Friday, January 11, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 49
January 11, 2008

Hello everyone. Wimsey here, and let me tell you I have witnessed the most extraordinary thing this week! In previous posts I have been complaining about those obnoxious cavalettis—the trotting poles that are supposed to help me prepare for my appearance next month at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show—well the cavalettis are breeding!!! I can’t believe it! First there were four large ones and now there are twelve smaller ones. Where did these instruments of houndly bedevilment come from if not from some infernal, dog trainer inspired cavaletti breeding program? Have you any idea what it is like to have to trot back and forth over 35 feet of cavalettis every night, while my human Maria sits there complacently with her backside neatly tucked into a park bench, judiciously observing the proceedings? All the while her over-enthusiastic friend Elizabeth runs back and forth squealing encouragement at me!? My life has taken a serious turn for the worse here. I despise trotting—it is so common compared to the majestic pace (for the uninitiated, pacing is when I move using both legs on the same side of my body) or even my hybrid gait, the “trop.” Anyway, although my humans misguidedly believe that I am not very intelligent, I have figured out a way to pace over these revolting poles. The difficulties I encounter in cavaletti pacing are so worth it when I see the looks of consternation on my humans’ faces (“Oh no! Wimsey is pacing though the cavalettis!” “How can he do that?” “It is not supposed to be possible!”). But after all, I am Wimsey the Wonder Dog: Master of Unexpected Inconvenient Behavior (“No training method is too much for me to handle... I train people and ignore their training equipment. I am… The Hound Whisperer”).

Anyway, at least now I can add pacing over cavalettis to my list of houndly accomplishments-- right up there with not coming when called and sticking my nose into people’s food and fannies. And speaking again of Westminster (which seems sadly to have taken over my human’s lives, if not mine), Elizabeth has been beetling around town like a demented leprechaun trying to find show clothes in my trademark Wimsey Green (green being my most flattering color). Other fashion ideas that were considered and fortunately rejected included an ugly gray suit with a pleated skirt (Wimsey fashion note: women’s derrieres + pleats are not a good look) and my personal favorite, a metallic gold suit (she thought it might look “festive.”) Now I suppose if the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show ever moves to Las Vegas we might be in business with that one.

Well all this Westminster activity has caused my humans to lose sight of the fact that we are in a New Year. And apart from resolutions that possibly include the acquisition of more green clothes, nothing has been done by my humans to institute a New Year’s Programme. In order to redress this shocking oversight here are my New Year’s resolutions:

Wimsey’s New Year’s Resolutions

1. Gain weight

2. Eat more fattening food

3. Do more drugs (my drugs come in rolled up pieces of turkey!)

4. Spend more money I didn't earn

5. Indulge my addictions (Greenies and stuffed toys)

6. Get more wrinkles

7. Remodel the apartment

8. Try new foods

9. Spend less time listening to people

10. Get more sleep (and enhance my timber rattling new snore)

And of course this year I truly aspire to be bred. After all, who would not want more of me? And if those cavalettis can do it…

And speaking of breeding (or related activities) I have recently become aware of a startling turn of events in world affairs:

CNN: Special Report: Crisis in France

Anderson Cooper: Good evening. I am Anderson Cooper. Here to help us understand this week’s shocking events in France, we have enlisted the aid of top French political commentator, Monsieur le Hound. Good evening Monsieur le Hound. Thank you for joining us.

Monsieur le Hound: Bonsoir Anderson. It is mon plaisir to be here.

Anderson Cooper: So what do you think about the astounding news that French President Sarkozy is carrying on with Italian pop star and model, Carla Bruni?

Monsieur le Hound: Mais… he is French.

Anderson Cooper: And how about those romantic photographs of him at the Pyramids when he was supposed to be working?

Monsieur le Hound: Mais… he is French.

Anderson Cooper: And what about the fact that he is only recently divorced from another former model?

Monsieur le Hound: Mais… he is French.

Anderson Cooper: I mean what would you think if President Bush suddenly took up with Britney Spears or something?

Monsieur le Hound: Mais.. he is not French.

Anderson Cooper: Well thank you Monsieur Le Hound for your insightful comments. Now on to our next top breaking story: Is Tom Cruise really baby Suri’s father?

Of course the other top story around here is that I have once again foiled a dastardly plot to cut my nails. Personally I have always believed that my nails are under the protection of The Guardian Nail Angel—how else to explain the fact that no matter how many different ways Maria tries to cut them (and she has been trying for three years, mind you) they remain blissfully uncut. My nails are like Samson’s hair, once they are cut I will lose all my houndly power. No amount of nail clipper wielding humans sitting on me are a match for my determination to retain my powers. Anyway, this week I had to undergo a procedure that required a touch of sedation (at the risk of being accused of TMI, it was to flush my pesky anal glands) whereupon Maria requested that once sedated my nails be clipped. I am sure she gloated for hours at the thought of finally achieving one of her major life goals. But were they cut? No. Not even the huge, talon like one on my front paw. No ones knows why they weren’t cut, but I do. It was The Nail Angel.

Maria has been flirting with the idea that I am nail retentive due to the fact that I was potty trained too early (can there be such a thing for a large breed dog?). Now I get so much exercise that most of my nails are neatly worn down so I don’t see why she insists on focusing on the ones that remain long—I occasionally find her glaring at the exceptionally long nail as if it is a personal affront. Perhaps she thinks she can lop it off by sheer force of will. And then there are the times she announces to Elizabeth with great certainty “We have to cut Wimsey’s nails.” This is right up there with “We have to train Wimsey” in the idle threat department, but I think she thinks that if she says it out loud she feels like she has accomplished something. (Elizabeth, who knows better, always answers “yes,” and then immediately trots off to do something that can actually be done).

Or perhaps Maria is engaging in what folks call “creative visualization” in which you visualize what you want to have happen in order to bring it about. (“I visualize a magic sword descending form the sky and lopping off Wimsey’s big nail”—which frankly is pretty much the only way this is going to happen. And for Elizabeth: “I visualize Wimsey trotting nicely next to me at Westminster and not baying or trying to mount the female dogs”). Could happen…in a parallel universe in which there is a well behaved Wimsey! (and not a universe I care to visit any time soon.)

Anyway, enough talk about things unattainable. We now move on to our visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. This week’s piece was inspired by my human’s preoccupation with beauty (sadly not their own, but mine).

Venus at her Toilet (Diego Velazquez, 1599, National Gallery, London). Diego Velazquez was a leading painter of the Spanish golden age and this is the only surviving female nude painted by him (and in fact one of very few nudes from Spain of this era in general--the Spanish Inquisition taking a dim view of such displays of female pulchritude-- and they were a painful lot to get on the wrong side of). However, Velazquez painted his Venus when he snuck off to Italy (probably to escape painting yet another masterwork of the less than comely King Phillip IV and his lovely family, which, as the court painter, was Velazquez’ regular gig ) where he was undoubtedly inspired by the more body friendly art of the ancient world. Some people think that the painting is actually a portrait of his mistress which might explain her very modern, athletic looking physique (as Venus’ go she is pretty skinny—none of those usual rolls of oh so desirable rosy flesh here). It also might explain why Venus’ face has been deliberately painted in a hazy fashion (of course Velazquez could have been making a proto feminist statement as to which bits of the female body men really pay attention to, but I don’t think so). Anyway, since she (and we) can’t really see her face in that fuzzy mirror, the painting makes a lot more sense if our Venus is gazing lovingly into the extravagantly beautiful face of a (Westminster)Hound. Wimsey at his Toilet (of course in the modern vernacular this would be a painting of me in a Central Park bush).

Well whenever I get too full of myself, my humans remind me that “handsome is as handsome does,” which would mean that I am probably not very handsome at all. Nobody believes this of course—I am not going to Westminster so people can see how well behaved I am (I never would have gotten in!) –but it makes my humans feel better to say it anyway. Like cutting my nails.

Until next time,

Wimsey, handsome is as handsome is


Bogart H. Devil said...

Hey Wimsey!

Check out my blog buddy, I've just given you the YOU MAKE MY DAY award!


Edie and Gus said...

Hello Wimsey,
Gus here, the Arctic Bloodhound. Yes, I live in the far north of Alaska, where the forecast is
MINUS 40F for tonight...and the local wolves are eating pet dogs lately... My person, Edie, has been following your blog for about a month now. Sometimes she laughs so hard she cries. She can't believe that someone else has to put up with the slobber (in my case on top of the refrigerator), the eating of clothing (in my case my girl's basketball socks which I inhale whole) and the general untrainability (in my case "get OFF the counters!!" which actually means...??? I'm not sure about that one). The Clipping of the Nails blog especially put her over the edge today. Edie laughed so hard she nearly fell off her chair. She and I had what I would politely call a "meeting of the minds" over my nails about 4 months ago. She had the audacity to lay me on my side, stand on the leash attached to my gigantic prong collar and tell me that if there was so much as a peep out of me while my nails were clipped, I might not live to see the midnight sun. She wasn't kidding. My nails are now clipped. I feel so defeated. I hope you can continue to show your superior intelligence by thwarting further efforts against your dog-given rights. Edie is also considering e-mailing your people to ask for advice in raising a young, (extremely handsome) male bloodhound. She tells everyone that bloodhounds are invited to obedience classes just for the amusement of others...can you believe it??
Yours sincerely,
Trusty Alaskan Gus
Bloodhound of the Frozen Frontier

Randi said...

Hi Wimsey - Once again - you have put a wonderous smile on my face...Friday is Wimsday. Wonderful Wonderful Wimsday!

Is there anyway you could chew up the extra 8 or so poles that magically appeared in the park? Or dig a hole & hide them?

Oh, poor poor Wimsey...when will your peoples ever learn?

Love & Licks,

Biggie-Z said...

This must be the week of Defeat (or is it deFeet?) of the Majestic Big Dogs. My Mommy has been bugging P-Daddy to "clip that nail" on each front paw because the rest of mine are totally ground down, and she has been walking me with the Kryptonite on my face because she hurt her shoulders skiing.

And I got disciplined today for guarding the apartment from people doing laundry in the hall! Can you believe?


Good luck with those poles. Maybe they can give you some tips on how to breed.

Hugs, Biggie

Nazila Merati said...

Oh Wimsey.

My moms take me and get me dremeled. I hate it, but love my groomer.

I wish I could cavelleti, but I think I better just stick to drop it and no jumping up on people. I'm not even two, so I have two more months to be a brat.

Erm, my wants to know if you Maria and Elizabeth get pick of the litter?