Friday, November 25, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #238

Entry #238

November 25, 2011

Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey, coming to you from the turkey saturated borough of Manhattan on New York’s Upper West Side where the long weekend is in full swing, replete with Hound loving tourists and some really fine weather. Such was not the case earlier in the week which found my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth slogging through rainy, muddy fields in Central Park trying to prevent yours truly from indulging himself with a refreshing spa treatment mud bath. And all the leaves, which are slippery at the best of times (the lubriciousness of leaves being not generally appreciated unless one is attached to 125 pounds of rollicking Hound), take on an extra accident inducing potential in the rain.

I think my humans should consider themselves lucky that I am not one of those finicky canines who objects to prolonged perambulations merely because of a few raindrops. The sodden ground brings up scent to an amazing degree, substantially enhancing my already impressive hunting prowess. These conditions allowed me to hone in rapidly on a small, unused carton of milk which I was able to liberate from a park bench, puncture with my mighty incisors, squish with my powerful stick snapping jaws and then lap up the milk with my long and frog-like tongue. My mesmerized humans stared in amazement—they did not know that I had the intelligence to carry out such a complex operation but comforted themselves with the thought that I probably did it by accident. Harrumph. They should know by now that we Wimseys, while not the sharpest card in the deck when it comes to such pointless trivialities as “sit” and “stay,” are highly adept when suitably motivated and we can bring considerable neuronal wattage to bear on obtaining the things that are important to us. (Maria still tells the story of one of my predecessors who pushed a chair across a room so she could stand on it to reach a desirable bag of flour).

But speaking of sit and stay (not), Elizabeth finally realized that I have become the master of the following sequence of events:

1. I strike an entertaining or adorable pose.

2. Elizabeth whips out her camera in a stealthy manner.

3. She points the camera in my general direction.

4. She turns on the camera.

5. I hear the characteristic whoosh of the lens being deployed.

6. I decide that you can’t have too many pictures of my tush.

7. Elizabeth directs Maria to wrangle me so as to recreate the scene.

8. I decide to either a) shake b) lick my nose c) bay d) sniff something on the ground e) scratch, f) turn my head sideways g) drop my head below my shoulders (the vulture pose) h) point my nose skywards (the nostril pose) i) roll on the ground j) walk away k) lift my leg.

This behavior engenders much of the yelling, squealing, lamenting and declarations of “I hate you.” that are a regular feature of our walks. Why people think it is a good thing to have an intelligent dog is an enduring mystery to my humans.

But as I mentioned, I have come in for much touristic admiration this week (as well as pleas from bored, overworked salespeople on Broadway to drop by and provide them with some much needed Black Friday entertainment) and my humans have been the subjects of many adjurations as to the importance of feeding me copious quantities of turkey. Meeting and greeting the world is one of the (few) perks of living with a magnificent Hound such as myself and although it is not much compensation for having no life and no bank account, it is at least something.

But then there is a category of people who get up my humans’ nose (everything gets up my nose, but not exactly in the same way) by offering unflattering commentary on my dynamic walking style. This week, as we zoomed along--me in front, nose to the ground, my humans trailing in pursuit—some bozo commented “Looks like he’s in charge.” This is in addition to the perennial “who’s walking who” (hard to say whether it’s the ignorance of grammar or the ignorance of Hounds that annoys my humans most). Sadly, in these circumstances my humans seldom have the time (or the ability) to stop and explain 1) that it’s “who’s walking whom” and 2) that historically the Hound follows its nose, humans follow the Hound and at the end of it all there is plenty of juicy boar to go around. Juicy boar are not found by heeling Hounds. (Cesar Millan has a lot to answer for). We may live in the 21st century where juicy boar can be obtained shrink wrapped at the supermarket but my genes are firmly lodged way back when when following me was a necessary requirement for obtaining alimentary sustenance. In any case, you would think my harness and 20 foot leash would give people a clue that heeling was perhaps not the object of the exercise.

Now several months ago it was announced that scientists had reconstructed the genes of the bacteria that was responsible for the bubonic plague and for wiping out a third of Europe. Consequently, I think it should be possible to reconstruct the genes of the original bloodhound:

Scientist #1: Eureka! We have successfully reconstructed this ancient bloodhound!

Scientist #2: Didn’t they do that with dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? I don’t think it turned out so well.

Scientist #1: I’m sure this will be different. What could go wrong—he’s so cute!

Scientist #2: Well remember that when you are cleaning up all those puddles—he seems determined to mark the entire laboratory.

Scientist #1: Ah yes, he is just making himself feel at home, covering his territory with familiar scent. Very characteristic. I’m told at the court of Pepin the Short there wasn’t a clean tapestry to be found.

Scientists #2: And speaking of scent, I know medieval hygienic conditions were primitive, but he smells.

Scientist #1: Of course he smells---he’s a bloodhound—but technically speaking, the correct phrase is “he stinks.” But back where he’s from everybody stank so he probably evolved a more pungent stink to get himself noticed. And he could give free rein to stench development unimpeded by the threat of a bath.

Scientist #2: Well apparently he also steals. Wasn’t that the bag with your lunch in it?

Scientist #1: Yes. Tuna. A meat the ancient Hound would have been unfamiliar with yet he ate it anyway. Interesting. He seems to have an innate understanding of what is edible.

Scientists #2: Not necessarily, he’s just eaten your cell phone.

Scientist #1: Perhaps it simulates the crunching bones of his ancient prey. What a fascinating window on history he is!

Scientist #2: Or perhaps he’s just destructive on general principle. Yikes! What’s that noise he’s making. He sounds like a severely displeased walrus! It’s hurting my ears!

Scientist #1: Wow! He is instinctively vocalizing at the exact wavelength capable of producing the maximum amount of auricular pain!

Scientist #2: Well that’s not the only way he causes pain—he just poked me in the crotch and I’m not wearing a cup. And his drool has left a wet stain in a very difficult to explain place.

Scientist #1: I expect he’s just telling us he could use a walk.

Scientist #2: Perhaps that’s why he has started making that hole in the wall.

Scientist #1: Dagobert, come! Come Dagobert! Walkies! Viens ici Dagobert! Allons-y!

Scientist #2: I don’t think he can hear you. Maybe he’s deaf.

Scientist #1: No, I think he probably speaks an archaic French.

Scientist #2: Here, well let’s leash him up while he’s busy shredding today’s paper.

Scientist # 1: Yet another unfamiliar substance that he seems to have taken to immediately! Did you know that historians believe that Pepin the Short was actually called Pepin the Short of Clothing With No Holes and Drool In It and that the king’s Hounds were forbidden access to the royal scriptorium? Now I know why.

Scientist #2: Well they should also have forbidden his entry into the royal gardens—look what he’s done to the dean’s rose bush!

Scientist #1: Such versatility! Perhaps he used this ability to steal edible plants from the peasants. Observing this Hound’s ancient ways is like traveling through time.

Scientist #2: Or like traveling to that gelato stand over there. I very much doubt they had gelato at the court of Pepin the Short. And I have bad news for you. According to Professor Wimsey, one of the world’s foremost experts on bloodhounds, they stink, they drool, they steal, they dig, they shred, they tow, they don’t listen to humans and they have a predilection for being massively destructive. In fact the modern bloodhound is the same as this ancient bloodhound.

Scientist #1: Perhaps I should have stuck to dinosaurs. Or the plague. It’s easier to control.

Well you get the idea. I am what my genes have made me and as bloodhounds have never been overbred in the manner of popular kinds of dogs (I can’t imagine why we are not popular) I am largely unchanged from the animals restricted to the nobility by medieval sumptuary laws and restricted to those lacking common sense by the modern laws of Hound bad behavior. So when I am dragging my humans through the park they imagine that they are elegant, wealthy women on horseback in pursuit of a good meal instead of sloppily dressed poor women (see vet bills) on foot in pursuit of a Hound in pursuit of a milk carton.

But mostly the people we meet are congenial and complimentary (they admire me after all) like the French women who actually bred bloodhounds! Elizabeth was having quite the chat with them, doing well with her French until they asked if I was as nice and well behaved as I seemed. Uh. How to describe my character in French? Especially as, as the time, I was heavily engaged in the chewing of a stick as a way to avoid leaving the park. The experience sent her scurrying to her Larousse for the translations of stubborn, obnoxious, and entitled but her pause made the ladies understand the difficulty and they supplied the missing description with the tactful French equivalent of “he has a lot of personality” and then observed (as my humans frequently do) that I am, in effect, a typical guy. It’s uplifting to know that a guy is a guy in any language and in any species. Or not.

Anyway, that’s pretty much been my week. I finished one of my antibiotics on Thursday and finish the last of the other one on Sunday so there will be a gelato party on Monday as I have been off dairy products for 7 weeks. I will miss demonstrating my prodigious pill hawking expertise though. I enjoyed shattering Maria’s sense of complacency that she had me properly medicated—no hiding of pills in flews, etc. at which I am also adept—by impressively hawking up apparently swallowed pills, sometimes in wide ranging arcs and sometimes multiple times. She’s probably the one who deserves the gelato but I’m the one who is going to get it. Life isn’t fair. Except if you’re Hound.

Hope you all had a turkey laden Thanksgiving.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a Hound for the ages

PS: I noticed the Christmas tree stands on the streets are now up! Nothing imbues my humans with the Christmas spirit like the annual battle to prevent me from using Christmas trees in the way nature intended. Joyeux Noel, y’all.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #237

Entry #237

November 18, 2011

Hello everyone, it’s me Wimsey, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the holiday season is off and running, very much like me. Today I ran all the way over to the pedicab stand on 77th street and put on such a prolonged and vigorous display of acoustical acrobatics that people came running to see what all the ruckus was about. And the more I carry on the more the pedicab drivers encourage me, much to the dismay of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth to whom the responsibility of preventing me from injuring people and destroying property falls.

It’s no wonder that the head guy wants to hire me--crowds of potential customers materialize to see who is making that hellacious noise, thus enabling him to promote his Wimsey approved pedicab tours of Central Park. My humans would very much like to get a video of my pedicab antics but this would entail being one human short in the Hound control department, which is not an entirely safe proposition when I am in a 125lb state of high excitement.

But getting back to the holiday season, it all started in October actually, when my humans noticed the appearance of pre-Halloween Christmas decorations at the local linen store where they purchase the high thread count sheets with which they cover their furniture under the misguided theory that the sheets will protect what’s underneath from hair, drool and stink whilst keeping me comfy in the style to which I am accustomed. Shortly thereafter, when Elizabeth repaired to Starbucks to acquire the necessary zip for one of our walks (my humans consume caffeine to prepare for the for the walk and alcohol to recover from it ((and to forget the things that I managed to do)) she noticed that the barista was wearing a Santa hat and that Christmas music was entertaining the caffeinating masses.

So what I want to know is who threw Thanksgiving under the bus? And although I love Christmas as much as the next acquisitive, gift budget hogging Hound, does anyone really buy Christmas paraphernalia and gifts when the leaves are just beginning to turn colors? And for people living with Hounds, anything bought in October means just that much more time to expose the goods to the risks and vicissitudes of our exploratory and destructive natures, a risk of which these jump the gun retailers appear blissfully unaware. And of course an extra six weeks of the “The Little Drummer Boy” is not conducive to the maintenance of my humans’ sanity, however tenuous that grip might be considering the prominent role I play in their lives.

I mean humans who are crabby because I’ve created an impressive array of painful orthopedic injuries owing to the fact that I’m constitutionally incapable of gong in the same direction as they are, and whose bruised stomachs and legs are permanently marked with the evidence of my lap sitting propensities and whose descent into madness I’ve accelerated by perpetually hunting and consuming discarded alimentary tidbits on the street and in the park and by

snatching water bottles from inattentive tourists and by sticking my nose into those bags full of goodies that dangle from children’s strollers and by insisting on a daily and loud visit with my pedicab buddies and by refusing to sit-stay, stand-stay or perform a stay of any kind when a photograph is required, and by trying to enter the neighbor’s apartment through the cat flap relentlessly impervious to the physical impossibility of such a feat and by refusing to be helpful by chasing the mice indoors but dislocating shoulders to chase the rats outdoors, and by alerting the whole building and neighborhood to the fact that I am coming out for my walk, etc. etc. etc. I somehow feel that additional exposure to “The Little Drummer Boy” will not have a salubrious effect on my humans’ cheerful nature.

But anyway it seems that here in New York City Thanksgiving has been relegated to the meal you eat to get the energy to do all the Christmas shopping the stores want you to do rather than serving its traditional function of eating too much, drinking too much and fighting with the relatives. Pity. But one really can’t think of Thanksgiving without thinking back-- not only to those brave men and women who came so far for such noble a noble purpose—but also to the Native Americans who helped them survive. Now I am a great admirer of Native Americans and I especially like their colorful names. I mean if I were living back then with the Pilgrims I would probably be called something boring like Josiah but if I were living with the Indians I could have had many exciting names:

The Native American Bloodhound

Flews of Fury

Tows Like Tractor

Dances on Bladder

Sitting Bull on Lap

Breaks Much Wind

Chews Like Beaver

Snores Like Thunder

Head Pointy Like Arrow

Drool Falls Like Rain

Pokes Like Goose

Hurter of Ear Drums

Stealer of Everything

Does What Wants

Nose Like Ice Cube in Small of Back

Digger of Gardens

Smells Like Swamp

Thwacks like Bear

Immovable Like Rock

Sheds Much Hair

Talons Like Eagle

Destroyer of Fences

Nose in Everyone’s Food

Makes People Mad

Eater of Moccasins

Lunges at Squirrels

Doesn’t Care What You Think

And of course, Obnoxious Like Hound

And that’s just for starters. So much more descriptive than being called Wimsey. And it would make Maria’s life so much easier when she explains to people why they don’t want a bloodhound to say, “Here meet my Hound, Destroys Your Possessions and Doesn’t Listen To You.”

But Thanksgiving vs. Christmas is a tough one—Thanksgiving brings turkey (aka, The Magic Meat, due its powerful motivating effect upon canine behavior, occasionally even mine) and Christmas brings presents like extra long bully sticks and expensive stuffed toys that I can destroy in less time than it took to sign the charge slip. I would definitely vote for Thanksgiving if I could persuade my humans to prepare Turkey á la façon Wimsey: An entire, recently deceased bird replete with feathers and stuffed with a delicious array of tasty internal organs, garnished with the contents of the neighbor’s cat’s litter box. Side dishes could include pureed raccoon poop, Brussels sprouts with horse manure (some people think these taste the same), steamed weeds with canine urine dressing and candied rat. And for dessert: the TiVo remote! So far no one’s biting.

But every year around this time my humans give thanks for having me in their lives. Others should be thankful not to. And those of you with regular dogs should be thankful they are not me!

Anyway, the Upper West Side of Manhattan has become a hotbed of TV and movie filming—the TV show Person of Interest for instance seems to have moved into the neighborhood permanently. But on this afternoon’s walk we saw an even larger and more impressive film crew. The posted signs said the filming was for something called Fiona’s Tale. Now this puzzled Maria, as she is always very well informed about new films and TV shows and had never heard of this one, which clearly was not some small independent production. A quick consultation with her Blackberry revealed that Fiona’s Tale is the name being used by the new Spiderman movie to discourage fan attention! But this made me think about an entirely different and better movie:

IMDb Plot Summary: Houndman

Peter Parker, a nerdy young man is visiting the home of a mad scientist friend of his and is about to be bitten by a radioactive, mutant spider when his friend’s radioactive and mutant Hound steps on the spider and crushes it. The Hound then bites Peter instead because Peter is standing too close to the Hound’s stuffed dog.

Peter doesn’t think much about it except that the Hound could use a visit from Cesar Millan, until he starts acquiring strange powers. First, he develops an intensely acute sense of smell which enables him to identify every person he meets individually and to acquire intimate knowledge about the state of their personal hygiene. He finds himself saying “Dude, you’ve gotta change that underwear” with a frequency that is inimical to a successful social life. He also finds he can tell when people are around by their smell even if he can’t see them and he can smell their emotions and whether they are telling the truth. While this is very useful for tracking villains, especially the ones not dressed in gaudy costumes with elaborate makeup, and for knowing when they are hiding in that dark alley ready to attack, it is less useful when you want to believe the woman who tells you that you were wonderful. Peter also finds that these new talents enable him to know when something unfortunate is about to happen--like someone is about eat some of his French Fries—the hackles on his neck stand up. He calls it this Houndy-sense.

Peter also finds that he is suddenly very strong and can jump very high, particularly onto kitchen countertops. He finds himself eyeing people’s shoes and the neighbor’s cat with new interest and lifting his leg when he uses the toilet. Also he notices that when he is sitting in a restaurant, all he has to do is look at another diner for that person to give him their meal. This is useful because somehow everyone else’s food looks more desirable than his own. Fortunately he avoids getting fat because of his new hobby of chasing squirrels in the park. And several times during the day his body shuts down entirely and he must recharge by taking prolonged and restful naps from which he can only be revived by the smell of someone else’s food, the neighbor’s cat or the rattle of keys. On the downside he loses his license for driving with his head sticking out of the window.

Moreover, Peter, formerly a nerd, now has a new personality and refuses to believe that he cannot have anything he wants. He demands a raise from his boss and sweeps Mary Jane (is anyone called this anymore?) the girl he likes off her feet, literally and figuratively, with his new demanding and determined persona. Everything becomes so easy and rewarding he is amazed he never thought of acting like this before. “If you don’t ask, you don’t get” becomes his watchwords and “If you don’t get, take.”

Peter originally intended to use his powers to fight the crime wave caused by the endless number of mad scientist experiments gone awry but then decided that exerting himself on behalf of others was stupid. He was having way too much fun being him. They don’t call him Houndman for nothing.

Well you get the idea. Perhaps if I run into the Spiderman director I can pitch my film. They can put up signs calling it Wimsey’s Tail.

I think I will leave it here for this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving and don’t forget to thank your Hound who won’t really care unless the thanks is accompanies by a generous hunk of turkey.

Until next time,

Wimsey, Snatches Turkey Very Fast

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #236

Entry #236

November 11, 2011

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here coming to you from the decidedly autumnal precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where after much mild weather there are at last piles of leaves for me to mess about in. The colors are wonderful and as their appearance presages chillier weather my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth are beginning the process of making sure that their winter gear is in good nick, especially the crampons upon which they rely to keep their feet firmly planted on terra firma when I decide it’s time for a game of Ice Capades.

It is also the time of year when my humans begin thinking about their respective January birthdays and Elizabeth contemplates an escape from me to do something or go someplace where she has never been. This year she is seriously thinking about a dog sledding holiday in Norway—I guess there are not enough dogs in her life on this side of the Atlantic that pull her around. My humans have often thought that my natural tractoring abilities would make me a fine puller of a sled until the issue of who gets to decide the actual direction of the sled comes up. Whilst in their imaginations they are pulled over the hills and dales of Central Park, in reality they would be touring pet stores, food stands and gelato shops and visiting with squirrels of both the alive and deceased variety.

Then of course there is the issue of letting Elizabeth (the Imelda Marcos of sweaters) loose in a country famous for them. I greatly fear we will all spend the rest of the winter dressed in things with brightly colored reindeer on them. (As compensation I would expect a hefty bribe in the form of an actual reindeer or meaty parts thereof).

Things that could happen to Elizabeth in Norway

She could become completely disoriented by a pack of dogs that listens to her.

She could teach the dogs not to allow any photographs unless they are fed pieces of turkey.

The pack could decide to take off after a reindeer and then have a rest at the nearest gelato shop.

She could buy her pack sweaters with reindeer on them to keep out the chill.

She could feel compelled share her lunch with the pack when they woo woo woo (the husky equivalent of baying) at her.

Her pack could decide that it’s more fun to go in the opposite direction of the one in which she wants to go.

The pack could decide that the word “mush” means it’s time to roll over for a belly rub.

The person in charge of the pack could banish her from having any further contact with his dogs.

She could eat a lot of fish and drink a lot just like she does at home.

She could come home with her hair in braids wearing a hat with pointy horns on it.

She could be detained by U.S. Customs for entering the country with more than the legally permissible number of sweaters.

She could be detained by U.S. immigration for entering the country with a hunky Viking.

She could buy this picture.

She could spend her entire trip buying me salmon and reindeer meat and looking for a sweater big enough to fit me.

And I can’t help imagining that if Elizabeth tries sledding she’ll end up pulling a sled full of huskies because she doesn’t want to tire them out.

Well, let’s see, what happened this week? On Sunday the New York Marathon was held so consequently we took our long Sunday walk in a quadrant of Central Park not used by the runners. However, we did run into quite a number of them on our respective ways home—the hobbling gait of the participants was all too familiar to my humans, but fortunately they don’t have to run 26 miles to achieve the same effect. None of the marathoners looked too steady on their feet and my humans greatly feared that one swipe of my tail would be the source of many lawsuits. I, however, found these enfeebled humans eminently intriguing and had to be restrained in my desire to get to know them better, preferably horizontally.

And for those of you who haven’t noticed, today is a very auspicious day, and not just because it is Veterans Day or Wimsey blog day—11/11/11 only comes once a century! This has a lot numerologists working overtime to communicate the significance of the date:

Wimsey’s Guide to Numerology

11: Eleven is a master number and is also known as a Hound’s Dozen. Hounds like to leave the 12th piece of whatever dozen they’ve stolen so you won’t notice that anything is missing.

11+11=22: This is the number of holes that an architecturally minded Hound will dig in your yard each week.

11+11+11= 33: This is the number of times you have to tell your Hound to sit before he realizes that somebody is talking to him.

1+1=2: This is the number of seconds it will take a Hound to steal the Sunday roast.

1+1+1+1= 4: This is the number of seconds it will take the Hound to consume the Sunday roast that he has stolen.

1+1+1+1+1+1=6.: This is the number of feet per second at which the Hound will travel to get away from the irate owner of the Sunday roast (it is also the number of days the roast will take to traverse the Hound’s extensive colon before it emerges as a steaming mess on the Oriental rug).

Well let’s see, what else is new? My adventures in veterinary medicine continued this week with another visit to the vet to inspect the state of my pimple. It’s progress was pronounced satisfactory and the state of my ears wholly acceptable. Unfortunately the vet gave my humans a new ear solution that he would like used until I am off the antibiotics. However, fortunately all attempts to squirt the stuff into my ears failed and my humans are reduced to using it to wipe them out instead. Although I consider myself a model of tolerance, even I have limits as to the kind and variety of things I will permit and squirting large amounts of liquid into my ear canals is not one of them.

Now this week also, in order to deal with the impending vicissitudes of the cold weather my humans stocked up on fancy moisturizers and skin protectors (although nothing will protect them from my drool, my hair and my stink). And in return for their patronage the store gave them all kinds of sample products, the unilluminating names of which (Éclat Miracle?) sent them scurrying to the Internet to find out what on earth all these things are supposed to do. This made me think that beauty products for Hounds is an excellent, under-served market niche:

Wimsey’s Hound Cosmetics

Fold Fondant: Do you wake up in the morning feeling all smooth and unattractive? Does your handler push your neck skin up to make you look more wrinkled? Are you intimidated by the depth of wrinkle of your fellow Hounds? Fold Fondant, the premier wrinkle promoter will enhance your natural wrinkled beauty and when used regularly will even create new lines and creases! And as an added bonus, the price of the product will create new lines and creases on your human as well.

Ear de Luxe: Do you surreptitiously eye the ear length of those around you and feel under endowed? Are you embarrassed to take your snood off in the presence of other Hounds? Do you deliberately carry your ears low to make them look longer leading your humans to misguidedly think you are being submissive which confuses them when you shove them off the couch? Ear de Luxe ear lengthening crème will create the longer, supple more luxurious ears that will make you the envy of your peers. You need never again be plagued by feelings of inadequacy because you suspect that your ears are shorter than your muzzle. Length matters and we guarantee yours.

Éclat Rouge: Do your eyes lack impact due to the underexposure of your sclera? Are you missing that louche, nonchalant, air of a Hound of the demi-monde who has spent one too many nights out on the tiles among the ladies and the absinthe? Do you long for the droopy, romantic red eyes that make humans think of smoky bars, expensive whiskey and Visine? The kind of eyes that spoil all their photographs? Éclat Rouge will deliver that world-weary yet noble look so characteristic of Hounds. In no time we guarantee that passing humans will enquire "What’s the matter with his eyes?” (NB: Éclat Rouge is not to be confused with Éclat Miracle, a human “face primer” that is supposed to make human faces glow, which it does because it is a tube of grease).

Tail Whip: Long for a thicker, more powerful tail with which to sweep coffee tables and swat humans? A higher, stiffer member with which to intimidate your canine enemies? A longer, stronger tail capable of maximally protecting those delicate underside areas when a situation is not looking promising? A tail capable of thwarting even the most determined vet tech with a thermometer? Look no further—Tail Whip, an elegant confection of essential growth and strengthening elements extracted from embryonic monkey cells will give you juice in the caboose!

Money back if your humans aren’t wondering where all those new bruises came from and you can’t swipe a full bottle of red wine onto the carpet with ease.

Point Enhancing Mousse: Are you occiputally challenged? Do you lack that distinguished and robust point to your head? Tired of the same old flat head and the snide remarks about your intelligence that it engenders. Do you aspire to be one of those pointy-headed intellectuals so admired the world over? The kind that can discuss Proust one day and ruin economies the next? Point Enhancing Mousse is guaranteed to make your head pointier than even those of your humans! So buy the product and get the point!

I’m sure I could be the next Estee Lauder.

In other news, one afternoon this week Elizabeth also hosted Pluto, the five month old French Bulldog she is helping to take care of and invited me over to see if I could refrain from terrorizing the little chap indoors. She’s going to be watching him for a week at the end of the month and if my human is working she will have the care of both of us during the day. There was no problem over the water bowl, my stuffed toys or even over my bone collection (aka the abattoir) but it turns out that we both like to supervise Elizabeth’s toilet activities. I guess the prospect of all three of us crammed in there with two of us watching the proceedings with great interest was deemed a bit inhibitory, so in the end it was decided that neither of us could come.

But the devastation of this deprivation was mitigated later when Elizabeth came over with a tub of chicken livers to express her approval at my model non-puppy terrorizing behavior. I think Pluto and I have the beginnings of a beautiful friendship.

Well I think I will leave it there for this week. I’m looking forward to some frisky-making weather and a couple of squealing, bundled up humans. Am dreaming of salmon, reindeer meat and shredded sweaters.

Until next time,

Wimsey, puller of humans not in sleds