Friday, June 27, 2008

Wimsey's Blog:Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 73
June 27, 2008

Hello Everyone. Wimsey here coming to you from “Hot Town, Hound in the City”-- otherwise known as New York’s Upper West Side. Life here in the tropical paradise of New York continues to be lots of steamy fun. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are wondering whether the island of Manhattan has been mysteriously moved to another latitude just like that island on “Lost”. Everyone always says that New York is not really a part of the United States anyway (it’s why people from the rest of the country spend good money to come and gawk at us—“Look Mabel! Everyone wears black and walks really fast and keeps Giant Hounds in their apartments!”) so maybe someone’s just cut out the middle man and moved the whole thing to St. Barts. I expect to find palm trees growing outside my window any day now. And where there are palm trees, can monkeys be far behind? I do admit to having something of a monkey fantasy---my experiences with primates in general being so entertaining that I would like to have the opportunity to annoy more of them.

And speaking of entertaining last weekend I stayed with Elizabeth as Maria was out of town. I have loads of pictures of our morning walks in Riverside Park, which is next to the Hudson River---and you can see a bit of the marina. Now New Yorkers fancy themselves a seafaring people but really they just like to live on these boats, act nautical and do very little—and they don’t even have Hounds to explain away their underachievement:

Life coach: Why don’t you get a job?

Client: I don’t want to leave my Hound alone. He chewed up the couch the last time I did that.

Life coach: OK. Then why don’t you do something at home, like write a book?

Client: I could, but my Hound stands in front of the computer screen if I use it for more than an hour.

Life coach: How about something artistic, like painting?

Client: Could I paint Hounds?

Life coach: Perhaps not. Well how about developing an exciting social life?

Client: We do have an exciting social life---we talk to lots of people in the park.
Life coach: Your Hound talks?

Client: Certainly my Hound talks. And when my Hound talks people listen—for miles around. With their hands over their ears.

Life coach: Well then why don’t you become a dog trainer?

Client: Have you met my Hound?

Really we Hounds do make it very difficult to do anything else in life other than wait on us. But at least my humans have an excellent excuse for their lack of fame and fortune. Of course there are those in The Mysterious East who believe that the Hound is really an instrument of karmic retribution:

Karmic Guru: What bad things did you do in your past life?

Soul #1: I told a lot of lies.

Karmic Guru: OK. Well I suppose that’s not completely awful. I understand you were a politician. Nevertheless in your next life, I sentence you to a Beagle—some of them can be quite nice, I am told, but they are quite talkative and you will never be able to get a word in edgewise or lie about the location of your dinner or your dirty socks. Next.

Soul #2: I had a very bad temper.

Karmic Guru: That’s easy—you get a dachshund. They may be small but they are feisty. I would watch your fingers and toes if I were you. Next.

Soul #3: I am afraid I wasn’t as nice to people as I should have been.

Karmic Guru: Join the club. At least you admit it, so your sentence will be relatively light—you get a greyhound. Now get out of here before I change my mind—almost no one gets the greyhound. Next.

Soul # 4: I was very sloppy.

Karmic Guru: Well I sentence you to the Afghan Hound. I am sure you will spend many happy hours grooming it. Next.

Soul # 5: I was not very patient.

Karmic Guru: Well I’ve got a Hound for you that will try the patience of a saint. I sentence you to a basset hound. You will never get your way again. Next.

Soul #6: OK. Here goes: I was selfish, lazy, ruthless, materialistic and completely narcissistic.

Karmic Guru: Not another celebrity! Well, I am afraid your punishment is to be very severe. We’re making an example of you. Acolyte! Please hand me the special black and tan cap I use for sentences of this severity.

Soul #6: No! Not the black and tan cap! Is there nothing I can do to stop you?
Karmic Guru: I am afraid not. But if you behave well in this life perhaps in the next you’ll be demoted to the Sporting Dog division. But right now, I, supreme Karmic Guru of the Universe sentence you to A Bloodhound!

Soul #6: Noooo! Not the Bloodhound!!! I am doomed!

Makes me wonder what my humans did to deserve me. I am sure I was a reward for some wonderful accomplishment. Now life at Elizabeth’s is always very pleasant with lots of migrations between the kitchen and the cushy futon but she does sit around quite a bit and watch Wimbledon which makes me think that there should be an All Hound Club.

The All England Club vs. The All Hound Club

Club Rules:

Wimbledon: White will be worn at all times.
Wimsey’s Hound Club: Black and Tan will be worn at all times.

Wimbledon’s Official Club Drink: Pims Cup (don’t ask—it has cucumbers in it!)
Wimsey’s Hound Club: The Black and Tan

Wimbledon Official Food: Strawberries and cream
Wimsey’s Hound Club Official Food; Liver and cream

Wimbledon Security: Bobbies
Wimsey’s Hound Club Security: Rotties

Wimbledon Championships: Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles
Wimsey’s Hound Club Championships: Singles, Doubles, Mixed Doubles and Packs

Wimbledon Championship Ritual: Kissing the Trophy
Wimsey’s Hound Club Championship Ritual: Peeing on the Trophy

I think I would make an excellent tennis champion. After all I know how to chase down tennis balls, receive service, shake hands, jump over tennis nets and whine in the press conference. And of course I am very handsome and athletic and very much admired. If Rafa Nadal is a bull, I think tennis needs a hound.

Anyway, before I pace off to prepare for the upcoming fourth of July celebrations, it is time for a visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Now as you might imagine I am sometimes accused of lacking a certain gravitas, so my eye was immediately caught by this self-portrait of a young Anthony van Dyck: Self-Portrait (Anthony van Dyck, 1620, Metropolitan Museum of Art). Now although this painter is most famous for his court paintings of James I and his son Charles I, he also managed to achieve immortality by lending his name to a type of pointy beard. (which makes me wonder if people who sport sleek shiny beards should be said to be wearing a Wimsey). But in this painting he is kind of young and foolish but trying to look very solemn and dignified in the manner only a young man just out of his teens can carry off. But I think the world would have taken him much more seriously if he had included a solemn and dignified (looking) Hound. See how worldly and sagacious the magnificent Hound looks! Portrait of Wimsey and the Guy Who Invented the Pointy Beard.

Well time for a well earned snooze here in my urban tropical haven.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Hound for all Seasons

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 72
June 20, 2008

Hello Everyone! Wimsey here coming to you from the lush and lavish Upper West Side of Manhattan—lush due to all the rain induced vegetation that is sprouting everywhere and lavish due to the attentions that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth pay me. Of course all the rain this week, whilst good for the plants, has mightily cheesed me off—if I had wanted to live in a tropical rainforest I would have moved to one, although I am not sure that chasing monkeys would be as much fun as chasing squirrels. But I think I would make an excellent Tarzan type figure—swinging from vines by my teeth and baying to scare away encroaching humans. Well maybe not exactly scaring them…

Jungle Explorer 1: What’s that ear splitting noise!

Jungle Explorer 2: It’s Wimzan the Ape Hound! He’s been raised in the jungle by apes since he was a puppy.

Jungle Explorer 1: What does he want?

Jungle Explorer 2: Everything.

Jungle Explorer 1: But if he takes everything, how will we survive.

Jungle Explorer 2: He doesn’t care about that—even though he was raised by apes, he’s still a Hound.

Jungle Explorer 1: But how will he get everything?

Jungle Explorer 2: Well his filching skills are legendary and he also possesses magical powers.

Jungle Explorer 1: Magical powers?

Jungle explorer 2: Yes. It is said that when Wimzan gazes at you with his soulful

droopy eyes and deep adorable wrinkles it robs you of all judgment and logic. You willingly turn over all your possessions to him and become his minion.

Jungle Explorer 1: Is there no way to stop this fiendishly acquisitive Hound?

Jungle Explorer 2: Well we could trap him with some Grom gelato—he has an inexhaustible appetite for their $5 scoops of vanilla. Just don’t let him fling drool on you—it attracts the ants.

Jungle Explorer 1: But what happens after we trap him?

Jungle Explorer 2: Then you have to take him home and live with him.

Jungle Explorer 1: Dump everything and run!

And speaking of living with me—this weekend it is Elizabeth’s well deserved privilege to take care of me as Maria has skived off to an out of town wedding. I can tell that Elizabeth has the utmost concern for my well being as she strongly admonished Maria’s friend, who is in charge of transport, to drive with extreme caution so as to return Maria to me safe and sound. In fact Elizabeth always seems to be greatly solicitous of Maria’s health. I can’t imagine why.

But anyway, although it felt like I was living in a tropical rainforest this week I remain the quintessential Hound of New York City and as such I have been getting in touch with my inner metrosexual Hound—the more handsome I am the more I am admired and the more I am indulged, so it is not wholly vanity that drives my interest in my appearance. (New York City men use a similar strategy I believe, except that they foolishly covet dates instead of plastic water bottles). But my career as a metrosexual really took off this week with the arrival of a little rubber thing called a Zoom Groom. Now using this ineffectual looking device, which has rubber cones instead of bristles, is brilliant and causes the hair to fly off of me (belying the insidious misconception that handsome hounds such as myself don’t shed—hair coated furniture and clothing are just another one of the joys of living with a Hound). And in addition to making me sleek, shiny and even more pettable (if that were even possible) it also provides a fantastic massage to my well exercised Hound muscles. The arrival of the Zoom Groom was the highlight of my humans’ week (if the ladies spent as much time worrying about their own grooming as they do about mine they would not lead lives highlighted by Zoom Grooms, but that is altogether another story).

Anyway, I am indebted to my good friend Mango the Mastiff for the Zoom Groom suggestion ( We big, deceptively hairy boys have to stick together. Now Mango weighs in at an impressive 230lbs and much sympathy is to be afforded to his family for living with the canine known as The Relentlessly Huge. But they should take comfort in the fact that living with me, the canine known as The Relentlessly Relentless, is orders of magnitude worse. When I set my mind to something—even a mind such as mine with a paucity of neurons—it is a done deal. Of course, I like to think that having a paucity of neurons is a good thing—I am unlikely to be distracted by thinking deep thoughts about the true moral value of my desires or whether I am not just being manipulated by Madison Avenue masterminds. I see it. I want it. I get it. And of course humans greatly admire persistence and tenacity, just not when these traits happen to be evinced by a Hound. So if you’re Winston Churchill (a hero to Hounds of every size and variety) they put up a memorial statue to you in Parliament Square but if you’re Wimsey they threaten to call in Cesar Millan.

Well the other big news around here is that the Museum of Natural History has a new exhibit devoted entirely to The Horse. As part of the exhibit the museum has erected these very cool fiberglass horses on the plaza (to which I have made a slight improvement). Now both my humans are pretty enthusiastic about horses and there is some idea that Maria deliberately chose a “hound of size” as it is the closest thing to actually being able to live with a horse in a Manhattan apartment. But we Hounds are a horse of a different color and I think however interesting this exhibit is, the Museum should have a show devoted to The Hound.

Synopsis of The American Museum of Natural History’s Upcoming Exhibit: The Hound

Introduction to the Hound: When being introduced to the Hound always bring a gift.

The Evolution of the Hound: Hounds evolved because humans had too much stuff and it was making them very unhappy so the Hounds arrived to relieve them of it. Also the humans were bored and Hounds evolved to take advantage of them by entertaining them while stealing their food and possessions.

The Hound and Hunter: Humans lack a sense of smell and without the Hound to find food they would have starved. The survival of the human species is entirely due to the Hound. It is why they are worshipped, even today.

Domesticating the Hound: Humans are still trying.

The Nature of the Hound: The nature of the Hound is to be acutely self-actualizing. In layman’s terms this means that they believe that they are important and that you are not.

How Humans Shaped Hounds: Humans taught Hounds to value human possessions.

How Hounds Shaped Humans: Hounds taught humans that it was pointless to try to retain these possessions in the presence of The Hound.

The Enduring Bond: Humans derive great satisfaction from pleasing the Hound. The Hound also derives great satisfaction from pleasing the Hound. (humans may have more neurons than Hounds but they don’t appear to use them very effectively).

But I must say that I always enjoy encountering horses in Central Park as they so thoughtfully leave snacks about for my munching pleasure. And it is in the spirit of equine tribute that we pay our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today we examine the Work of the 18th century British artist George Stubbs who is perhaps the most famous painter of horses ever to exist. He largely painted for an aristocratic audience and was successful enough to enjoy the patronage of the Prince of Wales. In addition to pastoral scenes and horse portraits, Stubbs painted a series of unfortunate encounters between lions and horses. Horse Frightened by a Lion (George Stubbs, 1763, Tate Gallery, London). Now however exciting these types of paintings were, the fact remains that there really weren’t all that many lions roaming around rural 18th century England. So see how much more sense the painting makes if the horse is in fact frightened by a Fearsome Hound. See how brave and macho and non-metrosexual the Hound looks even if he does have a sissy name like Wimsey as he lunges toward the startled horse. However, unlike the lion, the Hound has no interest in eating the actual horse, but merely in consuming some of the natural consequences of frightened equine digestion. Horse Frightened by Wimsey.

Well it is time for me to prepare myself for my sojourn chez Elizabeth. On my agenda are ripping up her recyclables, shredding her newspapers while she is attempting to read them, monopolizing the futon, snoring when she is trying to sleep and relentlessly making myself as conspicuously annoying as possible. It’s what I do best.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The Relentlessly Relentless

Friday, June 13, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 71
June 13, 2008

Hello Everyone it’s me, Wimsey, reporting to you from the tropical climes of Manhattan Island’s Upper West Side, where the sidewalks are hot, the buildings are hot and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are even hotter (only in the literal sense of the word and as a result of being outdoors with me instead of sensibly lounging in the air conditioning. In any case there is no point in them trying to look hot in the non-literal sense, as when one is in the company of a massive Hound such as myself, I would surely cool off any hot look with great gobs of cool drool. So the ladies reluctantly stick to their “baggy chic” ensembles that consist of loose fitting jeans decorated with mysterious stains and practical, washable cotton Tees with somewhat more identifiable stains. Someone (nearsighted?) thought they looked like sisters the other day—what bad luck that would be for some family to have produced two of them, shuffling along in sneakered hound stained splendor rather than dancing the night away in glamorous stilettos.)

But anyway, we Hounds are seldom sensible on the question of staying indoors-- even when the thermometer tells us it’s close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit (that’s 37.7 C for those of you who live in the rest of the world) as it was earlier in the week and whither go'est one’s Hound go'est one (or in my case two). Below is my Heat Wave Montage.

And of course when the temperature goes up New Yorkers just enter an entirely new phase of denial (like the one that causes them to consider a 600 square foot apartment palatial)—if it’s hot and they are on an island, even if it is called Manhattan and not St. Bart’s, it must be time to break out the beach wear! Now personally I always enjoy the sight of the flabby multitudes oiled up and basking in the bright sunshine (and it is reassuring to see that I am not the only creature that sports a fine coat of body hair) and I always do my best to prevent their overheating by flinging refreshing drool on their exposed bits. And whereas flinging drool on clothing can often go unnoticed and unappreciated, flinging drool on bare skin seldom fails to elicit a gratifying response. I therefore have an excellent concept for a tropical resort:

Wimsey’s Tropical Paradise Resort

Hound: Welcome to Wimsey’s Tropical Paradise Resort. A place where your needs always come last. Let me help you out of your clothes.

Guest: But you’re ripping them!

Hound: Yes, they will be cooler that way. Now I will further help cool you down by placing my moist, icy nose on your pressure points. Doesn’t that feel good?

Guest: No.

Hound: Nothing that is good for you ever does. How about a drink?

Guest: OK. I will have a beer.

Hound: Very good. I just need to taste it first to make sure it is acceptable.

Guest: But you’ve drooled in it!

Hound: Yes, and added substantially to its nutritional value. At no extra charge. How about a massage?

Guest: OK.

Hound: This is our special Javanese Claw Massage: by shoving my paws deep into these nerve bundles I can relieve your stress.

Guest: Don’t you think the pain causes more stress?

Hound: Not for me. Let me show you to your room. It’s the St. Hubert Suite.

Guest: Why is there a large smelly Hound snoring on the bed?

Hound: He comes with the suite. He’s your personal trainer: he will monitor your every bite and make sure you don’t overeat or oversleep. Also you have to exercise him a lot otherwise he will destroy what is left of your possessions. At night he will cool you down with the ecologically friendly breeze created by his incessant ear flapping. Also his flying drool will hydrate your skin. And when you lie on the beach he will cover you with sand and block out the sun with his giant hound head to prevent you getting an unsightly sun tan. And when it is time to leave Wimsey’s Tropical Paradise Resort his embedded Hound hair will serve as a permanent souvenir of your visit here.

Guest: Well, he is awfully cute…

But of course summer also brings reruns, sequels and re-releases of some of our favorite movies and TV shows--- ostensibly in case we enjoyed them so much the first time around but really because everyone in Hollywood is off disporting themselves on obscure and expensive tropical atolls that none of the rest of us know about. But being a truly creative Hound, I too have an idea for recycling an old TV concept:

Wimsey’s Fantasy Island (New York City Edition)

Tatoo the miniature dachshund: Boss de plane de plane!

Mr. Barke the majestic bloodhound: Yes. Stop that yapping Tatoo. I can see it—it is circling La Guardia along with those other 20 planes. It’s amazing that they can keep them all in the air at the same time when they are so close together!

(several hours later)

Mr. Barke: Welcome to New York City! A place where dreams might come true. What is your fantasy?

Passenger: I want to be an actress.

Mr. Barke: Excellent. We have a waitress job all lined up for you.

Tatoo the minature dachshund: Here is the limo, Boss.

Passenger: It’s a taxi!

Mr. Barke: Yes and this will be the last time you will be able to afford to take one. My treat. But don’t try to tell the driver where you want to go. He doesn’t speak English.

Passenger: But who is he speaking to then?

Mr. Barke: He’s on his cell phone. But don’t worry he has a lot of experience weaving in and out of traffic while talking on it. He hasn’t had a single accident in the three weeks he’s been driving. Ah, here we are at your luxury accommodation.

Passenger: But it’s a closet!

Mr. Barke: Not necessarily. And it has high ceilings.

Passenger: But how will I achieve my fantasy by waiting tables and living in a closet?

Mr. Barke: You won’t which is why you will be sharing your closet with a Giant Hound!

Passenger: But how will that help?

Mr. Barke: Well just like an actual actress you will be mobbed whenever you walk the streets with him. Everyone will want to talk to you and take pictures. Strangers will smile, people will wave and shout greetings and your comings and goings will be always be conspicuous and noticed. You will get to know other celebrities as they stop to chat and admire your Hound and the men will all flock around you-- after all who wouldn’t want to date a woman who has the good taste and self confidence to stroll around with a huge Hound (and who is unlikely to get annoyed by a bit of masculine mess now and again). People Magazine will do a story on you (“How I Became Famous Because of a Giant Stinky Hound: The Inside Scoop” plus “TomKat Covets Hound for Baby Suri” and “Next Adoption a Hound Declares Brangelina!”) Fortune will cover you also (“Donald Trump Declares Global Hound Futures the Next Big Thing” and “Think Hound and Grow Rich”). And all of this without the need for pesky auditions, drama classes, being in a coma in a soap opera, showing your panties or worse in public, going into rehab or making movies that appeal to 10 year old boys!

Passenger: Well, now that you put it that way, he is pretty cute…

Mr. Barke: Another job well done. Who is our next guest Tatoo?

Tatoo the miniature daschund: A man whose fantasy is to control his Hound.

Mr. Barke: Tell him we are closed for the summer.

Anyway, summer also brings out musical revivals on Broadway and one of my favorites is South Pacific because I like the song “Dites-moi” but of course in the Wimsey Songbook the lyrics are somewhat different:

Dite-moi pourquoi I like to shred stuff with my mouth
Dite-moi pourquoi I like to steal stuff that doesn’t belong to me
Dite- moi porquoi I like to fling drool on unsuspecting humans
Dite- moi porquoi I like to tow my humans around the park
Could it be because I am a Hound?

Dite- moi porquoi I like to poke people in the fanny with my nose
Dite- moi porquoi I never listen to anything humans tell me to do
Dite- moi porquoi I like to sit on laps even though I am too big
Dite- moi porquoi I emit ear splitting bays when I don’t get something I want
Could it be because I am a Hound?

Dite- moi porquoi I shed hair everywhere even though I have a short coat
Dite- moi porquoi I spread Hound scent on clothes, furniture and people
Dite- moi porquoi I need to be dragged in from the park every evening
Dite- moi porquoi I smell no matter how much you bathe me
Could it be because I am a Hound?

Dite- moi porquoi my humans let me monopolize the couch
Dite- moi porquoi my humans let me sleep in the bed
Dite- moi porquoi my humans spend lots of money on me
Dite- moi porquoi my humans never go on vacation
Could it be because they are in need of psychological counseling?

Anyway, speaking of traveling, last week I got to meet Gus the Bloodhound’s family from Fairbanks, Alaska. And in gratitude for protecting his humans from lethal squirrel attacks in Central Park he kindly sent me a delicious bag of something called Yummy Chummy made from the really disgusting parts (I hope) of salmon. Also his humans sent an amusing bandana (in Wimsey green!) in which my humans insisted on photographing me. So thanks for the food and not so much for the clothing (although I suppose it is fair that my humans sometimes make me wear human clothing as I always make them wear Hound scent).

Well, before I sign off to enjoy the Houndly splendors of summer, it is once again time for a visit to The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today we visit with an early Renaissance master, Piero della Francesca whom I like very much because he is usually referred to as just “Piero” (just like I am always referred to as just “Wimsey” even though I am really Champion Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Wimsey). Now not much is known about Piero except that he painted some of the great religious art of the 15th century and is famous for his use of geometry in his compositions and for the use of a pale luminous light in his painting. One of his most famous non-religious paintings is a diptych he painted for the masterful Duke of Urbino: Diptych Portrait of Frederico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino and his Wife Batista Sforza (Piero della Francesca, approx. 1465-1472, Uffizi Gallery, Florence). Now the Duke was a pretty important and powerful guy and it seems like a better choice for the second portrait of the diptych would be an equally powerful and important Hound. History is vague on the subject, but it seems the Duke held his Hound and confidante Wimseo d’Urbino in great esteem and credits him for much of the success of his ducal reign. We notice immediately the symmetrical nature of their level gazes, and the naturalistic prominence of their duel proboscises. Clearly they were made for each other. The Duke of Urbino and His Hound Wimseo d’Urbino.

Well before I go it would be remiss of me not to point out that today is Friday 13th a date frequently associated with unlucky occurrences.

Unlucky things that could happen to you on Friday 13th:

Your Hound could ignore you
Your Hound could pull you over
Your Hound could steal your dinner
Your Hound could bruise your body
Your Hound could lie down and refuse to leave the park

Friday 13th a day like any other.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Hound of the Tropical Isle of Manhattan

Friday, June 6, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 70
June 6, 2008

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey and I am currently lounging around on the suddenly summery Upper West Side of Manhattan, looking indolently handsome as usual (I think I need a Panama hat). Summer always brings out the best in me, particularly with respect to drool production. Too bad the same cannot be said for my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who go about looking sweaty, disheveled and drool coated. When I am done with a batch of drool I merely fling it in their direction so as to begin producing a fresh batch forthwith-- fresh drool being a direct result of my enjoyment of the beauties of summer. And of course with all the dirt about, I am able to create and orchestrate the flinging of a marvelous colloidal suspension of drool and dirt and the occasional blade of grass, which makes exceptionally attractive patterns on the ladies clothing. Elizabeth high tailed it over to the Gap this week and bought an array of brightly colored Tee-shirts in the misguided hope that the colors will distract from my handiwork, but until the Gap starts producing actual drool colored shirts, I believe this highly unlikely. Personally I think she should just consider the drool a personal fashion statement and embrace it as the Mark of the Hound—kind of like the Mark of Zorro, only less physically (although not psychologically) painful. Of course this being New York I could potentially start a fashion trend:

Wimsey’s Fashion Emporium: Sole Distributor of:

WimseyWear: Unleash Your Inner Hound

Sales Hound: May I help you?

Customer: I thought Hounds don’t help people. Is this a trick? Are you going to pretend to help me and then push me into a mud puddle or something?

Sales Hound: Your suspicions are very commendable, but in this case, I earn a rawhide for every dollar you spend, so I have a vested interest in helping.

Customer: Well in that case..

Sales Hound: Of course I do have a natural instinct to humiliate you, so I may choose to forego some rawhides occasionally. What is it you wanted?

Customer: I am looking for WimseyWear.

Sales Hound: That department is just to the right of the fountain of pee and across from the liver bar and to the right of the pet department.

Customer: You have a pet department?

Sales Hound: Why yes. It’s our chasables section. We sell squirrels, cats, raccoons, rats and just about any other fast moving animal. Also some large, disgusting insects. Of course the pets don’t stay around very long so there is a constant demand.

Customer: OK. But I think I’ll check out WimseyWear first. Anything that looks good on Giselle Bundchen looks good on me.

Sales Hound: I rather doubt that Madame. But if you care to visit our medical department I am sure that Dr. Wimsey would be happy to write you a prescription for a Hound. They can be wonderfully slimming. Here watch the monitor—it features our latest ad:

Are you fat? Do you think you are fat? Are you concerned that other people think you are fat? Are you wasting you life sleeping many unnecessary hours (and having nightmares about being fat)? Introducing Miracle Hound! Miracle Hound is guaranteed to give you that emaciated look you crave including those coveted hollowed out eyes and protruding bones! Using Miracle Hound—Nature’s Own Cross Trainer—attain unsurpassed aerobic fitness by enjoyably chasing after your Hound hour after hour! Develop arms like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger while restraining your Hound from chasing small, juicy animals or dragging you into large bodies of water! (Endorsed by the Woman’s Olympic coach of the former East Germany “Everyone thought it was the anabolic steroids, but it was really Miracle Hound!”). Forget tedious Pilates—develop amazing core strength trying to stay upright! Burning too few calories by sleeping at night? Miracle Hound will have you up and about investigating an entertaining variety of nocturnal antics and awaken you with astonishing speed utilizing our patented pre-dawn “face full o’ hound” alarm system. Problems with overeating? Not any more! Miracle Hound will clean your plate before you have a chance! Talk to your doctor today and see if Miracle Hound is right for you (disclaimer: Miracle Hound may cause high blood pressure, broken bones, internal injuries, heavy bruising, multiple cuts and abrasions, alcoholism, insomnia, anxiety, exhaustion and extensive property damage.)

Customer: Sounds fantastic! But first I would like to try on some WimseyWear.

Sales Hound: Well, WimseyWear comes in a variety of styles, although we like to think of them as “cataclysms”. There are clothes with holes, clothes with drool, clothes with mud and clothes with novelty items.

Customer: Novelty items?

Sales Hound: Yes. These come with some more unusual cataclysms such as embedded kibble and other food items and we also have a seasonally inspired line. These feature designs due to damage by things like grass and algae or rolling in dead animals or yellow snow for instance. Our designers have free rein in this department and their object is to showcase the Creativity of the Hound. I think Kate Moss was wearing a dress in one of our pee splatter designs when she was busted for cocaine.

Customer: Super! I also look good in things that Kate Moss wears.

Sales Hound: I think Madame should visit our medical department.

Well I have clothes on my flat and pointy brain because last Sunday was all about clothes—Maria went on a shopping expedition to find a dress for an upcoming wedding while I was relegated to the tender ministrations of Elizabeth (which included her checking on my kitchen floor nap every two minutes to make sure that I hadn’t overheated during our walk). And then after my nap, I repaid her concern by parking my tush on the stack of newspapers she was preparing to read and my upper body on the newspaper she was actually reading. I really hate newspapers—they seldom have any stories about bloodhounds in them and they require two hands to read which leaves zero hands free for scratch me. But it was all worth it as Maria found a super dress and I got to go on a long walk while she described the fascinating dress buying expedition in enormous detail. So my question is, how come women who are so intimately familiar with such terms as ruching and peau de soie are seldom to be found in anything other than baggy denim and stained and stinky cotton tee shirts? It couldn’t possibly have anything to do with me as I would quite fancy adding my special touches to all things ruched and peau de soie’d. Perhaps instead of buying Gap tee shirts Elizabeth should buy some tee shirts that say “We don’t look like this when we are not with him.” But of course they are never without me, so the point is rather moot. And Maria’s lovely new dress is double wrapped in plastic and locked away in her closet, but somehow I rather suspect that when she unwraps it she might find just a little something to remind her of her Miracle Hound.

But all this talk of fashion is a massive digression from the real excitement of the week. I entertained visitors from Alaska! Yes, it is amazing, but people do actually live in Alaska and one of them even has a bloodhound and found me through my blog. So our good friend Edie and her two lovely daughters spent three hours hanging out in Central Park with me and admiring my fine houndly spirit and extravagant fragrance (I am overdue for a bath it seems). Of course my aroma apparently only added to my charms as young Amanda flung her arms around me and buried her face in my fur, inhaled deeply and declared ‘He smells like Gus!” Gus, (who declines to be bathed) is their two year old bloodhound whom I am happy to report is every bit as badly behaved as one would expect (and being from Alaska he once stole a salmon). His hound savvy human who already had two coonhounds when Gus arrived reported thinking “How much worse could a bloodhound be?” The answer was of course as astounding as it was obvious. In fact Gus’ human only found this blog because she was looking for info on how to cope with a bad bloodhound (just because he ate a little dry wall!) and then discovered that the adjectival modification is wholly redundant-- Gus is really only just a bloodhound. Well we all had a fine time and many interesting topics were discussed-- such as strategies for maintaining traction whilst walking a charging bloodhound. I have always noticed that when Hound people get together they swap stories about the havoc wreaked by their Hounds—and then laugh hysterically. It’s a good thing too otherwise I suspect there would be many more ex-hounds. But still I think these humans would make excellent subjects for psychological study—perhaps they view us as karmic retribution for unsavory actions buried deep in their pasts. But in any case, Elizabeth who helps train ASPCA dogs was thinking about flying off to Alaska to help train Gus. Then Maria asked her if that was because she had had so much success in training me. “Perhaps Gus would be different” she hopefully opined. When Maria was done snickering I bayed and proceeded to lunge after a squirrel. I think Gus is safe for the time being. The Friends from Alaska montage is below.

Well it’s once again time for our weekly visit to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. Today we travel to sunny Spain to look at a masterpiece of baroque art: Old Woman Cooking Eggs (Diego Velazquez, 1618, National Galleries of Scotland). Velazquez painted this when he was only nineteen years old and the work reflects the general baroque preoccupation with the dramatic role of light. Velazquez, however, also enjoyed imbuing everyday objects with contrasting textures as we can see in the reflective oily nature of the eggs and the polish of the metal bowls and utensils. Unfortunately Velázquez was not able to indulge his passion very often as he soon after became court painter to Phillip IV of Spain and spent his days painting the uncomely king and his equally unattractive looking family (if anyone offers to set you up on a blind date with a Hapsburg I would give it a miss) in a series of inexhaustible poses and attitudes. But with respect to Old Woman Cooking Eggs (my humans cook me eggs frequently and I think they rather resemble this woman after a long day out with me) Velazquez could have added yet more textural variety by the insertion of a large, hungry Hound supervising the cooking. See how his large moist tongue and luxurious velvety wrinkles enhance the picture! We can almost feel the long sliver of silvery drool that will soon emerge! Wimsey Cooking Eggs.

Well that is all for this week. I am to be bathed tonight and so must prepare myself for the ensuing turkey feeding, cosseting and canoodling that can be expected on such an august occasion.

Until next time,

Wimsey of the North (of Times Square)