Entry # 368
January 2, 2015
Hello and Happy New Year Everyone! It’s me Wimsey, finally having a few minutes to post about all my doings here on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the holidays have disrupted my schedule to an amazing degree. Where to begin?
There are so many ways that I have been inconvenienced and so little time to enumerate them all. First, owing to the fact that the holidays fell on a Thursday, my human Maria’s employer decided to bow to the inevitable and close the office both Fridays (I guess he realized it would be tough to supervise from St. Barth’s). The 4-day weekends, plus some vacation days added up to a 12-day stretch where Maria was around to take care of me full time. Now some of you might think that this would please me. It did not. Her selfish, extended holiday meant that there was no need for her friend Elizabeth to pick me up for our endless afternoons spent walking around so I can visit pet shops, food trucks and the park benches where people try to eat (all while I take care of minimal amounts of business). And what’s worse, it meant that I haven’t been hanging out with Elizabeth in my secondary apartment getting fed fancy lunches and bothering her when she tries to work. And I am sure alien dogs have been savaging my toy pile while I have been gone. I will be taking an extensive sniffventory when I am finally able to return.
I have become a one human Hound. I know you all feel my pain, but it gets worse. Elizabeth’s monster project is just going to go on and on and even when I am around she spends her days staring at her computer instead of scratching me. And my joy at the fact that she is not going to leave me to travel on her birthday the third week in January this year was overshadowed by the fact that she leaves a week from Sunday for a week’s conference in San Francisco and apparently this conference is not about me. Maria is going to have to rush home from work that week to give me a measly hour walk in the afternoons. But I had my revenge. Right after Elizabeth booked her ticket she had a dream that I was sitting in the seat next to her eating a tray of airline food. I will not allow her to escape me, even when she sleeps.
But this talk of “monster” projects put me in mind of something that happened before Christmas. Maria had come over to Elizabeth’s after work so we could all go out for my early evening walk but Elizabeth was still sitting at her computer working.
Maria: Wimsey’s picked up a toy from his toy pile.
Elizabeth: Which one?
Maria: Monster (yes, I have a toy called “Monster.” He’s named after me)
Elizabeth: Uh oh. That’s bad.
Elizabeth: You’ll see. Or rather you’ll hear.
Maria: (a few minutes later) Oh.
I take Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to heart--I walk softly and carry a loud toy.
Monster is my loudest toy and when I am really cheesed off I take him up on the futon and squeak him (although “squeak” doesn’t adequately describe the noise he makes) until a human does or gives me whatever it was that prompted me to consort with Monster in the first place.
Anyway, I hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Year’s. Maria cooked me a special Christmas Eve lunch of sausage, egg and cheese which I was too busy napping to eat until Elizabeth came over to join us for a walk which meant that she had to sit around and scratch me for an hour whilst I digested. This caused me to get some dirty looks from my humans who are convinced that I did it on purpose because I know that I can’t be walked after eating because it can cause bloat.
So then I got up on the couch between them because nothing facilitates social conversation so much as looking at a giant, Hound body instead of the person with whom you are speaking. This led Maria to slightly adjust her position so she could see Elizabeth, which caused me to slightly adjust my position so she could not see Elizabeth. Which led her to adjust her position which led me to adjust my position, etc. which led Elizabeth to conclude that maybe I am not as dumb as she thinks I am. It was kind of the couch variant of me staring into the rear view mirror during our road trips so the only thing Elizabeth could see behind her was Hound head.
But I am really quite a clever Hound, even if it is only me who thinks so. Over the past few weeks I managed to teach Elizabeth a new trick. When she tries to lure me off the furniture with turkey in order to leash me up I insist on having a piece of turkey before I even contemplate getting off the furniture (to eat another piece of turkey) while she puts on my stuff. We behaviorists call this a sampling reinforcer and before you could say “gobble, gobble gobble”, I had trained her to thus double my turkey quotient.
I’ve always been a gifted trainer of humans—it’s why I am so popular with them and why texts and emails with HBO words fly between Maria and Elizabeth when I am around. It also leads to Elizabeth turning herself into something of a human webcam. She sends Maria a continuous stream of exciting news such as “Sir is snoring on the futon,” and “Sir is snoring by the closets” and “Sir just had water and smeared his snout on my pants,” and “I can’t breathe! —I must have put too much butter on his yams again” No wonder she never gets any work done. Of course there was that day that we had a bad nor’easter with pouring rain and I decided that I wished to take a nice, long walk and came in after only an hour, not because we looked like we had been taking a shower, but because when we turned north the wind was blowing too much rain into my face. Then there are other days, principally when my humans actually want me to walk and to take care of business, that I decide that I might melt in a passing shower, and decline to move. Hence it is very little wonder that I have a namesake called Monster (and like me he is loud, smelly, trips people and is vastly inconvenient).
I can generally tell how annoying I’ve been by how much alcohol gets consumed and how many sweaters Elizabeth buys (some people have sex, drugs and rock n’ roll and she has woolovers.com). When I’ve been “difficult “I find her studying the Woolovers catalog and pretending that I am not there. But she has now turned her attention to winter hats—a box of these things is now on its way from Turtle Fur and we are all going to try them on and select the ones we like (like any addict, Elizabeth is always trying to get others hooked—she’s constantly encouraging Maria to buy sweaters). Who knew I was a Gateway Hound?
But speaking of alcohol (and no, Maria’s Mother, your daughter does not drink to excess---the four times a day she’s attached to me by a leash tends to put a damper on the overconsumption of adult beverages)-- although Elizabeth had to work most days, she came over for holiday drinks. This is an activity that pleases me very much. It consists of:
2 large Aperol Spritzes (aperol, prosecco and a splash of club soda)
1 large canister of mixed nuts
1 I large nut-loving Hound
1 large bath towel.
As you might imagine, cocktails with the ladies is a very elegant affair. It requires that Elizabeth shroud herself in a bath towel because no matter where she positions the canister of nuts I position my snout to rain drool upon her (she being the Wimsey Nut-Feeder-in-Chief). Those of you who think that she is being fastidious, think again. Both my humans are constantly covered in my drool-- flung at them, smeared on them and dripped on them—but the Nut Drool is special. It is constant and it is copious. It cannot be evaded, avoided or stopped. It raineth down like manna from heaven (or Hound, which I like to think is pretty much the same thing, although I am sure that my humans have another destination in mind). And we have such a lovely time, although Elizabeth gets scolded for picking out all the almonds to feed to me,
Anyway, there is a vicious rumor going around that we all might congregate at Elizabeth’s on Sunday and that a bath might be involved. Also cocktails (a mandatory part of recovering from bathing me), a pot of chicken (for me), nuts (for me) a new stuffed toy (for me) and a box of Turtle Fur hats (not supposed to be for me but I will do my best. Have you ever noticed how much woolen winter hats resemble dog toys?)
Well, I think I will leave it there for now. I have to think about what I want from San Francisco. An earthquake??? Might be a tough one. Next week I will be back with Elizabeth—I know how much she misses me by the ridiculous number of times she texts Maria to find out what I am doing. Maria has threatened to bring me over. Of course this afternoon, Maria texted Elizabeth “Wimsey’s being a jerk” which pretty much means “ Wimsey’s here.” It makes me proud to be a Hound.
Until next time,