Friday, January 23, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry # 103
January 23, 2009

Hello everyone--Wimsey here coming to you from my personal urban playground, otherwise known as Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Well the week started off in excellent fashion—we had some snow in time for my usual Sunday afternoon walkabout in Central Park—snow always being pleasing to a Hound of my playful disposition. Unfortunately my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth elected to put their own personal safety above my full enjoyment of the conditions and I was forced to wear that heinous head collar. Shockingly selfish they are.

Nevertheless I did get to do a little meeting and greeting and mingling with New York’s Finest with whom I have a mutual admiration society. The officer in the photos was overjoyed at interacting with a “real dog.” I have noticed that the whole “real dog” thing is just a thinly veiled code for describing a monster sized canine like myself--and by that criteria I think my humans would prefer that I were a little more of an unreal dog. That is not to say, however, that I don’t have small dog tendencies, especially ones that are inconvenient, like, say, sitting in laps or lounging on the furniture. And of course my “real” doginess is substantially enhanced by the fact that I am messy, smelly and noisy. Men appreciate these characteristics as those who also possess them like to think of themselves as “real men,” which, to the extent that I am their canine equivalent, is probably the source of much of their admiration. For them, it’s kind of like looking into an inter-species mirror. (except of course that, unlike them, I have a perfect excuse for never asking directions). But personally I think the whole real man thing is an attempt to forestall any attempts to make them neat, clean and quiet, which fortunately is not really an option for a spirited Hound such as myself. Although my ladies, like ladies everywhere, do try and periodically exert a civilizing influence.

But lest you think that I lack admirers of the female persuasion, the skier in the picture went down because she was so mesmerized by my beauty. (my humans are not the only New Yorkers who like to dress up in outdoor wear and pretend that Central Park is actually the untamed wilderness. People really do ski in Central Park, although personally any trail that I am on should immediately be classified as a Black Diamond route due to the difficulties that skiers have in keeping their balance when eye candy such as myself is in range). And speaking of balance, everyone knows that walking on ice is fun—especially if you have four legs, a low (ish) center of gravity and leather pads that grip like Spiderman—but my humans do not seem to appreciate this activity and are forever trying to move us off the ice. So in addition to my personae of Wimsey the Tractor and Wimsey the Crab, I have now added Wimsey the Ice Walker. There is talk of crampons yet again.

Anyway, this has been an exciting week, what with the inauguration and everything although it was disappointing to note the absence of Hounds at the event. I think I would have added a dignified majesty on the podium. And as one who has been described by Elizabeth as “spectacularly unintelligent”(a description that Maria strenuously objects to, especially because the comment was made whilst Elizabeth was in the process of feeding me her dinner) I felt vindicated by watching two Harvard Law School Graduates struggle to get through the 35 word oath of office—if I had been there I would have administered a gentle nip in the tush to Justice Roberts when he omitted to put the “faithfully” before the “execute”. (perhaps the splitting of the infinitive was simply too radical a linguistic maneuver for the conservative judge) Or perhaps I would have just begun baying and force them to begin again so that they could be heard. But being inaugurated looks like a good gig:

Wimsey’s Inauguration

Wolf Blitzer: Wolf Blitzer here covering this historic occasion.

Anderson Cooper: Hi Wolf. Historic indeed. Why the last time we were together was to cover the invasion of Wimsey’s anal glands (post #46) by a rude gang of bacteria and now we are here to watch his inauguration as First Hound.

Wolf: That’s right. It’s the first time the United States has had a First Hound but I understand the nation has gotten fed up with politicians and has decided to use a little known provision in the Constitution to usher in Rule by Hound.

Anderson: That’s not really much of a departure from how things usually are, but this is the first time it’s been made official.

Wolf: But what will we call the First Hound?

Anderson: Well as he never comes when called, it’s not really much of a problem, but we understand that Wimsey likes to be called “Sir.”

Wolf: Very dignified. Now what about these rumors that Wimsey is not very bright? Do you think it is just because he has a pointy head?

Anderson: No it’s true. He actually is pretty thick when it comes down to it, but given the state of the nation, the people have decided to go a different way. After all, the IQs of the folks on Wall Street are pretty high and they are the ones who got us into this mess, so perhaps having no intellectual ability is not such a bad thing.

Anderson: And Wimsey does have a reputation for getting things done. Now granted up until this time they are not things you want to have done—having a shoulder dislocated comes to mind--but he is unquestionably a Hound of action. Relentless is a word that is frequently used when referring to his character.

Wolf: Good point Anderson. Wimsey is known for getting his own way—whether by charm, manipulation, intimidation or by some blend of the three, no one is really sure, but it works. The Congressional leadership is already worried about how to resist him.

Anderson: Well one of his campaign slogans was “resistance is futile” and perhaps Congress could stand a little strong arming these days. And of course Wimsey is always known for being his own Hound.

Wolf: Yes, if he commits to something it is as good as done. I think the Congress is hoping that furnishing the Oval Office with lots of nap inducing cushy couches and squeaky toys will distract him.

Anderson: We’ll have to see about that one—although I did hear that there was some talk of releasing an actual red fox into the Rose Garden. And Wimsey has loads of foreign policy experience too, because as it turns out those outside of the US find him just as irresistible as we do.

Wolf: Listen to the baying of the crowd, Anderson. They are all waiting for “Hail to the Hound” to be played and Wimsey to make an appearance.

Anderson: Well, they’ll have to wait-- Wimsey will come out onto the steps when he is in the mood. But no discussion of Wimsey would be complete without a discussion of his unique sense of style.

Wolf: Quite right. Wimsey seldom does anything the way anyone else does it. During his visits to the show ring he eschews the traditional trot in favor of the pace, the gallop and a gait of his own special design called the trop, which as I understand is a hard to replicate blend of the pace and the trot.

Anderson: Yes and he likes to enliven the solemn show proceedings by concertizing and socializing, which is quite unusual.

Wolf: And he also likes to demonstrate his fine American sense of independence by choosing to place his feet only where he wants them and has been known to throw in a wholly innovative maneuver like stacking backwards.

Anderson: Very true, but I understand the backwards stack was so he could gaze into the resplendent jowls of his lady love Phoebe. Do you think we can expect puppies in the White House Wolf?

Wolf: Well Wimsey is itching to have a First Lady Hound so one never knows. It would be nice to hear the yips and howls and sound of little paws running about again. But of course whether or not the people’s house will be so blessed, one thing is certain-- it won’t stay white for very long.

Anderson: And here comes Wimsey!

Wolf: Wow! He’s not even wearing a coat. That’s very unusual for a Hound of New York.

Anderson: Yes, Wimsey is a great admirer of JFK who wanted to demonstrate his vigor and resistance to hypothermia by remaining coatless. And here are his humans!

Wolf: How charming they look! I am told that LL Bean and Lands End designed those parkas especially for the occasion. And they’ve painted Sir’s water canteens red white and blue in honor of the inauguration. But how will Wimsey be sworn in?

Anderson: Well considering what Wimsey did to his human’s cook book collection it was thought unwise to use a Bible, so he is going to be sworn in on his favorite orange monkey.

Wolf: And here is Chief Justice Roberts to administer the oath. I think he has it written down this time. Let’s listen:

Chief Justice Roberts: I, Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Wimsey do solemnly swear…
Wimsey: I, Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Wimsey do solemnly swear..

Chief Justice Roberts: that I will faithfully execute the office of the First Hound of the United States..

Wimsey: that I will FAITHFULLY execute the office of First Hound of the United States providing that I am in the mood to do so..

Chief Justice Roberts: and will to the best of my ability…

Wimsey: and will to the best of my considerable ability…

Chief Justice Roberts: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Wimsey: preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, providing I never get my mouth on the actual document-- then all bets are off.

Chief Justice Roberts: and as First Hound do you further swear to make life as difficult as possible for humans in the most entertaining way possible thereby abrogating their natural tendencies toward pride, pomposity, self interest, self esteem, and self love and refocusing and redirecting these energies towards the well being, comfort and pleasure of their Hound.

Wimsey: I do so swear.

Chief Justice Roberts: Congratulations, Sir. You are now First Hound.

Wolf: Look! The crowd is engaging in that hallowed tradition, the flinging of the boiled liver! Duck!

Anderson: No, they save the duck for the Inaugural Ball.

Well, in any case Elizabeth finally returned home from Texas last night and rushed immediately to my side where I celebrated her safe return by ignoring her in favor of eviscerating my stuffed duck. I did forgive her though when she made amends by giving me a slice of her pizza. And as Maria commented, ”It’s been a whole 4 days since Wimsey last had diarrhea, so he is overdue.” It is one of the many idiosyncratic delights of the bloodhound that we frequently have delicate digestions. The fact that this delicate digestion is paired with an indomitable will to eat things that upset this delicate digestion is just another one of the traits that endear us to our humans. But as an aside—an upset tummy leads to me being fed pumpkin, which leads to lots of leftover pumpkin which leads to Hound bite sized pumpkin muffins being baked which leads directly back to my stomach— alimentary ills can be advantageous..

So last night I munched pizza while Elizabeth caught up on my doings during the week—from Maria’s slide down a flight of stairs, to my attempts to drag her into a neighbor’s apartment to join a party, to the weak spot on my elbow opening up again and spurting a bit of blood. As to this latter event it appears that when I came rushing out of the bedroom seeking medical assistance, Maria initially assumed that I was merely fleeing an attack of flatulence. Florence Nightingale she is not.

And while Elizabeth was in Texas she had occasion to visit the Alamo, which was very exciting to me until it was explained “No Wimsey, not the place where we rent the cars to take you on trip.” But the Alamo also reminded me of the exploits of one my ancestors, Wimsey Crockett, who actually escaped from the siege. When the Mexican General Santa Anna was eventually captured he was disguised as a private. Now some people think this was guile, but really it was because his regular uniform was stained yellow (his captors also noticed some suspicious tooth marks on his rump which the General was too embarrassed to account for).

The non car renting Alamo is apparently having trouble with the deterioration of the interior walls because so many visitors want to touch the shrine; as a consequence every wall is plastered with big signs that say “Do Not Touch Wall.” Now Elizabeth reported that until she saw those signs the idea of touching the wall would never have occurred to her but somehow the signs inexplicably made her want to touch the wall (she restrained herself, however). So now she knows what I go through on a daily basis when it’s all ‘Wimsey, don’t even think about jumping on that dog” or “Wimsey, don’t you even think about putting your nose in my wine or “Wimsey, don’t dare even think about pinning me to the couch again.” But the power of suggestion is too much, even for a Hound and so I think, “But that dog, (who was previously unnoticed), looks like it wants to be jumped on, and suddenly I have an urgent need to sample the bouquet of that wine and I was going to have a nap on your lap but now that you mention it, pinning is such good fun.” I am hoping Elizabeth remembers the Alamo next time she tells me what not to do.

Well, I think that about covers all the events of this week so now we will take our weekly peek at the collection of the Institute of Houndish Art where we again look at a painting by Eduouard Manet, this time one with an appropriately Spanish theme: The Matador, (Edouard Manet, 1866, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). Here we can see Manet, who was something of a realist, being romantically inspired by the Spanish art of the 17th century after he visited Spain in 1865 and watched a bull fight. He subsequently painted this ¾ view of a famous matador, turning with proud posture as if to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd. But man does not live by bull alone and see how much more proud and dignified the Matador looks when he is standing next to his proud and dignified Hound! Perhaps the Hound is also owed tribute by the crowd for riling up the bull before the fight. And see how graciously the Hound accepts the well deserved tribute of the crowd. See how the Matador has wisely not told his Hound “Don’t even think about playing with my cape” so the Hound has remained tranquil and see how much better looking the Hound is than the Matador. Wimsey and His Matador.

Well that’s all for this week. Time to go cadge another muffin before my frigid evening stroll.

Until next time,

Wimsey, First among equally naughty Hounds


Anonymous said...

Wimsey, I am a beagle (a Houndy cousin, though I know my nose isn't nearly as impressive as yours, yet I also do the Tractor Walk and must wear a Halti) and my mom will not walk in winter without crampons! She said to tell your people that Yaktrax are the way to go for packed snow and ice. We know, we live in snowy Toronto!

Unknown said...

Sometimes we walk past the county jail, where the deputies all admire Madison's "real dogness" ... one of them wants to get the department to acquire a Giant Schnauzer -- they are more common in Germany as police and army dogs -- Madison always accommodates them with butt wiggles and some very unferocious face kisses.

Bentley said...

Yum, pumpkin muffins sound good to me! There was talk of banana muffins here, but they didn't materialize. I even tried to help by smashing one of the bananas that was on the counter with my paw, but apparently that didn't help as much as I'd thought it would. Oh well, Beau and I got to eat the banana plain, (but muffins would have been nice.)

Anonymous said...

Hi Wimsey,
I am Ruthie, a hound dog baby beagle of 11 months. Your human, Elizabeth, helped me a lot when I tried to become a therapy dog. "Tried," is the key word because my Mom, Karen, says that "I have a lot of learning left to do!" I also love your friend, "Dr. Julie Horton!" I have not seen her though lately. That could be good and bad!
Anyway, with all that learning that I need to do, I would love to learn from YOU! Maybe we could go for a walk together in Central Park! That would be so cool! Little hound and big hound!
Hope to hear from you or see you!

Edie and Gus said...

My Dear Sir,

Greetings from Alaska! Your beloved Central Park looks quite Arctic right now. I am glad that the skier you encountered knows her place as a majestic hound such as yourself passes.

I am happy to see that the police also deferred to your greatness and fed you their lunch. You deserved all of it and more!

Your ladies in tow might benefit from snowboarding pants, which are padded in all the right places. They do tend to complain quite a lot, don't they?

Edie is wondering when you will convince your ladies to skijor with you? It is quite the pastime up here in Alaska. Dogs are put in a harness, which is then attached to the skier's waist. Well trained dogs run and pull the skier along the trails. I think it would be a simply delightful exercise for you. Nevermind that Edie says skijoring with a bloodhound should be called treejoring. Convince them to give it a try. And be sure to video the results...

Sincerely yours,
Gus, Bloodhound Eye Candy of Alaska

Anonymous said...

Oh my Whimsey, Great Sir. You do have an imagination! I don't think they throw liver and duck and the First Hound inauguration. You are such a silly dog.

Nicole, giant schnazuer training expert said...

You're a great help to the community, Whimsey. I'm sure your parents love you dearly and are so proud of you. And I really like the photo where you wear a hat, you're really cute and look silly there.