Thursday, September 24, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #137

Entry #137
September 25, 2009

Hello Everyone, Upper West Side Wimsey here coming to you as usual from the fair isle of Manhattan. I have been a bit under the weather this week with a tummy bug but am still enjoying the temperate weather with which the week has been blessed. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth, though, are noting with dismay the dwindling hours of daylight which means that my early evening walks will be shifted out of Central Park. Even with an imposing Hound like myself accompanying them, the ladies are not keen on roaming about the park in the dark. Perhaps it has something to do with their awareness that I am more interested in sniffing leaves than in protecting them. The prevailing view is that I have zero utility (or interest) in guarding anything other than my right to pee resplendently on all vertical surfaces.

Anyway, it has been a bit warm here which means that Elizabeth and I have been down to The River (the Hudson River of course. Are there others?). Which also means that we have been visiting endeavor the Boat Basin Café at the 79th Street marina with some regularity. And I have included a photo of me on my way there executing another successful bay to make the red light change to green. It’s a very popular with the folks whose apartment face street corners.

Now the Boat Basin is a place where dogs are allowed and everybody knows my name (but not that of my humans) and I am much admired and frequently awarded biscuits on account of my being unbearably cute. Then I usually “persuade” Elizabeth to have a beer (draft) so I can play with the plastic glass afterwards. Here you see me giving her my best “drink up” look.

In any case, although the days are short the temperatures have remained warm,-- a phenomenon Elizabeth is convinced is caused by the fact that she ordered a new Fall Hounding Jacket from LL Bean. Fall brings Fashion Week to New York City and the intense perusal of LL Bean catalogs to my humans. Their focus on fall Hounding attire makes me think I should have a tent in Bryant Park:

Fall Fashion Week: The Wimsey Collection

Tim Gunn: Welcome fashionistas (or should I say Houndinistas) to the premiere of the Wimsey Collection. Fern as the director of New York Fashion Week have you ever seen anything like this collection?

Fern Mallis: No Tim, I don’t thing anyone has, which might be a good thing.

Tim Gunn: Well we hear that Wimsey was very disappointed that there were no actual cats on the catwalk.

Fern Mallis: That’s correct Tim. He felt that chasing a few cats would be an excellent way to work out the pre-show jitters. But let’s get on with the show!

Tim: By all means, Fern. First up is the Wimsey Trench.

Fern: It seems to be entirely made up of pockets.

Tim: That’s right Fern. When you consider all the things that Wimsey’s humans need to carry for him Wimsey felt there would be no room on the coat for anything else.

Fern: A very stylish alternative to those hideous packs his humans now use. Next up we have a waterproof mid-weight jacket. I suppose this is designed for those rainy autumn tows through the park.

Tim: Actually they are to protect the wearer from the drool, not the rain. The fabric is of a special design that causes the viscous drool to slide off rather than collect in disgusting great globs. And you will notice that it is available in a new fashion color that Wimsey calls “Drool Flecked With Mysterious Crap.”

Fern: Oh look, here are a pair of pants. What are they made of?

Tim: It’s a new fabric Wimsey invented—flexible rubber. It allows the wearer to comfortably assume all of the contortions necessary to locate and pick up poop that has been deposited in inconvenient locales. The rubber protects the wearer not only from drool but from the rain and dew laden plants upon which Wimsey likes to poop. And the pants are accessorized with poop resistant gloves. So much more elegant than the wipes currently used to clean the inevitable poop smeared hands.

Fern: And I like the shoes—the high cleats are especially sexy.

Tim: Yes, and they are coated with a thin film of Crazy Glue. This prevents the lucky wearer from slipping on wet autumn leaves and mud or from hydroplaning across a street when being towed vigorously by a Hound in the throes of the Autumnal Friskies.

Fern: And here we have a lovely dress. But what’s that underneath it Tim?

Tim: They’re shorts designed to protect against the incursions of a cold, wet nose onto one’s sensitive bits. Hound fanciers wear dresses at their peril. It’s also designed with modestly in mind as a counter measure to the well known muzzle dress lift maneuver.

Fern: Well, I love the accessories, especially the poop bags designed to look like Hermès Kelly Bags and the futuristic hat with the Plexiglas veil.

Tim: I don’t think that’s a hat, exactly Fern. It’s actually a face shield meant to counter the facial dirt that often results from enthusiastic post poop kicking activities.

Fern: Very fashion forward, Tim. Especially with all this talk about going back to the moon. And this sweater coming down the towway is to die for.

Tim: Yes, it’s already made of Hound hair so the mound your Hound sheds daily won’t matter a bit. And now for the grand finale- the traditional wedding dress.

Fern: I’ve never seen one in black and tan before.Tim: Well the color is a moot point Fern. The dress is a fantasy—no woman who lives with a Hound will ever have the occasion to wear one.

Well in spite of my gastrointestinal issues, it’s been a pretty good week. On Sunday my walk was delayed though because Elizabeth was helping at an Animal Planet filming of the therapy dog class in which she assists. I don’t think she was much help though—mostly she stood around looking puzzled at dogs actually listening to their humans. Of course, I too am a therapy dog, it’s just that I cause people to need therapy rather than my actually providing it.

And because of my tummy ailment my projected visit to Maria’s office has been delayed. I am sure the delay is a huge disappointment to her colleagues who have been clamoring to meet me. There has been talk of offering me slices of bacon and cups of gelato to curry favor. Maria works for someone she refers to as “The Chairman” and I keep wondering if her job involves Kitchen Stadium and secret ingredients. Personally, I think I would make a rather good Chairman (although I am really more of Couchman myself):

Iron Chef: Wimsey Edition
Alton Brown: Welcome to Iron Chef Wimsey Edition. Chairman Wimsey is just about to reveal the secret ingredient.

Kevin Brauch: Well let’s hope it’s not as tough as last week’s. It’s hard to make decent food out of TV remotes.

Alton Brown: That’s true, but I think the squirrel challenge was harder. Very few of the chefs were able to catch any.

Kevin Brauch: But the toughest one may have been the brassiere challenge.

Alton Brown: Yes, that was a show stopper. Anyway, the Chairman is entering the Stadium.

Chairman Wimsey: Ahrooh, Ahrooh, Ahrooh..

Alton Brown: Can someone make him stop baying. He blew out the sound guy’s ear piece again. Here Chairman Wimsey why don’t you shred the script while you tell us what the secret ingredient is.

Chairman Wimsey: I already ate the script. What else have you got?

Alton Brown: How about this roast chicken.

Chairman Wimsey: Is it stolen?Alton Brown: Yes of course. We rigidly adhere to your dictum that stolen food is of superior flavor. It was Mario Batali’s lunch.

Chairman Wimsey: Well the secret ingredient is…..Shoes!

Alton Brown: Ah, a “Sex and the City” challenge.. Very New York.

Kevin Brauch: OK, Bobby Flay is grabbing the Nikes. Wonder what he is up to.

Alton Brown: He’s also grabbed some nectarines? What’s that about?

Kevin Brauch: He’s poaching everything. Apparently he’s making a poached Nike and Nectarine dessert.

Alton Brown: Sounds delicious. I like the design he is making with the shoe laces. But he’s a southwestern guy—I felt sure he’d go for the guacamole and Gucci tacos. But the Chairman is known to be very fond of Nikes.

Kevin Brauch: The use of sneakers definitely demonstrates the flair that Flay is known for.

Alton Brown: What is Mario Batali up to. I see he’s grabbed the Ferragamo pumps. Very traditional.

Kevin Brauch: Yes, he’s sticking with his Italian roots. It seems he’s preparing fettuccine a la Ferragamo with roasted garlic and pine nuts---one of his Grandmother’s recipes I understand.

Alton Brown: Well my granny’s meals certainly were an homage to shoe leather. What’s Chef Morimoto up to Kevin?

Kevin Brauch: He’s picked up a medley of soft Italian loafers and is slicing them thin. It looks like a sushi platter. He’s also boiling up some Jimmy Choo stilettos for his pan Asian miso soup specialty he calls Chooso Soup.

Alton Brown: Sounds like something the Chairman will really enjoy stealing, although I am concerned that he will find the texture of the fine Italian leather a bit insipid. And how about Cat Cora—the Chairman always roots for her based on her name by the way.

Kevin Brauch: She’s making a classic Mediterranean salad of mixed field greens, baby artichokes, anchovies and shaved Manolo peep toes. That’s followed by braised Robert Clergerie sling backs in bordelaise sauce garnished with ballet toe shoes and accompanied by Louboutin frites. Very French. The Chairman as you know claims French heritage of which he is very proud.

Alton Brown: Well it certainly sounds like an exciting line up of dishes. The crew can barely restrain the Chairman; they’re trying to distract him with some roasted Reeboks.

Kevin Brauch: Yes, I understand he’s judging tonight’s competition.

Alton Brown: That’s right Kevin, this is the Chairman’s specialty—he’s had more shoes than Imelda Marcos.

Well anyway all this talk of food is making me hungry. But before I go, I would like to share with you these photographs sent by out friend Ilonka, Marmalade the Magnificent of Maryland’s human. She, like my human Maria, is of Hungarian descent so she was delighted to see this picture of the Matthias Fountain outside the royal palace in Budapest. The fountain was sculpted in 1904 by Alajos Stobl and depicts King Matthias I of Hungry (1443-1490) after a hunt. (Of course with all the wars, decapitations, hostage taking and such it is a wonder he had any time to hunt). And look what we find! Three gorgeous bloodhounds in classic hound poses (although rumor has it that a fourth bloodhound was to be depicted trying to steal the dead stag). The fountain is the most photographed object in the palace. The curators think it is because of the quality of the sculpture but I know it is because of the presence of the Hounds!

That’s about it for this week.

Until next time,

Chairman Wimsey

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #136

Entry #136
September 18, 2009

Hello everyone. Wimsey here, back in the saddle so to speak after my brief non-posting hiatus last week. And as usual I am coming to you from the glorious and newly autumnal Upper West Side of Manhattan, where things are always pretty entertaining, especially if you are me. Or if, like my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth, you are lucky enough to be accompanied by me.

Sadly this week I don’t have any celebrity encounters to relate—you will remember a couple of weeks ago I was made much of by hot young actor Matthew Bomer who is in town filming his new TV show, White Collar (it premiers October 23 at 10pm on USA so if you want to get a glimpse of the bloodhound loving thespian who set my ladies hearts aflutter, tune in). Well although I have not yet had a further opportunity to fling drool into his comely face, his character, Neal Cafferty is following me on Twitter. And as you can see we are both pretty handsome guys, so I have to admit that my ladies have rather good taste.

(Although I wonder if he ever looks like this sometimes too). Personally I think his show needs a bloodhound (what TV show doesn’t need a bloodhound—although the title would have to be changed to White With Brown Blotches Collar). The motto of the USA network is after all “characters welcome” which I think would definitely include me.

Bloodhound Enhanced TV Shows

Hell’s Kitchen: Aspiring chefs rush to make dishes before they are “tasted” by the show’s bloodhound. Although Chef Wimsey seldom rejects anything and doesn’t yell colorful obscenities he rarely leaves anything over for the guests to eat either.

Bones: A new scientist who happens to be a bloodhound brings efficiency to the labs at the Jeffersonian. The use of the Hound’s powerful nose to link the scent on the human remains to the killer obviates the need for all the expensive tests and boring science enabling more time to be devoted to Agent Booth’s pursuit of a woman way too smart for him.

Monk: When obsessive compulsive detective Monk gets uncooperative he is threatened with having a bloodhound as a roommate. After one afternoon with Captain Stotlemeyer’s bloodhound Wimsey, Monk has to be hospitalized and heavily sedated and for weeks afterwards suffers drool flashbacks.

American Idol: Singers must demonstrate their ability to project and to command a stage by competing with a very loud, very cute scene stealing bloodhound. Although upping the entertainment quotient of the show the presence of the bloodhound ruins the suspense of who is going to win because it’s always him.

Lost: It turns out that the smoke monster is really an exceptionally annoying bloodhound thus motivating the survivors of Oceanic 815 to stop time traveling and get the hell off that island.

Survivor: The inclusion of a bloodhound among the cast makes it a foregone conclusion about who will outwit, outlast and outplay the others. The show invariably ends with the bloodhound gaining weight from all the food he has stolen and been given and wearing everyone else’s clothes that he has been shredding. But everyone loves him anyway and he always gets all the jury votes.

Extreme Makeover Home Addition: The show is made more extreme by the presence of a bloodhound who has his own ideas about home renovation.

Desperate Housewives: The housewives get more desperate because a bloodhound moves into Wisteria Lane and digs up all the wisteria. The men of Fairview find him so engaging that they spend all their time hanging out with him instead of cheating on their wives, hiding their pasts or trying to murder each other.

Law and Order SUV: The team gives up on cases “ripped from the headlines” when a bloodhound seems to do a better job at that. Instead they all go joyriding around New York City with their adorable new colleague. In the end it turns out that more people want to watch a show about that.

Anyway, not all entertaining park encounters involve celebrities. For instance, last night when I was towing along minding everyone else’s business I espied a nice looking South American tourist couple who appeared to have four unoccupied hands which I strongly felt could be put to better use. So I moseyed over to them and magnanimously allowed them to offer the appropriate tribute when the woman asked my name. A pretty standard request. But then she asked a most startling question and one which, I have to admit, I never expected to be asked. She asked if I had had puppies. So Elizabeth helpfully pointed out that those were in fact testicles that she was looking at and made the appropriately generous “hand full of” gesture with which that organ is frequently associated. She then pointed to the male member of the couple and said “I bet he knows what they are.” “Ah, yes” the guy exclaimed, “in fact I have some.” And then he explained gleefully, much to his companion’s extreme embarrassment, that the woman in question was in fact a veterinary student. (Maria missed the whole encounter as she had her nose busily buried in her Blackberry-- no doubt Googling some earth shatteringly important topic like broccoli). Anyway as we left the happy couple she was trying rather futilely to explain to the snickering guy that something about the angle with which I was being viewed was the cause of the confusion. But somehow given the look of merriment on the fellow’s face I have a feeling that her fellow vet students will shortly be regaled with the tale of me being mistaken for a girl. Of course being called a sissy name like Wimsey instead of a macho name like my father Stetson never helps. Nevertheless Maria was pretty surprised when she heard the story because in addition to the afore-mentioned prominently displayed furry orbs (for which I am so justly often admired), I am also the proud possessor of another conspicuously male accoutrement which I am happy to say is of an equally impressive size.

But anyway, let’s see what else has been going on—we had a beautiful Labor Day weekend here although Elizabeth was babysitting Heidi the pit bull. Elizabeth has never succeeded in getting a reasonable picture of us together because Heidi shares my belief that standing still (especially if there is a camera involved) is anathema. But here we are together, me doing what I do best and Heidi being entirely unimpressed, like most of the lady dogs I encounter. And the refrain “Wimsey get your nose out of that dog” was once again resoundingly heard. But I certainly impressed this little group in the park (a visiting French firefighter and his friends)—he even dug out an empty water bottle especially for me. There really should be a game show called Hound for a Day where humans compete to be treated like Hounds for 24 hours:

Things that happen to the winner of Hound for a Day

Get up in the morning and the boss gives you the day off because you're you. Also gives you a raise.

Go to the bank to take out some money and the bank manager insists on giving you extra because he likes to see you made happy.

Go food shopping and a cart full of meat appears free of charge. The butcher thinks you’re looking thin.

People on the street smile at you and stop to tell you how wonderful you are. Crowds of admirers frequently gather around you also.

Everyone is very excited to see you and lots of people want to take your picture.
At the restaurant other diners buy you your favorite foods.

Your friends come over and send you off for a spa day and then admire the results and tell you how good looking you are.

Taxis stop for you immediately even if it’s rush hour and they have the off duty sign on.
Everyone wants to hear your life story.

No one rams into you with their cart in Fairway.

No matter how much mess you make someone is always on hand to clean it up.

Celebrities stop you and ask you for your autograph.

Your mother confesses she always did like you best.

And also of course over Labor Day I spent a great deal of time watching the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament and was quite fascinated with young Melanie Oudin. Especially the remarks made by the commentators who variously described her as “hard working” “determined” and “in possession of a good attitude”, etc. This is like telling someone that their blind date has a lot of personality. All of which added up to sports code talk for “we really don’t know why she’s winning, we don’t think she has that good a game.” Which of course made me think of all the social code talk that could be used to describe me:

Wimsey is very cute (if he weren’t he would be even more unbearable to live with)

Wimsey is a bit large for a bloodhound (he’s the Godzilla of bloodhounds)

Wimsey has a beautiful voice (in fact some people find it a terrifyingly beautiful voice, others just find it terrifying)

Wimsey is very affectionate (he likes to sit on you and have you pet him when the mood strikes him ((usually when you are trying to do something else)).

Wimsey likes to follow scent (he drags you around the park in pursuit of olfactory pleasure, then stops dead and stands for twenty minutes smelling the same blade of grass)

Wimsey’s drool helps him follow scent (and when he needs a new supply of it he gets rid of the old stuff by flinging it in your face).

Wimsey is a wonderful Hound (but a horrible dog).

Anyway in honor of the fact that there is a South American vet student running around who thinks I look like a girl, the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art presents The Millinery Shop (Edgar Degas, 1864, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL). Now this is a wonderfully intimate work by Degas who loved to explore private spaces (I too like to explore private spaces, just not the ones Degas had in mind). We view this milliner in the act of creating a new hat and so absorbed is she in her work that she is totally unaware of the viewer. But there is no customer in her shop trying on her creations—Degas apparently originally intended to depict one but then changed his mind. Perhaps if the customer in question were as distinguished a dowager as this magnificent lady Hound he would have changed his mind. See how lovely she looks in her pink hat and how she is nonetheless covetously eyeing the new creation. Perhaps she is thinking that it looks delicious. In any case she is putting on a fine display of the acquisitive nature of her kind.Wimsi in the Millinery Shop.

Well I am afraid we are out of time, but next week should be very interesting. Apparently the people at Maria’s new job know very little about her but a lot about me and are demanding that I make myself available so that they can pay personal tribute. Elizabeth has her doubts that this is such a good idea—being slimed is a lot funnier in the abstract and when it happens to other people. But they’ve been warned.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a Hound of parts (and all of them masculine)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound

Entry #135
September 4, 2009

Hello everyone. It’s me Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the long Labor Day weekend means that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth will have an extra day to walk me around to meet and greet New York City’s holiday visitors. They themselves are never permitted to join the City’s exodus to fun filled climes because they have yours truly to labor over, but if ever there was a labor of love it would be me.

Well, it’s been such an active week here for cultural and media affairs that I hardly know where to begin. This week for instance the sizzling hot (my ladies’ words not mine) TV actor Matthew Bomer (Bryce Larkin on Chuck) was filming his new USA TV series, White Collar near Bethesda Fountain when he and a crew member caught sight of me and came trotting over post haste to pay homage. Fortunately it was the end of the shooting day because Matt (as I now think of him since he’s had his hands all over me ((causing my humans to also produce some drool)) was dressed in a very sharp suit with nary a wrinkle and had every hair in place—not exactly the ideal habiliment with which to interact with a smelly park going Hound such as myself (Especially a Hound who the enthusiastic crew member was allowing to suck ice cubes out of his big plastic water cup thus enhancing the slime factor quite considerably). And during all these goings on my ladies were mentally screaming “Not the suit Wimsey, not the suit!!” But if I left Matt with any souvenirs he didn’t seem to mind. He professed to “love bloodhounds.” That’s probably because he never lived with one. And like most handsome young actors he formerly acted in soap operas such as the one I am writing. It’s not the Young and the Restless but..

The Large and the Smelly

A stranger arrives at the Wimsey mansion, Bayfair

Stranger: I’m here to see Mr. Wimsey.

Hound Butler: Certainly Sir, may I take your coat?

Stranger: Will I ever see it again?

Hound Butler: No.

Stranger: Well then will you tell Mr. Wimsey I am here.

Hound Butler: Which Mr. Wimsey would you like to see?

Stranger: There’s more than one?

Hound Butler: Well, there is of course Mr. Wimsey senior. Then there are several litters of Wimsey juniors—Mr. Wimsey senior having never been neutered and having an eye for the ladies. Then of course there is Mr. Wimsey’s evil twin. He’s usually free to harass visitors. But we can never tell them apart.

Stranger: But isn’t one evil and one good?

Hound Butler: In theory yes, but no one ever caught any of the Wimseys actually being good, so it’s a bit of a puzzle. But I think the evil twin is tied up. he keeps taking off and tracking the neighbor’s cat and baying at it to announce his find so it was thought prudent to restrain him for a bit.

Stranger: How about Mrs. Wimsey.

Hound Butler: Which one—the liver and tan Mrs., Wimsey, the red Mrs. Wimsey, the black and tan Mrs., Wimsey. There are quite a few. Also a very pretty beagle who also claims to be a Mrs. Wimsey.

Stranger: How about the red Mrs. Wimsey.

Hound Butler: I can certainly introduce you, but I don’t recommend it. She’s a real bitch.

Stranger: OK, how about the senior Wimsey junior?

Hound Butler: Ordinarily a good choice but I am afraid right now he is in a coma. The doctor says he is just sleeping it off after eating the contents of the refrigerator but we all think it’s a coma induced by standing on his head and twirling around.

Stranger: Well how about the second most senior Wimsey junior?

Hound Butler: He has amnesia right now. He can’t seem to remember any of the obedience commands he’s been taught or to remember which things don’t belong to him. The doctor says not to worry, it’s genetic.

Stranger: Well are there any Wimseys actually available?

Hound Butler: Well quite a few of the younger Wimseys are in jail. They had to be crated owing to stealing and eating the couch. And one of the Miss Wimseys is currently in hot water owing to her inordinate fondness for skunks.

Stranger: Well are there any of the family I can see. I’ve come all the way from down under.

Hound Butler: The bed?

Stranger: No. From Australia. Their Uncle, Crocodile Dundee Wimsey has left them his priceless exotic animal dung collection.

Hound Butler: What a windfall!

Stranger: Yes but under the terms of the will there will be no rolling in it until the age of social maturity.

Hound Butler: But they’re Wimseys. They never mature. They pride themselves on acting like idiots their entire life.

Stranger: Well, perhaps they could sell it on eBay. I hear there are some members of the herding group who could be interested.

Anyway, much to my ladies’ chagrin the handsome theatrical hunk only had eyes for me, but I am sure this is because we met him before they had this week’s new hairdos courtesy of Arrojo Studios. They’re a whole lot better looking these days. Now if they could only do something about those clothes.

And speaking of clothes, while I was out with Elizabeth pretending that the park exit did not exist, I received a reprieve of a most fashionable kind. The video crew responsible for making clothing designer Cynthia Rowley’s quirky taxi videos asked if they could use me for a segment. (For those of you not living in the city of New York or who have not visited here in some time, taxis now have video screens in back so passengers can listen to news, weather, funny adverts and try to forget that are paying for the privilege of being driven around at a high rate of speed by some guy with a funny accent enjoying a thrilling game of vehicular chicken).

Apparently the theme of the video is hide and seek and the director thought it would be amusing if the model tried to crouch down and hide behind me. All went pretty well except that since I was supposed to tow ahead of Elizabeth I decided to heel instead. My humans can always count on me to do the unexpected—especially when it is not wanted. I am never averse to demonstrating an obedience command as long as no one asked for it. (I used to do a marvelous sit stay in the show ring). But the crew were lovely and the sound guy was quite taken with my melodious bay so he stuck a mike in front of my muzzle and recorded it for posterity. (Maybe I will have a singing part!) And the water bottle that was used to elicit the melodious bays was promptly emptied and awarded to moi. Now one never knows whether I will suffer the fate of many great actors and end up on the cutting room floor, but my humans will try to find out and let you know. (Also if the video will be on YouTube and the Cynthia Rowley website as is her current taxi video).

Well all this was quite exciting—the idea of me invading taxis especially—but I also had a busy week socializing and checking up on the city’s many cultural events. On Sunday I viewed a demonstration of African Dance in Central Park which I enjoyed so much I wanted to participate. Sadly this was deemed inadvisable by my humans who did not think the dancers would appreciate being joined by a large musical Hound. But later in the week I did get to listen to a couple of the many fine musical performers who populate the park. Again I was all set to join in the action but was prevented from doing so by my humans who are clearly lacking in musical acumen. I am sure the musicians pictured would have welcomed a famously musical character such as myself sitting in.

And speaking of famous, we once again ran into the Central Park tour guide who likes to lecture about bloodhounds. He was accompanied by his latest gaggle of admiring globe trotting students-so in the manner of a politician running for reelection I waded enthusiastically into the crowd bestowing sniffs and slime all around and posing for innumerable pictures. The fact that all of this conveniently delayed my exit from the park had absolutely nothing to do with it.

I also ran into the canine world’s very own Benjamin Button—a lovely fluffy guy called Buddy who has the good taste to enjoy playing with large uneutered males. Well this fellow was running and jumping and play bowing and scampering to beat the band and apparently he’s ten years old. I wonder what he’s eating? Maria wants to know so she never feeds it to me.

And also this week I got to drop by the vet’s where everyone knows my name and I am a favorite client owing to my obliging disposition (except in relation to the thermometer) and my genial, if smelly, nature. And I have a wonderful ability to spend my humans’ money on a rotating group of non-serious and inconvenient ailments, so even if they contemplated going away for Labor Day they couldn’t afford it. Who says Hounds are dumb.

Anyway, in honor of the African Dance demonstration, this week the Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art is proud to present The Dance (Henri Matisse, 1909, Museum of Modern Art, New York). This painting was actually a preliminary study for a work commissioned by a Russian art dealer that currently hangs in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. And what an amazing picture it is, vividly defining rhythm and grace. Matisse’s use of bold colors and strong lines is reminiscent of the primitive art that frequently inspired the artist, who along with Picasso is considered one of the most important French modern artists. We notice that only the figure to the left appears earthbound—the other figures seem to float with rhythmic joy as they strive to complete the circle of dance. And speaking of the circle, in the original painting the dancers appear to be circling nothing, which I have always found puzzling. Surely Matisse’s dancers are meant to be circling a joyfully leaping lead dancer. Thus, we see how much more joyful and rhythmic the painting becomes with the insertion of a magnificent Hound! The Hound is clearly enjoying himself, as he assumes his rightful position as the center of attention. And see how the Hound adds drama to the painting as we wonder if the dancers will manage to join hands before the Hound prevents them from doing so. The Dance of Wimsey.

Well I fear that is all we have time for this week. Next Friday I might be taking off as I have a schedule conflict, so if you don’t see a new post, don’t worry—I will be back the following week. It’s not so easy to get rid of me. Ask my humans.

Until next time,
Wimsey, media Hound