October 18, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from my abode on the Upper West Side in the Great Houndopolis of New York City. I hope everyone missed me---although absence does generally make the heart grow fonder I am often told that my absence makes the blood pressure grow lower. As usual, you can blame my missing post last week on my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who claimed to need their computers for the futile task of trying to make more money than I spend. Elizabeth was hard at work on a “proposal” and I hope that she has more luck getting it accepted than I do my proposals. These proposals usually involve things like spending the entire day in Central Park or visiting every pet shop on the Upper West Side and then baying at the staff until they feed me snacks, and they usually fall on deaf ears (or those made deaf by their close proximity to an acoustically robust Hound).
Anyway, in the interim I missed posting about Columbus Day, which is traditionally celebrated by Hounds discovering the contents of the refrigerator, the garbage bin or the laundry basket. I also missed discussing the Bloodhound Nationals in Sacramento. For the uninitiated, the Bloodhound Nationals are an event where people assemble from all over the country (and all over the world!) to show and admire bloodhounds (psychiatrists not included). For those of you who have normal breeds of dog, suffice it to say that the bloodhound is a creature that takes everything and gives nothing (hence the probable need for the psychiatrists) and whose invariable response to any human wish is a laconic “Don’t care”. (Although sometimes the more transactional among us will respond with “Whatcha got?”) But of course we are very cute.
And also on the subject of the Bloodhound Nationals, I am sure that everyone was grateful that I was not there. Especially my humans. Don’t get me wrong, there were aspects to showing that I enjoyed very much, principal among them the presence of Lady Hounds who at any moment could go into season and require the services of a romantic fellow like myself. I also enjoyed the fact that all the usual instruments of Hound Control—such as harnesses, prong collars, Heinous Gentle Leaders and the like --were replaced by a string. I am 130lbs. Elizabeth whose misfortune it was to take me into the ring is not 130 lbs. You don’t have to understand Newton’s Laws of Physics to appreciate that this situation seldom worked out well. At least for Elizabeth. And outside of the ring when I decided that I had an urgent need to, say, poke someone in the butt or ingratiate myself with a Lady Hound, the only recourse was for my humans to throw themselves upon me.
And then there was all the chicken that was liberally tossed into my gob under the misguided impression that I could not bay and eat chicken at the same time. Au contraire mes amis. I can bay and do anything at the same time, including lie on my back. And then my boredom with the lack of all the exciting activities in which I wanted to engage made it obligatory that I protest at great length and with much vigor. And on the subject of this “bait” that was used on me (bait being the word humans use for all the desirable comestibles with which they attempt to bribe you) I was initially fed liver before it was determined that the liver was exerting a powerful form of organ meat mind control that left no neurons free for any activities (such as stacking or trotting around the ring) that my humans hope to engage me in. In fact, so potent a force was this liver that it would cause me to turn into a very loud, very demanding cement lawn ornament with zero interest in anything not liver related. Suffice to say I livened up the show ring proceedings much in the manner of a rodeo clown.
But then it finally occurred to even my obtuse humans that I was much better suited to dragging them around Central Park in search of horse poop, stray sandwiches and frisky rodents than to prancing around in a show ring earning (or not) ribbons. This was even confirmed by the animal communicator that my humans hired to help them figure out how to make me behave. She told them that I was bored in the ring and that I could think of nothing that Elizabeth could do to entertain me except perhaps jumping up and down. (Although in reality this latter activity would probably be more entertaining to the male spectators than it would be to me).
Well as many of you know, the week before last, Maria had a conference in Chicago which necessitated leaving me for a week with Elizabeth, which is always a welcome development. For me. Except that this time, Elizabeth had to leave me one night for a dinner meeting and one afternoon for a business meeting which displeased me greatly. I hate it when those odd smelling clothes appear (i.e., the ones that don’t smell like me) and she goes into her little dressing room and starts messing about with makeup bags. I have attempted to block her entry into that little room but have had limited success owing to the tossing of treats in the opposite direction.
But other than those two unpleasant occurrences, I had a fine time—I hunted Little Teddy, the neighbor’s doodle, in the hallway, bayed to let the neighbors know that the elevator was taking too long to arrive and woke Elizabeth multiple times per night with ear flapping and exciting dreams that involved kicking the radiator. And after I woke her up for my morning walk, I took her down to the river and allowed her to buy me a pumpkin muffin in exchange for my letting her drink copious quantities of coffee. In fact it is really a good thing that the Pier One Café is in the park since I felt that the whole muffin purchase process took far too long and engaged in non-stop commentary to that effect the entire time. And here we see a post-muffin picture of me at the end of the pier where I was cruelly prevented from following the scent that I was tracking by the presence of this obnoxious fence. As usual, I insisted that it be removed.
As is the custom on these visits to Elizabeth, there was the requisite application of gin and the flying texts between her and Maria. And although Maria was at a conference where she was supposed to be learning about the latest developments in a software application, in reality she turned the event into a promotional tour for my Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art books. It turns out that people were much more interested in looking at pictures of me and absorbing my views on European painting than in discussing business software, thereby demonstrating that humans are occasionally capable of displaying discerning and intelligent behavior.
During my last sojourn at Elizabeth’s she took me over to vet’s where I hadn’t been in a donkey’s age (a couple of weeks at least) to get some fruitless professional ear cleaning and to do a vast battery of tests for my checkup. Everything, other than the stubborn and relentless nature of the yeast who have taken up residence in my right ear was fine. So now there is a large bottle of stuff with which to “flush” my ear which translates into, “put some on a pad and give Wimsey an ear massage and hope that some gets in” and a small bottle of other stuff whose directions read “Put 4 drops in affected ear daily” which translates into “chase Wimsey around and then give up.”
But anyway, Maria finally did come home and then we all went back to my place where a giant pizza with extra cheese was ordered for me to compensate me for the hardship of staying with Elizabeth. And this week Maria made the exciting culinary discover that the organic, grass fed beef in the hamburgers from the new gourmet hamburger joint on Broadway does not upset my tummy the way beef normally does! She was so excited by this development that on her last food run she forgot to order anything for herself other than French fries. Of course there are worse things than dining on French fries whilst watching your Hound enjoy a meal of organic grass fed beef. Or so she told herself.
And then last weekend our friends Virve and Juri came over from Finland to visit me. I always enjoying receiving visitors although I was hoping for another moose chew like the one they brought last time. There are only so many bully sticks one can consume.
Well I think we are more or less up to date on mostly everything. On Wednesday Maria had to walk me alone after work because Elizabeth had a meeting in midtown. It was apparently such a successful meeting that Elizabeth came over afterwards with a bottle of wine to tell Maria about it. But I’m afraid Maria heard very little about it because my Houndy Sense detected that this conversation was not about me and I created a scene about being fed the cocktail nuts. Then when I got bored with that I started batting my tennis ball around the apartment and made Maria retrieve it from under the furniture. This caused the conversation to switch from the success of Elizabeth’s meeting to the awfulness of me, which is my version of a successful meeting.
One last thing—this is a picture of an “art installation” that for many days I found profoundly troubling. I would stare at it and stare at it but it never moved. Finally I snuck up on it and smelled its tush much to the amusement of passersby--my humans were too slow with the camera to capture the moment when I realized that it is inanimate. Hey, you can’t fool me, I’m a bloodhound!
Until next time,