November 15, 2014
Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the heart of Polar Vortex Country, otherwise known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where last week we finally had autumn and this week we now have winter. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are beginning to assume the Michelin Man proportions that are the hallmark of the season, premature or no. And yesterday in another hallmark of the season a passerby accosted us and asked Elizabeth in an accusatory fashion if I was cold without a coat (it was 43 degrees and sunny). It was Elizabeth’s first coat shaming of the season and we are more than a month away from it actually being winter! Bring on the polar vortex! (As long as it doesn’t actually bring on my coat).
The irony of my humans being accused of negligence in matters relating to my comfort is never lost on any of us. Especially yesterday when Elizabeth was carrying my heavy canister of water (they shut off the park fountains when it gets cold) and had her large messenger bag slung across her shoulder—the one that replaced the giant fanny pack because it was deemed insufficiently capacious to carry everything that I might need on a walk. All this leads my humans to frequently debate which of them was (more) responsible for making me the spoiled (although I prefer the word entitled) creature that I am but if truth be told it is the fault of Nature. Great Hounds are born not made. That is not to say that humans can’t improve upon Nature’s plan by, say, carrying around a large snack and turkey assortment to encourage a Hound’s boundless appetite for al fresco munching. And when the boundless appetite belongs to a Hound with a refined (or fickle and finicky) palate such as myself it requires the toting of a veritable smorgasbord of snacks.
In fact, so interested am I to indulge in novel snacking experiences that sometimes Chewy, com asks me to review a snack. This week I was served Natural Balance Tend Cuts Duck Formula and asked to render an opinion. These are meaty little snacks (duck is the first ingredient) of about 1 ½ inches in length and perfect for popping into the mouth of an insistent, treat pouch poking Hound. They have a chewy texture which causes them to stay put rather than falling out of my flews like crunchy snacks sometimes do. Also they are flavored with what the package says is “natural smoke flavor” which means that they exude the enticing scent of beef jerky and excite a Hound’s olfactory senses in a manner that his humans find inconvenient given that his olfactory senses are directly linked to his salivary secretions. Anyway, these are very nice snacks with the only caveat being that they made me thirsty. But since this required my humans to serve me water at frequent intervals during our walks it was not necessarily a bad thing.
Anyway, once again I must apologize for the paucity of photos. Apparently I was very uncooperative in the matter of looking at the camera this week owing to all the scent to be investigated on the leaves. And when I was looking up Elizabeth was very unhappy with what was happening—either I was turning my head, closing my eyes or raising my snout for the all too common “nostril shot.” Also I sometimes find that I have an urgent need to wash my snout when the camera appears—frequently in anticipation of the turkey with which I am paid for posing. And the times that I was looking at the camera apparently I had an unpleasant and demanding look on my face –probably because I was actually looking at the treat pouch instead. My humans prefer to depict me with a “soft and gentle” Hound look which is usually reserved for when I am encouraging them to cut up and feed me slices of pizza and not when I am demanding that they fork over the edibles they wear for my benefit.
Anyway, it’s been a pretty typical week around here—I spent quite a bit of time out and about owing to the congenial weather and the fact that the leaves were at their peak of beauty—my humans like the way that they look and I like the way that they smell. Then there are also days when it takes forever to get anywhere because I keep getting surrounded by admirers, including those that also feed me snacks. It takes a village. Or in the case of a Hound who has many needs and wants, an entire major metropolis. My humans love to hear me praised—I can tell by the frozen smiles on their faces. And then when I bay people come running to see what made that amazing noise and then to find out why I made that amazing noise. ”Why is he doing that” is always a big question that and it has many potential answers:
I like being loud and obnoxious
I want a piece of turkey
I want your water bottle
I want your sandwich
I want (fill in the blank)
I see the gelato truck
I want to put my large wet nose up that terrified little dog’s backside
The light is red and I want it to be green
I’m saying hello
Because I can
Also this week I was highly amused by the responses to a post in the Facebook Bloodhound Owner’s Group about someone considering obtaining a bloodhound. It reminded me of one of the years that I was being shown at Westminster and Maria was being interviewed by a reporter for The Daily News who asked her why she had a bloodhound. Without missing a beat the question was answered by the breeder, owner handler showing the Hound next to us: “Insanity,” she chimed in. I concur.
As a Hound, I would never have a Hound myself. I would have a useful dog, like a Golden Retriever, who would be as slavishly devoted to me as I am to myself. Maria, though, is an accidental bloodhound owner to whose ill-advised behavior I owe our relationship. She and her boyfriend saw bloodhound puppy in a pet shop (yes, that’s bad, we know) and who can resist a bloodhound puppy? And so Bloodhound #1 entered her life and her possessions exited her life. But so smitten was she with the breed (for reasons that it would probably take a phalanx of psychologists to divine) that she acquired a second, pet quality bloodhound from a breeder a year or so later. Suffice it to say that if we fast-forward through these bloodhound years, there was no boyfriend and no possessions at the end of them. (But to be fair, my predecessors did leave intact a small couch as well as the bed but Maria is pretty sure that was because it’s where they liked to sleep). Cause and effect? Who’s to say? But a devoted bloodhound human was born.
1. An excellent sense of humor.
2. Ability to say, “I’m sorry” in ten different languages.
3. A lack of an ego.
4. A tolerance for being humiliated.
5. A lack of attachment to material possessions.
6. No sense of smell.
7. No interest in housekeeping (or an abundance of hired help)
8. No interest in gardening (or revolving credit at the garden center)
9. A lot of money (or a willingness to spend what one has on one’s Hound)
10. A love of 8 hour walks.
11. A love of 8 hour walks in the pouring rain.
12. A very large bed.
13. A good dry cleaner.
14. An unlimited food budget.
15. Cabinet and refrigerator locks
16. Eyes in back of one’s head.
17. Fast hands.
18. Excellent foot speed.
19. An understanding that “no” means yes.
20. Does not bruise easily
21. Good health insurance.
22. A steadfast belief that the Hound loves you despite its total disregard for your wishes.
23. A high tolerance for pain—physical, psychological and financial
Well the holidays are fast approaching and as usual my humans have begun debating where to eat Thanksgiving dinner. They go out every year because neither of them have family close by or kitchens large enough to handle the meal, especially if there is a large Hound involved. Also they are lazy. And before you feel sorry for me, remember that given how much turkey I put away on a daily basis, every day is effectively Thanksgiving for me. It’s also always Thanksgiving for them since my humans give thanks daily —thanks that I didn’t slime too many pedestrians, thanks that I didn’t plop my 130 lb., posterior into their laps too many times, thanks that I (eventually) decided to eliminate properly, thanks for all the products available to take goop off the walls, thanks for the fact that squirrels are faster than bloodhounds and of course most of all thanks that I provide a focal point for their otherwise boring and meaningless existence.
And as Christmas is soon to follow Thanksgiving, may I in all modesty suggest that you could not give your loved ones any more of a gift than the gift of me—as represented by my eBooks, The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. --four volumes of Pure Wimsey available worldwide on Amazon. What better way to celebrate on Christmas morning than sitting around a toasty fire admiring me on your favorite electronic device (i.e., the one that your Hound hasn’t gotten around to eating yet)? If the world’s great art masterpieces are things of beauty, how much more beautiful are they with the insertion of a Magnificent Hound?
Anyway, I think I will leave it here for this week. A new box of snacks has arrived that requires close inspection—one of them has acai berries in it and I am eager to taste them. My humans are hoping to find something healthy and organic that I like as much as the Milkbones from the supermarket.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a polar vortex-loving Hound