Friday, November 30, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 43
November 30, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey-- happily disporting myself amidst the autumnal splendors of Manhattans’ Upper West Side. I hope you all have had as much fun viewing my recent autumn pictorials as I have had in creating them. There is nothing quite as invigorating as the fresh scent of moldy, peed upon leaves in the morning. It just takes your breath away and makes you glad to be alive! And last Sunday we had another magnificent autumn day here in Hound Town so my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth stayed out with me (they call it ‘hounding”) all day in Central Park. And then afterwards we helped Elizabeth do some shopping on Broadway so it was quite a busy day all in all and necessitated the subsequent consumption of 7 ½ cups of kibble, some leftover turkey and a long nap.

Although helping Elizabeth shop is always entertaining, why she bothers to do it is something of a mystery. In my last post I discussed the fact that I am not so much of a dog as a lifestyle and the Wimsey Lifestyle involves not only spending large amounts of one’s time in Central Park, but doing so whilst sporting some seriously unflattering, practical clothing courtesy of LL Bean. And of course LL Bean’s customer service is legendary so my humans have had some interesting of conversations with them:

“Excuse me but can you tell me upon which color drool stains show the least?”

“Do you know if this fabric is drool repellent?

“Can you tell me if this fleece hat is susceptible to puncture by hound teeth?”

“Does this fabric retain odors?”

“How much traction will these boots provide if I were to hypothetically be towed rapidly across a bed of wet leaves by a giant charging hound?”

“If I need to take, say a six hour walk in the freezing cold, will this jacket keep me warm?”

“Do you happen to know if the goose down inside the jacket smells like an actual goose?”

Anyway, this season’s LL Bean boxes have been arriving at Elizabeth’s and everyone is so tactful—no one says “that jacket makes you look like a four foot tall four foot wide blueberry” but rather “how comfortable and warm you look!” And FYI, these wardrobe issues are among the many that make my role of wingman so essential to my ladies receiving any male attention at all—the Hound Lifestyle involves many things, but glamorous attire is not one of them.

But I have observed that not telling someone that their new jacket makes them look like the Michelin Man is symptomatic of a chronic human avoidance of the truth. This is in marked contrast to we hounds who are nothing if not honest —can you imagine us saying “how lovely of you to smell my bottom” when what we really mean is “if your cold nose so much as comes within a nanometer of my delicate derriere then there will be hell to pay.” And there is no such thing as an insincere growl and or an immodest triumphant bay-- when I bay in triumph, I am in fact truly triumphant. Human double talk is one of the more puzzling aspects of their species and it seems to be a universal characteristic amongst them. As an example, during the week I am run by a lovely chap named Roy from Running Paws and as part of this excellent service Roy leaves a note for Maria telling her what time I was run and describing my excretory activities and who I was run with, etc. (“great run up the bridle path with Louie ((my Weimaraner running buddy)) # 1 and #2” is a typical note). But other, more cryptic comments do sometimes appear --“Wimsey was very excited today” or “Wimsey really enjoyed himself!” and such. Of course there was the time when a touch of what he really meant crept in: “Wimsey was a fiend today.” But frustratingly the form of this fiendish behavior was completely omitted leaving my humans to use their imaginations (Roy is nothing if not discrete). Now these oblique comments produce a lot of sympathy on the part of my humans because they do actually have an inkling of what Roy might really mean (“Wimsey jumped down all five flights of stairs, bayed incessantly and dragged me around the park at a high rate of speed”). But humans, unlike Hounds, are so indirect!

As you may imagine, when I am out and about I attract considerable attention as befits a creature of my imposing and handsome stature and I listen intently to the many comments made by these passing humans:

Comments Overheard by Wimsey During His Walks

What is said: “What a big dog!”
What is meant: Can you believe what an idiot his owner is to harbor a dog of that size!

What is said: “Does he do OK in the city?”
What is meant: I bet you have no life and no furniture.

What is said: “Does he bite?”
What is meant: Will be bite me? I don’t particularly care about anyone else.

What is said: “Listen to him sing! What a great noise.”
What is meant: How do you make him stop.

What is said: “Why is he making that noise?”
What is meant: How do you make him stop.

What is said: “Who’s taking who for a walk?”
What is meant: What psychological illness compels small women to have big, lively dogs?

What is said: “Is he a nice dog?”
What is meant: Should I be standing this close to him? I’m actually afraid of dogs but am pretending not to be and I am sure no one will notice.

What is said: “Is he lazy and does he like to hang out on the couch?”
What is meant: He might fit right into my lifestyle.

What is said: “He’s so cute.”
What is meant: As long as he belongs to you

And of course the holidays are upon us and humans will be sending each other greeting cards whose cheery prose is also not entirely forthright. So I think there is a market for a line of Wimsey the Honest Hound greeting cards:

Happy Birthday from your Hound. You gonna eat that cake?

Your Hound wishes you a Merry Christmas and reminds you that it is always better to give (to your hound) than to receive (if you expect to receive something from your hound you will be waiting a long time)

Happy Chanukah from your Chosen Hound

Your Hound wishes you a joyous Easter and reminds you that he likes hard boiled eggs

Happy Valentine’s Day! Isn’t it great that even though you are alone you have such a wonderful Hound to love?!

Happy Fourth of July! Red White and Blue, Statue of Liberty, Declaration of Independence, No Taxation Without Representation, Don’t Tread on Me (especially my tail), the Sons of Liberty, the Boston Tea Party, Lexington and Concord. Now where are my hotdogs. (PS:George Washington himself was a Hound man, so he would have approved this message)

Happy Anniversary! I am so glad there are two of you to take care of me

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. 9 out of 10 Americans think puppies are cuter.

Happy Halloween. Don’t even think about putting a costume on me or else I will leave a steaming “treat” of my own on the living room carpet.

It has taken me a long time to understand that the best way to deal with humans is to completely ignore what they say, especially when in the show ring or on a commercial shoot. If they refuse to consistently say what they mean then they deserve to be made to look foolish by a Hound. How do I really know that “Wimsey sit" and "Wimsey stay” doesn’t actually mean “Wimsey wander around and then come jump on me for this piece of turkey” or that “Wimsey trot” doesn’t mean “ Wimsey take off with me around the show ring at a gallop.” No wonder humans can’t seem to negotiate world peace. (“Yes we Americans do love the French. Everyone does.” “England has the finest cuisine in the world and is ruled by such a good looking family!” “No, Italian men are no hotter or more stylish than the Germans,” etc., etc., etc.).

Anyway, all this has put me in a mood to visit The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art.
Today, even though we have on view one of the world’s most famous paintings, it too can benefit from some houndly intervention. The Blue Boy (Thomas Gainsborogh, 1770, The Huntington Gallery, San Marino, California). Now this famous portrait is not at all what it seems—although the boy looks quite posh, he is really the son of a hardware merchant and his blue outfit, which is in the style of the early 1600s, is really a costume. The painting was Gainsborough’s homage to Anthony Van Dyck, an artistic luminary of the previous century. But what is really shockingly amiss is that that magnificent feather in the boy’s hat is resting entirely unmolested. In a nation of Hounds what are the odds of that happening! The addition of a Hound messing with the feather adds truth and verisimilitude to an otherwise deceptive portrait. Wimsey Boy.

Well time for me to be off. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have been removing and hiding some treasures from Central Park (an old tennis ball is my most recent acquisition) and it is now time for me to admire my collection before Maria gets home in a confiscatory mood.

Until next time,

Wimsey the honest hound

Friday, November 23, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 42
November 23, 2007

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here. Well I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! What can I say-- any holiday that involves large amounts of food and giving thanks for one’s Hound gets my vote. And of course the Upper West Side of Manhattan is the perfect venue to experience the holiday frenzy at its max. From the crowds watching the Macy’s Day balloons beings inflated to the masses of people cramming Fairway, Citarella’s and Zabars—primo gourmet shops all and chock a block with Hound pleasing food. Sad to say neither my human Maria nor her friend Elizabeth cooked this year (last year I stayed with Elizabeth whilst Maria was out of town and I experienced firsthand the profound sense of spiritual joy that comes from being in the presence of a large piece of poultry; I spent many fulfilling hours gazing lovingly at in both its cooked and uncooked state).

But this year a restaurant meal was chosen instead---I think Elizabeth objects to my helpful presence in the kitchen and to my propensity to climb upon her guests. But restaurant or no, Thanksgiving is is a time when I get to spend lots of extra hours with my humans. Since my daily runner was on vacation for most of the week, I got to stroll about Central Park with Elizabeth spreading the joys of the season in my inimitable loud fashion. And I was even mistaken for a Malamute! There is a long list of breeds that I have been mistaken for, but never a Malamute. I was extremely pleased, I can tell you. Someone thinking that you are a tough Arctic sled dog is the canine equivalent of being mistaken for Brad Pitt. It was left to Elizabeth to explain that so far from being a tough Arctic sled dog, I am, in actuality, a mild mannered Mid-Atlantic bloodhound. But I am adept at towing humans if not sleds, so I think that should count for something Too bad humans view towing as a less than desirable activity and one for which I am periodically demoted to wearing a humiliating Halti.

But anyway, in the spirit of the season:

Things that I, Wimsey am personally thankful for:

I am thankful for my extreme charm and good looks courtesy of my Creator (with a little help from my breeder) with which I am abundantly endowed.

I am thankful for the fact that my humans mostly appear to worship me (except when they pull out the Halti).

I am thankful for my Central Park estate and the diverse horticultural elements available therein upon which I am able pee.

I am thankful for the good taste of the New York City locals and tourists who stop to admire me, pet me and to photograph me.

I am thankful for the intoxicating scent of dirty underwear.

I am thankful for Wimsey Bath Night (except for the actual bathing part) where I get to consume a quarter of a pound of roast turkey, ravage a new bully stick and poke my nose in my human’s post bath cocktails.

I am thankful for the shreddable Chinese food menus that the delivery men so thoughtfully slip under the door each afternoon for my entertainment.

I am thankful for my Running Paws runner Roy and the fact that he is still (mostly) uninjured.

I am thankful for human laps upon which I love to sit (albeit only part of me at a time).

In any case, it is a sad fact of life that humans, in addition to being insufficiently grateful for things in general, fail to appreciate we Hounds to our fullest extent. As a case in point, I mentioned that on Wednesday I went for a walk in Central Park with Elizabeth. Now afterwards we went back to her place where she uncharacteristically decided to take an afternoon nap. Now personally I don’t believe that a post walk nap is particularly desirable or healthy unless the walk has been at least in excess of three hours, which this particularly walk (much to my annoyance) was not. So every time Elizabeth fell asleep I considered it my houndly duty to wake her up. She was not at all grateful for this although I cannot think of anything more delightful than being woken up by me! After all, this process entails an up close and personal experience of a multitude of my wonderfully contrasting textures—the velvety folds of my wrinkles, the moist, cold wetness of my nose (enhanced by the warm, moist snuffling of my nasal air currents), the tiny spikes of bristles with which my muzzle is studded, and of course, the all important and ubiquitous drool. Anyway, Elizabeth was not happy, but in the end she realized that I had only her best interests at heart; me sitting in her lap whilst she scratched me was a much better use of her time than all this pointless napping.

Well, anyway, as I observed last week, I am not so much a Dog as a Lifestyle and it has come to my attention that there are quite a number of lifestyle gurus out there publishing magazines, selling merchandise and telling people how to live. Now since I myself am no slouch at telling people how to live and I always have plenty of ideas for stylish new merchandise I am thinking about launching myself as the ultimate Hound Stylist and Life Guru (Wimsey Stewart and his Upper West Side line of stuff for you to spend money on and make me rich—no tips here on creating entire
suites of furniture from pine cones).

Interior Design: Classic New Century Hound

For your living room:
The Wimsey living room is styled using generously proportioned and finely overstuffed couches, chairs and loveseats, highly conducive to Hound, post-three hour walk napping. Soft fabrics make these pieces easy on the delicate Hound skin. Large, expensively burnished wood frames contribute to the chewing pleasure of the Hound and an extensive supply of replacement cushions (in a variety of interesting textures) add to your hound’s shredding pleasure.

For your dining room: The Wimsey dining room consists of tables and chairs at half the normal height, providing your hound casual, stress free access to all the food on the table. Your hound can simply pick and choose what to steal without unduly disrupting your normal mealtime activities.

For your kitchen: Here we have the patented Wimsey Easy Open Fridge. Why let your Hound disturb your leisure activities with requests for snacks when he can easily help himself using this modern, labor saving piece of essential kitchen equipment? The Wimsey Patented Easy Open Fridge comes in a variety of finishes designed to enhance developing drool patterns. Also for the kitchen, is the Wimsey line of Easy Lick cookware. Reduce your carbon footprint by using this more natural, energy efficient and environmentally friendly means to deal with your kitchen mess.

For your bathroom: A Swinging Transparent Door design ensures that you are always visible and accessible to your Hound during those anxiety producing and mysterious potty breaks humans always seem to need. Allay your hound’s fears that you are escaping through a secret bathroom exit by making your presence known and your activities completely visible. Additional features of the Wimsey bathroom include the award winning Never Close Toilet for those thirsty hounds, a line of deep pile pima cotton extra- shredable towels and the companion Never Close, ground level clothes hamper (dirty underwear not included).

For your bedroom: Here we have the Wimsey Gi-normous Square Bed –put an end forever to those annoying complaints about you sleeping the wide way. Banish in perpetuity that irritating shoving and grumbling from your human about your sleep orientation. And surrounding the Wimsey Gi-normous Square Bed is a faux rug in thickly sculpted foam to cushion your human’s fall when you shove them out of the bed anyway. The Wimsey bed comes with its own line of Wimsey linens—soft, loose, and tear proof-- the Wimsey bed line comes in an assortment of Hound flattering colors crafted to withstand months of midnight bed digging activities.

Sounds fantastic, doesn’t it?. (now all I have to do is line up the traditional life style guru sweatshop in China to manufacture it all).

Well, as I am in an artistic and creative mood, it seems an appropriate time to pay another visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art:

The Countess of Chinchon (Francisco Goya, 1800, Prado Museum, Madrid). Here we have a beautiful work by the Spanish Romantic painter Francisco Goya. This painting hails from a period when Goya devoted himself to painting women and children instead of the horrors of war that characterized his later work. And this little countess is so young, so fragile and so sad in spite of her beautiful and richly painted gown. Forced by the King’s order to marry at 18 to a man she despised, Goya beautifully captures the lady’s premature sadness. But what a consolation it would be for her if she had a little hound upon which to dote! It is very difficult to be sad in the presence of a hound even if one has a wealthy and unfaithful relative of the king’s for a husband. The Countess of Chinchon and Her Lap Hound Wimsey.

Well all this talk of napping and lap sitting has put me in the mood for a bit of a kip. And remember, today is the first day of the holiday shopping season—be generous towards your Hound. He will be thankful for your presents (although he may not show it).

Until next time,

Wimsey, the holiday animal

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 41
November 16, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the glorious upper west side of Manhattan where all the women are strong (they have to be) and all the Hounds are above average. Well autumn is in full swing here with the leaves finally splashing out in their autumnal best. But sadly, the NYC Parks Department has gotten wind of my leaf rampaging activities and now their lovely, leafy pee-able piles are assembled in inaccessible canvas bins rather than in Wimsey friendly mounds. I do pee on the canvas bins of course, but somehow it is just not the same. Anyway, as those of you who read last week’s post are aware my human Maria’s friend Elizabeth was AWOL at some boring conference and also had the temerity to spend time with an Unauthorized Male (those into whose backsides I have not poked my generous proboscis). Well, we Wimseys are a relatively forgiving lot so as penance Elizabeth had to spend a mere four hours on Sunday being towed around Central Park by Yours Truly. I also extorted quite a few guilt cookies from her and periodically parked my extensive tush in her lap. No one crosses Wimsey and gets away unscathed—and Elizabeth has the bruises and sore feet to prove it.

Now whilst I was charging about the park punishing Elizabeth, I noticed quite a wide variety of humans stopping by to take my picture and to admire me or to give me a scratch. No matter what their differences they all seem to be enamored of me. Apparently humans have a long history of not getting along with each other very well, but I have now concluded that this is because they have not had a suitable Hound to unify them.

The United Nations of Wimsey

Secretary General Wimsey: We will all come to order. Let us recite the United Nations of Wimsey Pledge to begin the session:

Delegates: “We promise to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind and to worship and obey you in all things, Oh Great Hound.”

Secretary General Wimsey: Excellent. Now what is our first order of business?

Speaker: Well the English and the French are fighting again.

Secretary General Wimsey: This has been going on for 900 hundred years. What is it this time?

English delegate: The frogs won’t give us back Calais or the Aquitaine which are the rightful property of England, they are snooty to us in restaurants and they refuse to speak proper English.

French delegate: Well, these beefsteaks burned Joan of Arc, used sneaky tactics to slay the flower of French knighthood at Agincourt and have execrable taste in food.

Secretary General Wimsey: Well in point of fact, Calais and the Aquitaine --as well as the rest of France-- belong to me. My ancestors conquered it soon after arriving from the Holy Land during the Crusades. Also speaking English is vastly overrated—my humans do it all the time and they never have anything remotely intelligible to say (other than “Wimsey, would you like a cookie?”) I suggest we just all bay and the world would be a much more harmonious place, although a tad on the loud side. Anyway, sneaky tactics are a specialty of the Hound so I don’t see a problem with that (it is quite likely that Henry V’s chief military advisor was a Hound), the Joan of Arc thing was unfortunate I agree, but as to culinary matters, no food is appalling, even the stuff the English eat. And I can’t see that eating frogs and snails is much of a step up in any case. But I digress. I command both sides to shake hands, air kiss on each cheek and then you can rub my belly for two hours.

Speaker: Well now Secretary General Wimsey we have a dispute between the Canadians and the Americans.

Canadian delegate: People in the United States refuse to believe that we are a real country, aye. They belittle, demean and make fun of our Great Canadian Nation and they believe that we are merely a province of America that produces beer and hockey players.

American delegate: And?

Secretary General Wimsey: Gentleman, please. There is more that unites you in this dispute than divides you. For instance, do you think that I am an incredibly handsome hound?

American and Canadian delegates: Of course.

Secretary General Wimsey: See, you agree on the important things. So what does it matter if one of you resides in a big empty country with beer and hockey players and the other in a big crowded country without these estimable attributes. You both agree that I am handsome. Now you may shake hands and feed me some biscuits.

Speaker: We also have a dispute between Argentina and Brazil.

Argentinean delegate: The tango is the preeminent dance of South America!

Brazilian delegate: No! It is the samba!

Argentinean Delegate: We have troops massing on your border who will teach you otherwise!

Secretary General Wimsey: There will be no massing of troops anywhere, except those assembled to admire me! You are both in the wrong here—the preeminent dance everywhere in the world is the Wimsey Poop Dance. It is a beautiful thing to behold: first I chasse forward quickly, execute a 180 degree pivot turn and then chasse back. This combination is repeated several times. Then I execute three quick, technically demanding pivot turns (being careful to maintain my spot) et voila! I will now perform it for you and rather than fighting you can clean up.

And speaking of dancing, Maria found a TV show on FitTV called “Shimmy” that purports to be a belly dance workout. She DVR’d it for Elizabeth who belly dances herself and we had quite a time. Elizabeth was so carried away by the video that she put on a private show just for me (I am a pasha after all). Of course her dance left something to be desired as she was shimmying around in baggy jeans and an old sweater—hardly an ensemble in the spirit of the harem if you get my drift and it was not exactly the sensuous feast for the eyes that was intended. Somewhere some sultan is turning over in his grave. But I showed my appreciation for her dance by watching her intently and then standing up and putting my paws on her shoulder—although I am told that there are no belly dance parts for male bloodhounds—a shocking omission. (I do, however, know quite a few Labradors who can undulate their tails. I have never mastered this, but my tail is said to be in the shape of a Turkish scimitar, which I should think would count).

Anyway, the fact that an ever increasing proportion of my humans’ wardrobe consists of “hound clothes” (think big, baggy and stinky—and I say again,, the ladies wonder why they don’t get dates) confirms me in my belief that I am not merely a dog, but a Lifestyle. If Martha Stewart can peddle gracious upper middle class Westchester living to the masses, I, Wimsey, can promote the Hound Lifestyle to the denizens of New York City. I am contemplating a complete line of home furnishings and fashion which I will be at liberty to reveal in next week’s post. But for now, I have a busy agenda (Maria left a pile of shreddable mail on the table again and it has my name on it) and it is also time to pay our weekly visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art.

The Adoration of the Golden Calf (Nicolas Poussin, 1634, National Gallery, London) We return again to France to find this week’s artist in need of a Hound. This time we have on view a famous picture by one of the masters of French 17th century art, Nicolas Poussin. The son of a Norman farmer, Poussin’s work was improbably heavily influenced by stylistic elements of antiquity and this painting, although dealing with a biblical theme, smacks of a Greco-Roman bacchanal. The figures appear to be both active and static at the same time—all part of Poussin’s genius. However, it really doesn’t make much sense that people would choose to worship a calf—cows being not especially intelligent and only semi-cute—when there are so many more suitable animals available. See how the painting makes so much more sense if the worshippers are celebrating the presence of a Golden Hound in their midst! Isn’t he beautiful? And so appropriately placed on a pedestal —it could almost be today. The Adoration of the Golden Wimsey

Well, sadly it is time once again for me to leave you. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to give thanks for the presence of your Hound by sharing copious quantities of turkey and trimmings.

Until next time,

Wimsey, for whom my humans are eternally thankful (or should be),

Friday, November 9, 2007

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 40
November 9, 2007

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey, and I am mighty peeved, I can tell you. I seem to be short one human in my entourage. My human Maria’s friend Elizabeth has been busy attending some non-Wimsey related conference all week and has only resurfaced for yesterday’s evening walk. The perfidy of humans! Now however fine an individual Maria might be, she alone does not constitute an entourage; as a Hound of Stature I feel naked without my full complement of humans. Like an ancient potentate, I require my retinue to serve my needs (scooping my poop), to defend me from my enemies (dogs that begrudge me my beautiful testicles) and also as a means to call attention to my high status.

In fact, I am very much like an ancient king in many other ways too-I have compliant female attendants (Maria and Elizabeth), I extort tribute (biscuits) at frequent intervals, I recline on a divan (the couch), I enforce my will benevolently wherever possible but am not above taking what I want by force or guile (dirty underwear), I am in possession of vast resources (rawhides, bully sticks and stuffed toys), I engage in martial war games (eviscerated stuffed toys), I believe that everything I survey belongs to me (other people’s water bottles), I am accomplished in the courtly arts (singing and wooing the ladies) and the people of my demesne pay homage as I pass by (joyous shouts of “He’s so cute!”).

Anyway, if Elizabeth wants to skive off to conferences they should at least be Wimsey related:

Wimsey: Impact on Modern Scholarship and Culture

Music Track
Musicological theory and the tonal dynamics of the bay

Biology Track
Activation of HOX A genes in the induction of drool production

Aesthetics Track
Grooming the hound jewels: a study in style

Physics track
The biomechanics of towing: Newton’s laws revisited

Ethics track
What would Wimsey do?

History Track
The seminal role of Renaissance Wimseys in the Tudor Court

Government Track
Constitutional arguments for Hound enfranchisement

Pop Culture Track
Should Hounds be permitted in rehab?

Psychology Track
Wimsey: The Ultimate Freudian Analyst

Anyway, in addition to being absent without leave from Wimsey World, Elizabeth also had the temerity to fraternize with a male not of my choosing. This is very troubling as not only am I a Wing Man par excellence, but in my experience human females are very poor judges as to the worth of a potential mate. As for me, I like to keep things simple (does she have a profusion of alluring wrinkles and, most important, is she available), but humans seem to like to make things complicated, which is where they go so terribly wrong. For instance, they want to know what someone does for a living whereas the optimum situation is that the person does nothing for a living so they can sit on the couch and scratch me. Also humans seem to want the mates they can’t have or the same ones that everyone else wants, which makes no sense whatsoever. As a recognized expert in the field of human romantic endeavors, I believe that there are certain personal attributes that are key to successful relationships:

Lots of free time for long walks
A passionate interest in sitting on the couch scratching me (TV optional)
A tactile nature that can appreciate and savor the sensuous feel of rich, smooth hound hair under their hands
A waterproof or otherwise drool resistant wardrobe
A sturdy frame capable of supporting a 125 lb. lap dancing hound
A sense of humor
A soft hearted nature amenable to fulfilling and indulging the wishes of a Hound
A lack of attachment to material possessions such as those at risk of being shredded, chewed, ripped or otherwise rendered useless
A generous nature with a willingness to share food and furniture with a loveable hound
A poor sense of smell

Anyway, it is infuriating that Elizabeth has spent time with a male not of my choosing—he could be anybody, after all—an axe murderer or worse yet, someone who doesn’t like dogs (I believe that Dante reserved a special circle in Hell for these people). I will have to keep a close watch on Elizabeth in the future to make sure that this doesn’t happen again, or at least not outside of my purview. The terror of being introduced to a woman’s father pales in comparison to being introduced to her Hound--I have so many more weapons of disdain in my arsenal (the teeth, the drool and of course, my favorite: the lifted leg). And as for Maria, she knows the futility of even trying to sneak off without my permission:

Unauthorized date: What’s that smell?
Maria: Uh, it’s a new shampoo I just tried.

Unauthorized date: I don’t think I ever smelled anything like it before. And what are these spiky red hairs I now seem to be covered with?”

Maria: They’re mine; I am a red head after all.

Unauthorized date: But then what are these black ones? And what are those whitish splotches on your clothes?

Maria: I am very clumsy and habitually spill beverages on myself.

Unauthorized date: Have you been in a fight! Where did you get all those bruises?

Maria: I ran into a door.

Unauthorized date: Yikes! There seems to be a Giant Hound taking up your entire apartment.

Maria: He belongs to my friend Elizabeth.

So as you can see, it is pointless for Maria to even attempt social relations without my approval. In fact she is virtually obligated to disclose my existence immediately:

Guy: “Hello, my name is Tom. Would you like to go out with me?”
Maria: “I have a giant Hound and he smells, flings drool, sheds, sits on you, sticks his nose in your food, accompanies you to the bathroom and doesn’t like to be alone.”
Guy: “On second thought…”

All this is reason why it is much better if I pre-select the guy. After I am done with him if he still wants to go out with one of my women, I know he is a good match. It’s really a case of “Love me, love my women.”

And speaking of compliant women attendants, as you know, I have always fancied myself a bit of a pasha. Therefore it is entirely appropriate that in this week’s visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art we examine one of the great Odalisques of the art world:

Olympia (Edouard Manet, 1863, Musee d’Orsay, Paris). Well, we have previously seen how Manet’s “Dejeuner Sur L’herbe” caused a scandal in the art world, but the furor over Olympia was even worse. The site of this brazen, yet sensuous courtesan, painted in a realistic style, boldly looking at us in open challenge infuriated and shocked many viewers. The painting even had to be protected to keep people from damaging it. But see how the atmosphere of “luxe, calme et volupte” is enhanced by the bold glance of a sensuously draped Hound. And the presence of the Hound even clarifies the look on the face of the servant: she is undoubtedly questioning the sanity of her mistress (like so many of Maria’s acquaintances also do when viewing me at full drape). Anyway, the presence of the large Hound also serves to emphasize the elegant petiteness of the subject, thus enhancing her beauty. Olympia is clearly pleased by the presence of the Great Hound, unlike Elizabeth who often complains that I make her look even shrimpier. Clearly she lacks the taste of Olympia in failing to perceive the potential allure of shrimpiness. Wimsey’s Olympia.

Well, time again to bid you farewell for another week. My entourage is assembling for my evening perambulation.

Until next time,

Wimsey Pasha

Friday, November 2, 2007

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

November 2, 2007
Entry # 39

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey and I can hardly believe that it is already November --my humans always dread the onset of the Wimsey Fall Frolic Season which has now come upon them with a vengeance. It’s all towing and

baying and charging about these days. Pretty soon it will even be time for Thanksgiving--a holiday of which I have extremely fond memories since last year my human Maria’s friend Elizabeth cooked me a delicious turkey dinner (sad to say that is the only thing that she knows how to cook, but I enjoyed it nonetheless). But the highlight of my Thanksgiving experience was wrestling with the little vet from the ASPCA, Dr. Julie Horton—a bout that was precipitated by my attempt to sample her caipirnha. She squeals even louder than Elizabeth! Anyway, Dr. Horton has just been appointed Medical Director at N.Y Veterinary Hospital ( 212 717-7222) at 150 East 74th Street) so all of you East Siders stop by and say “hi” and tell her that Wimsey sent you.

There was actually a wine and cheese party at the clinic last night to celebrate her appointment and there was some talk of me attending, but then the caipirnha incident was recalled and it was decided that my presence might be a tad on the disruptive side. I don’t know why my humans think I am so disruptive—last Sunday I was even exiled to Elizabeth’s whilst my human Maria baked some pastries for a friend’s birthday. Apparently she thought that my nose would end up in the rolled out dough. And? But being exiled to Elizabeth’s is a lot of fun because she does have a delightful squeal when I climb onto her lap and she also makes up a really comfy futon with special Wimsey scented sheets. Perhaps I should talk to Martha Stewart about marketing them.

But this week there was really exciting news—forget last week’s TV audition, my writing career and my feud with Maksim Chmerkovskiy—this week we acquired a fly in the apartment!!! It’s fantastic, let me tell you. He can walk on the ceiling and I sit endlessly fascinated watching him do it and thinking that this is an ability that I, Wimsey should be in possession of. I wonder if I eat the fly whether this ability would be transferred to me? That would give a whole new meaning to the word disruptive. Anyway, he flies through the air and is constantly on the move providing so many happy hours of stalking and watchful waiting lest he wander within snapping range. The only thing that could be better would be if we had a mouse infestation (mice and rats being the delightful squirrels of the night here in New York City). That would make me so happy! (Maria shudders at the thought, but then again her hunting skills are limited to shoes).

So now my humans know how it feels when I want to be scratched and they are watching “Dancing With the Stars’” Maksim Chmerkovskiy wiggle bits that a man has no business wiggling, especially in public. Now when they want to play with me I ignore them in favor of maintaining a rapt communion with my fly.

And speaking of Maksim Chmerkovskiy, he apparently got a perfect score this week and so sadly we will all be seeing a lot more of him (and I do mean more of him—his costumes seem to be shrinking)—I don’t know why he just doesn’t dance around in the altogether and have done with it—he could choreograph a kind of “If Adam and Eve Were Ballroom Dancers” kind of thing (I volunteer to be the snake—doesn’t the snake get to bite Adam in the backside somewhere in the story?) and then display all of himself to the world’s fawning female population. I am sure it is all very frustrating for him that there are still some parts of him that he has yet to put on display.

I have decided that Maksim Chmerkovskiy has now become my Arch Enemy. As you know all super heroes have to have arch enemies—Superman has Lex Luthor and Batman has the Joker and the Riddler and the Penguin and Spider Man has Doctor Octopus (why does no one have The Amazing, Clever and Beautiful Hound?) and I have Maksim Chmerkovskiy. We are locked in a deadly battle for the attention of my humans, who being female, find him insanely attractive. And of course being women they are riddled with contradictions. Has anyone else noticed this? For instance, they are always complaining that I am too skinny, but I haven’t noticed a conspicuous amount of body fat adorning old Mak’s all too frequently naked frame. Also they claim to admire my rich, enveloping coat of hair yet Maks waxes, depilates and otherwise zaps his body hair and they swoon. Harrumph!

Maksim Chmerkovskiy and Wimsey: Comparisons and Contrasts

● We are both lean, svelte and athletic
● We both have the ability to get our bodies into positions that seem to defy the laws of physics
● My body is richly appointed with a glowing coat of body hair while his has been stripped naked like a plucked chicken
● We are both passionate about getting our way
●I am visibly endowed with a fine set of manly parts, yet he keeps his hidden (thankfully at least for now)
● I am a drooler, he is a drool—ee
● We both have a fast set of paws and are ruthless in our pursuit of power
● We are both make creative use of the human body--he creates spectacular dances and I create spectacular bruises
● We both believe we are surrounded by inferior beings who need to appreciate us more
● He watches what he eats, I steal what people eat.

Anyway, to add insult to injury, I have to watch Maria use her computer (never one of my favorite devices even in the best of times) to vote to keep him on the show. I want to know how I can use the computer to create negative votes.

Well, I expect that like all super heroes I will eventually find a way to foil my arch enemy’s plans for World Domination. In the meantime, I find that I need to take a break from the struggle every now and then and what could be more relaxing that a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art:

The Big Tree, ((Te raau rahi ) Paul Gauguin, 1891, The Art Institute of Chicago). Now first off, I really like this picture because of the fact that “Te raau rahi” sounds like a noise that I would actually make, although in my case it means “Give me that!” (most of my noises have a tendency to mean “Give me that”). Also, Gauguin was a man after my own heart—always searching for greater degrees of sensual experience—he on his grass pallet in Tahiti and me on my couch on the Upper West Side. But although Gauguin was a great post-impressionist and a father of modern art he failed to notice how the addition of a Hound could improve upon the idyllic scene he depicts. See how the insertion of a Hound adds to the primitive mysteries surrounding us in this fine painting. The Hound’s central position indicates the essential nature of the houndly being to all human endeavor. The Big Wimsey

Well, it should be an exciting weekend here—Maria just got a new waterproof jacket for walking me in the rain and it has yet to be snuffled and slimed. And then there is that fantastic fly! (I wonder if we can feed him to keep him healthy—perhaps I should ask Dr. Horton about fly care).

Until next time,

Wimsey—protecting the world from domination by sexy ballroom dancers!