Saturday, August 9, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 79
August 8, 2008

Hello everyone. Wimsey of New York City here wishing you a happy 8/8/8! Now there should be some mystical significance to that date or number—if 666 is the sign of the beast 888 could be the sign of the Hound. (We are the sum of our parts: four giant paws with nails that cannot be clipped, two long ears that track mud, dirt, food and assorted vegetation into your home, one long tail to knock over your valuables and of course. The Nose, ruler of all it surveys).

And I think that there should be an astrological sign that people can be born under as well: “Individuals born under the sign of the Hound are stubborn, persistent, determined, willful, hard headed, tenacious, persevering, intransient, relentless, obdurate, incompliant, unyielding, unrelenting and thoroughly charming and adorable.” It would be a fantastic sign and I am sure everyone would want to be born under it. Now my human Maria, sadly, is born under the sign of the goat (whose only advantage is that it is better than being born under the sign of the crab) but her friend Elizabeth fares a bit better as she is born under the sign of the water bearer. Now this is wholly appropriate as she will be pouring lots of water over me (and unfortunately over herself and her bathroom floor as well) this evening as another episode of Wimsey Bath Night rapidly approaches. Now I myself am a Pisces which explains my extraordinary musical ability and sensitive and artistic nature but as a bloodhound I am much more interested in stealing and eating fish than I am in emulating them.

And speaking of being a bloodhound, lots of people always ask me about the origin of the name, as generally we are a mild mannered lot (unless riled up by the scent and sight of some purloinable food item or one of our canine or human friends with whom we would like to play). There is some thought that the name refers to our almost magical ability to track an animal from a spot of its blood (this ability was confirmed to me by a retired police officer that I met last year who told me how the bloodhound he was handling tracked a murder suspect to his apartment door on the basis of a drop of blood found at the scene of the crime). Then there is the idea that since we bloodhounds were very rare, expensive and highly prized as status symbols—kind of like the Maybach of the Middle Ages—and could only be owned by royalty and aristocrats (i.e. people of the blood) that “bloodhound” was a shortened version of blooded hound. Of course an alternative explanation is that bloodhound is a contraction of “that bloody Hound” as in “that bloody hound has eaten my best jerkin again!” This usage continues today, primarily in the British Isles where cries of “Get that bloody Hound out of the Sunday roast” echo throughout domestic establishments in that scepter’d and much Hound’d isle.

But, possessing an innovative turn of mind, this week I added a new interpretation to the meaning of the word “bloodhound.” I have a weak patch of skin above my elbow which seems to open at random intervals during the summer and makes a colossal bloody mess. Fortunately, after a brief, but copious emission of blood, the thing stops-- but not before I get rushed to the vet for some expensive “tsk tsk-ing.” Apparently there is very little that can be done (padding the elbow having resulted in a shred fest for me) but my humans have been advised that I should take things easy for a bit. The taking it easy means the cancellation of my midday runs and being forced to spend my days at Elizabeth’s being cooked for and canoodled with owing to my delicate condition. Fortunately the taking it easy does not preclude shoving Elizabeth’s newspapers off of her lap and replacing them with my head nor the insertion of my muzzle into her refrigerator in order to drool upon its contents. And I do get to spend considerable time lounging on her futon which is made up especially for me with a delightful set of Hound scented sheets.

And naturally taking it easy could get quite exciting, for at any moment I may turn into an actual “blood”hound creating lots of drama and mess. Personally, I highly recommend having medical problems that are expensive (if your humans are broke they can’t go out to dinners and movies and leave you alone), not actually serious (you don’t want to get the humans too upset) and most important, messy and inconvenient. This latter point is crucial as I get to wreak havoc and instead of getting yelled at I get cooked meals.

And I also get to go to the vet, which I actually enjoy quite a bit. Everyone makes a fuss over me and admires me and feeds me and then I disappear behind closed doors where my humans can hear the sounds of my feet running around on the floor and much ear flapping and baying all accompanied by a variety of muffled human sounds. Finally I emerge happily dragging some poor newly hound smelling vet tech behind me and everyone insists that I was very well behaved. They’re not talking and neither am I.

Now I bring all of this up because this week we coincidentally received a Google search about bloodhounds bleeding from the elbows. Of course there were also ones about “why basset hounds destroy things” (???!!!Because they’re Hounds) and also a search about celebrities who own bloodhounds (not surprisingly few do. Why would they?)

But in spite of doctor’s orders to take it easy, I did run into my buddy Louie the Weimaraner in Riverside Park this week. Now I have spoken before about Louie—a handsome giant Weimie with whom I sometimes am run in the afternoons. And I think these pictures are really appropriate (don’t show them to my vet) as the Weimaraner is also known as the grey ghost and think Louie’s ectoplasm was resisting being photographed.

Well normally this would be time the time that we would visit the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art. However, it is about time for my bath. For those suffering houndart withdrawal or those who are unfamiliar with my Institute, please visit to see some selections from the collection. Tonight should be a lot of fun—after my bath and my cooked meal we are all going to watch the opening ceremonies of the Olympics and I will be imagining all the havoc I could have wreaked had I been invited to participate. . China’s loss is my humans’ gain.

Until next time,

Wimsey, an actual bloodhound


Unknown said...

You look like a hound in summer ... you look HOT! Booker has elbow issues too, but his are more in the genre of "ashy elbows," as Sam-Jo says ... she is always lamenting her "ashy knees" so they have a slight bond that comes of slight maladies. Take care of your elbows, you don't want to make a mess (other than drool) on your H-Mom's sheets!

Anonymous said...

Dearest Wimsey,

I hope that your elbow mends quickly so that you can resume your midday runs. One hates to think of the humans of Manhattan being deprived of your magnificence any longer than necessary.


Miss Kitty

Princess, Tank and Isaac: The Newfs of Hazard said...

intransigent, perhaps? We know you can take an object, so you can't be intransitive. Those photos are almost as good as a video. We thought ectoplasm is what comes out when you eat a particularly tasty creature and then shake.

Better teach your elbow to heal.

Anonymous said...

Wimsey, we hope you’ll be feeling better soon!

You always make me laugh, and your description of the Sign of the Hound was perfect! You’ll be happy to know that I learned a new word. My bloodhound is so pleased that I’ve added “obdurate” to my vocabulary and I now have that additional word to praise him – such as - “You are so perfectly obdurate today, which is just as a bloodhound should be!”

Signed, A human owned by a hound

Biggie-Z said...

How did you get your bloody elbow? From running and scraping it? I got a scabby elbow a few weeks ago at day care. Again, they're not talking and neither am I, so I've just been slowly picking at it and letting it come off. Now there is just a drool stained patch of formerly white fur. Hot.

I'm in the doghouse again. :(

Thoughts said...

Hi Wimsey-

We left you a present over at our blog. Come and check it out at

Benson and Gibson