November 7, 2014
Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where fall appears to be in full swing and the abundance of autumn leaves makes my leg appear to be in full lift. Peeing on leaves (and kicking them into the faces of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth) is one of the great joys of the season. Also high on my list is the cool, crisp weather which energizes the City’s inhabitants, most notably the those bearing fur, such as the season’s hyperactive and newly lively squirrels. Even the pedestrians I poke in the posterior seem to be moving a little bit brisker these days.
And I am indeed fortunate that my humans and I are all cool and cold weather creatures. In honor of this Elizabeth identified a new website (woolover.com) from which to order this year’s collection of inexpensive, 100% wool Hound sweaters. I believe I have mentioned it before, but Elizabeth is to sweaters what Imelda Marcos was to shoes. But then again, Hound sweaters need constant replenishing owing to their frequently short life span caused by constant use, constant fragrance and of course constant drool. Also they seem to develop holes whose origins are forever shrouded in the mysteries of time. We Hounds tell no tales, no pun intended.
Well the first batch of these sweaters arrived and they were displayed for Maria to inspect before I put my inimitable stamp on them. Apparently the three shelves of sweaters that Elizabeth already has are simply not sufficient and she has helpfully offered to make up the numbers to achieve free shipping should Maria decide to order some for us. I myself have helpfully offered to make up the numbers of those requiring the services of the rubbish bin. So far no takers, but I am ever hopeful.
Today’s post will be rather short since I spent the afternoon doing a two-park walk—I headed over to Central Park to pee on the colorful leaves and then hauled tail back across town to Riverside Park to pee on more colorful leaves. It was one of those days which make me intensely grateful to have a giant bladder—the inexhaustible nature of which should really be classified as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. And although humans tend to dwell on the “special” nature of a Hound’s behavior and our puppyish devotion to destruction and mayhem throughout our lives, my unlimited bladder capacity reminds me that we Hounds have many significant anatomical features that also make us “special.”
The Head: The most significant feature of the Hound head (apart from its extreme beauty) is undoubtedly the structure known as the occipital point. Although it has been hypothesized that this structure is the repository of all of a Hound’s brains—the rest of the cranial cavity being filled largely with air-- this is in fact not the case. Rather than passively containing the sum total of a Hound’s brains, however, the occipital point is a functional piece of active Hound anatomy that is essential to causing the maximum amount of pain when head butting humans. Its attention-getting properties during head butting is felt regardless of whether the Hound is head butting in order to obtain something desirable that is in the (temporary) custody of a human or is engaging in the activity for mere sport.
The Ears: The ears of the Hound are long, luxurious and low-set, all of which are essential for the gathering and transporting of the maximum amount of noxious, odoriferous substances (aka, crap) from the outdoors and distributing it indoors on beds, clothing and white pieces of furniture. The ears can also be used to collect quantities of moisture from the water bowl which can be flung liberally in the faces of humans trying to consume meals without the participation of the Hound. Functionally, the rapid rotation of the Hound head produces an acoustically robust sound (aka flapping) that can be used by the Hound to call attention to his loneliness and desire for a scratch in the middle of the night or to his desire to have his food bowl replenished and to go for a walk in the pre-dawn hours. The Hound’s Ears are exquisitely sensitive and can hear even the smallest sound related to food preparation activities although they can be functionally deaf to sounds in certain wavelengths (such as those related to human speech) and fail to register even the loudest of things being shouted at him. The physical sensitivity of the Hound Ear is evinced by the speed with which the Hound flees in the face of expensive eardrops or ear cleaning embrocations.
The Eye: In appearance the Hound Eye suggests that the Hound has spent a night out on the tiles but this is a functional adaptation that lends him an appealing, pleading aspect when attempting to cadge food from kindhearted humans. The Eyes can also give the appearance of relaxation and sleepiness that is crucial to the lightening fast snatching or filching of food from less kind hearted humans.
The Tail: The Tail is long and strong and is a source of important social signaling to those around him such as “This coffee table has too many things on it.”
The Feet: The feet of a Hound should be large and well knuckled up conferring the versatility needed to dig up deeply rooted and expensive ornamental shrubs, tunnel under garden fences and create holes of impressive circumference in everything from a newly sodded lawn to a king sized bed. Moreover the feet should have the dexterity to shred a wide range of materials--everything from the finest silk to the coarsest upholstery, from the daily newspaper to the mail carelessly slipped through the mail slot. The Feet of a Hound should be able to vigorously bat a tennis ball around the dining room during a dinner party with the boss or to painfully thwack a human who is being insufficiently attentive to the Hound belly.
The Nose: The Nose is the jewel in a Hound’s crown. It should be as large as it is intrusive, inserting itself into everything and anything-- from plates of lasagna to the toilet. The Nose can be used to investigate and and evaluate the cleanliness of a strangers’ underpants as well as the contents of his grocery bags The Nose can detect a pile of horse poop or a discarded sandwich over great distances lending an air of purpose and importance to the Hound’s demeanor when he drags his human thither. The Nose can detect and discern human intentions—be they evil, such as those involving the vet or the bathtub or be they good such as those involving being inattentive around the kitchen counter. The Nose is quite simply The Master of a Hound’s Universe (and the only one he listens to).
The Flews: Allied to The Nose, are the Flews. When The Nose sniffs The Flews fill. The Flews of the Hound should be capacious enough to store sufficient drool to decorate walls and ceilings and to require recourse to a towel when flung at humans. Flews are equivalent to a lady’s purse—they are enormous and used to carry around a disparate collection of items that can include everything from pills a Hound’s humans want him to swallow to that filthy tennis ball from the park that is going to find its way into a human’s bed. Flews can be used to store things, such as rotting organic matter for later distribution on the carpet or walls or to hide things such as the pair of lace panties or the expensive Italian leather glove that have mysteriously gone missing.
The Coat: The coat should be glossy as befits a Hound who has routinely gained access to high fat food consumed by humans. Whether the coat is black and tan, liver, liver and tan or red it should be dense enough that shedding it (aka porcupining) all over clothing, rugs and furniture will have no discernible effect on its luxuriant denseness. Nor will extensive brushing, zoom grooming or furminating. The Coat of the Hound has a distinctive odor that it impossible to describe, impossible to forget and impossible to get rid of. Moreover, anything the Hound touches or approaches will also acquire the scent of a Hound. No amount of scrubbing with shampoo guaranteed to de-stink the Hound will de-stink the Hound. The distinctive Hound odor will be less noticeable in the 24-48 hr. post bath period, which generally results in the Hound artificially accelerating the re-stink process by rolling in decomposing animals or playing with a skunk, thereby acquiring a so-called “bridging stink” unless the natural one is available again.
I hope this Guide has proved informative. There are a few other bits that modesty and the family nature of this blog prevent me from expounding upon, but these are of an equally impressive nature to the anatomical features discussed above.
Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I am going to help Maria pick out a few sweaters which will all be black and tan. Eventually.
Until next time,