Friday, July 31, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #130

July 26, 2009

Entry #130

Hello everyone, whimsical Wimsey here coming to you from Manhattan’s exciting Upper West Side where lots of fun stuff has been going on in spite of this week’s muggy weather. But first, let me say that if my one blog post a week is simply not enough Wimsey for you, you can now follow me on Twitter (go to, sign up and follow WimseyNY—plain old Wimsey is apparently a parrot so although my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth ((especially her friend Elizabeth)) often refer to me as a bird brain I think the difference will become apparent if you try to follow the avian Wimsey).

Now Twitter is very interesting as I can issue short tweets about my views and activities throughout the day and you get to know exactly what I am doing at all times. It is kind of like being the King of France—French court ceremonial was so structured that one always knew what the king was doing merely by looking at a clock.
Courtier 1: Fetch the Royal Bloodhound. His Majesty wishes to view him.

Courtier 2: The Royal Bloodhound apparently does not wish to view his Majesty. He has decided to dig up the queen’s favorite rose bush instead.

Courtier 1: But it is 11:05 and His Majesty always views his Hound at that time.

Courtier 2: I suppose we could tell His Majesty that the Hound stole too much foie gras from the Comte de Baskerville’s table last night and is indisposed.

Courtier 1: But the Hound is always stealing too much foie gras from the Comte de Baskerville’s table and is never indisposed.

Courtier 2: I think that the Royal Master Poop Bearer would disagree, but perhaps we could tell the king that the Hound is off hunting some luscious and exotic animal for tonight’s royal repast.

Courtier 1: Yes, but the last time we tried that the Hound just brought home a colorful snake that His Majesty refused to consume.

Courtier 2: Perhaps His Majesty would settle for viewing the Royal Terrier instead?
Courtier 1: No, he does that at 2:10. Besides it bit him last time.

Courtier 2: Well, would he settle for something similar. Say the Royal Beagle?

Courtier 1: No. And anyway the Royal Beagle isn’t available. He’s eating.

Courtier 2: Well we could say that the Royal Hound is off fighting the English in the service of His Majesty.

Courtier 1: Didn’t we just finish fighting the English?

Courtier 2: We never finish fighting the English. But I have it! We will just send the Hound’s extreme regrets and inform His Majesty that the Hound is busy making sure that the royal kennels will be fully stocked with the next generation of Royal Hounds.

Courtier 1: Brilliant! What King of France would not admire such a devotion to such a duty?

Or else, perhaps if the King of France had Twitter:

1:04 am: Can’t sleep. The Hound is snoring.

2:15 am: Awakened by Hound having another baying dream. Hope he is catching something edible.

5:30 am: Hound snuffled my face. Let him out into the garden. Brought in a dead rat. Wanted to sleep with it.

7:00am: Courtiers arrive with coffee and croissants. Hound stole the croissants again. Wish he’d let me have one. Need to be faster.

7:30 am: Hound staring at me while I use the chamber pot. Very unnerving.

8:00am: Royal lace maker called in to repair yet another hole in my frill. She’s threatening to quit.

8:30am: Hound is trying on my wig. He looks very cute. Courtiers very impressed.

8:31 am: Courtiers suggest making Hound his own wig. Might save wear and tear on mine.

8:45 am: Crisis! Courtiers unable to find pair of unchewed shoes.

9:00 am: Levé complete. Make my entrance into Court. Everyone very impressed by my power and majesty. Effect somewhat marred by Hound peeing on the carpet.

No man is a hero to his Hound. But seriously even apart from Twitter this has been a fantastic week. Elizabeth (with whom I now spend my afternoons) paid a visit to Bed Bath & Beyond and brought home two big bags of stuff. She was really pleased with her purchases until she realized that all of them involved me (an air tight container to keep my kibble super fresh ((I am on Wysong now and liking it very much—even my humans think it smells good, which is a bit troubling as their taste in smells is abysmal)) an elevated feeding station, a water purifying pitcher because she gets very thirsty after our afternoon tows and new bath mats to keep me from slipping in the bath. Then she popped over to Laytner’s Linens to avail herself of a sale and bought four new bath towels for me. (I am major consumer of towels and like to imbue them with an artistic Swiss cheese motif). She is still in the market for a reed dispenser. Can’t think why. President Obama doesn’t need stimulus plans, he needs Hounds.

And then, once again, I dropped in on all my friends at the vet’s office. I visit quite frequently as I like to acquire a varied assortment of ailments that are minor, expensive and inconvenient to my humans. My current favorite (if we don’t count the small fortune spent on testing my poop for non-existent parasites that could, but aren’t, responsible for some of my more spectacular excretory productions), is a slight irritation on a very, ahem, intimate piece of my anatomy. The vet recommended irrigating the area with Nolvasan solution and applying a warm compress. Since Elizabeth was in charge of compressing and rubbing ointment into my anal area during the Great Anal Gland Episode a Christmas ago, she has apparently been drafted for these ministrations also. The vet wants a video.

Let’s see, then also this week I was invited to be in the Nikon Cool Pix Circle. This is a program where the folks at Nikon send a blogger one of four cameras of their choice, gratis, for use for three or six months, after which time the blogger can either send the camera back to Nikon or buy it at a discount. I just need to post some of my pics on a Cool Pix Flickr website and discuss my experiences—pro and con with other members of the circle and with the company. I also get to nominate three other bloggers for the program and the company will invite one of them to join the circle. I will let you all know how it goes. Starting next week pictures of my über Houndiness will be taken with the new camera—let me know if you notice a difference. Of course I expect that this camera-- like the current one-- will be covered in bits of bribing turkey. Photographing me doesn’t come cheap. In fact nothing does.

Well, in addition to visiting the vet, signing up for Twitter, getting a free camera, having a new feeding station and being provided with soft cotton towels in beautifully chewable colors I have also been consorting with pirates—pirates being very much humans after my own heart (yo ho ho and an entire roast chicken and all that) in Central Park. Now it is axiomatic that one can find anything in New York City, so the sight of a pirate lounging about in Central Park is treated with casual aplomb by those of us who live here (Elizabeth claims to have once seen a man painted green and wearing a toga walking up Fifth Avenue and receiving only the most cursory of glances from pedestrians). Of course this fellow is not a real pirate but is only pretending to be one (we hope!) to entertain the tourists and pose for pictures (NB: he doesn’t accept turkey as payment). The ladies thought he was pretty cute and as usual I was only too happy to assume my wingman role and facilitate an introduction. Personally I think it would be pretty cool to be walking down the street with a pirate at the other end of the leash—but I bet I would still get more attention. Guy dressed like a pirate? (Ho hum); a Giant Hound? (Yippee!) No one ever said New Yorkers were normal people.

And we also saw this lady—a mime I have encountered before but am not allowed to get too close to on account of the fact that she is painted white. And then it occurred to me that plenty of people would pay a Hound good money (or a lot of turkey) not to talk or to move. But since I get more attention than either mimes or pirates maybe I should be compensated as well.

Anyway although I am an excellent wingman the whole human man-woman thing puzzles me. Among Hounds we gentlemen compete for the ladies, not the other way around, and they are a tough bunch I can tell you.

Hound Speed Dating

Wimsey: Hello, my name is Wimsey. May I mate with you?

Lady Hound 1: Certainly not! You are entirely too smooth a character. Next!
Wimsey: Hello, my name is Wimsey. May I mate with you?

Lady Hound 2: Well, in the first place that would be very difficult with your nose in its current position. Kindly remove it or I will give you a good nip.

Wimsey: But do I have a chance?

Lady Hound 2: No. Your ears are too short—I like my males with a lot of extra length. Next!

Wimsey: Hello, my name is Wimsey. May I mate with you?

Lady Hound 3: You smell awful! Did someone just bath you?

Wimsey: Unfortunately yes. But it wasn’t my idea. I’ll be magnificently odiferous in a few days.

Lady Hound 3: Well come back then. In the meantime I suggest you go roll on a rat. Next!

Wimsey: Hello, my name is Wimsey. May I mate with you?

Lady Hound 4: I’m not in the mood. I only came here to accompany a friend who is in the mood.

Wimsey: Do you think she would like me?

Lady Hound 4: I don’t think you’re her type.

Wimsey: Why not? I am large, handsome, not too bright, loud, drooly, smelly (excepting the first 48 hours after a bath), massively destructive and insanely manipulative. What more could one want in a Hound?

Lady Hound 4: Nothing. She’s a bichon.

So you can see my humans aren’t the only ones whose love life leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, this week we come to the last Institute of Houndish Art masterwork from the second grade class at the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska. This dynamic work is by Droven and is entitled, “Wimsey is Running At You. He’s Going to Jump on You.” It’s almost as if the artist has looked into my soul in order to create this piece of art—from my deep forehead wrinkle to the determined look in my eyes to my flying ears, the artist has captured the exact moment before impact. And what wonderful color and symmetry—from the two pieces of flanking vegetation in the background—their colors echoing that of my tongue—to the placement of the magnificent Hound, dead center where he belongs. The artist has made use of extensive cross hatching to lend the scene additional movement and drama. What a wonderful piece with which to end our examination of these young artists! We can only hope that they will continue to develop their talent and especially to keep creating art in which I form the central feature.

Well that about wraps it up for this week’s post. Hope to see you all on Twitter.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Tweet Hound.

(I love to nap like this!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #129

Entry #129
July 24, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from my Hound Empire on Manhattan’s Upper West Side where I rule my admiring subjects with a velvet paw. (I reserve the imperial iron paw for thwacking humans who have stopped petting me).

This week has been rather uncomfortably humid, with the exception of Sunday when I spent the day as usual in the Central Park with my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth. It was a magnificent summer day, and I too, as usual was magnificent—towing and baying and flinging drool with abandon. In addition to contemplating a line of intimate support wear for the larger male canine my humans are thinking about developing drool shields.

And this week someone asked Maria if I was a tick hound. Now considering the amount of money spent on my parasite screens I suppose she certainly hoped not. And although I have been mistaken for a large numbers of breeds in the AKC registry I have to admit that I have never been mistaken for an arachnid before (largely owing I suspect to my enormous size and being minus a few legs --can you imagine the towing possibilities of having eight legs!). But I suppose the fellow recognized a parasitic species when he saw one. Of course the guy also could have thought I was a blue tick coonhound but then we have the problem of me not being blue, ticked or a coonhound, so I am sticking with the parasite theory.

Anyway as you can see by the sign, perfection does indeed have its price—it’s just that I don’t happen to be the one paying it. That privilege falls to my humans. I myself know the value of everything and the cost of nothing to re-interpret the famous Oscar Wilde phrase. And one of the things of highest value—particularly in this sticky weather—is the taking of a long nap in cool air conditioned splendor. So here to illustrate is a little nap montage.

And while I nap—sometimes quite vigorously—my humans always wonder what I am dreaming about.

Things I Dream About:

Pooping over the Central Park roadway so the poop falls on passing cars (my humans seem loathe to let me do this however many times I try)
Liver furniture

Producing the next generation of Wimseys

Being let loose in Barnes and Noble (we Wimseys have an appetite for educational materials)

Patrolling with the officers of the 20th precinct and poking my muzzle into the sensitive bits of the perps

Being hand fed roast turkey without getting a bath at the same time

Squirrel tartare

Having my humans’ undivided attention (oops, a bit of reality crept in there)

Also this week my friend Bentley ( mentioned that his humans attended a book signing of dog trainer Joel Silverman’s book “What Color is Your Dog.” The premise of the book is that dogs can be assigned colors according to their temperament and trained using techniques appropriate to their type. So I had a look at the bloke’s website with the intention of devising some creative countermeasures should my humans ever be so misguided as to try this out on me, but sadly I didn’t fall into any of the types—I am apparently a Hound of a different color. In order to rectify this omission I think the book needs an additional section:

What Color is Your Hound?

Khaki: This is a reserved Hound who is primarily interested in the goods and services that can be provided to him by his friends and family rather than by the public at large. He is quite methodical when he destroys your possessions and will find the most efficient means of doing so. He is not an especially creative thinker and can be relied upon to stick to the classics such as chewing up shoes and eating pillows and to tried and true activities such as raiding the garbage bin. The Khaki Hound is seldom alarmed when his activities come to the notice of his humans— often preferring to nap during their hysterical recriminations. In fact the dignity and sang froid of this Hound are such that the hollering humans are made to feel ashamed of and embarrassed by their emotive outbursts. The Khaki Hound is fond of getting his own way and succeeds through patience, calm and the relentless pursuit of his own interests.

Puce: The Puce Hound appears to be rather a timid creature. In fact everyone feels so bad about his being timid that he is accorded every indulgence. His smallest doings are made much of, he is showered with affection at all times and the fact that he has eaten an entire library’s worth of books is hailed as well worth the price of his happiness. He sits on laps, gets fed from the table and receives the entire contents of the Pet Edge catalog in tribute. Nothing that upsets him is ever done to him—the feeling being that that would be cruel. He is invited onto the bed, taken out as much as possible for confidence building walks, and belly rubbed into oblivion. Other animals are often acquired solely to keep him company and to amuse him. When the Puce Hound asserts itself his humans rejoice—“Hurray the Puce Hound stole my sandwich—that took an admirable amount of courage and initiative!” The Puce Hound always gets what it wants because everybody around him thinks it’s what they want too.

Azure: The Azure Hound is often called the Einstein of Hounds because he is exceptionally clever, wily and manipulative—but only about matters regarding his personal comfort and satisfaction. With respect to all other matters his IQ, like most Hounds, is only slightly above that of a ficus. And with respect to the learning of and adhering to obedience commands his IQ is closer to that of a rock. While more outgoing with strangers than the Khaki Hound, the Azure Hound restricts his efforts to those strangers who have something he wants. He can then be the most charming of Hounds. The Azure Hound is also the kind of Hound who will not be fooled by human stratagems aimed at hiding desirable items, such as that new pair of Italian pumps and his desire for a snack will not be foiled by a closed refrigerator door. He is at heart a problem solver. The Azure Hound will not be misled by casual human behaviors designed to lure him into a false sense of security before the doom of an impending bath, vet visit, nail clipping, ear cleaning or any other disobliging activity occurs. Once he detects even the subtlest of human subterfuges he will make himself spectacularly unavailable. The Azure Hound is fond of getting his own way and succeeds through guile, wit and an uncanny ability to make humans love him.

Fuchsia: The Fuchsia Hound is a bold and confident Hound. He knows he is the master of all he surveys and lives securely in the knowledge that he is entitled to everything humans possess-- his family and everything they own—especially the contents of the refrigerator and laundry bin-- belong to him. Interesting strangers also belong to him. (Uninteresting strangers are beneath his notice and he will ignore them no matter how pathetically they plead for his attention). This is not to say that the Fuchsia Hound is ever aggressive—he simply appropriates what he requires knowing full well that no one ever has the heart to deny him. If someone does try to deny him he simply channels the immortal words of tennis great John McEnroe—“You cannot be serious!” and tries again. And again. And again. And again. And again…And victory is his when the humans finally lose patience and flee screaming from the room. In fact the Fuchsia Hound is so confident in the rectitude of his cause that he is prepared to devote an infinite amount of time and persistence to its successful conclusion—the ultimate Outwit, Outplay and Outlast (especially outlast) survivor. And eventually those around him understand the futility of denying him anything he wants. So what if they have to watch Monday Night Football on the floor because the Fuchsia Hound requires the couch or they have to spend a half hour quietly standing next to a bush because the Fuchsia Hound has found an interesting smell. The Fuchsia Hound will either get his way or drive you mad trying.

Chartreuse: The Chartreuse Hound is the life of the party. And if there isn’t a party he will create one with his own hilarious antics. The Chartreuse Hound is often to be found running through his abode with some prized possession flapping provocatively in his flews and a pack of irate humans in hot pursuit. The Chartreuse Hound is a social fellow and is never happier than when knocking down unsuspecting guests or smearing them with his own special embrocation of drool and detritus. The Chartreuse Hound is a natural clown and if he can’t get your attention by stealing your socks or knocking you over he is likely to be found sitting in the middle of the dining room table eying the chandelier or chewing up the newly delivered mail. The Chartreuse Hound is busy, busy, busy and believes that idle paws could lead directly to the obedience ring. He is the complete outdoorsman and prides himself in striking terror into the hearts of anything with fur or feathers. He also enjoys botanical research and will exhume popular garden specimens for more thorough and complete investigations. Humans living with a Chartreuse Hound are said to consume an above average amount of alcohol and frequently resort to tranquilizers and ear plugs (the Chartreuse Hound is generally vocally exuberant). The Chartreuse Hound is fond of getting his own way which he does by applying the tenets of the Olympic motto: faster, higher, stronger.

But regardless of whatever color your Hound is, training is not recommended as it is generally going to be a colossal waste of time. However, anyone interested in making the attempt, is advised to begin with a modest 50,000 repetitions per day and the treat equivalent of entire cooked cow.

Personally I think it is much easier to train humans. For instance the only command word I know is “sit” (I also know the word “Elizabeth” but uttering this word generally has the unfortunate consequence either getting me riled up if I am indoors or causing hard towing towards her apartment if I am outdoors so “Elizabeth” is really kind of an anti-obedience command). If I hear the word “sit” I immediately swing into analysis mode:

Wimsey’s Decision Tree Analysis

A. Is there a piece of food being conspicuously brandished?

1. Is this piece of food desirable—say a piece of turkey?

a. if the piece of food is desirable will sitting prevent me from achieving some more interesting goal such as treeing a squirrel or inserting my nose into another dog’s fragrant posterior?

b. is there an alternative means to obtaining the turkey other than the sit?
-will baying at the turkey result in me obtaining it?
- am I in range to effect a snatch and grab?

c. why am I being asked to sit?

-is sitting a prelude to something unpleasant?

-perhaps ear cleaning solution will be poured down my ears

-maybe a gentle leader will be used to restrain me

- am I going to be measured for another new piece of annoying apparel?

-is some heretofore unknown and unpleasant activity being contemplated?

-will sitting embolden my humans to try and teach me other commands?

So you see the decision as to whether or not to sit requires the careful weighing and balancing of many complex factors, all of which might lead the untutored observer to think that the delay means I am a bit thick, but really it’s quite the opposite. In contrast my humans know many commands.

They know:

feed me a cookie

fetch me a drink of water

give me a scratch

give me a belly rub

turn on the air conditioner, I’m hot

no, we are not going that way, we are going this way

sit—I need a lap in which to place my tush

give me more food

give me more of your food




get that thing away from me

give me the water bottle
get out of bed

show me the contents of the shopping bag

show me the contents of the toilet

I don’t wish to take a bath

buy me some Grom Gelato

And many more actually.

But somehow I don’t really think this makes them more intelligent do you?
Well as per usual we will end our visit with a trip to the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art where we have been examining the art of the second grade class of the Denali Elementary School in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Our first masterwork is by Karolyn: You and Wimsey at the Park Wimsey is Visiting My Dog. Now here we see a work with an almost textile like quality—with bands of color at the top and bottom. I am instantly recognizable by my exaggerated V-shaped forehead wrinkle, my large size and my prominent position at the center of the composition. A small canine joins me in the center and we are flanked by our humans clearly in subordinate positions. In this case the composition relates to the artist’s belief in the primacy of the canine which she has made so beautifully obvious.

Our next work is by Donny and it is entitled: Wimsey is Playing Ball With the Other Dog. Now this is a superb work of Dali-esque surrealism. The world has been reduced to what appears to be a maze, populated with pointy buildings and trees—fertility symbols perhaps. My figure has assumed an insectival or should I say arachnoid appearance as I seem to have eight legs and I am glancing at a blue caterpillar masquerading as a dog, which might be a symbol of the limits of our earthbound existence before we ascend to the heights of the butterfly. Who knows? Nobody could figure out Salvador Dali either. And there is genius in enigma. Especially in art.

Anyway, that’s all for this week. Hope everyone is keeping as cool as I am, literally and figuratively.

Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound of many colors