Saturday, November 29, 2014
November 29, 2014
Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey with a late breaking blog post from the Upper West Side of Manhattan written under the assumption that people must be bored with eating turkey sandwiches and watching football. I’m sure they would much rather read about me instead. I mean how much turkey and football can humans stand, especially when there are Hounds who have much better uses for their time. I must say though, that I am finding the 4-day weekend a bit trying, as are my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth. Maria is tired of me trying to drag her over to Elizabeth’s apartment to make up for the two-day deficit I have in hanging out over there and Elizabeth worries about me when I am not under her daily supervision. That, and the fact that she has been trying to deal with all kinds of fun technology glitches in my social media career which she manages. But more about that later.
First, this week there is a serious absence of photos owing to the fact that we have been experiencing some premature winter weather and the ordeal of removing gloves and fishing out a camera or phone has proven too arduous a task for my humans. Not to mention the fact that by the time they accomplish all of this I have moved out of frame and on to some other entertaining activity that requires their full attention—like being “in mood”, a condition that was the subject of some furious email exchanges between my humans this week. Usually such exchanges take the form of texts but in this case there was simply too much obnoxiousness to convey.
The “mood” began on Tuesday when Elizabeth turned up as usual to take me for my customary midday walk and subsequent sojourn at her place. While she was getting me ready (eye ointment, ear cleaning, teeth brushing-- the usual pre-walk hygienic routine) there was some activity in the hallway which required some vigorous baying at on my part. Let me say that as vocal a Hound as I am outside I am very quiet inside and my humans discourage indoor baying in the interests of not getting nasty notes from the neighbors. It is extremely unusual for me to bay at anything going on in the hallway but all bets are off when I am in a mood. And in spite of the fact that the activity had ceased by the time I been bribed off the couch and into my harness I charged out of the apartment baying at the top of my lungs (which is to say at a deafening decibel level) and nearly tore Elizabeth’s arm out of its socket.
Once out, I made an immediate turn to go to Broadway, intending to investigate all the pre-Thanksgiving shopping going on at Fairway. Elizabeth intended that I not investigate all the pre-Thanksgiving shopping going on at Fairway however. I did eventually succumb to the lure of turkey dangled in front of my snout to get me away from the action (and the fully loaded grocery bags). At that point I realized that I was, in fact, quite peckish and had a major Snack Attack that required much feeding of multiple kinds of snacks to satisfy. After dilly dallying and munching for a while I decided to head over to Unleashed to avail myself of some further snacking opportunities. En route I deigned to produce one pitifully small piece of business of the type that always causes my humans to wonder where everything that they shovel into me actually goes. (Not to worry though, Maria had the honor of collecting two bags full the next morning).
Anyway, I charged into Unleashed, rushed over to the cashier and began baying furiously at her to give me a snack from the cookie bar. Elizabeth tried to fob me off with their complimentary Snack of the Day which I promptly spat out, since it was a) not the snack I wanted and b) was not served to me by the cashier. Good thing the crew that was working that day likes me. Elizabeth conveyed to the cashier the necessity of feeding me the desired cream cookie snack and then I took off around the store on an extended sniff-a thon. After this Elizabeth asked about whether they had any more of another snack that I like (carob chip cookies) so she could indulge in some Guilt Buying. She kind of feels bad that I regularly use the store as my personal olfactory and culinary playpen and then exit without purchasing any merchandise. The requested box of the snacks was brought out for me from the stockroom and the cashier handed me one just to make sure that they were still on the Snacks Acceptable to Wimsey list (I tend to go off snacks without warning—it keeps humans on their culinary toes).
After buying a small bag of these snacks we finally exited the shop and Elizabeth and I promptly had a disagreement about which direction to take (my vote being to visit the restaurant arcade further south and Elizabeth wishing instead to head in a homeward westerly direction). Such was my annoyance at being denied my preferred route that I set about baying in protest. This attracted a group of picture taking and videoing humans (giant baying Hounds in the middle of Manhattan are scarcer than the proverbial hen’s teeth or the ((mythical)) Hound who listens to his humans). And when I realized that people wanted me to bay, I promptly shut up, causing all manner of human antics to encourage further vocalizations and forcing Elizabeth to explain that I seldom bay when anyone wants me to.
Anyway, after accepting copious compliments about how amazing I am, we finally headed west where I carried on because I was not allowed to visit Furry Paws. I then cruised by the Cat Hospital and attempted to visit there with a similar result. Next I determined that it was essential that we not return home, but take the ramp down to Riverside Park South. The reason became apparent when Dana the Dog walker appeared heading up the ramp with her Pharaoh Hound and assorted poodle clients. This happy circumstance necessitated some extended and joyous baying (as opposed to the protesting kind—I have a bay for every occasion) after which I felt strongly that we should head south. As this was the opposite direction from home the bribing turkey made its reappearance. Elizabeth’s triumph was short-lived however because I decided that if I couldn’t go south I wanted to take a long walk to the end of the pier in the hopes that perhaps I would finally be able to follow scent across the Hudson River to New Jersey. (Attempting to do this is one of my ongoing projects and I would succeed were it not for the presence of that pesky fence at the end of the pier). It took the rest of the package of turkey to make me appreciate the wisdom of returning home. That and the fact that my boiled chicken and yam lunch awaited.
Normally, this might be the end of the story, but when we came in, a mere two hours after Elizabeth picked me up, she made the mistake of putting the new pack of Unleashed snacks next to other unopened ones that are stored on the top of the filing cabinet. I had never before paid any attention to this cache but it suddenly became imperative that I liberate these snacks. Elizabeth rushed to the refrigerator to show me the leftover salmon that she was adding to my lunch (I am a well known lover of salmon). So I ceased operations and ate most of my first bowl of salmon, chicken, yams and kibble and only finished the bowl when I stared at Elizabeth to get her to add some turkey. I then returned to my activities at the filing cabinet causing a second bowl of food to rapidly appear and the snacks to disappear into a drawer. I did finally repair to my futon for a nap-- loud and gassy, which are the best kind-- and Elizabeth repaired to her computer to complain to Maria. Maria thought my antics were hilarious, mostly because they didn’t happen to her.
Anyway, on Thanksgiving my humans went to a nearby Australian restaurant where the food was surprisingly good (I can personally attest to this since I had a doggy bag of turkey) and they discovered by accident that there was a hidden, upstairs speakeasy kind of bar. The bar delighted them so much that they barely noticed it when I subsequently took them all over the neighborhood for a nice long holiday walk in the freezing cold. They also discovered that the place has a brunch that includes 4 cocktails for an extra $16 and they are threatening to avail themselves of this if I get in another mood.
So it was a very successful week for everybody. Less successful was our attempt to get my picture book The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art that is currently sold on Amazon onto iTunes for sale there as well. It spat out our ePub version with a long list of its failings. There is talk of that brunch again. I also now have an instagram account under Wimsey Bloodhound so I can share some of the many thousands of photos I have in my archive. Currently I am posting pictures of my hat wardrobe and intend to move on to coats next. I will share everything on Facebook and Twitter so no one will miss out on my splendor. I also now have a Tumblr blog under The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Watch out Grumpy Cat, Obnoxious Hound is coming for you!
Well I think I will leave it there for now. I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and remembered to give thanks (and turkey) for their Hound. I know I give thanks for me every day.
Until next time,
Wimsey, A Moody Hound
Posted by Wimsey at 8:42 PM
Friday, November 21, 2014
November 21, 2014
Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where we are having something of a cold snap that I personally find rather invigorating. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth also like the brisk conditions although they find it less than invigorating when they have to remove their gloves to respond to my frequent need to be snacked. Cold weather always gives me an appetite which means that I have gone through a vast number of snack packs and turkey portions and yet still have room to dive snout first into leaf piles to extract abandoned edibles.
And post-walk I am also to be found nose in the trough of my Never Ending Kibble (‘n stuff) Bowl. I have always been a free feeding Hound and no sooner does one bowl of kibble disappear down my gullet than another appears as if by magic (although a hard and hungry stare helps the magic along). And then there is the daily Kibble Count. Maria’s kibble scoop holds 1 ½ cups and Elizabeth’s holds two cups so the ladies are able to experience shock and awe at the amount of kibble that I am sometimes able to put away when the daily eatings are tallied. But because this eating occurs throughout the day (and sometimes at night) it is thought to be an excellent bloat retardant since I seldom eat large amounts at any one time (large being relative, but usually I get cut off for an hour or so if I am exceptionally hungry and consume 6 or 8 cups at one go). I am also a leisurely eater which is thought to make me less prone to bloat.
Of course the cup count also includes the amount that I manage to scatter around the apartment which is sometimes quite impressive—when a Hound with his flews filled with kibble shakes his head more than the fur flies. And much to the inexplicable annoyance of my humans I maintain a pretty constant 130 pound weight regardless of how much I eat but lose weight if I go on one of my light eating binges. I pride myself on the fact that not only can I annoy my humans utilizing an arsenal of active techniques but I can also annoy them by passive methods such as my gifted metabolism.
But I digress (although a discussion of the ways in which I annoy my humans is always a pleasurable digression). The cold weather brings out the beast in me and as mentioned, this beast has a humongous appetite. My humans are indeed fortunate that my increased appetite does not include a predilection for such delicacies as the couch. But really with so much gourmet nosh on offer, both in and out of leaf piles, I can’t be bothered. Also I have never figured out a way that the couch could be cut into bite sized portions and hand fed to me. But I do require the endless feeding of snacks and turkey during my long walks and then a rapidly replenished food bowl, (after which consumption I repair to one of my many napping venues to digest in the manner of a snake that has just eaten an ostrich). And as is the custom every year, my humans hope that all the food taken in will create a greater sense of urgency in finding a spot to get the food taken out. And every year they are disappointed. The carrying capacity of my bladder is only exceeded by that of my digestive tract so there is never any rush to empty either, especially on our pleasant nightly arctic perambulations.
The only bad thing about the weather will be obvious from the photos—the need to wear my coat (it’s made by Chilly Dog in Canada by the way, and is supposed to be suited to very cold conditions). The Winter Coat Algorithm calls for it to be deployed when the mercury dips below 35F. (My care requires many such algorithms but fortunately none of them requires the solving of quadratic equations, although I am working on it, but so far my humans do not seem interested in calculating whether a gob of spit that I’ve flung will hit them in the face—they just run). The only good thing about the coat is that, if possible, it enhances my appeal and things that enhance my appeal enhance the chances of me being fed other people’s food.
This weather makes it feel more like Christmas than Thanksgiving, which is shortly to be upon us. So in honor of the holiday let us look in on Dick and Jane and see how they celebrate.
Thanksgiving With Dick and Jane
See Dick. See Dick in his new suit. It is Thanksgiving!
See Jane. See Jane in her new pink dress. It is Thanksgiving!
See Dick’s mother.
See Dick’s mother in the kitchen. Dick’s mother has been in the kitchen for 2 days.
See Dick’s Hound. See Dick’s Hound in the kitchen.
Dick’s Hound has also been in the kitchen for 2 days.
See Dick’s father.
See Dick’s father in front of the television set.
Dick’s father has been in front of the television set for 2 days.
“Let us give thanks!” says Dick. “
Dick’s mother gives thanks for her large kitchen.
Dick’s father gives thanks for football.
Dick’s Hound does not give thanks. Hounds do not give anything, they take.
“I am thankful that you are my friend,” says Dick.
“I am thankful that I do not have to go to school!” says Jane
“I am thankful that my mother is a good cook,” says Dick.
“I am thankful for my pink dress” says Jane.
“I am thankful for the turkey,” says Dick.
Dick’s Hound is thankful that Dick’s mother had to leave the kitchen to pry Dick’s father away from the television.
See the Thanksgiving table.
The Thanksgiving table is beautiful.
The Thanksgiving table has china.
The Thanksgiving table has crystal.
The Thanksgiving table has silver.
The Thanksgiving table does not have a turkey.
See Jane’s pretty pink dress.
Jane’s pink dress is no longer pink.
Jane’s dress is no longer pretty.
Dick’s Hound has eaten too much turkey.
Jane’s dress was in the way.
See Jane cry.
See Dick cry.
See Dick’s mother cry.
See Dick’s father watch football.
The holiday season always pleases me (with the exception of the appearance of my elf hat and antlers) and I can already see signs that the Christmas tree vendors are setting up shop. This brings the annual “don’t let Wimsey pee on the Christmas trees” battle which I enjoy tremendously since I become the focus of even more attention, albeit of a different kind And then there is the abundance of gullible tourists in town to feed, photograph and admire me.
Everyone thinks I am terrific but of course appearances can be deceiving—especially Hound appearances. For instance, we look so noble, intelligent and wise when we are really a pack of silly idiots who frequently labor under persistent delusions such as that slowly stalking a squirrel will result in its capture or that staring at the refrigerator will cause it to open. And people think we look lazy, mellow and relaxed and that we would like nothing better than a life spent on the couch when we are endurance athletes and need vast quantities of exercise otherwise the couch in question is doomed to have a short life. And we look like sturdy robust animals but really we are rather delicate and it is quite easy to issue us a ticket to the rainbow bridge with a bit too much anesthesia. And because we are such knuckleheads we look like we are impervious to human actions, but really we are very sensitive creatures and require gentle guidance as opposed to harsh discipline. And our droopy eyes and skin make us look perpetually sad when in fact the opposite is true since we tend to be a cossetted and much canoodled with lot. But the sad looking eyes do come in handy when we want something (and when do we not?). We Hounds are the epitome of the rationale for not judging a book by its cover, something that my humans are frequently called upon to point out to all those admiring tourists. Fortunately they never believe them.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there this week. I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving and I know that Maria will be thankful for not having to go work for four days and Elizabeth will be (very) thankful for not having to take care of me for four days. Of course, somehow during those times when Elizabeth does not have the daily care and feeding of me she texts Maria incessantly to find out what I am doing and when she can join us for walks. I am a hard habit to break.
Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound to give thanks for (and to feed turkey to)
PS: There are now 365 posts so you can start at #1 and read about me every day for an entire year!
Posted by Wimsey at 10:18 PM
Saturday, November 15, 2014
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
Posted by Wimsey at 1:32 PM
Friday, November 7, 2014
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,
Posted by Wimsey at 8:50 PM