Friday, February 15, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 54
February 15, 2008

Hello everyone, Westminster Wimsey here! I am now back on my couch on Manhattan’s Upper West Side recovering from my Excellent Westminster Adventure. And what an adventure it was. Last Sunday I was hustled through a final cavaletti practice in Riverside Park (I am getting quite good at pacing over these trotting poles if I do say so myself) and then received a double wash bath at the hands of my human Maria and her friend (and my current show handler) Elizabeth. Of course the fact that I was washed twice meant that I was fed double the usual amount of turkey to insure at least a modicum of compliance. It also necessitated that my humans fed themselves double the amount of cocktails in order to recover from the bath (as well as lots of towels and a change of clothing as they managed to get double washed too-- I believe in completely sharing the bath experience as we hounds are nothing if not generous).

And on Monday, much to my astonishment, Elizabeth, with whom I was enjoying a pre-Westminster sojourn (think cooked meals, naps on the futon and liver liver liver), rose at 6am. Now usually I have to wrinkle whip her at 7:30am to get any kind of matinal response out of her, so although something was clearly up at that hour it definitely wasn’t me. The idea of taking a pre dawn stroll in gusty 11 degree winds is of limited appeal even to a robust Hound like myself. The fact that I was curled up on Elizabeth’s bed atop her duvet had absolutely had nothing to do with it. But the weather made Elizabeth happy since for the first time this winter the arctic expedition wear she usually walks me in was actually appropriate. Now whilst Elizabeth fantasizes that climactic conditions in New York City resemble those of the South Pole my human Maria seems to believe that we are really wintering in southern California—her winter walking attire consist of a T-shirt, blue jeans and a light jacket (she frequently complains of being cold, and seems quite puzzled as to why—Elizabeth keeps offering items from her Arctic stash, but Maria generally takes one look at Elizabeth lumbering along like the Michelin Man and declines).

Anyway after a modest kibble, rice and turkey omelet we were off to Madison Square Garden in a chauffeured pet taxi with Elizabeth loaded up with our gear like a Sherpa heading for Everest. And what a fantastic experience Madison Square Garden was! There had been talk for weeks of “Wimsey on the bench” which I thought had a pleasingly judicial ring to it-- I always felt that I had a judicial temperament.

Second Circuit Court of Manhattan, The Honorable Justice Wimsey presiding

Lawyer: Your honor, this Hound is accused of stealing.

Judge Wimsey: And?

Lawyer: He stole his family’s entire Sunday dinner.

Judge Wimsey: Very enterprising. Not Guilty. Next.

Lawyer: This Hound is accused of disorderly conduct and creating a public nuisance.

Judge Wimsey: He’s a bloodhound. Not Guilty. Next

Lawyer: This Hound is accused of destroying public property—to wit a vast array of ornamental shrubbery in Central Park.

Judge Wimsey: Mayor Bloomberg can afford it. Not guilty. Next.

Lawyer: This human is accused of having a life.

Judge Wimsey: In all my dog years on the bench, seldom have I heard of a crime so heinous. The accused is sentenced to Life without Parole with a giant stinky Hound in a small Upper West Side apartment.

Well, being benched at Westminster is quite something—hundreds of people stop by to look at you and to admire and discuss you. And of course people who are attracted by your extreme good looks want to know what it is like to live with you. Now this is a subject upon which Maria can expound for many hours but boils down to this: “He stinks, he drools, he needs an insane amount of exercise and he doesn’t listen to a thing I say. If that sounds of interest to you here are the names of some good psychiatrists.” In politically correct parlance, I am a “special” dog.

And of course I was given frequent opportunities to walk around and stretch my legs which meant I was also afforded abundant opportunities to goose a transcontinental array of fannies. So many to choose from and so many new people who had yet to be introduced to the delightful sensation of shimmering gobs of wet drool landing in inconvenient places. And then of course there is the media. I gave several excellent interviews and the New York Daily News ran my picture and a story and the New York Post mentioned my blogging prowess. There were also two women from Columbia University TV (which was very exciting for Elizabeth as Columbia is one of her numerous alma maters --“those who can’t do, get degrees”) who interviewed me at great length about my credentials as a New York Dog (“Yes, Wimsey stalks squirrels by day and rats by night”).

And as for the show ring itself, what can one say? There we both stood, Elizabeth and I waiting to go on—Elizabeth in her Wimsey green clothes and me in my usual, elegant black and tan ensemble—when I started a preliminary vocal warm up preparatory to some serious ringside concertizing. Then out of nowhere came ASPCA volunteer co-coordinator Beverly (who Elizabeth had brought in to assist her --“If Wimsey takes off with me, throw yourself on top of him”) to shove a delightful stuffed lamb into my mouth! Well there are few things as enjoyable in life as having a stuffed lamb materialize out of the ether and into one’s mouth. This so distracted me that I forgot all about singing which saved considerable ear damage to those around me (like many fine opera singers I have a powerful instrument that does not admit of a restricted volume).

Now once we got into the ring I did actually trot and not pace (much) -- to the delight and astonishment of Maria who had been exiled to the nose bleed section in the hopes of improving my behavior (translation: Elizabeth is mean. Maria isn’t). Of course I did refuse to be stacked properly when the judge came to examine me, whereupon the judge commented in a rich Southern drawl redolent of bloodhounds, “Sometimes you just don’t have enough hands.” Personally I think it is just that I have too many feet—and none of them very cooperative. Anyway, even though I didn’t win anything, Elizabeth was ecstatic—when asked how I did she gushed “Brilliant! Wimsey didn’t take off with me, didn’t try to mount a bitch and didn’t bay!” This for me apparently constitutes a great success. Needless to say, much liver was forthcoming. Also ecstatic was Elizabeth’s friend, the always elegant Julie, who came barreling down from the stands to proclaim to Elizabeth “You look fabulous; so chic!” And Elizabeth was like “But we lost.” This seemed to puzzle Julie quite a bit—“But you looked fabulous! That’s such a great outfit! It was the nicest one.” (Note to self: explain to Julie purpose of a dog show).

Well after the judging festivities I was reunited with Maria (good behavior apparently no longer being necessary) and we all headed back to my bench for some serious Wimsey Worship. Elizabeth refused to take off her show clothes because it was such a novelty for her to be around me and not be dressed like a farmer (this complements Maria who favors looking more like a trucker). Not surprisingly people who know Elizabeth barely recognized her outside of her stinky jeans and baggy old sweaters (”Is it really you? Can we get a cheek swab to verify this? You never said you had a waist”). Allowing a bloodhound to dictate one’s fashion choices is not likely to land one on the pages of Women’s Wear Daily. And of course the ladies continually wonder why they spend Friday nights washing me instead of going out on dates. (“Wow that lady farmer with the bloodhound is hot! I love a woman in Wellington boots!” and “Yeah, but look at the other one! White Fruit of the Loom T-shirts rock!”). Nevertheless I am making a good start on decorating Elizabeth’s green suede show jacket with attractive patterns of white drool. I am hoping to create a bloodhound. Few Hounds can resist a blank canvas.

And as usual I was benched next to a beautiful female Hound (her name is Phoebe and she won an award of merit!) who seemed immune to my many charms and unimpressed with my melodious serenading. Lady Bloodhounds like ladies everywhere have an innate sense of their own superiority over the male which they like to demonstrate at every opportunity. It was all “Look at me and drool. Aren’t I beautiful?” and when you wax all enthusiastic, it’s all “OK, now get lost.” Perhaps I should sign up Maria and Elizabeth for lessons with Phoebe—after all she was perfectly groomed and looked neither like a farmer nor a trucker. And her people were fun too—when someone asked Maria what made her get into bloodhounds, they chimed in “Insanity.” Clearly these are people who are richly acquainted with the breed.

Well what more can I say—too bad it all had to end, but what an ending it was! A scent hound, Uno the beagle was Best in Show. Now Uno seems to bay in the ring and no one stuffs a lamb into his mouth, so I am thinking of essaying a few notes at my next show. Also Uno has a beautiful tenor voice quite complementary to my baritone so I think we should do a Two Hounds CD to provide fans with many hours of baying pleasure,

Anyway, it was quite a long day—my humans were in constant attendance on me until well after 8pm when dogs were finally allowed to go. And it was not until 10pm when Elizabeth finally got back to her apartment building. Upon arrival, she stuck the key into her mailbox and there was only one piece of mail. It was for me.

Well, now that we are back to our normal routine, it is time for another visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art (when not in her show clothes, Elizabeth wore a T-shirt taken from the Institute's collection: “The Birth of Wimsey (and Venus)” Maria declined the honor preferring to look like a more elegant version of a trucker—her T shirt was black). Today we travel back to ancient times to examine a masterwork from the Egyptian Book of the Dead depicting a purification ritual from the tomb of Sennefer who was a mayor of Thebes. Clearly the purification liquid was extremely valuable and it makes no sense that there was no Hound shown in the act of stealing it. This is the first depiction in recorded history of Wimsey Bath Night.

Until next time,
Wimsey, Hound of Westminster


Randi said...

Oh Wimsey! Congratulations on your successful adventure at Westminster...I kept my nose to the tv all day & didn't smell you...unfortunately...but drooling on good clothes, getting liver treats & jamming your snout into human parts sounds just they give a Mr. Congeniality award there? I'm sure it must have your name on it!

Way to go Wimsey!

Love & Licks,
Randi mom/secretary looks likes shes always going to a funeral - or that shes into everything...

Bogart H. Devil said...


Shucks, I know if I was judging you'd win the top award my friend... just based on good looks alone :)

Glad to hear that the treats were to your liking - I've got the humans on the trail of making 'em up, you know, gotta do some quality control.

All the best Mister Westminster!


Dexter said...

Wimsey, my man, sounds like you did a great job in the ring. Stacking? Phooey. If they can't see what a perfect example of bloodhound you are without some silly pose, then shame on them.

Wish I could hear your voice sometime.

Edie and Gus said...

We all had a great time watching the show on t.v.! My girls all gushed over the black and tan coonhound and the plott hound as well as Rita the bloodhound. We do tend to be a bit partial to those coonhounds in this house...I am outnumbered by them, you see. We were very sorry that you did not win, but hey, I bet none of those hounds can blog like you! Not only are you handsome, you are a virtual font of written creativity!

As usual, you had Edie laughing at your women's ability to dress as a trucker and farmer- as she gazed down upon what she refers to as her Elmer Fudd boots and gigantic black winter coat, replete with dried drool on the sleeves. Such is the life of a dedicated bloodhound person!

When will you enter another dog show? Surely no show is complete with out you?!

Enjoy your well earned rest and relaxation,

Your friend from the Alaskan frontier,

Deanna said...

Very exciting!

Dexter said...

Ya know, there might be an upside to this whole Westminster rigging thing. I a handsome chap like you won, all the yahoos would come out of the closet thinking that they were the perfect people to own a most awesome doggie like you.

Then we'd get plenty of sad doggies once the humans discovered the real meaning of slobbers and chasing your nose.

Maybe we should just leave the winners circle to those pesky terriers so that big guys like you and me and Biggie only go to live with humans who can really appreciate all our bigness.


P.S. Yesterday was monthly slobber cleanup day. Master has to wash all the slobbers off the walls and cabinets. Momma has to wash the slobber covers that she keeps on the furniture (but they still hasn't managed to get the suds off the ceiling. Heh heh heh).

cookie said...


You were a success at the Westminster. I think you were slotted to win, but there was a mix up. Who can resist a hound???

Cookie and crew
PS We don't like our baths, so we make sure to get as much of our humans and the house as wet as possible.....only fair....

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