Friday, May 16, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #349

Entry #349
May 16, 2014

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, with a quick and dirty post from a quick and (usually) dirty Hound.  And as usual I am sending this from the Wimsey Broadcast Booth high atop the floor on Manhattan’s fabulous West Side where I live with my long suffering human and am taken care of daily by her shorter, but more acutely suffering friend, Elizabeth. 

I have (very) temporarily joined the Land of the Undirty as Elizabeth, who has had her snout buried in the work that she brought home from Switzerland somehow found the time to bathe me yesterday.  On the plus side I will soon be stinky again but she won’t have any of the turkey that she had to feed me back again (at least not in its original form).  And for yesterday’s bath bribe-a-thon I instituted my version of the garbage in, garbage out rule and not only refused to get in the tub without quantities of turkey but also refused to get out without the same being offered. Normally as soon as I am untied from the ceramic soap dispenser that keeps me from fleeing, I exit the tub with great celerity. But yesterday it occurred to me that Elizabeth actually wanted me to exit the tub and Wimsey’s Rules clearly state that any action that is desired by humans, no matter how much it is also desired by Hound, must be bought and paid for accordingly. So Elizabeth stood aside and waited for The Great Exit and was stunned instead when faced with an immobile, cement block Hound staring fixedly at the package of turkey in her hand. This makes a fine addition to my other obnoxious bath time habit of refusing to shake whist in the tub surrounded by tile and electing to shake when out of the tub surrounded by fur- absorbing walls, ceilings and humans. I do make one exception—I shake as soon as I am fully lathered up, preferably when Elizabeth is bending over me so she can experience firsthand the taste and smell of the fancy shampoo she buys me.

But as I always say, I have never been a Hound prone to the Grand Gesture-- like eating the couch—but prefer instead that life with me be aggravation by a thousand cuts. Like on our early evening walks together when Maria will say to Elizabeth “I don’t want to go down to the river tonight,” and twenty minutes later we are down by the river.  Or when Maria has to sleep on the couch because I have not left any place for her on the bed and have turned into 130lbs of impossible to move dead weight. Or when I see one of my humans preparing to walk me and immediately ascend the couch (at home) or the futon (at Elizabeth’s place) and must be bribed off with turkey or a desirable snack so that my harness can be put on. And if one of my humans turns their back for a second, I ascend again and have to be bribed off again. Elizabeth thinks this is hilarious and proof that I actually possess a few neurons. But Maria just glares at her and asks, “Who taught him that, I wonder?” Or when I have to be scratched into slumber otherwise I will lick my toe—the scratching somehow miraculously removing the desire to lick it. And then there is the fact that not only do I not permit Maria to put ointment on my toe, clean my ears or put drops in them, brush my teeth or apply my eye ointment, I don’t even permit her to be in the same room while Elizabeth does it. She has to hide in the bedroom.

And of course life with me is very educational.  My humans have to learn how to talk about me in many different languages. Elizabeth speaks no Spanish except to tell people thing like  “be careful of the drool” and Maria, whose parents are Hungarian is taking private lessons to improve her skills and all her essays are about me as are her forays into conversational Hungarian. My humans also have to make lightening fast calculations to tell people how much I weigh or how much I eat in kilos or stone and they have to rigorously apply the scientific method to form a hypothesis about where I would like to be scratched and then conduct the experiment. If they do not scratch me in the place in which I desire to be scratched, I thwack them with my giant, bear claw. They must then reformulate the hypothesis and try again until they find the right spot. 

And of course, their knowledge of history must focus on how Frankish knights brought these loud, smelly insubordinate dogs from the Middle East to the poor monks at the monastery of St. Hubert who “perfected” them. I love that phrase. Presumably the monks made us louder and smellier and more insubordinate since the genes for these traits clearly must be linked (like the genes for blond hair and blue eyes) to the olfactory prowess that they so desired. Hence I am also a teaching tool for genetics. And my humans must know enough geography to know that the monastery of St. Hubert is in the Ardennes, which although now part of Belgium was, at the time of my ancestors’ arrival, not actually a country but territory controlled by the Comte d’Artois.  I have spoken often about how my humans have an all too extensive knowledge of physics, particularly the equations dealing with momentum, acceleration and dislocated shoulders. They also have learned that the three states of matter are not “liquid, solid and gas” but “liquid, solid, gas and drool.”  Today Elizabeth found out that drool can clog a kitchen sink. Who knew? A useful lesson in home economics. 

OK, enough about me. Just kidding. There can never be enough about me. But this week Elizabeth has been getting up on Swiss time, which is 6 hours ahead, but going to bed on New York time because she doesn’t get home from my after work walk until 8.  Do I care? No. But this has meant that she is very groggy when she walks me in the afternoon and a groggy human is a compliant human. Consequently I have visited the Apple Store for scratching and baying (twice), The Boat Basin Café for scratching and large Milkbone feeding (twice), Chase Manhattan Bank for cookies and baying (once), Unleashed for merchandise sniffing, scratching and gourmet cookie bar feeding (twice), Furry Paws for merchandise sniffing (once) and Petland for merchandise sniffing and cookies (once).  I love shopping!

Elizabeth justifies this on the grounds that she is looking for toys for her Swiss client’s cat --the huge New York catnip rat that she bought was a big success.  I also enjoy shopping for cat toys (although I would prefer shopping for the actual cats) but I notice that the people who design cat toys have very little imagination—it’s all mouse, mouse, mouse, fish, mouse, mouse, mouse, etc. But perhaps it is the cats that lack the imagination—another reason why we canines are infinitely superior.  My extensive toy piles in both my humans’ apartments contain an amazing variety of creatures in all sizes, shapes and colors, not to mention an abattoir’s worth of bones. I mean I love a hedgehog as much as the next Hound, but if all my toys were hedgehogs I am sure that I would feel an urgent need to add some variety--like the sofa cushions.

Anyway, all of this is by way of saying that nothing completely ridiculous happened this week. Elizabeth pretty much has had her butt parked in front of the computer and Maria is working late this month. Last night she didn’t get out of work until after 10 which meant that I got to hang out with Elizabeth and watch her drink gin to try to stay awake because she had to walk me again. I love it when she looks at me and asks existential questions, like ‘Why are you so awful?” just because I took all the towels she draped over the furniture to keep it dry after my bath, bunched them up and used them as a head pillow. Hey, but at least all my toys don’t look like mice!

I think I will leave it there for this week. And all of you out there whose Hounds do eat the couch and moonscape the lawn-- it could be worse. Ask my humans.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Wonderful (actual results may vary)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Entry #348
May 9, 2014

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey the Wicked coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I have just one thing (OK, maybe more than one thing) to say: Hell hath no fury like a Hound whose human left him to go to Switzerland! Even in the best of times I am a contender in the Awful Hound Sweepstakes but this week I truly made my primary human Maria’s life a misery. Her friend Elizabeth, who normally takes care of me during the day, took off on a brief business trip to Switzerland on Saturday and thus was absent for our Sunday walk together. This was so vexing that I refused to walk without her. There is nothing Maria enjoys more than trying to walk a giant Hound who is masquerading as a cement block. Then during the week I refused to let Maria (who had to rush home during her lunch hour to walk me) apply my eardrops, eye ointment or toe cream because that is Elizabeth’s job. And just in case Maria was also thinking of escaping to Switzerland, I sat on her when she was at home and refused to let her read or use the computer, lest she begin researching travel destinations. Living with a Hound is difficult; living with a Displeased Hound is impossible.

Finally, after an eternity (Wednesday), Elizabeth arrived back at her place, sleepless and jet lagged but Maria asked (insisted) that she come out with us for my 6:30 walk. Elizabeth agreed and was hoping for a short walk so I took us all on a long crepuscular perambulation in Central Park to celebrate.   It was a joyous occasion. For me.  It’s hard to know who was more pleased to have Elizabeth back--Maria or me.

So things are back to normal except that Elizabeth brought home a pile of work that somehow involves sitting at the computer and writing things that are not about me. I can’t imagine anything more pointless.  And when I say that things are back to normal I mean that for our Thursday afternoon walk I took Elizabeth to the Apple store where I bayed loudly at everyone trying shop. When I speak, people listen. Everyone suddenly froze and swiveled to see who or what was making that delightful noise. Pretty soon the store is going to rethink having that nice large dog bowl of water by the entrance. 

Anyway, owing to the fact that it’s been a short week on news, I thought we’d take another trip through my photo archives and examine some of my obnoxious behavior in a little more depth:

Here is a picture of me as a puppy with one of my breeders, Lily Tayson.  It was probably the last time I allowed myself to be stacked properly.  Wasn’t I a cute little tyke? I was so small that Maria had to carry me up and down the stairs. But then she realized that I was 50 pounds and still demanding to be carried up and down the stairs.

Here I am paying a visit to one of the Central Park snack shops. Usually there are people sitting at those tables who get a surprise visit from Wimsey, Food Inspector.

And here we have a lovely troika of baying shots. My rule about baying is that I never do it when humans want me to but always save it all up for when I am not supposed to.  There are really an extraordinary number of people who stand and bay at me hoping that I will reciprocate.  I just look at them like they are crazy. Because they are.

Here I am being fed some Grom gelato. I will not eat gelato (or frozen yogurt) straight from the cup but demand that it be spoon fed to me.  Being served by humans is a crucial element to the enjoyment of food.

And speaking of being served, this is me next to my private water dish that my humans must carry in order to hydrate me to my satisfaction.  I won’t drink from it if it is on the ground, however—it must be held up for me at snout level. And when there is too much drool in it, it must be emptied and refilled with fresh water.

This is a picture of me actually eating something that is not being served to me---grass.  As soon as succulent grass appears in spring, I graze in a manner that would do any bovine proud.  It falls to my humans to pull the stuff out the other end when it gets stuck.  They love that.

Another couple of snack shop pics. I generally bay and carry on quite a bit which generally results in somebody feeding me or my humans luring me away with turkey or cookies or both.  You don’t ask, you don’t get.

This is from my favorite road trip—a visit to Maria’s mother in upstate New York and then a swing over to Michigan to visit one of my breeders and my sister and her human.  Here we see a plate of these delightful cheesy things—Maria’s mother is an excellent Hungarian cook and was delighted to have such an appreciative guest. ---especially when I followed her around everywhere waiting for her to disgorge goodies. You will of course notice that I am politely waiting to be served. Also that all the furniture is covered in the piles of sheets that my humans must tote about wherever we go.

And here I am auditing the contents of Maria’s mother’s refrigerator to ensure the wholesomeness of its contents.


Here I am in my rented Ford Explorer, the entire cargo space of which was taken up with my stuff.  My humans were permitted two small carry-ons.  But no matter how large the car and regardless of the seat belt contraption that I am hooked up to, I can still always execute a foray to the front to supervise the driving.  I also find that the driver’s shoulder makes a comfy resting place for my head in between gassy naps.

And this is me in Sand Lake. This is as far as I would go in in spite of the summer heat.  My humans were hoping that I would swim because I am always trying to swim in the Lake in Central Park.  But that is because swimming is not permitted in the Lake in Central Park.

And here I am at the beach on Lake Michigan with my breeder in the background.  I am baying because my sister is there just out of camera range. I harbored incestuous intentions and although I was consistently rebuffed I remained steadfast in my belief that baying would help me achieve the desired result. I think she bit me on the nose.

I will end with this picture. It is one of my favorites. It says it all.

Anyway, that’s all for this truncated week. Next week our wintry spring is going to turn into sultry summer so I am likely to be found lounging in the air conditioning threatening to lick my toe unless my belly is scratched.  Elizabeth might even get some work done. Or not.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a picture perfect Hound