October 25, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the finally autumnal precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where it has been a rather busy week. With the advent of the cooler weather I have been on a mission to bring the Great Outdoors to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to the greatest extent possible. At least when I am in the mood. And as is my quixotic, Houndly nature, you just never know.
For instance, on Wednesday I was scheduled for my twice a year ultrasound review of my innards. These ultrasounds became another of the Wimsey Medical Traditions when it became apparent that my prostate has a regrettable tendency to develop abscesses. Should abscesses develop, they need to be dealt with pronto to avoid the need for extensive medical intervention. And of course while the vets are poking about, they also like to have a gander at my other internal organs to make sure that nothing untoward is brewing.
Well Wednesday dawned horrifically stormy and after reading the morning Hound Report from Maria, Elizabeth decided a postponement might be in order given that I had pretty much refused to take care of any morning business and then eschewed my breakfast, repairing instead to the bed in high dudgeon. There is nothing so irksome to a Hound as the unauthorized release of moisture upon his delicate frame. At least on bath day (which occurred on Monday this week) there is the compensatory feeding of turkey, soaking of Elizabeth, destruction of the bathroom and awarding of a cooked lunch and bully stick. All rain has to offer is my soaked humans’ exhortations to relieve myself when all suitable places to do so have ceased to exist because of the rain. Soaked humans, by the way, are much more satisfying when it is I, and not Mother Nature, who is doing the soaking.
But I digress. In spite of the fact that we were due for two days of this wet weather, Elizabeth postponed our Wednesday walk to the specialist vet clinic until Thursday (specialist vet clinics being a requirement for the ultrasounding of me because regular equipment is apparently of insufficient size). And so, as you might expect, by Wednesday afternoon it had stopped raining and a lovely breezy, gray day ensued. This is pretty much my favorite kind of weather—no obnoxious sunbeams to flee, cool temperatures and massive amounts of scent swirling about my olfactory organ. Fortunately, Elizabeth really likes this kind of weather too.
And before you express skepticism that I would know anything about Elizabeth’s feelings, given that I understand no English (or any other language in which my humans attempt to communicate their desires to me), I will let you in on a Hound Secret. I know that Elizabeth likes this weather because I can smell that she likes this weather. That’s right, we canines like to take credit for being mind readers or being socially sensitive enough to know what our humans are feeling--as in “Fido is amazing—he knew that I was sad and started kissing my face”. Of course if Fido were a Hound he would be doing that not because his human was sad but because of the accessibility of the remnants of her last meal. Anyway, humans smell different depending on their moods and emotions so I can smell (and exploit) Elizabeth’s pleasure at the cool, breezy gray day. It goes without saying that if humans cannot smell, see or hear something they believe it does not exist, hence the canine ability to reap kudos for breathing.
So in honor of these splendid conditions, I kept Elizabeth out and about for a good chunk of the afternoon and demanded and received much turkey en route to make up for the lack of breakfast. This lack was also reflected in the extra turkey and chicken in my food bowl which was most gratifying. (Good servants are hard to find). Thursday, however, was a completely different story. It poured. All day. And in spite of taking the shortest route to the clinic which is only about a mile away, Elizabeth and I both arrived soaking wet. I made my displeasure known by relentlessly attempting to bolt while we checked in and were it not for the presence of the Heinous Gentle Leader, I would have succeeded. Anyway, I was much relieved that the procedure to be performed was the warm gel massage ultrasound as opposed to all the other veterinary crimes regularly perpetrated upon me. I was in and out in a trice and Elizabeth had to listen to the vet tech waxing poetic about how happy the radiologist was to see me again (and how delightfully normal my innards appeared) and how I was an amazingly well behaved animal. My humans love hearing about how well behaved I am –I can tell because they get tight, fixed smiles and grind their teeth.
Anyway, after the forking over of the credit card (another key part of the Wimsey Medical Ritual) and the re-caparisoning of me in my red raincoat, we were off! And because it was still pouring, Elizabeth assumed, quite erroneously, that I would choose the shortest way back to shelter. But suddenly I found the rain and wind no impediment at all since it is one of my hard and fast rules that the walk down to the vet clinic does not constitute a proper afternoon walk and therefore it was still owing. The fact that there was a possible route that included the out of the way Greenland Pet Store (and the not so out of the way Greenland Pet Store cat) was entirely beside the point. So snout to the wind, I successfully pointed us thither exploiting the guilt that Elizabeth felt about subjecting me to the warm gel massage.
Once arrived at our destination I did my usual cat hunting and merchandise sniffing and then parked myself in front of the clerk and stared. Elizabeth explained that I wanted her to feed me a snack. So the lady took one look at the size of me and did the prudent thing: she put the snack on the floor. This caused me to look about with confusion—my way of asking, “Why is there a snack on the floor?” Elizabeth explained to the clerk that I have a very soft mouth and that she could safely feed me the snack. The lady picked up the snack, but I could tell she was skeptical—she gave it to me on the palm of her hand instead of presenting it to me between the fingers as I prefer. Or better yet, placed inside my mouth so as to avoid the possibility of the snack getting stuck in my capacious flews. Having a snack lodged in a Hound’s flews is the canine equivalent of it being stuck in the Marianas Trench. Working it out of there requires extensive oral contortions and my humans’ incredulity about my ability to spend that amount of time still eating one snack.
Anyway, about an hour and a half later (and in possession of a tasty bag of expensive treats but sadly not the cat) I finally allowed myself to be taken back to Elizabeth’s to undergo the ordeal of a towel massage and a large lunch of Guilt Chicken. So as to predicting my rain walking behavior, (or any of my other behaviors), I have one thing to say: “Good luck with that”. Needless to say, all this was reported to Maria who had borne the brunt of my refusal to engage in any of the desired matinal activities and this was now especially aggravating (or satisfying depending on your point of view) in light of my subsequent compliance
In short, I am in fine fettle. So much so that I managed to “fall” into the Lake yesterday in Central Park whilst Elizabeth’s attention was momentarily diverted by the appearance of a Korean bride in full regalia. This resulted in my legs being green with algae and I am happy to report that you can’t wash algae off using water from a fountain. I spent the remainder of the two-hour walk sporting smelly organic green socks. A good ultrasound report will do things like that to a fellow.
And here I am being petted by a group of soon to be slimed visitors. I especially enjoyed the guy in the hat to the left, since he was thoughtful enough to inquire as to whether I would like to consume the rest of the beef jerky he had in his pocket (human beef jerky, lest there be in any doubt). And he was brave enough not to put it on the ground. He was right up there with the lady who hand fed me the chicken out of her sandwich last week. Is it any wonder that when my cadging by charm is ineffective I resort to following people around baying at them to fork over the goods. (And as an aside when I am dancing, poking and drooling my way around my humans to indicate that I want something they’ve got and they say “Wimsey go away!” they smell like “Come over here and dance, poke and drool some more!” I can smell that they think my antics are entertaining no matter how much they protest to the contrary.
Anyway, I think that wraps it up for this week. Halloween is Friday and as usual I am relieved to report that there are no ridiculous costumes in my future. My humans think the one I wear every day is ridiculous enough.
Until next time,
Wimsey, Veterinary medicine’s answer to building that new swimming pool