Thursday, February 24, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #202

Entry #202

February 25, 2010

Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey coming to you from New York’s Upper West Side where I have been cutting quite a figure with my dashing wardrobe and acoustic antics. And speaking of wardrobes, everyone is waiting for Spring, especially my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who are getting a bit fatigued with all the getting me dressed and getting me undressed and cleaning me up after every soggy walk.

And owing to this sogginess my bath night has been postponed pending the arrival of more clement conditions, something for which I am exceeding grateful; when I get wet and I am clean I merely smell strongly of Hound, but when I get wet and am in my current state of filth I smell like a Hound that has been lounging about in a swamp. Infinitely more pleasing I think. Anyway, while the rest of the world awaits the arrival of birds and flowers and baby animals and such, around here the signs of spring are a bit different:

Wimsey’s Signs of Spring

Elizabeth switches from her ugly and shapeless black down parka to her lighter weight ugly and shapeless blue down parka.

Maria stops wearing a hat and then complains about being cold.

Elizabeth switches from her mad hatter hat to a cat- in- the- hat one and offers to lend Maria a chapeau from her collection. Maria refuses.

Instead of risking life and limb on ice and snow my humans risk life and limb on slippery mud.

The indoor biomass index shows a noticeable increase as new vegetation becomes available for canine transport.

Instead of dislocating my humans’ shoulders chasing squirrels I dislocate my humans’ shoulders chasing baby squirrels.

Central Park snack shops re-open and with them the possibilities of entertaining park goers by dragging my humans thither and refusing to move until the requisite comestibles have been cadged.

Strange new colors appear in the drool splotches I fling on the walls.

Owing to moist ground conditions, roaching becomes an occasion for shrieking rather than chuckling, especially when I have a good shake afterwards.

Tourists return to the city en masse to face that eternal dilemma: “your ear drums or your water bottle” as my ear splitting vocal ultimata make normal conversation impossible.

Tourists return to the city en masse to tell my humans what a wonderful, beautiful amazing and well behaved dog I am (except when I am baying loudly at them for their water bottles) forcing my humans to grind their teeth and agree and risk Pinocchio like effects to their olfactory organs.

And of course as conditions change so does my wardrobe—fleeces and snowsuits give way to raincoats and cooling coats, all of which greatly enhances my conspicuous nature and ensures that I am always better

dressed than my humans. But there is always the risk that one’s look might also prove popular with other canines possessing a finely honed fashion sense. So you can imagine my dismay on Sunday when I encountered this little black pug wearing an identical fleece! But at least we weren’t on the red carpet or anything.And speaking of the red carpet, this Sunday is Oscar Night and as is my custom I have been reviewing the films and think that they could be better:

Wimsey’s Oscar Nominees

Black Swan

A sensitive woman searches the globe for a food that her giant (but extremely handsome) Hound will eat without getting sick. Ignoring her mother’s pleas to feed goulash, chicken paprikash and Hungarian pastries she finds that the only food that the Hound can eat is made from black swans on the Caspian Sea --$100/lb. (shipping not included). She descends into madness.

The Fighter

After a promising career as a dog trainer is destroyed by watching too many Cesar Millan videos and drinking too much gin, Elizabeth tries to redeem herself by training the pride of the Upper West Side, “Irish” (he’s got a lot of red hairs) Wimsey St. Hubert. Although his deportment in the ring is deplorable and his footwork abysmal he redeems himself through his vigilant efforts to rid the block of an unneutered pugilistic Gordon Setter called Wilbur. Elizabeth drinks more gin.


Dom Wimsey is an accomplished thief—having stolen everything from panties to the Sunday roast to his humans’ lives. He can also invade his humans’ subconscious, causing them to do things they would never otherwise consider, like spending hours walking around Central Park in the rain, wearing clothes more suited to a farm in Iowa, and buying boxes of desiccated bull penises. However he faces his greatest challenge yet when he needs to implant the idea that they should rent an RV and drive to Alaska so he can eat a salmon that has been promised to him by his friend Edie.

The Kids Are All Right

Wimsey, a social canine raised among adults discovers that small children are pushed about in strollers containing desirable and easily obtainable food items.

127 Hours

Two New Yorkers who don’t know how to pump gas, who get lost even with a GPS and who can barely drive a regular car find themselves inexplicably driven to rent an RV and drive non-stop to Alaska for 127 hours with a giant, smelly, gassy, drool flinging, rear window blocking, vehicle hogging Hound. In their despair they think about cutting off body parts but worry that eating them would upset the Hound’s stomach so instead they await rescue by someone with a really big salmon.

The Social Network

A woman who has no friends acquires a large gregarious Hound. She still has no friends but the Hound has an extensive social network. She considers suing the Hound to obtain the network but then realizes that the Hound always wins.

Toy Story 3

A sequel to Toy Story One and Toy Story Two in which we get to see the new swimming pool installed by the owner of the local pet shop in the home he purchased after a few toy buying expeditions by Wimsey. A related film, Vet Story, opens next month.

True Grit

An adventure movie filled with pain, violence and vows of revenge, True Grit is the story of Wimsey’s human as she tries bravely to navigate the space from the bedroom to the bathroom barefoot in the dark and in the middle of the night. Recorded in Screamaphone Surround Sound.

Winter’s Bone

A lively bone-loving Hound enjoys storing his extensive bone collection in cozy spots around he house where they can be tripped over, sat painfully upon or otherwise cause bodily harm. His humans seek psychiatric help to determine why they keep buying these bones for him and the psychiatrist concludes that the humans were toilet trained too early and also had unhealthy thoughts about their fathers . Then she meets the Hound and in an inspirational therapeutic breakthrough realizes that Freud was wrong and that it’s because the Hound is very cute.

The King’s Speech

The wife of the future king of England worries that because he stammers people might get the idea that people in the royal family are not all that bright, so she employs an unconventional speech teacher to help with the situation (at least the stammer part). The King is cured when the teacher introduces him to an aristocratic Hound, Lord Peter Wimsey who forces him

to make himself heard above the Hound’s loudly bayed demands to play with the future king’s fancy hat. It all ends happily when, although people still think the guy is not all that bright, at least they can understand him when he says silly things. And the Hound gets to eat the fancy hat.

I think my movies would have been more exciting and I could certainly liven up any red carpet (or blue carpet, or gray carpet or green carpet…).

And for those of you who are interested in such matters, the search continues for a kibble that won’t upset my stomach—my humans are now surrounded by partially eaten bags of so many types of food that their apartments are starting to resemble feed stores. They yearn for the rolling poop of a few weeks ago and I fear my intestines have been very disappointing is this regard. But I do get to drag them into the pet store with some regularity to select the next kibble candidate and to receive a piece of

freeze-dried meat from the nice lady who owns the store. It is a small store and the presence of a large, meat seeking Hound can be somewhat disturbing—especially to folks who come in to buy cat litter and such. I mean they look at me and say nice things and try to act nonchalant but really I know they are thinking : “he’s going to eat me and then finish off my cat for dessert.” I guess I hope they never get lost or anything—somehow I don’t think a cat would be too interested in finding them.

And also this week I finally remedied a serious omission in this winter’s Hound resume: whilst Elizabeth was preoccupied with getting me a requested drink of water, Maria noticed that she was standing on one of the few remaining patches of ice and helpfully grabbed my leash just as I unhelpfully tractored to connect with a passing female dog. This pulled Maria onto the ice where she slipped and got dragged along, collecting some really unhelpful ice in her underwear.

I can’t decide whether this was more or less fun than pulling Elizabeth into a hole full of snow. But now at least the winter season is complete and I can rest easy.Well I think that’s it for this week. Hope you all enjoy the Oscars!

Until next time,

Wimsey, the star of the show

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #201

Entry #201

February 18, 2011

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the balmy climes of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, where irrespective of what the calendar says, Spring has temporarily sprung around here. It’s 60 degrees today and getting me indoors has given new meaning to my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s daily dragathons that feature yours truly. Elizabeth felt so bad about having to make me come indoors today that she bought me a Merrick Sarge beef bone as compensation. I intend to embed its pieces in her oriental rug to complement the bits of rawhide that are already in place. I have decided with the imperious capriciousness that is the hallmark of a proper Hound that I need a good post tow, post lunch chew before settling in for my afternoon nap, which entails the laying in of a variety of suitable items for me to chew. Given the fact that my stomach is currently the source of much alimentary experimentation my humans have decided to limit my rawhide consumption. Bully sticks are all very well ( has good prices) but I can demolish even a generously sized one in a matter of minutes.

And with respect to my stomach, the hunt for a food that I like and that likes me continues. California Natural rice and lamb was excellent for my stomach—too bad I won’t eat it. Next came Wellness limited ingredient rice and lamb, ditto, which finally led my humans to the conclusion that maybe I don’t like lamb (and I’m the one the pointy head!) so we are now on Wellness duck and rice and the verdict is still out on my stomach. It is only marginally less vile than the others (unless mixed with some turkey or other delectable substances). The numbers of ways that I find to make myself the focus of my humans’ lives and pocket books defies description. But it is all in a day’s work for a Hound.

And speaking of Hounds, there was great excitement around here re: a Hound going Best in Show at Westminster. Now granted, it was a sight Hound and not a scent Hound but Hickory proved her hound- worthiness by refusing to eat a plate of post show filet mignon at Sardis as tradition demands. My humans recognized a classic Wimsey maneuver when they saw it and it was all “that’s something Wimsey would do!” It was comforting for them to realize that sight Hounds are still proper Hounds. This was reinforced when, after admiring the Ibizan Hounds in the ring, my humans were given info from the breed club. Apparently Ibizan’s are slow to mature and will wreck your home for many happy years unless given an insane amount of physical and mental exercise (also being quite an agile breed they can reach tops of refrigerators). In addition they can be quite vocal, love to dig, view fences as obstacles to be overcome and are generally destructive when unoccupied. So Maria was all “well I already have one of those…

And Elizabeth enjoyed watching numerous types of Hounds in the show ring all behaving like Hounds in the show ring, which is to say not overly well. Her favorite was the Redbone coonhounds—a breed new to Westminster and they are dogs who clearly don’t have the drill down yet; one was baying, one was squeaking and one wanted urgently to mess with the dog behind it. All of which I would like to think made Elizabeth intensely nostalgic for our time together in the show ring, but really, I suspect just made her grateful not to be at the other end of the leash of a Hound who would very much rather be

elsewhere doing Houndy things. Showing is not a Houndy thing, trust me. And speaking of non-Houndy things Elizabeth entered Maria in an ASPCA raffle to win a Dyson vacuum cleaner that had a “pet attachment” whereby one can vacuum the dog directly into the vacuum cleaner. “One” may perhaps be able to but certainly not the “ones” I know.

Anyway, all these show dogs have elaborate, fancy names (this year’s winner is Champion Foxcliffe Hickory Wind) whereas I am simply, Champion Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Wimsey. So I thought maybe I should change my name to something a bit catchier:

Wimsey’s Improved Show Names

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Houndcliffe Way Too Much Wind

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Your Money and Your Life

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s That’s Mine

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s I Know it Hurts But I Don’t Care

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s What Have You Done for Me Today

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Little Tractor that Could

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Not Gonna Do It

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Pay the Toll to the Troll

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s How Was I Supposed to Know That Was the Rent Bill

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Bayin’ in the Mud

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s That Was Your Water Bottle

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s These Paws Were Meant for Thwacking

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s There’s Not Enough Febreze in the World

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Big Pain in the Ass

Ch. Ewine Ramsey Creek’s Really Big Pain in the Ass

Well you get the idea—really the possibilities are endless and they would certainly lend the show catalog an air of verisimilitude. Of course as wonderful as Westminster is the problem is that show dogs rarely exhibit much breed specific behavior (as evidenced by a ring full of unneutered male Rotties or Akitas lounging around peacefully) so nobody ever knows that that cute little beagle will not only eat you out of house and home, it will also actually eat your home. Or that placid seeming bloodhound trotting next to its handler will be dragging you over hill and dale for hours and follow it up by eating the couch or moonscaping the garden. And adding to the difficulty, many of the breeders who are are understandably passionate about their dogs tend to talk in euphemisms:

Wimsey’s Lexicon of Dog Breed Euphemisms

He’s loyal (You’re his)

He’s courageous (especially when protecting you from the evil machinations of the cable guy or the plumber).

He’s intelligent (he’s smarter than you and he knows it)

He was bred as a companion (he will glue himself to your lap and shriek horribly when you leave him alone)

He is a hearty eater (time to padlock the fridge, garbage bin and electronic devices).

He’s energetic (time to cancel the gym membership and start training for that marathon)

He has a strong desire to work (time to buy those sheep; they’re cheaper than replacing your walls and furniture)

He’s a good family dog (if you train him. Otherwise he’s a rambunctious maniac)

He’s sensitive (he will make you feel guilty when you chastise him for eating your underwear).

He was bred as a ratter (that mouse you were worried about is now on your pillow)

He’s dignified (you are beneath his notice)

He’s friendly (he can’t contain his joy at the sight of visitors and likes to greet them properly by knocking them down and slobbering on them)

He’s alert (and so will you be at 3am when he hears a squirrel)

He’s hard headed (he’s untrainable)

He is a dog of high style (and most of his style will end up all over your clothes , furniture and in your food)

He’s confident (he will train you)

He’s a superb retriever (and will happily bring you all the stuff he stole after he’s chewed it up)

He’s an excellent water dog (wearing small, tight trunks when he fishes you out of the swimming pool against your will can be embarrassing)

He’s independent (he’s deaf)

He likes to hunt (when birds and squirrels are unavailable the cat will do nicely)

He’s a clown (and you are the butt of his jokes; but he looks very cute when he’s destroying your stuff)

He requires extra socialization (and extra liability insurance).

He actively follows scent (he doesn’t follow you)

Well what else can I say about this week—I was deprived of Elizabeth’s presence for two days and when she finally returned I let her know how pleased I was in the traditional manner of a male Hound (we are a group whose genitalia doubles as a mood ring). Nothing says “I missed you” like a display of one’s favorite organ.

Anyway, in Spring a Hound’s thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of mud, filth and grime (unlike in the winter when our thoughts lightly turn to thoughts of snow, filth and grime), the advantage being that mud has the greater olfactory appeal (or not, depending on your species). Anyway, the down side of the lovely weather we’re having (in which I get to prance about coatless!) is that I am to have a long overdue bath on Sunday. The upside is that all the stinky mud will still be around on Monday to undo the damage. And Monday is a holiday although as an absolute monarch, not one I approve of. Democracy is a dangerous creed leading humans to believe that they have a say in domestic affairs. I mean they could stage an insurrection and take over the bed and the couch and redirect funds from crucial items like bully sticks and the search for palate pleasing foods to frivolities such as clothing and shoes.

And speaking of clothing, Elizabeth nearly bought what is billed as a 4-season convertible dog walking utility jacket with extractable poop bags and a belt that doubles as an emergency leash ( The sleeves come off to create a vest for warmer weather. It looked pretty cool but Maria was dismissive as it lacked the full 22 pockets of the vest she found last week that may actually be capacious enough to carry all my stuff.

Well I thinks that’s all for this week. Enjoy Hound Monarch Day (otherwise known as President’s Day).

Until next time,

Wimsey, the un-vacuumable Hound

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #200

Entry #200

February 11, 2011

Hello everyone. It’s me, Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where some chilly weather has depleted the stock of my admirers in Central Park this week much to the chagrin of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth who enjoy showing me off the to the world (or more accurately me showing off to the world). But I did manage to slime a French guy—one of a group of hearty young men (NB: French men don’t like having their clothes slimed—you just know they don’t look the way they do by shopping at Wal-Mart.) Anyway, Elizabeth was trying to Twit pic me next to snow filled Bethesda Fountain and got so flustered between taking the picture, the cuteness of the guys and trying to practice her French discourse about St. Hubert dogs (my moniker in the Old Country) that she sent out a picture that was completely askew and had me me walking out of the frame (a skill I excel at, by the way). And in her eagerness to impart knowledge of all things St. Hubert, she neglected to provide her new French friends with the most salient piece of information of all- “faites attention à la bave!” (Which Elizabeth hopes means watch out for the drool!) I’m sure that would have been a much more appreciated piece of information than what she actually imparted.

I meet so many tourists from all over the world that there really should be a smart phone translation app exclusively devoted to the dangers of meeting me:

Wimsey’s Smart Phone Translation App

“Here is the name of a good dry cleaner”

“If he starts to shake his head, run”

“It will come out in the wash”

“No, a bird did not do that”

“Would you like a comb?”

“I have a wipe”

“Do you need an aspirin”

“But he’s just had a bath”

“Yes, he always smells like that”

“Would you like some earplugs?”

“He wants the light to change.”

“He wants to say hello to that dog”

“He’s happy”’

“He’s annoyed”

“He’s bored”

“You have a water bottle”

“You have a sandwich”

“He thinks it’s toy”

“He wants it”

“Is there food in that stroller?”

“You’re in his way”

“Watch out for his paws”

“Would you like a glass of gin?”

“He wants to sit in your lap”

“Yes, I know it hurts when he sits on your foot”

“He wants to see what is in your bag”

“Don’t worry he doesn’t usually steal those kinds of things ”

“His digestion has been bothering him lately”

“Did he hurt you?”

“He only does that to people he likes”

and of course, the most important phrase: “I’m sorry!” (and the second most important phrase, “Yes, I know he is very cute, but you don’t want one”)

My humans have elevated the act of apologizing to an art form. There’s just so much that can go wrong when I head out the door it’s a good thing that contrition becomes them. What I can guarantee will not become them is this new summer vest Maria found online ( that has 22 pockets. It’s supposed to be for people who travel and just can’t seem to fit their life’s possessions into one airline carry on and so need some additional assistance with the matter. The vest is supposed to have “no bulge” pockets for a “trim profile” but I am sure that when it’s stuffed with my leashes, snacks, jumbo poop bags and other assorted accouterments my humans will look like they are wearing badly prepared mashed potatoes. But then again, it can’t really be worse than looking like Michelin women wearing giant fanny packs, and in any case no one looks at them anyway (except I imagine, with pity.)

Now as many of you know, Monday and Tuesday is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and as usual, Elizabeth will desert me on those days to help out at the ASPCA booth, which, although displeases me mightily is still better than her taking an actual vacation. I thought it might be instructive, therefore, to take a look at the AKC standard for the Bloodhound (as opposed to the more colorful Wimseyhound) from their website and see how I stack up so to speak. Perhaps the analysis will show why I was not the judge’s choice when I was shown there. (bold italics, mine)


Described as a "unique looking dog in a baggy suit," (the wrinkles being an excellent place to hide things for later distribution in unexpected places) the Bloodhound is one of the oldest breeds of dogs that hunt by scent. (It is this outstanding ability that allows me to know when Teddy, the neighbor’s terrified little doodle, is in the vicinity and to vocalize down the hall accordingly). Although affectionate (when in the mood, otherwise you’re out of luck), they can possess shy natures, sensitive to kindness or correction by their master (or not). Colors of the Bloodhound include black and tan, liver and tan, and red, sometimes flecked with white. The actual term "Bloodhound" refers not to what the Bloodhound trails but instead refers to its status as the "blooded hound," meaning aristocratic, since such great lengths were taken early on to keep the strain clean (or else our tendency to bleed our humans dry. And for the record clean is never a word that should be associated with bloodhounds).

Right Breed for You?While Bloodhounds are extremely affectionate (as long as we are on the receiving end), they are take-charge dogs (Yes! We take charge of your time, money and your life!), so it is important to be kind, but be the undisputed boss in your household (Good luck with that). Bloodhounds should be groomed weekly to eliminate dead hair and facilitate a routine that will help them look, feel, and smell better (If you want a dog that looks, feels and smells nice consider another breed).

Bloodhound Breed Standard

Hound Group

General CharacterThe Bloodhound possesses, in a most marked degree, every point and characteristic of those dogs which hunt together by scent (Sagaces) (i.e. we use our noses to find stuff to steal, confident in our belief that possession is ten tenths of the law). He is very powerful, and stands over more ground than is usual with hounds of other breeds (and lies down over more bed and couch than is usual with other breeds). The skin is thin to the touch and extremely loose, this being more especially noticeable about the head and neck, where it hangs in deep folds (and collects miscellaneous organic matter from the outside for distribution on your carpet and in your bed).

HeightThe mean average height of adult dogs is 26 inches, and of adult bitches 24 inches. Dogs usually vary from 25 inches to 27 inches, and bitches from 23 inches to 25 inches; but, in either case, the greater height is to be preferred, provided that character and quality are also combined (I am tall. I am a character and I possess qualities that make humans crazy).

WeightThe mean average weight of adult dogs, in fair condition, is 90 pounds, and of adult bitches 80 pounds. Dogs attain the weight of 110 pounds, bitches 100 pounds. The greater weights are to be preferred, provided (as in the case of height) that quality and proportion are also combined. (the greater weight is not preferred by the human at the other end of the leash or on the receiving end of the tush).

The expression is noble and dignified, and characterized by solemnity, wisdom, and power (Appearances can be deceiving, Your results may vary).

In temperament he is extremely affectionate, neither quarrelsome with companions nor with other dogs. His nature is somewhat shy, and equally sensitive to kindness or correction by his master (or else it’s loud and obnoxious and couldn’t care less what his humans think, say or do. And if I ever run into Wilbur the Gordon Setter down the street, that Scottish bastard is toast)

The head is narrow in proportion to its length, and long in proportion to the body, tapering but slightly from the temples to the end of the muzzle, thus (when viewed from above and in front) having the appearance of being flattened at the sides and of being nearly equal in width throughout its entire length. In profile the upper outline of the skull is nearly in the same plane as that of the foreface. The length from end of nose to stop (midway between the eyes) should be not less than that from stop to back of occipital protuberance (peak). The entire length of head from the posterior part of the occipital protuberance to the end of the muzzle should be 12 inches, or more, in dogs, and 11 inches, or more, in bitches. Skull-- The skull is long and narrow, with the occipital peak very pronounced. The brows are not prominent, although, owing to the deep-set eyes, they may have that appearance. (all of this means my head is flat and pointy as befits a being of my superior intelligence).

Foreface--The foreface is long, deep, and of even width throughout, with square outline when seen in profile. (all of which means I am very handsome)

Eyes--The eyes are deeply sunk in the orbits, the lids assuming a lozenge or diamond shape, in consequence of the lower lids being dragged down and everted by the heavy flews. The eyes correspond with the general tone of color of the animal, varying from deep hazel to yellow. The hazel color is, however, to be preferred, although very seldom seen in liver-and-tan hounds. (all of this means that I look like I’ve been out on the tiles and am in urgent need of an Alka Seltzer).

Ears--The ears are thin and soft to the touch, extremely long, set very low, and fall in graceful folds, the lower parts curling inward and backward. (also good for collecting filth of an indeterminate nature for deposit on light colored fabrics. And they make a nifty loud noise when the head is shaken).

Mouth--A scissors bite is preferred, level bite accepted.(both of which are capable of tearing and shredding fine Italian leather).

The head is furnished with an amount of loose skin, which in nearly every position appears superabundant, but more particularly so when the head is carried low; the skin then falls into loose, pendulous ridges and folds, especially over the forehead and sides of the face. Nostrils--The nostrils are large and open. Lips, Flews, and Dewlap--In front the lips fall squarely, making a right angle with the upper line of the foreface; whilst behind they form deep, hanging flews, and, being continued into the pendant folds of loose skin about the neck, constitute the dewlap, which is very pronounced. These characteristics are found, though in a lesser degree, in the bitch. (Nostrils must be large enough to make distracting, loud wind tunnel noises during food preparation time in the kitchen, flews must be generous enough to hide pills that one is supposed to be swallowing and the dewlap must be deep enough to push prong collars and other instruments of hound control into ineffective positions low on the neck).

Neck, Shoulders and Chest 
The neck is long, the shoulders muscular and well sloped backwards; the ribs are well sprung; and the chest well let down between the forelegs, forming a deep keel. (in other words, a physique ideally suited to human body slamming).

Legs and Feet 
The forelegs are straight and large in bone, with elbows squarely set; the feet strong and well knuckled up; the thighs and second thighs (gaskins) are very muscular; the hocks well bent and let down and squarely set. (in laymen’s terms: strong enough, big enough and long enough for superior thwacking)

Back and Loin 
The back and loins are strong, the latter deep and slightly arched. (It should provide a memorable experience when deposited on a human lap)

Stern--The stern is long and tapering, and set on rather high, with a moderate amount of hair underneath. (meaning my tail should be excellent for clearing coffee tables and belting seated humans in the face).

The gait is elastic, swinging and free, the stern being carried high, but not too much curled over the back. (It’s hard to be elastic, swinging and free when towing shrieking humans).

ColorThe colors are black and tan, liver and tan, and red; the darker colors being sometimes interspersed with lighter or badger-colored hair, and sometimes flecked with white. A small amount of white is permissible on chest, feet, and tip of stern. (You will notice that the breed standard says nothing about chartreuse. Other good Hound colors are mud and grass, filth and slime, leaves and sticks and whatever the color of your favorite blanket).

But seriously, doesn’t the bloodhound standard sound like a dog you might actually want to live with? I guess by that criteria I fail to meet the breed standard. However, the standard shockingly fails to mention our fine, indestructible odor. I have to say very often people seem to find my blog by googling “do bloodhounds stink” and every time I see this, I want to shout “YES!!!!!!!!! WE DO!!!!!!!!!” But of course I have no way of contacting these folks, I just hope they find the relevant facts and act accordingly (did I mention that Elizabeth can no longer store her vacuum cleaner in a closet because it reeks of me and then apparently so does everything else in there) Anyway, the ASPCA is raffling off a Dyson Pet Vacuum Cleaner so if you visit Westminster, stop by and try your luck.

I think I will end it here for this week. I hope you all enjoy Valentine’s Day—and remember, nothing says I love you quite like a bully stick.

Until next time,

Wimsey, the non-standard standard