Friday, June 28, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #310

Entry  #310
June 28, 2013

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side which has inexplicably turned into a tropical island.  Instead of Tattoo yelling “Da plane, da plane,” there is me yelling “da sun, da sun.”  I detest the sun and when it beats down on me the only thing I can think of is to get out of it and back into a civilized air-conditioned apartment.  Needless to say, the tropical weather has been inimical to me eliminating anything except my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth’s sanity as they plead with me to take care of business. Some business…a little business…ANYTHING and any production thereof is met with cries of elation not usually associated with the activity.  

Generally I am at my worst during my afternoon walk with Elizabeth when, if I am not trying to drag her in the straightest line between my apartment and hers, I am trying to make illicit forays into air conditioned shops and restaurants and into people’s cars. Of course by the time Maria gets home from work and it’s time for all of us to go out together, the dreaded sun has lost its power and I am ready to spend the entire evening tooling around Central Park.  The fact that they get to eat their respective dinners at 10pm is no concern of mine.  If my humans were to go to Fantasy Island I’m sure their fantasy would be that I cared about them instead of caring about me.  Good thing that the island is fictitious. Not surprisingly, I’ve been hearing the words  “wretched Hound” tossed around quite a bit this week.

Although I despise the hot weather, it is some consolation to me that it makes my humans miserable too.  While the rest of the world is wearing elegant summer attire, my humans must adhere to:
Wimsey’s Guide to Summer Fashion

Shoes: Forget about those lovely Jimmy Choo sandals and those Louboutin heels, Hound walking requires footwear that is comfortable for the many, many hours you will be outside with Your Hound. Think Nike (Your Hound will “just do it” if he wants to and nothing that you can do will stop him), New Balance (good luck with any balance) and Adidas (Impossible is Nothing ((to Your Hound).) And these shoes must have traction for negotiating the area around the mud puddles and other assorted filthy bodies of water that Your Hound will want to drag you into to cool himself off. So the more of those tready things that you have on the bottom of the shoes the better, which means the bigger and clunkier the shoes the better. And for those tropical summer storms, nothing says a long outing with a waterproof Hound like hot rubber boots.
Pants:  Yes, some nice, hot pants (and not in a sexy way either) for summer.  Wearing shorts means that your legs will get all scratched up in the thorny bushes and other aggressive vegetation that Your Hound will wish to explore—he’s protected by his dense coat, thick skin and imperviousness to any amount of pain in the pursuit of something enjoyable to him.  Additionally your legs will acquire a coating of mud, drool, Hound hair and whatever else Your Hound chooses to smear on them.  Skirts are even worse, because in addition to the above-mentioned issues you will likely be flashing the neighborhood when you bend over to scoop up the prodigious deposits that Your Hound creates.  It is also possible that your Hound will wish to take advantage of the enhanced access that a skirt provides to use his cold, wet nose to conduct assorted investigative operations.  Oh, and the pants must be of a loose and unflattering variety so as to enable bending and stooping when you provide Your Hound with refreshing drinks of water from the portable bowl hooked to them and to obviate the risk of them splitting when you end up being pulled over and dragged because Your Hound spotted a raccoon.
Tops: Tops must provide Full Coverage or else you risk sharing your bounty with the world every time you bend over to minister to Your Hound’s needs (or are pulled over while the Hound ministers to his own needs-- like getting to know the neighbor’s cat better).  Also exposure will increase the likelihood of Hound Hair in the Cleavage which will cause you want to scratch and jiggle in a way that may attract an unusual degree of attention from the public at large.

Makeup: The only thing on your face (other than Hound hair) should be a generous layer of sunscreen which will leach into your eyes and cause them to sting.  And which will turn your eyebrows white as you sweat profusely trying to keep up with Your Hound or when he decides to take a cement lawn ornament siesta in a spot where he is in the shade and you are in the sun.

Hair: Regardless of what you do to your hair it will end up plastered to your face and neck and decorated with viscous globs of high production summer Hound spit.

It’s really no wonder that my humans are single—although Elizabeth did break the rules this week and wear a skirt which caused people to stare at her as she walked down the street muttering to herself to remember to bend her knees.  And the aesthetic qualities of the skirt were severely compromised by the sneakers that she was wearing on her feet. But the Wimsey Fashion Prize of the week goes to my human Maria who chooses to deal with summer squalls by wearing a huge, olive green men’s LL Bean raincoat that falls to her calves and makes her look like she works in an abattoir.

Anyway, I can hardly believe that July 4th is next Thursday!  There is again talk of a major clear-out of the backyard and the grilling of tasty things that I will end up eating because there is nothing that says sharing like a Hound raining drool on one’s lap.  Of course given the tropical nature of the weather we will probably end up sitting in the AC eating Dean’s pizza.  But I digress.  Today is the birthday of Henry VIII and as those of you who read this blog know, Elizabeth is obsessed with Tudor history, which means that Maria and I have to listen to her yack about it during our long walks. So it occurred to me that Henry VIII and I have a lot in common:

If Henry VIII Were A Hound

Wife 1: I want this wife! It was my brother’s.  I’m stealing it.

I’m tired of Wife 1.  I’ve played with it long enough; it’s chewed up and smelly. And I’m bored with it. I’m putting it in my obsolete toy pile.

Wife 2:  A brand new wife! But I’m not supposed to have it.  So I must have it! I’m gonna execute a bunch of people and have it anyway! I’ll never let it go. Mine!

This wife was a mistake. She didn’t perform as promised.  I hate that. I want a new one! I’m throwing this one out. For good.

Wife 3: This wife wasn’t durable. Too bad, I rather liked it. Or maybe it’s because I didn’t have a chance to get tired of it. I hate when something gets taken away from me before I’m ready to part with it. I’m sulking big time.
Wife 4: OMG! Never accept wives that you’ve never seen! It looks nothing like the picture in the catalogue.  I’m not even going to play with it.  It’s going straight to the obsolete toy pile!

Wife 5: This wife was so much fun!  It was the total package. Everyone was jealous of me which is very gratifying. It would have been the best wife ever except I didn’t want to share it and somehow it got shared.  It’s joining wife 2.

Wife 6: OK, I’m too mature to be chasing loud, squeaky flashy wives.  This is a nice comforting wife.  It’s a keeper.

I think autocratic Kings of England have a lot in common with autocratic contemporary Hounds.  Happy Birthday Hank!
So in other news, as some of you know, from time to time I am offered free merchandise to review. (Last week it was Orijen’s freeze dried Tundra snacks with which I am so obsessed that Elizabeth now wishes that the bag had never darkened her door).  But this week a really hilarious assignment came in—the folks in question want my humans to write a sponsored blog post on “frugal tips for dogs.” This is like asking Kim Kardashian to write a blog post about the sanctity of marriage.  The first image that came into my head is a raincoat comprised of a Hefty bag with a hole cut out and a length of rope.  But let’s see—maybe my humans could offer such tips as:

The dog does not need a raincoat, let alone three of them

The dog does not need a winter coat, let alone three of them

The dog does not need a fancy collar inlaid with silver and turquoise from Santa Fe
The dog does not need a toy pile in one apartment that takes up the living room and a toy pile in another apartment that covers the couch

Buying an expensive sofa because it is the only one whose cushions are deep enough for the dog’s tush is not recommended

Taking the dog to the vet a lot because he likes to go there is not recommended

Renting the largest and most expensive SUV on the lot so the dog will be comfortable is not recommended

Buying a rotating $80 assortment of snacks because the dog gets bored with the same treats is not recommended

Buying poached salmon from the gourmet fish store for the dog is not recommended

Buying the dog $6 cups of artisanal gelato because the dog is hot is not recommended

Buying the dog gourmet waffles with whipped cream from the truck when he bays at it is not recommended
And that’s just off the top of my black and tan head. Yes, I imagine that my humans are just chock-a block with frugal tips given that my food, wardrobe, medical and entertainment budget is bigger than theirs.

Even better, the fee for writing this post is one of those bowls with bumps that are supposed to slow down fast eating chow Hounds.  Clearly they have never seen me turn up my nose at endless bowls of kibble because either 1) the brand has less than 12% fat 2) the taste is not to the liking of the refined Wimsey palate or 3) there is nothing in the kibble but kibble.  And when I do eat, I am a leisurely eater, taking time to pause and fling the kibble around liberally and to see if there are more additives forthcoming from the refrigerator.  This offer is right up there with the lady who wanted me to review her jewelry!

Anyway, I think I will leave it there for now.  I wish everyone a happy July 4th!  Independence, liberty and freedom are my watchwords. For my humans not so much.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a spendthrift Hound

Friday, June 21, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #309


June 21, 2013

Hello everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you briefly from Manhattan’s Upper West Side to update you on all my doings.  I know how sad it is for everyone when I miss a blog post and no one can read about my weekly activities—I would be sad too if I didn’t k now all about me either.  My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth have been very busy with work and as a consequence my outings and my access to the computer have been sadly limited.  So it’s their fault. It usually is.
But humans are a funny lot. This week one of our Facebook friends posted about how she hated selfish and self-centered people.  The irony is that she has a house full of bassets and bloodhounds. And as anyone who has ever gotten within baying distance of a Hound knows, we pretty much lead the league in being selfish and self-centered. Also stubborn and entitled.  But we are very cute.  And being selfish and self centered is all part of the charm of Hounds or so my humans tells themselves when I monopolize the couch or plop by generous posterior in their laps because scratching me is more important than whatever else they were trying to do at the time.

So for those of you who missed me, here is a little montage to tide you over until things return to normal:

This is me lying in the ivy patch in my shared back yard.  Our neighbor is moving out at the end of June and I am eagerly awaiting the look on the new tenant’s face when they realize that they must share the space with a massive, olfactorily interrogative Hound.  And space is probably not the only thing that they will be sharing with me if they enjoy al fresco dining.

Here I am in a familiar posture—sitting down and refusing to move until I am fed snacks. And speaking of snacks, I have been asked by to review Orijen’s line of freeze-dried treats. I selected Tundra—venison, elk liver, elk, venison liver, quail and steelhead trout.  Can you imagine anything more delicious or more worth parking my posterior for?  The treats are conveniently bite sized so my humans don’t have to break them into the delicate pieces that I require for my hand feeding activities. And they are highly portable so a substantial amount can be conveniently carried around by them in their treat pouches.  Given the choice of walking around in the hot sun or sitting under a tree and refusing to move until I am fed Tundra treats you don’t have to have an extensive acquaintance with Hounds to know what I choose to do. And what my humans choose to do is to use a lot of bad words.  As a consequence of this (and also of me spitting out any other treat that is not a Tundra treat,) the Tundra treats have been promoted to door snacks—those high value ones that my humans use to lure me from whatever comfortable place on which I happened to be sprawled to the door for leashing activities.

And in other snack news, my new giant box of assorted, carefully curated new snacks has arrived from Chewy!  A few bags are old favorites (which have, a tendency to become new spit outs) but most of them are new and my humans look forward to anxiously presenting them to me to see whether I will 1) refuse to eat them 2) taste them but then spit them out 3) eat them grudgingly after I have ascertained that there is nothing better available or 4) sit down and refuse to move unless fed them. Being me is so much fun.  For my humans, not so much.
This is me in Central Park.  The famous Bow Bridge is in the background. Also in the background are people having picnics. Or trying to.

And here I am in Central Park at a dead stop. We are heading towards the park exit. Notice the attentive look on my face—extorting park exiting turkey calls for the utmost concentration.

Here is a shot of a rainy day in Central Park.  In the background is Bethesda Fountain, but more importantly, in the background is The Lake. The Lake that has The Ducks. And The Geese.  In the foreground is The Hound who wishes to drag his human down The Stairs to “visit” The Ducks and The Geese.

We had some heavy rain that week and I discovered that if I poop in a puddle my humans can’t pick it up. And my humans discovered that a dog that takes an hour in the pouring rain to find a spot to poop is a dog whose care requires frequent trips to the liquor cabinet.

And even in inclement weather, the wedding must go on! Especially one aided and abetted and crashed by a handsome Hound in a red raincoat who festively flings drool instead of rice.

Here I am visiting the field adjacent to the dog run. I like to stop by in the evening and socialize with friends who are usually in attendance.  Between all the socializing, snacking and hanging out, who has time to pee?

And if you’re wondering what I am doing here, I have two words: turkey face.

Isn’t this a lovely shot? The Lake in the background, the cityscape beyond and a Giant Hound who is just about to roll in the soaking wet grass in his nice, dry red raincoat.

And what Wimsey Montage would be complete without a picture of me about to drag a human into Unleashed, a Hound shop-a-holic’s paradise where no one gets upset with anything I do because the Customer is always right. And Elizabeth always has a wallet.

Finally, here I am in the park with Pluto. He stayed with Elizabeth last weekend and every day this week I have been sticking my nose into the orange fleece that he likes to sleep on and inhaling deeply.  Then I run and check my toy pile to make sure nothing is missing. Trust but verify.

Pluto is very much a mini-me.  He likes to stop dead on the street and make Elizabeth guess which way he wants to go.  Only when she gets the direction correct, does he move.  And whereas I like to drag Elizabeth around on a tour of the neighborhood pet shops, Pluto likes to drag Elizabeth around on a tour of the neighborhood banks. And then he sits on her, just like I do.  Only she doesn’t scream like she does when I do.
Also this week I dropped by the vet’s for some routine blood work—I managed to slime him and gas him at the same time.  I like to get my money’s worth.

Well I think I will leave it there for this week.  Happy Solstice! And check out the July 3rd-5th 2 year anniversary celebration at my brewery, Baying Hound Aleworks ( A shameless plug but I am a shameless Hound.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a sadly neglected Hound

Friday, June 7, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #308

Entry # 308
June 7, 2013

Hello, Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the soggy precincts of Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the wet weather is proving no impediment to my desire to be outdoors accompanied by my wet and dripping human Maria and her equally moist friend Elizabeth.  I think they smell delightful when they are wet, but I gather that the feeling is not reciprocal as rain releases my inner pungent Hound (which smells a lot like my outer pungent Hound, only worse). Maria recently purchased a dehumidifier—she tells everyone it is because of the apartment but I know that it is because of me. It is astonishing how much moisture I can carry around in my coat for subsequent dispersal on the furniture (my humans actually wring out my wrinkles after I am bathed in a vain attempt to accelerate the drying process). But before the rains came we had several days of hot, humid weather whose only redeeming feature was that it caused a run up in my humans’ air conditioner bill on my account.

And on Sunday the climactic conditions caused my park walk to turn into my park lie down, sit down and roll down. But we did run into these fine mounted police officers who were the very same ones that I saw here last year covering an event on Fifth Avenue.  And once again I was offered the opportunity to climb up into the van and get to know one of these giant beasts up close and personal and once again I declined in favor of trying to explore their nether regions and the snacks therein.
After this harrowing equine experience I went home with Elizabeth because Maria had a social event to attend (although why anyone should want to socialize with Maria without me, I have no idea; certainly no one we meet on the street is the least bit interested in her and a lot interested in me).  This meant that Elizabeth got to sit with me through Thunderstorm Time, when I drool and stare fixedly ahead waiting for the world to end and she reassures me that it is only the Great Hound God Drule knocking over his humans’ furniture again.
Now generally I trust Elizabeth, since it was she who taught me everything I know about Annoying Hound Rituals. But then again I have a great deal of natural talent in the area of being annoying.  And each time I display one of these rituals (for instance before exiting Elizabeth’s building yesterday for my after work walk, she had to leave something at the front desk and left me for 30 seconds; when she came back I poked her forcefully in the treat pouch and waited for The Cookie of Return to appear), Maria always harrumphs and says “Who taught him that?!” even though she knows the answer (and has to live with the answer) very well.  And the response is always, “It’s a ritual.  Dogs like rituals.”  And I especially like rituals since they always seem to involve feeding me something nice. I believe that I am simply employing the “nothing is for free” principle of dog training, with a minor Hound twist. And every time there is a discussion about how I am not very bright I remind my humans of all the excellent things that I have learned:

Never come off the bed or the couch without being offered a snack

Never allow one’s collar and harness to be put on without being offered a snack (coats cost extra snacks).

Never walk over the threshold without being offered a door snack (preferably ostrich jerky-the crack cocaine of the canine world).

Never permit Maria to leave for work without being offered a goodbye snack (preferably foie gras biscuits from a tony bakery).
Never get into a bathtub unless there are fistfuls of turkey involved.

Never stay in a bathtub unless there are fistfuls of turkey involved.

Standing by a water fountain will cause a human to kneel in front of you with your own personal bowl of water.

Staring at Maria at home will cause a water bowl with drool in it to be replaced with a water bowl without drool in it.

Staring at Maria at home will cause an empty kibble bowl to become a full kibble bowl.

Staring at Elizabeth in her apartment will cause a full kibble bowl to become a full kibble bowl with turkey, yam, pumpkin and/or other assorted leftovers in it.

Staring at either human during a walk will cause a cookie to appear.

Posing (or not) for photographs will cause turkey to appear.

Climbing into a humans’ lap causes scratching and petting to happen.

Staring at Elizabeth whilst lying on the futon causes scratching and petting to happen.

Thwacking a human with a paw causes scratching and petting to happen.

Rolling over causes my belly to be rubbed.

Staring at a human eating something desirable and drooling all over the floor causes food sharing to happen.

Spitting out a large piece of food causes it to be broken into bite-sized pieces and hand fed it to me.

Pooping in dense vegetation causes my humans not to be able to pick it up.

Pooping while positioning my butt over or through fence railings causes my humans not to be able to pick it up.

Squeaking my Hedgehog in Elizabeth’s face causes a walk to happen.

Squeaking my Doggie in Maria’s face causes a walk to happen.
Turning into dead weight and refusing to move causes a walk not to happen.

Baying loudly causes people to give me things that I want.

Squeaking pathetically causes people to feel sorry for me and give me things that I want.

Sitting on my humans causes them to make noises like my favorite squeaky toys.

Spending time with me causes my humans to look stupid.

Spending time with me causes my humans to use HBO words.

Spending time with me causes my humans to need strong cocktails.

So I think I am quite an intelligent Hound.  I have learned all life’s important lessons (and no one has ever accused me of not stopping to smell the roses--or to pee on them) and have cleansed my mind of unimportant trivia, such as those associated with the vastly overrated obeying of commands.
But when it comes to being obnoxious I cannot stress enough the importance of attention to detail.  For instance, this week I found a tennis ball on Amsterdam Avenue and decided that I had an urgent need to play soccer with it.  Now nothing is quite as disruptive to the flow of pedestrian traffic as a giant Hound playing soccer with a fast moving tennis ball.  Nor did I evince any interest in heading over to the park with it.  Later that day when Elizabeth and I were strolling in Central Park’s broad fields I happened upon another tennis ball. I ignored it. I mean what would be the point of playing soccer with a tennis ball in a venue in which one was supposed to play soccer with a tennis ball? Or what could be more annoying than my predilection on hot, humid days for eschewing the leafy greenness of the two major parks that are close by for a walk along scorching city streets that cause Elizabeth to drip sweat on me and say bad words? Or today when I decided that I fancied a long walk in the pouring rain in the water and mud logged fields of Central Park and decided to inspect a variety of fields in minute detail before selecting a spot upon which to poop.  In spite of Elizabeth teaching my some excellent rituals, talent like mine is born, not made.

Anyway, in other exciting news, my Frenchie buddy Pluto has gone into business!  It all started when his humans were on a trip to Paris and the woman who ran their hotel had a Frenchie called Bertrand and a ring that looked just like him. Further investigations led to a French artist living in Italy who was the creator of this masterpiece and thus it was that Pluto-Art ( was born.  They’ve got lots of plans for product roll outs but if you want a ring crafted to look like your dog, give them a call.

I myself would like both my humans to have rings of me for those odd times when I can’t be with them in person. The ring would remind them that:
When they are eating in a restaurant they should cut their portions in half and have it wrapped for me

When I am alone they should curtail their activities, no matter how enjoyable, and come watch me nap

When they are passing car rental places they should rent me an SUV because I like to drive

When they pass a pet store they should pop in and buy me a toy with a loud squeaker that I can play with when the telephone rings.

When they are grocery shopping they should scour the aisles for items acceptable to the refined Wimsey palate

And of course the ring would remind them when they pass a liquor store that they need some more gin.

The only question is whether the ring should depict me in full demanding bay or with my ears jammed forward giving them “The Stare.”

Well I think I will leave it there for now. The weather report is calling for a lot more rain.  It’s a good thing I have three raincoats.

Until next time,

Wimsey, pungent, proud and pesky