Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #145

Entry #145
November 20, 2009

Hello Everyone. It’s me, Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where, although we have been having lovely warm weather, the holiday season is just about to begin. The kickoff event is of course Thanksgiving and my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth give thanks every day for the simple things of life: “Thank goodness Wimsey didn’t try to kill me on the stairs today” and “Thank goodness he hasn’t broken any bones,” etc.

And Thanksgiving around here is a full participation holiday which means I will come in for my fair share of the food. This is largely because a lot of people don’t actually like a lot of the traditional holiday foods but feel compelled to eat them- as well as the seemingly endless leftovers—in spite of this. It is in such a season that we Hounds really come into our own in the cleaning out the refrigerator department, proving that we are actually good for something other than running up the vet bills and injecting a lively sense of fun into the otherwise peaceful rhythms of human life.

And speaking of vet bills, Elizabeth has gone out and found the world’s most expensive pet insurance (finding the world’s most expensive anything is one of Elizabeth’s special gifts) which makes sense as I am fast becoming the world’s most expensive dog. The insurance is called Embrace and if you send them two years of your dog’s medical records they will let you know what conditions they will exclude from coverage. Two years of my records were apparently 26 pages long! (My humans are expecting the list of excluded items to be 26 pages long as well).

The beauty of it is that I have managed to be pretty healthy while somehow contriving to contract a wide range of expensive inconsequential ailments. Of course the fact that I like going to the vet might have something to do with it. (I wonder if recreational vet visits will be excluded from my new insurance coverage). And it is immensely satisfying as well that I will have better health care coverage than either of my humans. But with all this talk of health care reform I think the Wimsey Plan should be considered:

Wimsey Health Insurance

Pre-examination belly rubs by massage therapist: Covered

Snacks, treats and bottled water: Covered

Staff time spent oohing and aaahing and generally admiring me and administering therapeutic scratches behind the ears: Covered

Turkey administered for refraining from sticking my nose into the other patient’s rear ends: Covered

More turkey administered to discourage the chasing of the office cat: Covered

Damage to veterinary staff from vigorous tail movements: Covered

Veterinary staff dry cleaning bills from drool and other miscellaneous unidentifiable stains: Covered

Weighing me: Not covered (I am a Hound not a Number. I refuse to be quantified)

Sticking a thermometer up my bum: Not covered

Sticking a finger up my bum and poking around: Definitely not covered

Listening to my heart: Covered (if you can hear it over the baying)

Feeling and gently massaging my internal organs: Covered

Sticking me with needles: Covered (see below)

Turkey to make me feel better about the needles (which I can’t actually feel owing to the thickness of my skin): Covered

Reaming the gunk out of my ears: Not covered

Analyzing my poop: Covered—this is one of my favorite items—what could be more interesting (except perhaps the eating of the stuff to make the poop)

Roast beef necessary to administer pills required after the analysis of my poop: Covered (makes a change from the turkey)

Trimming my nails: Absolutely Forbidden

Anyway, I will keep you up to date on my adventures in the wonderful world of health insurance. My humans are convinced that buying me expensive health insurance virtually guarantees that I will require no further vet visits.

And as I mentioned, we have been having mostly beautiful weather here which means that my efforts to quietly extend my afternoon walks without Elizabeth noticing have met with abundant success. I mean really, if you could be out and about in the park with me or home sitting in front of the computer which would you choose? I am merely giving Elizabeth a nudge (or a tow) in the right direction.

And some days, like this Monday, we were out for the whole afternoon as we once again met up with Elizabeth’s friend Nancy and her young daughter Alicia. And once again there was food involved—this time Alicia decided that feeding me her veggie straws was a more gratifying activity than actually eating them herself. I whole heartedly concurred. Also you might remember that last week I taught the little tyke how to avoid leaving the park by either walking very slowly or climbing up on a bench and refusing to move. This week she became a star pupil in the more advanced technique of taking off in the opposite direction from which people want you to go. It was quite gratifying to see the Wimsey Method in action. And down by the duck pond we both had to be discouraged from getting up close and personal with this feast of swimming poultry. I think she takes after me. Her mother hopes not.

And a week’s worth of park walks also entails a week’s worth of meet and greet—I swung by the Metropolitan Museum of Art again so I could be admired and photographed by the crowds lounging on the steps. Everyone in the rest of the country knows New Yorkers are crazy but no one expects that they are crazy enough to live with a giant Hound in the middle of Manhattan (“What’s next, a sheep?”). Wrong. But then there was the lady we ran into who was so excited to meet me because she said she just “ordered” a bloodhound (it will be the last thing she orders, trust me) from a breeder. Elizabeth casually mentioned that we bloodhounds are a tad on the difficult side but the woman assured Elizabeth that it would be OK as she has 4 Labradors and 2 1/2 acres of land. I wonder how she feels about having 2 1/2 acres of holes?

I seem to remember that we met our friend Gus the Alaskan Bloodhound because his human (who already had two coonhounds and felt that she was well versed in the ways of the Hound) was googling Problem Bloodhounds. After reading my blog she realized that Gus wasn’t a Problem Bloodhound, he was just a Regular Bloodhound.

Bloodhounds are kind of the anti-Labradors. Labs make excellent service dogs whereas the only services bloodhounds are interested in are those that humans render unto us (like the touching way my humans race to give me fresh water after I drink because I dislike drinking water with drool in it). Labs jump into lakes and rivers, retrieve ducks and bring them back to their humans whereas Hounds jump into lakes or rivers, retrieve ducks and then swim off to enjoy a light repast. Labs care about pleasing people; Hounds care about people pleasing them. Elizabeth wished this lab lady luck (you never know, she could get one of those rare strangely mutant bloodhounds who aren’t abominably behaved-- but of course then there is still the drool, the smell and the noise to consider), and gave her my card. We hope to hear from her about how it all goes (just as we enjoy hearing all about Gus’ food filching, clothing shredding and moose baying).

And speaking of other Hounds, on Sunday we met this lovely girl (I have to admit I have a secret ((or not so secret)) yen for the sight hounds: so graceful, so elegant, and so dignified. Proof positive that opposites attract. But alas, she is still a lady Hound and like all lady Hounds she exhibited a haughty disdain for my wooing efforts. Or perhaps she just didn’t appreciate my high decibel baying or having my giant, wet, cold proboscis stuck into her backside. Where is when you need it? Perhaps there should be a dating service for Hounds.

Match.hound Questionnaire

My idea of a romantic date is:

a) Strolling in the moonlight hunting rodents

b) Dining tête a tête in the same garbage bin

c) Running leashless on the beach with screaming humans in hot pursuit

d) Rolling around together on deceased animals

e) Spending a quiet night at home destroying expensive Italian stilettos

I am looking for a mate who:

a) Is unafraid to share his stolen chicken carcass

b) Is strong enough to knock over the sturdiest garbage can

c) Is adventurous enough to eat anything, even if it wasn’t meant to be eaten

d) Is gentle when stealing candy from babies

e) Is always polite enough to leave the toilet seat up

Physically my ideal type:

a) Has really big flews

b) Possesses a full10 inches of ear

c) Has a powerful whip-like tail

d) Sports a nose that is always wet and ready for action

e) Smells like they’ve never had a bath

But fortunately human ladies seem to like me and this brings out a veritable cornucopia of shared lunches, snacks, scratches and belly rubs. Of course guys like me too, seeing me as a poster child for the hygienically casual male way of life. But then there was this exchange during my evening walk:

Wimsey Admirer: What a beautiful dog! There are so few bloodhounds around. Is that because it is a lot of work to care for them or because they are really obnoxious?

Maria: Both actually.

In any case, Thursday is the day we all give thanks so I hope everyone remembers how crucial their Hounds are to the entertainment value of life, even if we are a bit hard of the pocketbook (literarily and figuratively; ((Elizabeth hides hers on a high shelf; she thinks I don’t know)).

Well that is all for this week. Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget it is better to give (to your Hound) than to receive (nothing from your Hound).

Until next time,

Wimsey, a matchless Hound


Anonymous said...

Wimsey, I enjoyed reading your blog. I was so surprise you were talking about me. I just got home today from NY and I was telling my husband about you and I hurried to get on the computer to show him. We did have a good laugh. I will keep you posted on hound and lab combination. Please tell me more about bloodhounds.
Sharon Dorr
LeMars, Iowa 51031

Bentley said...

Wimsey, I hope Elizabeth will find some other, more fun, expensive goodies for you, beyond the health insurance. You are worth it, you know!

I think you have the lab & bloodhound thing down pretty good. You know, I have to live with one of those "perfect" labs everyday!

If I may comment to Sharon - My human mom would like to add that she "thought" she was prepared for a bloodhound to take more time to train than a lab. Turns out being owned by a hound is the perfect way to learn a lot of patience. The 2.5 acres are fenced - right?

Bentley (waving from Minnesota)

Edie and Gus said...

3 1/2 years, and Edie still hasn't figured me out, and she thinks she's SO smart! You have it right, I am not a Problem Bloodhound, just a Normal I Will Make Every Attempt To Do Whatever I Want 6,000 Times A Day Bloodhound. My personality is constantly evolving. (Edie refers to it as mutating.)

And may I offer my advice to the soon-to-be-owned-by- a-bloodhound human? Be very careful when you add a bloodhound pup to your pack of labs. I made plays almost daily for alpha position in the pack beginning at about 12 weeks of age. I challenged the oldest female coonhound constantly. It is still something that my humans are on top of daily.
Oh yes, one more thing. Be sure you have good, washable paint and be prepared to scrub brown, cement like slobber from the walls, ceilings, appliances and artwork daily.
Heehee! But we bloodhounds are worth every bit of trouble, aren't we???

The Alaskan Moose Chasing, Salmon Stealing Bloodhound

Bernie said...

Yes, wall scrubbing is an activity my humans indulge in with some regularity. But it's worth it, of course... Anyway, I loved the section on hound romance... My humans insist on hound-free romance--can't for the life of me figure out why!

Anonymous said...
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Kai said...

Wow, he's a great looking hound! Do you mind if I ask who his breeders are?