch me digest. What can I say? No matter how skilled the Hound there is always something new to learn (except of course those things relating to obeying obedience commands or even more horrifying, doing people- pleasing tricks).
And speaking of people-pleasing tricks (or not)---the other night when Maria came over to Elizabeth’s after work to retrieve me so we could all go on our early evening walk I decided to pay an unusual, late visit to my favorite pet store, Unleashed. (Since this is a regular stop on my afternoon walk, Maria seldom has the pleasure of seeing me in action there). I marched into the store and immediately bayed loudly at the woman behind the counter to give me a cookie from the cookie bar. The Unleashed staff is well trained and the lady immediately stopped what she was doing to comply with my “request” much to the amusement of all the people in the store. To my humans, not so much. There was a lot of “Really, Wimsey, really’s?” and reminding each other that I am a gift. A very loud gift.
Well preparations for Elizabeth’s quick business trip to Geneva proceed apace—she is leaving a week from Saturday and will be gone for a few days which means that Maria will have to spend her lunch hour walking me. This is a major inconvenience for me especially since the short duration of the trip means that Elizabeth probably won’t have the time to shop in toney Swiss pet shops for a gift (the kind that you would actually want, as opposed to me). But I am still hoping that they sell cheese in duty free. With enough cheese I can produce some amazing smells. Also, Elizabeth’s new trip clothes have arrived from the personal shopper. I like this idea of the personal shopper and think that there should be one for Hound-oriented clothes:
Hound Personal Shopper: Hello and welcome to Hounds R Us, a store designed with the special needs of the Hound shopper in mind. What is your style?
Customer: I prefer body conscious clothing.
Hound Personal Shopper: Excellent. We have a wide selection, except that the body that you will be conscious of is not yours but your Hound’s.
Customer: Does that mean that the clothes are Hound shaped?
Hound Personal Shopper: No. It means that the clothes are cut such that there is ample room for you to bend over freely to scratch your Hound, or collect his poop, or take a roast chicken out of his mouth without ripping, tearing or giving the neighborhood a show. Now what colors do you prefer?
Hound Personal Shopper: Well unfortunately our clothing comes in black and tan, red, liver and liver and tan. And for humans whose animals have a bit of Talbot Hound in their background we offer some patterns with a little white on the chest. That way you never look like you are wearing your Hound, even though you always are.
Customer: Sounds lovely. How about fabrics? Something washable would be nice—the dry cleaner is always complaining about what my clothes do to his equipment.
Hound Personal Shopper: We have some lovely vinyls, plastics, rubbers, nylons, latexes and our new premium Gore-Tex line. No need ever to experience those embarrassing or uncomfortable wet spots. And whether your Hound drags you or topples you in a mud puddle, compost heap or just regular dirt, clean up is a breeze. And needless to say, all our fabrics are stench resistant so people won’t need to move away from you in movie theaters or buses.
Hound Personal Shopper: We have a wide selection of high traction footwear with either cleats or spikes, and XL fanny packs that enable you to hold all the things that your Hound may need on a walk, including extra space for his snack assortment and a waterproof pouch for drool rags to offer the passersby that he slimes. All our clothing also comes with a multiplicity of pockets for those little extras, like the purchases your Hound makes in pet shops. In addition, we have a line of fashion water canteens with detachable bowls to keep your Hound well hydrated.
Customer: That sounds great! It will be nice not to have to wear those fishing vests all the time.
Hound Personal Shopper: Everyone says that, but we carry those too. We also have some beautiful clothing for your Hound in colors complementary to his fur and in an assortment of luxury wools, cottons, leathers and silks. It is important after all for your Hound to look his best.
Well you get the idea.
But meanwhile all Elizabeth’s nice new clothes are encased in plastic and in a garment bag and hidden away in the closet so I barely got a sniff in. And for those of you who think that Elizabeth is being overly cautious, I will point out that this week she found kibble in the refrigerator tucked away in the closed vegetable bin. Where there is a Hound, there is a way.
Anyway, I think that I will leave it there for this week. Both humans are hard at work on my art e- book and there are only so many times that they can fob me off with bully sticks. And in spite of all my lengthy walks this week I have to once again apologize for the lack of pictures—Elizabeth claims that she is too busy enjoying her time out with me (as if) to take pictures. I claim she is lazy.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Hound style icon