Friday, May 11, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 15
May 11, 2007

Hello everyone. Wimsey here. Well it’s been quite a busy week here at Manhattan Hound Headquarters. Now, as you know, no one is ever likely to accuse me of excessively praising my human Maria or Elizabeth (a friend of hers), so when they actually get something right it is quite a shock to the system. Last Friday night was Wimsey Bath Night (and they wonder why they are still single) and weeks of preparation went into making the event a success:

How to Bathe a Hound
By Wimsey, Manhattan’s foremost stinky Bloodhound

1. Completely line your bathroom and bathtub with an enormous number of rubber mats so as to insure that the delicate hound foot is never required to come into contact with the cold, smooth tile

2. Purchase a spa shower massage attachment to relax those aching Hound muscles-- made tense by endless strolls through Central Park and prolonged bouts of napping on the couch (Author’s note: I only nap when there are no humans around to harass, so they never actually see me engage in this activity. But they have heard rumors).

3. Buy a bottle of the most expensive, non-detergent herbal dog shampoo you can find (clearly by the miniscule size of the bottle, my lap sitting activities have successfully convinced my humans that I am in fact a small dog; it took almost the entire bottle of the stuff to bathe me; Maria claims she forgot how large I am).

4. During bath operations encourage Hound compliance by feeding large quantities of turkey.

5. Dry Hound with a prolonged, four handed fluffy towel massage. Under no circumstances even think about getting out the blow dryer. You will be sorry. Trust me. I know.

6. Provide Hound with an extremely large bully stick whilst he continues to air dry, supine on the living room carpet.

7. Consume a strong cocktail while heaping praise upon the Hound.

Well, as you can see the bath went off pretty well, at least from my point of view. The humans got rather moist themselves, although they claim that it was never their intention to also get a bath. And Elizabeth has been complaining that her apartment still bears the distinctive aroma of Wet Wimsey.

I am also pleased to report that the dog show in Trenton on Sunday was equally successful. The ladies only got lost once and as usual I had to make several forays to the front seat to supervise driving operations. I have often thought that I would have made an excellent driving instructor:

Driving Instructor Wimsey: I am Wimsey your driving instructor. Don’t be nervous, I don’t bite. Please execute a right hand turn and parallel park in front of the Pet Market. Very nice. Now make a three point turn over to Kenneth the Weimaraner Puppy on the left hand corner. Excellent. Now please accelerate rapidly past the veterinarian’s. OK. Now make a u-turn and pull up in front of that fire hydrant. Activate your hazard lights; I have something to take care of. Good. You may now drive slowly through the Park Drive and hang your head out of the window.

Well once we finally found Trenton, we had a beautiful day and Elizabeth took me into the ring wearing trousers in the equally beautiful Wimsey Green (green being the color that shows off my rich red color to its greatest advantage, though, sad to say, the same cannot be said of Elizabeth’s tush —Wimsey fashion tip: if you are in possession of a prominent caboose, green is not your color). Now once in the ring, Elizabeth inadvertently got me a tad too riled up, teasing me with liver and such, so I responded with great enthusiasm by taking off with her around the ring at a joyous gallop. (Wimsey Warning: incitement of liver lust can be hazardous to your health.) I was of course supposed to trot, but I thought I looked splendid anyway-- the gallop being second only to the pace, as my favorite gait. Of course, failure to get me sufficiently riled up results in me pacing in this remarkably ugly manner that Maria has dubbed “FrankenDog.” So really she pretty much loses either way. But that is just part of the joy of showing me! I imagine it must be enormously entertaining to watch someone walk into the ring with a 125 pound hound using a string for a leash and not knowing exactly what he is going to do; only what he is capable of (although I am told that showing dogs is not generally considered a blood sport). Elizabeth says she thinks dog shows should have gin and tonic stands.

Anyway, I didn’t win anything (perhaps because Elizabeth took about ten minutes to stack me --“My calipers indicate that Wimsey’s back left leg should be a centimeter to the right but I think 1.5 centimeters would be better ,…”), but that hardly dampened my high hound spirits—after all, it was not my fault that I lost. Nothing ever is, which is part of the beauty of being a Hound (“Oh no! Wimsey has ripped up the chair cushions again—who was the idiot who left them out?” and so forth).

Now I have to say, that the highlight of Trenton was not the actual dog show—it was the prolonged and well attended concert that I gave for the attendees. Inspired by the magnificent weather, I was in such fine voice that I was pretty much mobbed wherever I went. Now if Pavarotti or Marc Anthony (I wonder if J-Lo’s rump is as big as Elizabeth’s?) or someone suddenly appeared in the middle of a field and started singing, people would come running to listen to them and that is exactly what happened to me. Like Pavarotti I am a powerful singer and my melodious voice carries over long distances. Should I ever be called upon to grace the stage of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center there certainly would never be any question of having to mike me. Nor of the upper tiers not receiving the full benefit of my performance (I bet I could even fling drool into the cheap seats). However, although I have always felt I would make a splendid Rudolfo, I am apparently not a tenor like Pavarotti; I have it on good authority (my new Central Park friend, Iola’s human is an opera singer) that I am more of a baritone, so I guess I would have to settle for singing Rigoletto--although who ever heard of a hunchbacked bloodhound. (How can there be an opera about a bat—Der Fledermaus—and not about a Bloodhound!?)

But anyway, my singing was particularly fine in Trenton and I received a favorable notice in the Trenton Times—we artists always enjoy getting a good review and it is encouraging to know that my singing is appreciated even in the distant provinces, where my humans worried that artistic taste might not be as finely honed as it is in the sophisticated precincts of New York City. After all, they reasoned, can people who do not dress in black and who eat primitive foods like funnel cakes really appreciate Wimsey’s singing?

Now on the subject of funnel cakes, it turns out that Elizabeth, having actually never had one, decided to expand her culinary horizons and try one. (Of course she originally thought they were “fennel cakes” and marveled at the sophisticated palate of the resident Trentonians –“perhaps it is because they are a state capital?”). She had in fact been warned by Maria that consuming a funnel cake was seriously inadvisable and likely to prove a significant impediment to comfortable digestion. But it was all “Look Maria, the natives are all eating funnel cakes and none of them are rolling on the ground. How bad can they be?” Well the answer to that one is pretty bad as it turns out, and I speak from personal experience. I too had never had a funnel cake and the piece I was offered came flying out of my mouth quicker than pills at the vet’s. Yuck. We Wimseys pride ourselves on our well trained palate (the only thing about us that is well trained, I might add) and this glob of fried dough and powdered sugar was truly disgusting. Of course Elizabeth ate all of hers. And had a stomachache. And she thinks that I am not very bright?

But from my human’s point of view an even greater triumph awaited us when we returned to New York: Elizabeth successfully parallel parked the car-- an achievement clearly on par with the moon landing (and occurring just as frequently). Elizabeth gave credit for this astonishing feat to her father, whose voice she claimed to hear in her head yelling “Cut the wheel! Cut the wheel!).

Now for our next show (Oyster Bay, New York May 19th, the ladies will have to confront the Great Gas Problem (no, not my intestines, that is the Other Great Gas Problem--which for me it is not a problem at all. Producing noxious odors is just another weapon in the Hound Armamentarium aimed at preventing humans from ignoring me), as gas stations in New York, unlike those in the more civilized reaches of New Jersey, are self service. But I am hoping that pumping gas will be just another one of the many new and useful skills my humans are acquiring because of me, Professor Wimsey the Education Bloodhound. For instance, both women are now capable of opening a pack of string cheese (see entry # 11), a major culinary achievement. Maria can now successfully boil liver—an even greater culinary achievement as it entails the use of the stove, a wholly foreign and generally mysterious appliance containing many knobs and dials. Elizabeth has become quite the fashionista—of green clothing. And as for driving, Maria has learned to drive with a perfect view of a giant hound head in her rear view mirror. I have high hopes for the pumping of gasoline. Stay tuned.

Finally, it has also been an eventful week in France. Now we Wimseys are very proud of our French heritage, having been brought to Europe by French knights (see entry # 8) and so I follow events in the mother country rather closely. Now everything about the French always seems more stylish, even their elections. It was the Chic Lady versus the Tough Guy, like one of their movies (except in those they would have fallen in love, left the governing of France to less attractive people and run off to the Seychelles together). And purely in the spirit of honoring my heritage during election week I stuck my tongue into Elizabeth’s mouth to stop her from talking about things that have nothing to do with me. Personally, I like to think that The Bloodhound invented the French kiss which was then misappropriated by humans for completely other purposes.

OK, am now off to steal some French fries.

Until next week,

Wimsey, the non-show dog.


Anonymous said...

Hi Wimsey...BATH??? please say that you STILL SMELL LIKE A HOUND!?! Wow wasn't Trenton fun? Not only can we fling the slobber, but we can sure fling the humiliation in the ring too!!! You do have one great voice...too bad it wasn't a singing contest. Till the next show...

Anonymous said...

Hah! Sounds like an awesome time - I'm sorry I missed it.

My mama has asked me to help you with your mamas gas issue. I've been watching the guys in New(f) Jersey fill up my mama's car and here's what I've seen:

Step one: open up flappy thingy covering gas hole and unscrew cap.

Step two: Stare blankly at the machine that pumps the gas until you find the instructions. yes, there are instructions.

Step three: They usually want you to stick your credit card in the machine first. So take care of that, and then pick up the gas nozzle thingy and stick it in your car. If the piece of metal that the gas nozzle thingy was resting on moves; flip it up.

Step four: Pick a variety of gas by pressing the button.

Step five: Fill tank.

Hope that helps!

Oscar's mummy and daddy said...

I hope you aren't too emotionally scarred by your bath Wimsey (though maybe the humans are, hehehe!)

Oscar x

Boomer and his mom Carol said...

Hi Wimsey,

Well I must admit that though I have never actually tried a funnel cake, I don't think I would like it. My folks went to a fair a couple of weeks ago and ma and pa split a funnel cake and ma felt bad afterwards. Not to mention the fact that she felt that her butt looked like two funnel cakes too.

Now, about your singing. There is this show called American Idol. Though we at the house have never watched the show, I am sure that you could give everyone on there a run for their money. Once you get famous I could be your agent. I'll only take a small cut of your earnings, say 10% in toys or food? When you come here to Los Angeles we'll do lunch at The Ivy and talk about it.

Lorenza said...

Hi Wimsey. Giving you a bath sounds like a big event. The ones I get are very simple.
What a day you had. Pretty fun.
My mom says she is grateful to have people here to do the thing gas for you.
Have a nice weekend.

Sophie Brador said...

Bravo Wimsey! Tu est très drôle. Funny thing is, funnel cake seems to be everywhere this week. I've never had one or even seen one, but it seems that every time I listen to the radio or read a dog blog, there is some mention of funnel cake. Is this funnel cake season or something? They must not be French. If they were, they would surely be called gateaux foonai (phonetically speaking), and they would surely be available in every depanneur in town.

Tart said...

Please DO NOT mention baths again for a very long time, Wimsey! I have never had to suffer the horrors of an actual house type bath and I'm in no rush to do so.... I get to swim in the river, and paddle in streams and that is A GOOD THING! Admittedly the attraction of soaking the entire bathroom is quite appealing but still, I'd rather not let the arty types think I'd enjoy shampoos and all that stuff.

Anonymous said...

I think she found it funny because your the first other "show dog" to blog she, I mean, I found. A commrad of sorts!

Peanut said...

Nanook's gas directions are very good use those. My mom say's making fun of elizabeth's backside is not nice.
I will have to see if I can get my mom to get me a funnel cake to try. Oh and I would have enjoyed your singing very much

Anonymous said...

ROFL! We can't stop laughing! (We get a bath every week ... and we STILL can't stop laughing!)

Wuf Ya! Gomer & Opie

Tadpole said...

WIMSEY! Do you mean to tell me you got mentioned in the paper because of your melodious voice?! We need to see that! Scan a copy!

Anonymous said...

Together we must go on strike!!!

I'm adding you to my list of superdupercool dog blogs.

Boomer and his mom Carol said...

Wimsey - you mentioned on Sophie's Blog The Pogues! Have you heard of the Flogging Molly's? (sp?) Mom loves them, especially on St. Patties Day with nice cool Harp lager - good times.

Personally I don't know who they are but I like beer. Happy Tail Ale is my brew of choice.

Anonymous said...

Some of my rival driving instructors look like you!!