Friday, March 23, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 9
March 23, 2007

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey. Well it’s been quite a week here in New York—we had a delightful (for me) little icy snowstorm that made my humans wish they had gone ahead and purchased those mountaineering crampons! And then in response to my last post, my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have been all “Gadzooks, Wimsey would you like to go for a walk?” and “Forsooth Your Houndship, I perceive that the dinner bowl hath arrived” and “Wimsey, you are getting your muddy paws all over my new kirtle” and “Would Sir care for a joust with yon’ Bruno the Rottweiler?” etc. etc. etc. Very funny ladies.

Of course Maria and Elizabeth are completely baffled about why I know so much about the Middle Ages (“How come Wimsey knows what a bilaut is and we don’t?”), especially since interest in the past is not generally a strong suit of those who live in New York. (I have noticed that New Yorkers like to tear down any buildings even vaguely old and put up shiny new ones!). Now in spite of the fact that my humans routinely belittle my intellectual abilities (being thought intellectually challenged has its advantages, as in “Oh, we don’t bother teaching Wimsey not to put his nose in the food, he’s not very bright, you know. He wouldn’t understand.”) when it comes to all things Hound—including my distinguished lineage-- I am a veritable Einstein. Who else has perfected the art of detecting hidden stashes of dirty underwear or exciting piles of recyclables. I am also a master of the strategic use of drool—a particularly valuable skill when I want to call a halt to human activities that require the use of optical surfaces such as eyeglasses or computers (I permit the use of televisions provided I am enthroned in a lap and being scratched)—humans can’t do what they can’t see. Did you know that drool has the enviable property of changing the focal point of a lens, thus making any drool coated surface blurry and useless? Then humans are once again free to focus all their attention on me, where it belongs.

In addition to being an expert on The Optics of Drool, I am also well versed in the application of Newton’s Laws of Motion (of a Hound). My personal favorite is of course Newton’s wildly popular Second Law which states: Net Force equals Mass times Acceleration. This means that if you let me get a running start on my 30 foot leash the net force on your arm will result in a visit to the emergency room. And who can forget Newton’s delightful First Law which states “ a body will remain on the couch until I shove it off” (by the way, it is a myth that Newton discovered gravity when he observed an apple falling from a tree—it was really his bloodhound falling off the couch during a particularly exciting nap that gave him the idea). And of course Newton’s Third Law explains why Elizabeth can never get me off of her lap as every lap ejecting action by her is met by an equal and opposite lap retaining reaction by me!

It has also always been my theory that Newton developed The Calculus whilst attempting to control a charging bloodhound: “Gee I wonder whether it is mathematically possible to describe the rate of change of this Great Hound’s ability to cover ground?”—and presto out popped the first derivative (humans call this velocity, bloodhounds call this fun). Later, after nearly having his arm torn off when his bloodhound charged after a succulent animal, he thought (when he was again capable of thought) “Well I wonder if it is mathematically possible to describe the rate of change of the beast’s velocity when chasing a succulent animal?”—and voila we have the second (and arm dislocating) derivative-- acceleration.

Of course there are other laws of physics which are equally enjoyable, one of my personal favorites being the Body Slamming Equation. This equation states that the amount of damage that I will do to you (kinetic energy) is equal to one half my formidable mass times the velocity with which I am charging—squared! It is because the damage is so dependent on my speed at impact that I am banished to the Tribute Couch for all greeting activities. When I remember. Which, being intellectually challenged, is not that often. Anyway, I guess the take home lesson here is that an accelerating bloodhound is a dangerous bloodhound (yes, even though I do not possess a macho name like my father Stetson or an intimidating breed type like Bruno the Rottweiler, I too sometimes get to be a dangerous character: “ Look there’s Wimsey the Dangerous Accelerating Bloodhound! Run!!!!!”). It is such a shame that the applications to which humans put physics are often tremendously boring-does anyone really care at which point an object will reach the top of a parabolic arc—unless of course they are trying to prevent its interception by a large, determined Hound? I must say that the applications to which we Hounds apply the laws of physics are infinitely more entertaining. Indeed they govern the majority of our activities. We can calculate, for instance, the precise speed of head rotation required to fling drool in someone’s face with enormous accuracy or the precise angle at which to apply our body mass in order to immobilize a small human of known height and weight. I am sure that Newton, and indeed all physicists, must have closely studied The Bloodhound. After all, how else could they know what we know.

But I digress. I was discussing my week, which included not only St. Patrick’s Day, but also my birthday. (Thanks, by the way to all my friends from around the world for their kind wishes and cards!) To kick off the celebrations, I went for pleasant walk in Central Park with Elizabeth (Maria claimed that the preparation of my birthday cake was incompatible with my presence. Of course, Elizabeth claims that all human activities are incompatible with my presence. “Wimsey is incompatible with life as we know it” is how I think she puts it. Now I do agree that it is rather challenging to get anything done when I am either sitting on you or snuffling and tasting the objects in your hand (it is not for nothing that the Wimsey motto is “If you have it, I want it.”). Or flinging drool. Or stealing your underpants, etc. etc. etc. But it’s all part of the fun of living with a bloodhound. It is an enduring mystery to me as to why there are not more of us about.

Anyway, after closely inspecting my face in the mirror to see if my wrinkles have finally deepened—I wonder if plastic surgeons know how to create more of them—it’s never too early to think about having a little work done, especially here in image conscious New York (“Look there’s Wimsey, he’s looking awfully smooth, poor chap.” “I know and he’s looking rather thin too, don’t you think. I know it is shallow of me, but I just can’t abide the sight of a smooth, lithe bloodhound. It’s just so unaesthetic. Especially when they can do such wonderful things these days”). Well on the subject of trying to gain weight, I must say that Nanook’s cream cake was enormously helpful as well as being delicious—a perfect 10 on the Wimsey Drool Production Index, if I may say so (my humans dread the perfect 10). Not that I would have anything to do with the cake part of course. I just amused myself by methodically denuding the entire cake of all its whipped cream, much to the consternation of my humans. Being a finicky eater is right up there with being intellectually challenged in the manipulation of humans department. (“Oh no, Wimsey’s not eating! Quick, run and get him a pizza—he likes those.”).

Anyway, the birthday was great—whipped cream, pizza, toys cards from friends and a long session of jamming my elbows into Elizabeth’s sensitive bits while being scratched: Maria: “Don’t shriek so much Elizabeth! It’s Wimsey’s birthday and after all he can’t help doing silly things—he’s not very bright you know.”

Until next time,



Sophie Brador said...

Wimsey, Who needs grad school with a beast like you around? I learn so much by reading your blog that I may just withdraw. I'm wondering about the physics involved when a bloodhound floats in water. That was you "Oh Brother...." wasn't it?

Anonymous said...

Oh Wimsey, Dad always gets such a kick from reading your posts. Being very scientific (he's actually a qualified scientist), he really enjoys the witty and interesting things you talk about. I really don't concern myself much with science except of course for the science of a well-placed dog-eye look that can get food. I am sure there are other places I use science... but I don't think about them much at all. You and my Dad have a lot in common. Anyhow, nice to hear you really enjoyed your birthday.

Love and Licks,
Texas (and his humans).

Gus said...

Happy Birthday Wimsey! I think you would also look quite dashing in a bowtie. Wanna raid Dad's closet together?

Boomer and his mom Carol said...

My dear Wimsey, your discussion of physics has intrigued me. I wish we could sit down with the great minds such as Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein, share a cup of tea, and discuss your theories. Personally I live by the "chaos theory" which is take three dogs playing in the front room, throw in a pissy cat that can't stand it if the dogs have any fun whatsoever, and you have chaos.

Happy birthday Wimsey my buddy! Here's hoping that they make injections for more wrinkles just for you!

Peanut said...

Glad your birthday was good. Sounds like you had a very interesting week.

Oscar's mummy and daddy said...

Hey Wimsey,

Thanks for stopping by my blog.

You seem like a very intelligent chap, not like me. I am only 9 months old and am still a very silly puppy most of the time!

The birthday celebrations sounded fabby!

Oscar x

Ben & Darling said...

Hey Wimsey, thanks for dropping by ya. Like your cake soooooooo much but why you call it nanook's cake?? Ist something to do with nanook?? Im kinda dumb dumb. hehehe

Loui (and his mum!) said...

Hello Wimsey!
I can't believe you had snow this week....did you go out and play in it? We had snow recently here in London and it was great fun!

Loui xx

The Army of Four said...

HA roo, Wimsey! A happy belated birthday to you and GREAT to meet you! Hey, did you eat that hat after the photo shoot? Just wondering.
You're invited to our place in "The Little Apple" (yes... they actually DO call it that ... Manhattan, KS...) to hang out on the deck with us any time!
Play bows,

Chelsea said...

Wimsey, you are very smart and incredibly articulate for a bloodhound.
No offense to any other bloodhounds who may be reading this
In fact you are smarter than most humans

Simba and Jazzi said...

Wow, you are one clever dog. I thought I was really clever when I learnt to sit and stay,

Simba xx


Hi Wimsey
Thanks for dropping in on us. We are always keen to meet new friends, especially fellow hounds.
You are a very good looking hound at that.
Jazz and Dixie
P.S. Happy Belated Birthday. Glad you had a good day.

Nessa Happens said...

I have been reading your post with interest, my large and drooly friend. Although I was pleased to see you mention the head rotation speed calculations necessary to accurately fling drool towards faces, I was disappointed that you failed to point out the great delight we take in pinpointing coffee mugs, and bowls of delicious salad. My drool-lobbing accuracy with regard to coffee mugs is astounding. You?

Also, I am particularly fond of landing a flooger (flew-booger) on one of the paddles of the ceiling fan, where it solidifies into a stalactite of alarming proportions.

Balboa said...

I am glad you had a wonderful birthday. I got a kick out of your blog, you are a clever dog.

Princess Eva and Brice said...

Hi Wimsey! My aren't you the sophistcated man about town! We have a feeling we will learn alot from you. As for the weather here in Minnesota, it was 81 and sunny on Monday and 40 with rain on Wednesday. Go figure! Only 4 weeks ago we had a snow storm that brought us 18 inches of glorious snow! All gone now. GRRRR. We would like to ask you if it would be OK to link to your blog from ours. You have so much to teach the other pups out there! Thanks!! Belly Rubs, Tasha & Eva.

Tadpole said...

My goodness, Wimsey. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't understand any of that. Except your birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and umm... food. You mentioned lots of food. Mmmm... pizza, whipped cream... treats.... *sigh*

Buster the Wired Fox Terror said...

Don't all New Yorkers know everything about the Middle Ages? I mean, isn't that where the Cloisters is - and all the big knights on horses at the Museum of Natural History? Jeesh....

Bussie Kissies