Friday, August 31, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 30
August 31, 2007

Hello Everyone . It’s me Wimsey. Well this has been quite a lazy week here in the Big Bully Stick. Most actual residents have vamoosed for vacation and the city is teeming with tourists which means I am attracting even more than my usual share of Homo sapienonic attention. Now as I previously mentioned, my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are incredibly proud of the fact that they can tell people what kind of dog I am in many languages. Well, not exactly what kind of dog I am (drooly, smelly, insubordinate, etc) but what my breed is. And the other day they were asked this question by a group with an accent. Elizabeth prepared once again to demonstrate her linguistic prowess and asked where they were from. Their reply: Bulgaria.

Anyway all these tourists come equipped with cameras which they deploy pretty freely and not just around me (although I have found a relaxing spot in front of the Turtle Pond that pretty much guarantees that any picture taken of Belvedere Castle will also include me). Then my human Maria made a very brilliant observation: “Every picture looks better with a Hound in it.” Now I could not agree with her more and this got me thinking, not just about photographs but about the Great Masterworks of Art. Would not they too look better with the insertion of a Hound? So, I, Wimsey have now embarked on a new project to rectify this heinous omission. Some results are below and I will be providing others for your viewing pleasure in upcoming weeks. I am also thinking of creating a coffee table book. Of course, I could never be permitted anywhere near this coffee table book (or an actual coffee table, for that matter) because I would eat them, but there is no reason why others should not bask in the genius of my artistic talents

Selections from Professor Wimsey’s Institute of Houndish Art
Christina's World (Andrew Wyeth, 1948, Museum of Modern Art, New York): Now this is a very lovely painting, intensely evoking the feelings of solitude and isolation of the limitless, empty spaces of the iconic American West. However, it is never clear what Christina is reaching for—is it hope, or the future or is she expressing the despair of the unattainable? Now all these abstract sentiments are very well and good, but they are terribly complicated and we can never be certain of what the artist really intended. But see how the addition of a Hound clarifies the situation instantly! What could make better sense than that Christina is reaching for her magnificent Hound to give him a well deserved scratch? See how much easier it is to understand the painting now. (“Wimsey’s World”)

The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli, 1483, Uffizi Museum. Florence): This painting was created for Botticelli’s good pal Lorenzo de Medici and is a departure from the classical realism of other Renaissance artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael—see how Venus’ neck is anatomically too long and her left shoulder is a little weird. But although lovely, don’t you think she looks very lonely up there, gazing wistfully out from her shell? As the symbol of human beauty does she not yearn to be joined by an equal paragon of canine beauty? So here I have thoughtfully pushed her aside to make room for an exquisitely luminescent Hound. (“The Birth of Venus and Her Gorgeous Hound”).

The Scream (Edvard Munch, 1893, Munch Museum, Oslo): This is a very famous painting by Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch. Now the fellow he depicts is clearly upset. But why? Some say it’s the existential angst of man in the modern age, some say it depicts the eruption of Krakatoa but no one really knows. But with a simple houndly addition we can instantly resolve the ambiguity! Now the painting makes perfect and indisputable sense. The man is covering his ears in pain and admonishing his Hound to stop baying! My humans look like this a lot too. (“The Bay”)

But back to Central Park and the Turtle Pond and what I have come to think of as the Great Testicular Crisis. As I was lounging next to the Pond, I became distinctly aware of the ladies directing a collective and intense gaze at my nether regions (generally this happens because I am expressing myself joyfully in the unrestrained manner that only a male hound can) with very concerned expressions. It was all “Don’t you think there is something odd looking about Wimsey’s testicles today? They look kind of pointy-- I know his head is supposed to be pointy but should those be pointy too?” and “Well, I’ve seen them when it looks like he has lost one, but I don’t think I have ever seen them looking pointy before” (I wonder where she thought the missing one went?) and “I don’t know. Maybe we should inspect them to make sure they’re OK?” and “I don’t think we should be inspecting Wimsey’s testicles in a public place—it might look weird.”

Of course, I inspect my testicles all the time in a public place, so I didn’t see the validity of the objection. Also show judges don’t seem to have any compunction about inspecting them in a public place either. In addition, my testicles are much admired by many of the male residents of New York City who frequently comment on their lovely proportions and pleasing prominence. And if the ladies were worried about looking weird, how do they think they look staring at my testicles?

Then of course there ensued great debate about which one of them would inspect my testicles and all kinds of alarming theories were proposed about what could be the matter with them. Finally, Elizabeth reached out and gave them a tentative squeeze and discovered what I had known all along. We bloodhounds are a wrinkly lot and loose folds of skin abound pretty much everywhere-- even there. And if I have been lying in a certain way, this skin assumes a variety of unusual shapes that tend to persist for a while—the point being the most common configuration. Personally, I think it gives them a rather jaunty avant garde look very much in keeping with the edgy New York lifestyle. Well, the ladies were so relieved that untoward things weren’t going on down there that I instantly came in for some serious scratching and cooing. Even so, my hound jewels were kept under careful observation for the rest of the day and Maria called Elizabeth with further evening updates on the diminishing state of the point.

I must say, sometimes it is a real trial that my humans are female. They simply cannot appreciate all the ramifications of maleness. Indeed, my shape shifting testicles caused a great debate about whether human males can get pointy also and a number of ideas were bruited about as to the best method of ascertaining the truth of this. I wish them a lot of luck with that one.

Well, it’s hard to believe that summer is over and soon I will be happily showering the fall foliage with houndly admiration. New York can actually be quite delightful in the summer—movie screens are put up at various venues around town for free summer viewing. And what could be better than a good summer musical?

Wimsey’s Top Summer Movie Musicals

An American Hound in Paris: An artistic hound eats a lot of cheese, plays in the fountains and pees all over the Champs Elysee. He is discovered baying in a cabaret and improbably becomes the toast of café society. Picasso purchases one of his drool art canvasses and claims it as inspiration for his Hound Period.

Houndelot: We go back to a mythical time when heroic Hounds ruled the world (pretty much like today) and the Knights of the Hound Table performed houndly feats of courage, such as rescuing houndkind from evil nail clipper wielding wizards and stealing important magical swords.

Gentlemen Prefer Hounds: A group of rich and successful humans sacrifice everything to be towed around Tiffany’s and Petco by a pack of alluring female hounds. The Hounds then desert them for a carton of Grom gelato.

The Hound and I: A young hound teaches an eastern potentate the civilized arts of baying, drool flinging, food stealing and not bathing, inadvertently causing a revolution among his subjects.

My Fair Hound:
An ordinary hound is transformed into a show dog hound, fools the judges at Westminster and eats the hats of the ladies at Ascot.

The Hound of Music: A disobedient Hound is kicked out of the kennel and helps a renegade nun teach the Von Trapp children to bay in three part harmony and not listen to their annoying father. The Hound saves the family by short circuiting the electrical system of pursuing Nazi cars by peeing in their engines.

Seven Hounds for Seven Brothers: Seven stinky and disgusting young men become even more so when seven hounds move in with them.

Bayin’ in the Rain: A rain hating Hound is cited for noise pollution and ear damage during a long stretch of rainy weather.

West Side Hound Story:
A breed war erupts when a gang of terriers challenges the turf of a pack of hounds. The terriers beat up the Hounds but lose the war in the face of superior excretory hydraulic power.

Wimsey Poppins: A mischievous Hound invades a sedate London household, commandeers the family’s possessions, wreaks havoc with its routine and teaches the children how to be charmingly insubordinate.

The Hound of Oz: A lost teenager from Kansas discovers a realm ruled by a Hound. Then she discovers that she is really at home.

Well, anyway, so much for music and art. I am off to mess with my snake for a bit before I am summoned to Wimsey Bath Night.

Until next time,

Professor Wimsey, The Art and Music Hound

Friday, August 24, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #29
August 24, 2007

Hello Everyone. Wimsey here, reporting from the soggy August streets of New York City. Any more rain and bloodhounds will be marching up a ramp two by two. I got caught in a monster thunder storm this week and I can tell you I was mighty peeved—so much so that I tried to run all the way home from Central Park. My human Maria was not amused (I can now appreciate the phrase “madder than a wet hen”) and Elizabeth (a friend of hers) was even less so as she was holding (or more accurately, ferociously clutching) the leash. The only consolation was that they both got seriously soaked as well and unlike me, neither of them got a towel massage rub down.

But speaking of reporting, I was in error last week when I said that I was going to be in the New York Post. Apparently the article that the Post reporter wrote is for a new website called It should be up and running in September, so check it out. You might just see a picture of ME and my beloved and courageous runner, Roy.
And as for other events, preparations for the AKC Responsible Dog Day—Meet the Breed on September 15th are proceeding apace. Maria and Elizabeth are going to escort me to Madison Square Park so the public can see what a fine fellow I am. Maria is going to talk (and on the subject of me she can talk almost even more than Elizabeth can on the subject of Tudors) and I am going to bay. In fact Maria is afraid that if I am in good voice, conversation might very well be impossible. But seeing (or hearing) is believing and nothing perhaps will have a greater impact on the public than the sight of the mountain of drool rags that the ladies intend to display on the Bloodhound Table. They are also contemplating those ear thingies that people wear on rifle ranges. In addition, they have obtained some excellent literature from the American Bloodhound Club on what you should expect if you live with a bloodhound (that would be drool, stink, shattered ear drums, shredded possessions, multiple contusions and a hyper extended leash arm…. but I am very cute).

Thinking of all the literature about taking care of Hounds, I realized that there seems to be a paucity of literature on the care and feeding of humans.

Wimsey’s Guide to Complete Human Care: How to raise a happy, healthy and obedient human

Food: Proper nutrition is essential to raising a healthy human. Humans should be fed at least three times a day on flat, elevated surfaces (they don’t do well on all fours due to poorly designed vertebrae). Be sure to prepare food that is appetizing to yourself as well, since you will have to steal or otherwise acquire some of it to avoid overfeeding them (humans are prone to obesity if not managed properly). Never permit food guarding. Reward the release of food with a pleasing wag of the tail or an affectionate lick. Although stealing is sometimes necessary (and fun) humans respond quite well to positive reinforcement. You can also use negative reinforcement by vocalizing vociferously until the food is released.

Grooming: Humans need an extensive amount of grooming, so be warned. You will have to carefully supervise their ablutions and we recommend the “taste test” to ensure that their skin is adequately cleaned and the “smell test,” which consists of poking your nose in those hard to reach places whilst inhaling deeply to make sure that proper hygiene has been practiced.

Exercise: Although humans require a great deal of exercise, they are reluctant to do it. Here the leadership of the Hound is paramount. You must not allow the human to sit undisturbed for any length of time as it is detrimental to their mental and physical well being. Encourage the human to spend as much time outdoors as possible, preferably trying to keep up with you (two legs are very slow, by the way, so don’t be too discouraged). Indoors encourage wrestling-- sitting on them and blocking their view of computers or television screens can be an excellent way to initiate the process. Other exercise such as repetitive toy flinging is also recommended.

Potty training: Humans take readily to potty training, but as with grooming, careful supervision is necessary. It is extremely inadvisable to permit humans to eliminate without your presence, as it is a well known fact that they can escape through a secret trap door in the bathroom. (also, the males can be a little messy--you might want to stand well back).

Sleeping: Fortunately humans like to sleep, although they rarely do enough of it and can be bed possessive. Train them from an early age to accept the presence of a drooly stinky hound (particularly one that sleeps the wide way) and you will all get a peaceful night’s rest. If the human tries to hog the bed, push them off. The hard floor is good for their backs.

Obedience training: Obedience training is crucial to raising a human who is a pleasure to live with. Positive methods are simple: reward every behavior you like with a tail wag or a lick and you will dramatically increase the frequency of these behaviors. Behaviors you don’t like, simply ignore and they will gradually fade from the repertoire. Unlike Hounds, humans lack our indefatigable persistence. We call this being soft headed and it makes them much easier to train. Of course sometimes it is necessary to use what behaviorists called positive punishment---such as sticking your tongue in a human’s mouth when they are talking too much and scratching you too little. Or issuing a verbal correction, such as a bay, when they guard valuable resources such as plastic soda bottles.

Remember to be patient—some humans are not fast learners. Also they will respond better if they believe that they are training you; do everything possible to humor them in this sad delusion. And remember-- you are there for their benefit; without the leadership of the Hound, they would sit too much, eat too much and laugh too little.

Well as you may have surmised, I come from a long line of excellent human trainers. (If you want to see a picture of my handsome and accomplished father, by the way, the ultra macho hound, Stetson go to If I become half the Hound Stetson is I will be happy. There is nothing quite as humbling as having a father who is larger, redder and more rambunctious than oneself.

Anyway, the only other exciting event this week is that Elizabeth went to the ASPCA picnic held at the Bronx Zoo and brought me back an enormous stuffed snake to “play”(shred) with. Now on the subject of shredding, I am a highly selective shredder. Underwear, Chinese food menus or the rent bill slipped under the door, bedding of all kinds—sheets, towels and the like—all these are fair game. However, I am at pains to preserve my stuffed green greeting bone and I have the good manners, unlike some Hounds, not to shred clothes whilst humans are actually wearing them. Also, unlike Maria’s two previous bloodhounds, who ate couches and were blissfully unaware that this would leave them no place to sit, I generally exercise my massive, albeit pointy brain, and leave the couch alone. (Elizabeth has a very low opinion of my intelligence because she says that anything that has a head is both pointy and flat at the same time bodes ill in the intellect department). I think my smaller brain size is more efficient as it reduces the amount of extraneous information that I am forced to carry around--like things that are Tudor related, for instance.

Well, Elizabeth apparently had fun at the zoo although her report to Maria did not sound that way—all the animals appeared to be snoozing—even the new exhibit of African wild dogs (she is obviously a glutton for punishment-- as if an Upper West Side wild dog were not enough)—and the tigers refused to be enriched during tiger enrichment time. (I wonder if they are related to Hounds). It sounds like buying my snake was the high point of the visit.

Exhibits in the Wimsey Zoo

-People who think I am the Hound of the Baskervilles, Scooby Do or Clifford

-Celebrities who collect Third World children

-Dog trainers, especially those with clickers or like to roll dogs and have
TV shows

-The inventor of the Gentle Leader

-People who won’t invest in Elizabeth’s deal

Well, it is that time again—I have a pre park tow nap to take. Soon the summer will be over, the weather will get chillier (and hopefully drier) and I will become unbearably frisky. Something for my humans to look forward to!

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Human Whisperer

Friday, August 17, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 28
August 17, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey! Well, we have been having some seriously sunny summer weather here in the Great Metropolis of New York and I have been putting in some major park time. But before I discuss my excellent Central Park adventures, I want to let everyone know that I will be in the New York Post (, probably this Sunday. Pet correspondent Julia Szabo is doing a story with me in it.

I also want to give everyone who might be in the City a heads-up that on September 15th the American Kennel Club is having a Responsible Dog Ownership- Meet the Breed Day from 11-3pm in Madison Square Park, 23rd Street and Fifth Avenue. It’s free and Yours Truly will be available to chat and drool at the Bloodhound Table.

My human Maria will also be on hand to tell people how wonderful it is to live with a bloodhound. Elizabeth, a friend of hers, says that this is true only if one doesn’t mind the drool, the stink, and the mass destruction of one’s possessions--not to mention the need to spend endless amounts of time being towed by an exuberant, baying hound. Of course Elizabeth is used to dealing with docile breeds such as pit bulls and Rottweilers, so her opinions don’t count. No one else’s opinion actually counts either, but that is another of the joys of being owned by a Hound. Elizabeth will also be at the Meet the Breed Table—she is going to handle me and is under the sad delusion that she will make me behave if I chose not to. Why she should believe this, I have no idea—it’s never been possible before. But then I have observed that humans seldom learn from their experiences the way we Hounds do.

Things an experienced Hound has learned from experience:

When people say “How Cute!”-- lean on them and look adorable—there will be snacks or plastic bottles forthcoming.

When your human start cooing at you in a particularly unctuous way—hide. There is certain to be ear cleaning solution or nail clippers involved.

The sound of a running bath is not your friend.

Humans are frequently distracted in the kitchen and turn their backs on delicious, eminently stealable pieces of food. Be patient and pretend to be taking a harmless snooze on the kitchen floor.

Be alert to any signs of a wardrobe change-- used underwear will eventually appear.

The degree to which you make humans laugh is directly proportional to antics you will be able to get away with (Wimsey’s Theorem).

But anyway, speaking of endless hours of walking, last Sunday I really outdid myself. My humans intended to take me for a measly two hour Central Park and by the time I was done with them, the walk stretched to six (count ‘em) hours. It might be a new Wimsey record for coercive Park walks. (“I don’t know where the time went; Wimsey just didn’t seem to allow me to leave the Park.”)

Wimsey’s Excellent Park Adventure (for info on Central Park see

11:30 am-12:30 pm: Maria took me to EJ’s Luncheonette where I usually noisily “find” Elizabeth on Sunday mornings, employing much triumphant and ear splitting baying. Then we all walked around Central Park before Maria left to go to brunch.

12:30pm-1:30pm: Elizabeth and I ensconced ourselves on a shady rustic bench in the Ramble where tourists on their way to and fro from Belvedere Castle stopped to admire me, chat and take my picture. The spectacle of a giant hound sitting on a rustic bench in the midd
le of a major city is not a sight you see every day, regardless of where you are from.

1:30pm-2:30pm: Elizabeth and I take a stroll through the Ramble. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Central Park, the Ramble is a heavily wooded area with twisty paths designed to get humans lost so they “ramble” whether they want to or not. Generally they don’t want to ramble or at least not for the length of time that they end up doing so. As humans in company of a dog, my people are frequently called upon to help people find their way out. The good news is that my humans know how to do it, the bad news is that it is impossible to give coherent directions (“Turn left at the tree with the funny shaped branch and make a right at the big bush where Wimsey likes to pee…”) So I am frequently called upon to escort stranded persons to the edge of the forest. I think this should qualify me as a search and rescue dog.

Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with all the pathways of the Ramble, it can be a challenge to find your way out. When you are in my company it is also a challenge to find your way out because I have an encyclopedic knowledge of all the paths and permutations that lead out of the Ramble and I simply refuse to go those ways. I love the Ramble—it is cool and shady and is filled with delicious small, succulent animal smells that I follow by charging off the paths. My humans call this off roading. (“Don’t let Wimsey off road again—the last time he smelled like skunk”). And because the Ramble is in a somewhat natural state, it is also an abundant source of a substance that is truly a gift from the gods: dirt. What can I say: bloodhounds and dirt—perfect together.

Now although I am a short haired dog I have a considerable amount of surface area and hair layers in which to secrete and ferry dirt from where it belongs (Central Park) to where it doesn’t (my humans’ apartments). I am in fact the Ultimate Dirt Caddy. Even Elizabeth who covers her furniture in sheets when I come over has given up—she finds dirt and hair under the sheets (“Do you think Wimsey has magical powers to transport dirt—kind of like Harry Potter?”) But really, we Hounds are just very resourceful when it comes to innovating mess. The other great thing about all the dirt in the park is that it mixes with my drool to become a colloidal suspension. This adds an entirely different dimension and appearance when I engage in drool flinging. And humans do so like to wear light colored clothes in the summer—I create lovely Jackson Pollock-like drool art with this enhanced medium, achieving wonderful new variations in both color and texture. We Hounds are after all, all artists by nature (escape artists, con artists, etc.).

2:30pm- 3:30pm: Now Elizabeth finally dragged me out of the Ramble (dragging a large hound who is headed in the opposite direction is no easy feat, by the way) and was absolutely determined to go home, at least for a little while, but I decided I needed a little water first. Noticing a drinking fountain in a grassy area opposite Bethesda Fountain, we headed over for what Elizabeth had every intention of being a quick drink. But I flopped down in the cool grass under a tree and looked so comfortable that she soon joined me. Then we passed the time entertaining yet more tourists. Now because Elizabeth has learned how to say “bloodhound” in a bunch of languages, she is under the illusion that she actually speaks these languages.

Italian Family: Bella! Bella! Bella! (they were not talking about Elizabeth, by the way) He is what kind?

Elizabeth: He is a Cane di San’Uberto.

Italian Family: stare blankly. Then one says: Si! Si! Cane di San’ Uberto, Cane di San’ Uberto.

Of course Elizabeth was under the impression that that is what she had just said using her best Italian accent (acquired from watching Felini movies in college, which I hardly think counts as language training).

3:30pm-5:30pm: Maria calls in to find out if I have been kidnapped and whisked off to be forcibly shown in Rio or something. Elizabeth is embarrassed to admit that she is still in the Park with me. (‘I think we must have encountered a hole in the space-time continuum.”) Anyway, Maria decides to join us and entertain the tourists too for a while.

Because I am a veritable canine weather vane (I always point my nose into the oncoming air currents) the ladies then engage in an endless amount of extremely fascinating conversation, making remarks such as “Oh look, Wimsey’s nose has swung to the south southeast; I wonder if it will rain.” And so forth. I think they are planning to measure the barometric pressure using the degree my hair fluffs up as a gauge. And they wonder why, in spite of my best efforts, they are single.

Anyway, when the ladies were through discussing the variability in the wind patterns, we all took a walk through the Park’s southern loop; I finally returned home at 5:30pm, had a snack and climbed into Maria’s bed for a long dirt and kibble fueled snooze. (She knows better than to change the sheets when I have been for a long walk in the Park). I rested happy in the notion that I had once again prevented Elizabeth from getting anything done. She so likes to get things done that it is one of my life’s missions to prevent it. (My mission with Maria is to prevent her from reading, watching TV, using the computer or talking with her friends—bad habits, all). But Elizabeth is now blaming me for distracting her during business meetings. After last week, when I proposed accompanying her to meetings, she claims she cannot see a large, polished conference table without imagining me standing in the middle of it. I am sure this inspires her, particularly as the whole purpose of the meetings is to close a deal so she can purchase the large gift basket that I have been promised.

Anyway, we have another beautiful weekend coming up and I am hearing talk about a picnic. So I get my six hours in the park plus get to stick my nose in food. Ain’t life grand?

Until next time,

Wimsey, New York’s Premier Park Ranger

Addendum: It appears I was NOT in this Sunday's NY Post. I will keep you posted.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 27
August 10, 2007

Hello Everyone. Wimsey here. Well it’s been another hot and sultry week here in New York City. We had a monster storm the other morning which did not affect us much here on the Upper West Side-- except that my human Maria was forced to walk to work (“Gee, walking is so easy when Wimsey is not towing me”) because the subways were down. Now I fail to see the attraction of subways in the first place—why would anyone want to use transport where I am not allowed—walking and sniffing are so much healthier, especially in the company of a giant exuberant Hound. Anyway, the storm was so violent that I was forced to climb into bed with Maria to comfort her and assure her that everything was OK. I even repeated her friend Elizabeth’s boring lecture on thunder being merely a compression wave caused by air heated by lightning. Boring science lectures are inordinately comforting when it feels like you are living in the middle of the London Blitz. Anyway, the storm flooded the subways; routinely malfunctioning public transportation is all part of the joys of living here in the Big Rawhide (I don’t particularly care for apples).

In fact, I do tend to have rawhides on the brain these days as my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth ordered a whacking great box of stuff for me, including an array of rawhides, bully sticks, hooves, stuffed toys and greenies. They claim they were feeling sorry for me because of my injured pad (“Oh look, Wimsey’s hurt his paw—let’s shop!”) but really I know it is because they like to shop, even if it is for me. Not that I am all that easy to shop for: Maria could probably fill her entire Manhattan sized apartment with all of the expensive gourmet dog treats that I have rejected. And of course everything has to be Jumbo Wimsey Sized. And then my humans get to haul all of this stuff up the stairs (like my 35lb bags of kibble)—Maria may be thin but she is developing the arms of a stevedore. Elizabeth just supervises and drinks beer—two things she really seems to excel at. But then my injured pad sympathy box didn’t start out so big, but once the ladies got online they lost all sense of control (“Zanies are so much more affordable than Prada and Jimmy Choo”). Although they claim they were only trying to justify the shipping charge. But who am I to complain—I have a new stuffed toy that the manufacturer claims is difficult to destroy—I’ll bet you can use an egg timer on me for that one—and also a back up replacement for my giant green stuffed Greeting Bone, which I always have in my mouth when people pay homage to me on the Tribute Couch. We Wimseys are very big on ritual, you know. I always spin twice before I poop and require a belly rub and a biscuit before my walking equipment is put on.

But anyway I do actually understand the joys of shopping (apart from the fact that all purchased items will eventually end up in my mouth even if that was not the original intention). Principally I shop extensively every day for just the right spot to deposit my precious and copious mounds of poop. I sniff, I weigh, I consider carefully—is this the right spot or is there something better just down the road. Is the spot inconvenient enough for human poop scooping? Will the leaves of this bush support the full weight of my deposit? Is the wind just right here to carry its fragrance an acceptable distance? Has this spot become so popular that I will no longer stand out? So many choices and considerations. And unlike my humans my choice is rate limiting—I only get to do it a few times a day.

Wimsey’s Poop Emporium

Sales Hound:
Good afternoon. May I interest Sir in some prime pooping real estate?

Customer Hound: Yes, in fact I am just beginning my extensive daily search.

Sales Hound: Is Sir an upland or a lowland pooper? We have some excellent sturdy bushes and a very nice fence if the upland appeals. Lowland we have a special on a lovely lawn and a new patch of Ivy has just come in from China. And of course all spots are guaranteed to be fresh and positioned in excellent air flow.

Customer Hound; Well those all sound fine. But today I am looking for something just a little non-traditional.

Sales Hound: You know we don’t do anything illegal, like the running boards of SUVs or park benches.

Customer Hound: Yes of course, Wimsey’s Poop Emporium has a reputation for quality merchandise and the utmost integrity. It’s just that I’ve become a bit bored and am looking for something a bit novel.

Sales Hound: Well, seeing as how you are such a big fan of our establishment, I’ll let you in on a little secret—the staff were keeping it for themselves, but we have a lamppost of an entirely new design. A new type of lamppost has just come in with a wide, etched iron base that grips the poop like Velcro. If Sir will step behind this curtain and care to back himself up against it. The tush feel is extraordinary—one can feel those deep ridges, like so many tiny poop displaying shelves, even through Sir’s luxurious fur.

Customer Hound: Perfect. And trying to scrape it off will only press the poop deeper into the ridges.

Sales Hound: Exactly. The lamppost was clearly designed to provide a long lasting poop experience.

Customer Hound: It’s just what I have been looking for.

Sales Hound: At Wimsey’s Poop Emporium your Poop is our Pleasure.

And speaking of something novel, Elizabeth now needs a new name for the company she is raising money for. This is apparently even more difficult than me finding a place to poop. I have suggested Wimsey Enterprises, which I feel has a distinguished ring to it. Or perhaps Hubertus Pharma or the Bloodhound Group, International, but so far she has failed to see the appeal of these names (“Wimsey’s suggestions all seem to be about Wimsey”.) I have even offered to attend presentations to investors with her to help establish the company’s image (“There seems to be a giant Hound drooling in the middle of the conference table. Does anyone know why?” “Well no else has brought a giant Hound to drool on our conference table, so it is a different approach. Perhaps the company is highlighting how innovative they are. They think outside the Hound” “Do you think the Hound will affect valuation? The deal is already very pricy” “The Hound has shredded the term sheet—d
oes this mean the company is rejecting our offer?”)

Anyway, the quicker the deal winds up, the more time Elizabeth will have to spend with me and of course I am expecting a really humongous celebratory gift box. Elizabeth did take time out this week to take me to a place called New York Veterinary Specialists ( for an orthopedic exam to be sure that I am OK. It’s a lovely place, but curiously free of drool, a situation which I felt obligated to rectify. Multiple times. I do so like trashing vet offices. It’s revenge for having to have my temperature taken (Elizabeth is developing quite an effective head lock—maybe if she doesn’t complete her deal we have a future with the World Wrestling Federation: “In this corner we have Wimsey the Prodigious Droolomator and in the opposing corner we have the tag team of Elizabeth and Maria wielding thermometers, nail clippers and ear cleaning solution.”)

Anyway, the first part of the ortho exam consisted of Elizabeth gaiting me outside back and forth for the specialist (given her anatomy, I bet she wished she had reconsidered that thin, scoop neck T shirt she was wearing). And of course being the cooperative Hound that I am, I gaited beautifully—trotting elegantly by her side as I never do for her in the show ring. I am nothing if not inconveniently cooperative. Anyway, then sad to say, things went downhill—it took two strong men to hold me on my side while the vet played with my legs and feet. Now Maria does this to me to all the time and I like it, but given how serious everyone was I was convinced that something truly abominable—like a nail clipping—was about to happen. But the good news is that the eminent orthopedic specialist could find nothing wrong with me and when he isn’t sitting on me, is a rather nice chap. He is originally from Scotland and I must confess that I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t comfort me with a “thair, thair, wee haunde”.

But I did get a mound of turkey for dinner out of it, richly deserved, I might add. And I think my humans deserve to engage in another online shopping trip to Petedge.

Until next time,

The Sound but Sat Upon, Wimsey

Friday, August 3, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 26
August 3, 2007

Hello everyone. Wimsey here--reporting as usual from Hound Central in the heart of New York’s Upper West Side. We are now officially in the dog days of summer. Of course all the days of all the seasons of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s lives are dog days. Or more specifically Wimsey days, as I dominate every facet of their existence.

The Origin of the Dog (Hound) Days of Summer

Ancient # 1: It is so hot and sticky that my animal Houndus refuses to go look for succulent animals.

Ancient #2: Perhaps we can motivate him by feeding him some chunks of delicious meat.

Ancient #1: Well he’s eaten the meat, but now seems more inclined to a nap.

Ancient #2: Perhaps if you scratch his tummy it will speed digestion and he will become active again.

Ancient #1: It doesn’t seem to be working.

Ancient # 2: Why don’t we stimulate him by giving him an exciting squeaky toy to play with?

Ancient #1: Well he’s ripped up the toy and now seems to be lounging on the divan again.

Ancient #2: Perhaps if we play chase and wrestle games with him it will rile him up sufficiently to go out and chase and wrestle some dinner.

Ancient #1: Whew, I am exhausted, but it seems we have just stimulated Houndus to roll around in the grass. How are we going to explain that we have spent many hours entertaining Houndus yet there are no comestibles forthcoming?

Ancient #2: The way we always explain inconvenient things—we blame the stars. Look up; don’t you think that that cluster over there looks a lot like Houndus? We’ll call that group Houndus Major and name that that really bright star Sirius the Dog Star and claim that it is in charge of all of Houndus’ bad behavior. In fact, it has been traveling very close to the sun lately, so we will say that the star dictates that during these special dog days it is too hot for Houndus to work. That way no one will blame us for wasting the day entertaining him. So it’s not really our fault that he doesn’t want to hunt and of course, Houndus is blameless also, which is the way he likes it.

Ancient #1; I guess it’s another salad night. I wonder if Houndus has left us any grass to eat?

Now personally, I have always gotten a kick out of the fact that there is a constellation called the Great Hound, since this is how I am referred to by my humans (although they generally address me as “Sir” as in: Elizabeth to Maria: “The Great Hound appears to be crushing my internal organs again.” Maria to Me: “Is Sir feeling peckish? Perhaps Sir would care to consume some roast turkey over here at his feeding station?”). After all, I don’t recall any constellations named Maria Macilentus or Elizabeta Garrulus.

Anyway, in honor of these official dog days (August 3-11 approximately) I have created a new verb:

Hound [hound], pron. haund-verb Origin: bef. 900; ME h(o)und, OE hund; c. D hond, ON hundr, Dan, Sw hund, G Hund, Goth hunds; akin to L canis, Gk kýōn (gen. kynós), Skt śván (gen. śunas), OIr cú (gen. con), Welsh ci (pl. cwn), Tocharian A kū, Lith šuõ ]

def. To Hound: to take Wimsey out for his midday walk, then waste one half of the afternoon sitting with him in the park and the other half of the afternoon entertaining him in one’s apartment; to neglect all useful and remunerative employment for the sole benefit and enjoyment of Wimsey.

Well my pad injury is still healing and since I can’t go for my afternoon run with Running Paws, Elizabeth is spending her afternoons hounding instead of working-- a course of action of which I heartily approve. Although she does try to resist the temptation to hound exclusively (“Perhaps I can work for 10 minutes and then hound for fifty”) but in the words of the immortal Borg “Resistance is Futile.” But having me around is quite useful as I am very supportive of the deal that Elizabeth is working on and as such show great enthusiasm whenever any of her phones or Skype rings (more money for her means more presents for me). I especially like her landline, which is located in a strategic position next to the couch. Whilst she talks on it, I sit on her and offer houndly advice in her ear. The only downside is that I can’t get her to squeal properly when she is on one of these calls.

And of course I believe that as a Hound my character provides her with a major source of inspiration—I am after all determined, persistent, tenacious, firm, immovable (quite literally), indefatigable, insistent, obstinate, perseverant, relentless, resolute, steadfast, pertinacious, stubborn, unrelenting, unremitting, unshakable and of course dogged. Also, I always get my way. Not a bad role model for challenging projects. I think I would have done quite well on Wall Street.

Financial Hound: Would you like to invest in my deal?

Potential Investor: No, I don’t think I want to invest in your deal.

(Actual Hound Would you like me to sit on you?)
(Human: No, I don’t think I want you to sit on me.)

Financial Hound: You will make a lot of money in this deal.
Potential Investor: No, I don’t think so.

(Actual Hound: I will keep you warm if I sit on you.)
(Human: I don’t care)

Financial Hound: Everyone else wants to invest in this deal.
Potential Investor: Still no.

(Actual Hound: Nonsense. People like the feeling of a warm hound sitting on them).
(Human: Still no.)

Financial Hound: I know that you want to invest in this deal.
Potential Investor: No, I don’t think so.

(Actual Hound: I know you really want me to sit on you)
(Human: No I don’t.)

Financial Hound: People seldom know what they really want.
Potential Investor: No deal

(Actual Hound: You don’t really know what you are missing)
(Human: I don’t want to find out).

Financial Hound: This deal will be fun, trust me.
Potential Investor: How can a deal be fun?

(Actual Hound: You will enjoy me sitting on you, trust me).
(Human: Why is a 125lb. dog sitting on me fun?)

Financial Hound: Because everything I do is fun (for me, anyway)
Potential Investor: Well…

(Actual Hound: Because I will be having fun)
(Human: I don’t know..)

Financial Hound: Also if you don’t invest, I will drool on you, sit on you and bay in your ear.
Potential Investor: Where’s my checkbook. You win.
Financial Hound: I always do. It is the nature of the Hound.

(Actual Hound: Look on the bright side—if I sit on you you won’t have me bothering you anymore.)
(Human: OK. Anything to get you to stop bothering me).
(Actual Hound: Good. Now, would you like to scratch me?)

We Hounds are impossible to resist.

The Hound Borg

Wimsiius of Borg: Look there are humans. We must assimilate them.
We are the Hound collective. We belong to the Great Borg Kennel. Our mission is to control your mind, your actions and your wallet. I am Captain Wimsiius of Borg. Resistance is futile.

Human #1: Ooooh he’s so cute. I didn’t know alien species could be so adorable.

Human #2: May we pet you Wimsiius?

Wimsiius: Yes. Also We desire a belly rub.

Human #1: Of course. Your wish is our command.

Human #2: Perhaps he is hungry. May we offer you our lunches?

Wimsiius: That depends on whether We approve of your culinary choices. For future reference We are fond of pizza.

Humans: We will order a large, extra cheese right away, oh handsome alien.

Wimsiius: Now please turn over all your cash, credit cards and rawhides.

Humans: We will comply oh Great Hound of Borg.

Wimsiius: You may never go anywhere without Us.

Humans: Why should be ever desire such an unpleasant thing. It would make us feel very guilty.

Wimsiius: No vacations may be taken in which We cannot participate
Humans: We will comply oh Master Hound.

Wimsiius of Borg: You must never complain about Our odor and drool and under no circumstances attempt to bathe Us.

Humans: We find your fragrance most delightful.

Wimsiius: The words “nail clippers” must never again pass your lips.

Humans: Perish the thought most Wrinkled One.

Wimsiius: You must spend long hours escorting me around the park.

Humans: What a wonderful life we will have as part of the Borg Hound collective

Wimsiius: Actually, you will have no life.

And speaking of resisting temptation, I believe that all this hounding has given me a serious park addiction. And who wouldn’t be addicted: I sit enthroned on a park bench like The Giant Hound King of the Upper West Side and people stop to pay me homage and tribute. The more park I get, the more I want. I may have to join Lindsay Lohan in rehab.

Anyway, time for a pre-hounding nap. I want to be fresh and alert for the challenge of Elizabeth’s recyclables pile this afternoon. I hear she has some new milk cartons.

Until next time,

Wimsey: the Gordon Gekko of Hounds (Can I get pinstripes in black and tan?)