Friday, August 15, 2008

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 80
August 15, 2008

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you as usual from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Now there was some talk of me going to Beijing to participate in the Olympics but no one could decide in which of the many possible events to enter me—wrestling, track and field, gymnastics, Xtreme Showdogging, etc. But I have been watching the Games on TV with my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth and find much to admire, especially about Michael Phelps.

Ways in Which I Wimsey am Like Michael Phelps

1. We both have jumbo sized hands and feet (or paws, as the case may be)

2. We both possess a pair of extravagantly generous ears

3. We are both really large, but are also trim and sleek at the same time

4. We both get loud when we are excited

5. We both like to go fast

6. We both like to stick our noses in water

7. We both eat mass quantities of food yet remain mysteriously slender (towing humans, like swimming, being highly aerobic)

8. We are both champions

9. We both hate to lose and seldom do

10. People make a fuss about us both and take our pictures wherever we go

11. We both amaze our family and friends with our feats of athletic prowess

Now with reference to this last point, as you know many ordinary canines like to rearrange the bedding in the middle of the night, frequently leaving their humans with the short side of the blanket. I, however, engaged in some truly extraordinary bedtime shenanigans this week: I moved the entire mattress—and while Maria was still sleeping on it! She didn’t wake up until she rolled over and fell on the floor (I sagely stuck to the side of the bed that was still supported by the bed frame—I’m not as unintelligent as has been rumored in certain quarters). Why did I do this? For the same reason I do most things—I want to and I can. My only regret was that I was unable to capture it for You Tube.

Of course in addition to Michael Phelps, everyone is talking about gymnastics, which is another event that lends itself perfectly well to Houndly skills.

Wimsey’s Gymnastics Competition

Tim Daggett: I am here with Elfie Schlegel at the Hound Gymnastics competition. Tonight is the pack competition and tomorrow is the race for the coveted All Around Hound title.

Elfie Shlegel: Yes, Tim and as you know the event consists of four rotations: Garden, Vault, Soft Goods and the Floor Exercise.

Tim Daggett: Yes, and this event takes place inside an actual home where a pack of hounds will be scored on the speed and style with which they reduce its contents to trash.

Elfie Schlegel: Team Wimsey is favored here—their destructive powers are legendary and team captain Wimsey will also compete tomorrow night for All Around Hound.

Tim Daggett: It’s going to be a thrilling competition, Elfie. Team Wimsey is up against a formidable pack of young Chinese Hounds.

Elfie: And speaking of age, Tim, it is rumored that some of the Chinese pack are actually puppies, which, given how destructive and fearless puppies are, confers an unfair advantage.

Tim: Well the Chinese have produced AKC registrations that they say prove their pack is of competition age but Bela Karolyi is threatening to have their teeth examined.

Elfie: Anyway, the first event is Garden and Hounds will be scored on the number of plants they can dig up (bonus points for mature, deep rooted shrubs and prize flower beds), the number of holes they can dig and the mounds of poop they can conceal until someone unwittingly steps in it.

Tim: And of course the esthetic component will weigh heavily on the judges’ minds—when the Hounds are finished the plants should look like a tornado cruised though and the ground should have that moonscaped appearance so beloved by Hound aficionados.

Elfie: Garden is not team captain Wimsey’s best event—living in New York City he doesn’t get the practice times in that the other Hounds have, but he should make up for it on the other three events. Vault (also sometimes called “Refrigerator”) is a competition to see which team can open and strip a refrigerator’s contents bare and then lounge about innocently as if they had nothing to do with it. Judges will take deductions for burping and muzzle licking.

Tim: Unquestionably Wimsey is a capable Hound on this apparatus and he has the style of innocent look that the international judges favor. But his real strengths are soft goods and floor. He is an excellent soft goods worker—he’s got the big feet and long nails for extra shredding power so he is not as reliant on his teeth as some of the other Hounds. And he’s especially effective on towels and pillows, which carry a high degree of difficulty.

Elfie: But let’s not forget his high level of skill on floor exercise. His human has never had an intact rug or carpet for more than a few minutes and he is a very powerful and complete competitor on this apparatus—even making sure to destroy the under padding; it’s attention to those little details that make him world champion in this event. And of course he has that clean, elegant line with which he moves through the exercise. The judges love that.

Tim: It should be a wonderful competition and we predict that Wimsey will make up for his low scores in Garden to win the Individual Gold Hound of the Baskervilles Medal tomorrow night.

And of course I would certainly win a gold medal for my powerful towing abilities (“Help! Wimsey is doing his tractor imitation again!”) should that ever become an Olympic sport. My towing prowess has even given rise to a new unit of measurement known as Wimsey Pull Units (WPUs, pronounced “whip yous”). Units of force are expressed in Newtons (after my idol, Sir Isaac) and now units of tow can be expressed in Wimseys. They come in very handy when Elizabeth is describing to Maria the relative strengths of some of the powerful dogs she walks at the ASPCA (“Spud the pit bull only weighs 45lbs but he pulls with a force of 0.75 Wimseys—a very impressive effort”). Now on a per pound (or should I say per kilo, since this is science after all) basis I am not the strongest dog, but thanks to the laws of my good buddy Sir Isaac, size does matter.

Before we toddle off to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art I want to thank everyone for their concern about my cut elbow. Like any elite athlete I am now receiving medicated compresses and my elbow is being iced regularly. Cooked meals abound to encourage me to keep up my strength and to wash down my pills and I am spending my days being nursed over at Elizabeth’s (the nursing largely takes the form of me napping on her futon while she gazes at me sympathetically, ((which is not the way she usually gazes at me, particularly when I am being insubordinate, which I am most of the time)). And I hear that there are two large stuffed toys and some roast chicken that will shortly be at my disposal.

Anyway, today’s artistic masterpiece depicts a soothing summer scene that is heavily influenced by Asian art: Garden at Sainte Adresse (Claude Monet 1867, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Sainte Adresse is a resort on the Normandy coast and Monet painted some of his relatives peacefully enjoying the scenery (the peace being somewhat of an illusion as Monet was fighting at the time with his father owing to his latest unsuitable romantic conquest—“la plus ca change…” and all that). The painting’s composition consists of bands of color that were very reminiscent of the Japanese art that was newly popular at the time. But the woman in white is sitting next to a puzzlingly empty chair which makes me think that she is expecting someone. And who better to expect than a giant handsome Hound! Now instead of gazing pointlessly out to sea or talking to her no doubt tedious companion, she can commune with one of Nature’s own masterpieces, a magnificent Hound. But of course the Hound is not paying much attention to her—Hounds seldom pay attention to humans—but is gazing past her, perhaps to a much more important human such as someone selling ice cream or some other desirable comestible. Wimsey in the Garden at Sainte Adresse.

Well it is time for my massage and roast chicken snack.

Until next time,

Wimsey, The All Around Hound


Unknown said...

OMG too funny about the mattress! H-Mom was laughing out loud! Did you slime everything, too?

Biggie-Z said...

Wow, Wimsey, the mattress trick should get you extra points for style and degree of difficulty in the Soft Goods competition!! LOL!

By the way, my Momma wants to know how many WPU's you think I have. Last weekend managed to overcome her poorly-treaded old Birkenstocks as she tried to dig her heels in, and I ended up pulling her on her back a short distance across a gravel road so that I could sniff some people. Silly Momma, she hung on to my leash and I did a little PT on her January-fixed shoulder. We are not 100% sure I didn't reinjure it, but I think I just improved her range of motion there. Now granted, I wasn't wearing my halti, but my Momma outweighs me by at least 35 pounds.

Biggie-Z said...

P.S. She has a scrape on her back that she got through her shirt. No, it's not rug burn.

Anonymous said...

Wimsey, wonderfully entertaining as always!