Friday, December 27, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #328

Entry #328

December 27, 2013

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from the post-Christmas lull that characterizes the Upper West Side of Manhattan following the frenzy of the holidays.  Things have been unusual around here because my primary human, Maria, is taking a week off from work and so I am spending all of my time at my apartment instead of being picked up at midday by her friend Elizabeth and coddled instead over at her apartment.

This hiatus is supposed to give Elizabeth a break from me and give her a chance to get all the things done that she alleges don’t get done because of me.  But she had to participate in my antlered pre-Christmas tow over to the vet’s to deliver a basket of Jacques Torres chocolate to thank the staff for taking such good care of me. (Or for putting up with me).  And then it was important for her to take a walk with me on Christmas Eve and of course she had to celebrate Christmas Day in the fashion that a Hound of my discernment demands---an afternoon spent out and about in the park. In this case, it was two parks, as after a walk in Central Park I decided that I also wanted to walk in Riverside Park.

I apologize for the paucity of pictures this week, but we were all having such a good time that it seemed a shame to ruin it (for me) by pulling out the camera or the phone; And my humans do get a bit tired of all those pictures they take of the side of my head or my rear end or pictures where I close my eyes or squint in an objectionable way that they think makes me look mean, or pictures where I drop my head between my shoulder blades in a manner that suggests that there is vulture in my pedigree or those in which I elevate my snout such that the my dominant feature becomes my nostrils, etc. And you will notice that I seem to be wearing yet another new coat. Actually this blue coat is an old gift from a friend that had to be resurrected this week due to my winning record in our bouts of fleece wrestling.  My new, expensive coat from Chilly Dog in Canada has just arrived and Elizabeth is eager to bring it over for a fitting which, given the idiosyncratic nature of bloodhound proportions, has every chance of turning into a non-fitting.

But I digress.  So, after endlessly complaining about how I eat up all her time, Elizabeth somehow feels it necessary to call Maria every afternoon to ask if it’s time for my walk yet.  This means that I have been taking long afternoon walks with both my humans, thus turning every day into Sunday, which pleases me greatly.  And I was in such good form yesterday that I had to be escorted home on the Heinous Gentle Leader.  This had something to do with the fact that I kept refusing to walk until Maria gave me a Biljac Goober and when I subsequently did walk I kept endeavoring to make the acquaintance of a very realistic stuffed squirrel that was residing in the pet store bag that she was carrying.

But I am getting ahead of myself. One of the delightful aspects of the two-person weekday afternoon walk is that I get to show Maria all the places that I normally tow Elizabeth to on our afternoons together-- one of those places being my favorite pet shop, Unleashed, where I am a well-known regular. And whilst Elizabeth and I were making our appointed rounds so I could sniff all the bags of kibble and cat food (the next best thing to sniffing actual cats) Maria purchased the BilJacs which have been much missed since stopped carrying them. And while she was about it, she decided to purchase the squirrel as well because my toy pile at her apartment was looking a bit dated. When I searched the aisles and  “found” her (I am not a bloodhound for nothing) she was also unfortunately choosing some powdered digestive enzymes in a misguided attempt to reduce the noxious fumes that regularly emanate from my rear.  Good luck with that and pass the Febreze.

Anyway, after I exhorted a cookie from the bakery bar I continued towing in a southerly direction.  Elizabeth knowledgeably informed Maria that this meant that we were going to visit the Time Warner Center to inspect people’s packages and then visit the Construction Sites of the Far West Side.  Accordingly I headed to Central Park instead. I pride myself on never doing what is expected.  It was at this point (and after I had determined that the pastry stand at the park entrance was closed) that I commenced operations on the bag from Unleashed. This, as stated, resulted in the application of the HGL and in Elizabeth wondering what exactly it was about me that she missed.  Like many of life’s highly anticipated pleasures, I am much better in the abstract.

Here are a few other pictures from this week:

This is me finding a new food truck. It was serving some tasty smelling Korean food which engendered some enhanced drool production and some prodigious and far-reaching drool flinging as a result. Service left something to be desired, however, as in spite of loudly placing my order several times, no nosh was forthcoming.

Now this looks like one of the many picture of me parking myself on a park bench to avoid the inevitable homeward progression. But if you look at my feet you will see that it is actually a picture of me parking myself on two benches to avoid the inevitable homeward progression.  I love to do this because 1) it gets my humans’ knickers all in a twist about the prospect of me falling and there is much squealing at, pleading with and protecting of yours truly and 2) they can’t use the leash to pull me off of the bench (es) without risking injury to me which causes an indefinite halt to the proceedings.

And finally, I came across this sign and as is frequently the case with Hounds who are being told to be quiet, this happened.

Also not shown this week is the traditional Poking of, Leaning on and Standing on my Head for Christmas tourists.  My humans think it prudent to focus on my activities on those occasions lest something untoward—like major dry cleaning bills or a lawsuit—occur.

And when I am absent for even a brief amount of time, the men who staff Elizabeth’s building ask after me. One of them always asks if I am dead.  The “yet” can be inferred.  Apparently my large size and loud baying take their toll on the nerves. Another of them asked if Elizabeth had found a home for me.  Considering that, as befits a champion Hound such as myself, I basically have two homes (and the toy piles to prove it!) and several more if you count my breeders, Elizabeth was puzzled.  Someone had told him about Elizabeth’s work with shelter dogs and he put two and two together and got a spectacularly incorrect five.  He was obviously not working in the building when Elizabeth actually did foster shelter dogs. To be charitable, they didn’t look like me.  I look like I should be out finding lost children, they looked like they should be out finding drug deals.  And I am guessing that the sight of a small woman holding the leash of a powerful, drug dealer type dog struck a different kind of terror into the hearts of the building staff.  The irony is that Elizabeth never had any trouble getting those dogs to obey her whereas I am another kettle of rawhides entirely.  She says that’s because they were “regular dogs” her definition of which is  “Not Bloodhounds.” Fortunately for me, neither of my humans has any ego investment in whether I listen to them---otherwise I really would be dead. And it can’t be said too many times-- it’s a good thing I am cute.

Anyway, now that we are finished with Christmas the New Year looms. As befitting a Hound of my stature I make a few New Year’s resolutions none of which I share with my humans because that would be telling and might also create some unwanted counter measures. Suffice it to say that all my resolutions involve being a better Hound which is to say being a worse dog.  My humans’ resolutions generally center around hoping that my resolutions don’t involve too much damage, expense or embarrassment.

But in addition to the New Year, January is birthday season around here.  Both my humans have January birthdays and Elizabeth generally celebrates by taking a vacation from me in locations that are not amenable to her continuously popping over to walk me. Last year it was Istanbul and this year it is likely to be Hawaii (she has to go really, really far to get away from me!).  Maria will celebrate in a more sensible fashion by buying me a new toy and sitting on the couch scratching me.  Both my humans are likely to be very busy in January which means that full blog posts might be a bit thin on the ground next month.  If I can’t post, I will try to keep everyone updated via Facebook (you can find me by friending Maria Szabo if we aren’t friends already. Look for the Maria Szabo with my picture).

I think I will leave it there for this week.  I hope everyone has a happy New Year.  (I would wish people a safe New Year also but this would mean that they wouldn’t be allowed to be around large, space filling, leash-dragging paw thwacking bloodhounds). 

Until next year,

Wimsey, A New Year, The Same Hound (alas)


Friday, December 20, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #327


Entry #327
December 20, 2013

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, wishing you a Merry Christmas and all the joys of this festive season from here on the Upper West Side of Manhattan where I am the Chief Christmas Hound in Residence.  I also hope that you are spared any Grinchiness like that of my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth—the former complains about Rockefeller Center Christmas tree rubber necking tourists and the latter hurls shoes at the TV and screams at George Baily to get on that train out of Bedford Falls. 

But my humans do redeem themselves where I am concerned—Maria is investigating a wide variety of expensive and delectable mystery meats from the gourmet food store that might be pleasing to the Wimsey Holiday Palate and Elizabeth has been taking me on long perambulations and has been demonstrating an even heavier hand than usual with the turkey and snacks.

And needless to say, it is starting to look a lot like Christmas.  How you ask?

My humans get these tense and determined expressions on their faces when we walk through the alleys of fir trees that line many of our streets.

Tourists, who are normally Hound loving become even more so in the presence of a Giant Hound wearing a green velvet seasonal ruff with bells on it.

My humans believe that people on the street are gullible enough to mistake me for a reindeer or an elf.

Someone has decorated the trees on 73rd street to look like candy canes creating yet another set of trees upon which I am not supposed to lift a leg.

The Christmas Fair has magically appeared for my shopping and concertizing pleasure.

Snow has arrived and with it the tantalizing prospect of sending my humans on a holiday trip to the Emergency Room.

The lobby of Elizabeth’s building is so dense with delivered packages that it looks (as Maria observed) as if a UPS truck exploded.

I get to do whatever I want and to have whatever I ask for.  (That’s not technically a sign of Christmas since this is always the case, but it never hurts to point it out).
Well it’s been a wonderful week around here in spite of the afore-mentioned attacks of human Grinchiness.  We had some snow and Elizabeth and I have been taking picture postcard beautiful walks in Central Park in the afternoons.  I greatly enjoy tracking all the human and canine footprints back and forth over hill and dale which, in a less beautiful setting, would make Elizabeth wish that she was carrying a flask of gin instead of my water.  Fortunately the sentiments of the season call for peace on earth and goodwill towards Hounds so back and forth we pointlessly (at least to her) go.  I also greatly enjoy rolling around in the white stuff, especially when I am wearing a coat as this rather defeats its purpose.

But of course into every life a little rain must fall and in my case Santa is bringing me my own personal lump of coal in the form of an expensive, new winter coat from Chilly Dog in Canada.  My humans have gotten tired of wrestling my legs into the armholes of my current selection of coats (and all the turkey feeding required thereof) and the Chilly Dog coat has a flap that goes under the belly and is secured with clasps on top of the coat. Elizabeth, my Keeper of the Closet, has been in urgent discussions with the company as to my majestic proportions, my deep chest (necessary for producing bays of ear splitting decibel levels) and the unusual amount of coat- defeating large skin folds with which we bloodhounds are so generously endowed; no one is betting the farm (or the apartment) that this thing is going to fit, but fortunately it is returnable providing it has only been tried on and my humans can de-hair it sufficiently. And as every car rental company in America knows, if there is one thing that my humans are good at, it is removing my hair from places that my hair should not be. Which is to say everywhere. Of course all this assumes that even without leg holes we won’t have rollicking games of Catch Me if You Can when it comes time to suit up.
And as many of you will have guessed, my second lump of coal is the fact that an array of seasonal headgear has once again made its annual appearance. This seems to delight everyone except for me.  There is some compensatory extra attention that accrues to a Hound in headgear and there is also an inexhaustible supply of bribing turkey to make it all possible but I still fail to see the point.
Of course I fail to see the point of most things that my humans want me to do or not do and I am naturally very good about raising objections which seems to delight everyone except my humans. You will notice that the only picture of me in a Santa hat is one that was taken a few years ago—it took my humans two hours to get that picture so they retired the Santa hat and recycle the picture every year.
And yesterday was a one of those glorious days when Elizabeth and I were out and about for a solid three hours of Houndly fun.  Being in fine voice, I stopped by to wish the 77th Street pedicab guys an enthusiastic Merry Christmas and then was able to find a particularly icy path over which to tow Elizabeth.  Next we hung out by Belvedere Castle where I held court and posed for pictures before heading into the Ramble for some snow rolling and more meeting and greeting and trying to entice various other canines to play with me—even the full sized ones who I usually ignore in favor of the little guys who flee in terror at the sight (and sound) of me. Then after a minor skirmish (that I won) over which direction we should walk we ended up at the Great Lawn where I tried to steal a ball from a lovely Doberman girl, thus even more conclusively demonstrating to Elizabeth that brains and judgment are not my strong suits. Fortunately the Dobie was a very mellow girl (and she wouldn’t play with me either) but I managed to charm her human out of a cookie that I promptly spat out mortifying Elizabeth.

Then, after another minor skirmish over our direction (in which I also triumphed) we headed out of the park and over to a pet shop that was conveniently located en route to visit my friend, The Broadway Jewelry Lady Who Feeds Me Snacks. I engaged in some acoustically robust baying which attracted a steady stream of admirers who wished to pet me, photograph me and hear all about me.   I then looked in at Lush Cosmetics, where I am a popular (and well fed) visitor and finally, slightly more than three hours after leaving my apartment, I was face first in a large bowl of boiled chicken, yams, pumpkin and kibble over at Elizabeth’s.  

 Meanwhile, Elizabeth alerted Maria to the fact that since I had such a long and busy day I would probably want a lengthy nap so she shouldn’t plan on picking me up after work. Not a bit of it! A two-hour kip and I was off to try to break into the cat hospital. What can I say, the season inspires me.
Anyway, as I discussed last week, we have our Christmas traditions and one of these is the reposting of my Night Before Christmas. So without further ado:

Wimsey’s Night before Christmas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a Hound.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there before the Hound could shred them.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of Hounds danced in their heads.

And mamma in her shredded ‘kerchief, and I in my chewed up cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap with the Hound.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what the Hound had gotten into now.

Away to the window I flew—stepping over the Hound-- like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen yellow snow

Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer being chased by a Hound.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick (he had to be to get away from the Hound),

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than Hounds his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Wimsey and Vixen!
 On, Comet! On, Cupid! on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall where the Hound can’t get to us!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"

As peed on leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew away from the Hound,

With the sleigh full of rawhides, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof and a lot of loud baying.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a Hound.

He was dressed all in fur (The Hound thought he was a stuffed toy), from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot and drool.

A bundle of rawhides he had flung on his back trying to keep it from the Hound,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled as he looked at the Hound! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as yellow as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth to keep the Hound from stealing it,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed at the Hound, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself and the fact that the Hound had stolen his hat!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread (I live with a Hound, what more is there to dread).

He spoke not a word—he was speechless--, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk as the Hound poked him in the tush.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose as the Hound chased him!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, let’s get away from that giant smelly dog

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle after a Hound has sneezed on it.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

"Happy Christmas to all, and to the Hound a good-night!" (and good riddance!)
So a Happy Christmas to you all as well. And let’s all come together to ban these heinous antlers once and for all!

Well I think I will leave it there for this week.  It’s a good thing that Santa is apparently a Hound lover and doesn’t care whether Hounds have been naughty or nice. If he did we’d be screwed! Merry Christmas Everyone!
Until next time,

Wimsey, Santa’s favorite present-stealing elf

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #326

Entry # 326
December 13, 2013

Hello Everyone, Wimsey here, coming to you from beyond the Arctic Circle where some pesky person has apparently moved the Island of Manhattan and the Upper West Side. And although I love this nippy weather, the downside is that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth insist that I wear a winter coat whilst out for my cold weather perambulations. Fortunately getting me into these things involves fistfuls of turkey and at Elizabeth’s apartment, a rousing game of Chase the Hound With the Fleece. 

Sadly, I am not alone, coat-wise as the neighborhood is a veritable fashion show of the latest canine styles. From the roughest, toughest Rottweiler to the tiniest Chihuahua we are all afflicted with this human created sartorial plague. My humans have also been threatening me with booties to protect my delicate feet but I know that this is an idle threat.  Booties were tried several years ago and even with a variety of bootie types success was very limited.  Unless unfairly disadvantaged by the administration of a powerful anesthetic, it is mere Hound’s play for me to remove one bootie whilst the humans struggle to get even one of my paws into a second.  Since two humans working in feverish concert were never able to achieve even a mere two-boot shod Wimsey, they wisely concluded that one human plus four boots is one army too few and four boots too many.

Nevertheless I do my best before every walk to convince my humans that dressing me in clothing, no matter how comely, is wholly unnecessary. After all, it was only last week that someone mistook me for a Malamute  (can I say how much it pleases me to be mistaken for a macho breed!) and we northern breeds do very well without the extra clothing (although Elizabeth claims to have once seen a Manhattan husky in a coat).  Anyway, this week’s pictures feature my chartreuse fleece (the only color, apart from black, that Ruff Wear used to offer—I need to be careful not to damage this one as the company replaced the chartreuse one with one in neon orange) and my Ruff Wear Climate Changer (my wet weather snow suit, otherwise known as The Speedo, owing to its elastic, figure hugging fit; I have one of these in black also and it is known as The Tron Speedo).  All I can say is that if a giant black and tan Hound strutting the streets of Manhattan provokes smiles, a giant black and tan Hound wearing brightly colored clothing appears to be even more risible.  Either that or people are amused by the fact that I am accompanied by one or more humans who look like they are planning an imminent assault on the South Pole.  Whereas normal (non-Hound) female Manhattanites might be attracted to apparel that declares itself to be Prada or Chanel my ladies’ eyes are magnetically attracted to apparel that declares itself to be “Expedition Weight”.
Anyway, whether it is the festive, pre-Christmas atmosphere or the snappy temperatures or the little bit of snow that we had, on Wednesday I was “in a mood.” Being in a mood generally involves a lot of loud baying, a relentless determination to tow my humans in the direction in which I want to go (or more accurately, an even more relentless determination to tow my humans in the direction in which I want to go) and a lot of poking of pedestrians and inhaling of small dogs.

And this mood led me to tow Elizabeth south down Broadway--being sure to walk under the arcades that contain all the Lincoln Center restaurant sidewalk cafes—to Columbus Circle. I had fully intended to visit The Time Warner Center and annoy the shoppers by investigating their bags and then follow this up by annoying Elizabeth by taking her on a tour of Construction Sites of the Far West Side (one of my favorite walks!) but it turns out that Elizabeth has really had enough of Construction Sites of The Far West Side and produced sufficient bribing turkey and elbow grease to turn me towards Central Park instead.

The problem with that is the Columbus Circle entrance to Central Park is now blocked with the Christmas Fair and taking a Hound in a Mood through the Christmas Fair is not for the faint hearted or the two handed. Nevertheless, Elizabeth did manage to get me through the fair and I have a (very) few photos to prove it (although there are not many photos in general this week owing to the difficulty involved in taking photos whilst wearing Expedition Weight gloves).  Fortunately the gloomy weather meant that the fair wasn’t too dense with potential drool flinging victims-- although I did manage to stop at the hot chocolate stand and bay vigorously for some refreshment before trying to help Elizabeth select a nice, new hat to try on.  My humans would like to return to the fair when there are two of them to manage me so we can get some additional photos of this colorful event (and Elizabeth does actually need another hideous but warm winter hat to accessorize her Michelin Man parka).

Well tomorrow the forecast around here is for SNOW—something that delights me and horrifies my humans.  For example on Wednesday the field on which I had the snow zoomies and nearly managed to pull Elizabeth over on barely had even an inch.  Imagine what I can do with increased accumulation! To say nothing of the ice!

Now here in the Big Apple--which reminds me, on Wednesday, too, Elizabeth was trying to eat an actual apple, very unsuccessfully as it turns out. I like apples. But I digress. Here in the big city, as in the rest of the country, the Christmas season is one of tradition. In my case, it is the tradition of trying to pee on Christmas trees, of wearing my green seasonal ruff with bells, of inspecting the Christmas shopping of total strangers, of caroling at the Christmas Fair, etc. 

But I also like to review my past holiday blog posts and I usually republish my “Night Before Christmas.”  However, on this date in 1843, Charles Dickens published “A Christmas Carol” and therefore I think that it is fitting to republish my own version from December 17, 2010, #193. But before I do, it comes with a caveat—the post is a tad harsh on the investment banking community (NB: both my humans have Wall Street jobs in their backgrounds), which hardly seems charitable in this season of peace.  But Dickens wasn’t too nice about Ebenezer Scrooge either so it is in this spirit that the post was written. But as a Hound I carry no special animus towards anybody (well, except maybe Wilbur the Gordon Setter)—I will fling drool, bay at and shed and stink up everyone without a trace of discrimination.  Anyway, in the spirit of Dickens, here is:
Wimsey’s  A Christmas Carol

Jacob Marley: Ebenezer Scrooge! Wake up! I have an urgent communication for you.

Scrooge: Jacob Marley! But you’re dead! You fell into a crevasse on that “You too can climb Mt. Everest” holiday for rich, middle-aged investment bankers.

Jacob Marley: Don’t rub it in. One bad vacation decision and poof, done! I knew I should have gone for that white water rafting down the Zambezi thing. But anyway, that’s not why I am here. The Big Boss doesn’t think you’ve been behaving very well.

Scrooge: Don’t tell me it’s about sending that idiot Cratchit off to China to work on the Beijing deal during Christmas?

Marley: No, not that. He had a choice after all.

Scrooge: If you think he had a choice then you haven’t met the second Mrs. Cratchit. She’s a twenty-five year old former model and she tends to re-evaluate her marital options when she doesn’t get what she wants. And this year she wants Santa to bring her a house in Aspen and a villa in St. Barth’s. And of course little Tim costs a bundle too--he needs a day nanny and a night nanny and a traveling nanny. Mrs. Cratchit says she’d rather not give him too much Ritalin and so it’s better for him to be cared for by people who know what they are doing.

Marley: Well I guess some of us do adventure holidays and some of us do models. Diversity is after all it what makes the world of investment banking so interesting.

Scrooge: Then why are you here? I think I’ve been behaving well---I haven’t assured a client once today that his business is the firm’s highest priority, or made a junior associate cry—I even gave them a few hours off for Christmas! —or claimed my mistress was really Steve Jobs on my expense report—at least not this week—or bribed a research analyst, or threatened to emasculate our compliance officer. So what’s the problem? I hope this isn’t going to affect my bonus or anything. That would be even worse than your crevasse escapade!

Marley: No, I’m afraid we’ve had a much more serious complaint about you.

Scrooge: How could anything be more serious than the stuff I usually get up to?

Marley: Well apparently you’ve hired Cesar Millan to train your Hound.

Scrooge: The little Mexican guy with the TV show? Is he in trouble with immigration?

Marley: No. Apparently your Hound is peeved.

Scrooge: And this is a problem why?

Marley: Well spell the Big Boss’ name backwards and you’ll understand. He loves all creatures great and small, but has a special soft spot for Hounds since he created them to keep humans humble and in their place.

Scrooge: OK, so I’ll fire the Millan guy. Things weren’t going too well anyway; especially after Millan told him to sit and T-Bill peed on his leg and stole his lunch.

Marley: I’m afraid it’ s not so simple, so I’ll cut to the chase---each night for the next three nights you will be visited by a ghost who will explain everything.

Scrooge: But won’t I get to see you again?

Marley: Oh I’m sure we’ll be seeing each other again soon. Especially if you buy that Ferrari you’re thinking about.

The next night….

Hound of Christmas Past: Ebenezer Scrooge! Get your lazy dog training ass out of that bed immediately!

Scrooge: Hey. You’re pretty cute. Are you any relation to T-Bill by any chance?

HoCP: Of course I’m cute. I’m a Hound you dog training imbecile! And yes, T-Bill is one of my descendants. Before I was the Hound of Christmas Past I was Ch. If You Have It I Want it.

Scrooge: OK, but where are we going?

HoCP: In general, the answer to that is “wherever I feel like towing you,” but specifically we are going to take a look at a happy Christmas from your childhood. Grab this leash and hang on. I don’t want another trip to the emergency room.

Scrooge: Look! That’s my childhood home. Boy it was small—I bet it’s under 3000 square feet! And no marble baths or granite countertops or Jacuzzis either.
HoCP: Cease babbling you dog training toad! We’re not here to discuss real estate.

Scrooge: But I’m from New York! And you know the old saying, the bigger your apartment’s square footage the bigger your….

HoCP: Funny, I’ve always observed the opposite. Now, what do you see?

Scrooge: What a mess! There seem to be ornaments missing from the tree and the wrapping are off half the packages. And there’s a strange puddle under the tree branches! And the couch cushions are held together with tape.

HoCP: Now to the kitchen you pompous dog training twit.

Scrooge: It’s my mother! She’s preparing Christmas morning breakfast. Or trying to. The family Hound seems to be snatching some key ingredients. I always wondered why we never had any bacon.

HoCP: And is she hiring Cesar Millan?

Scrooge: No. She’s laughing.

HoCP: Now to the bedroom you sniveling dog training wimp.

Scrooge: It’s me! And I’m sleeping on the floor just like I remember. Our family Hound used to shove me there in the middle of the night so he could stretch out.

HoCP: Exactly. And now you know why you’ve never had to see a chiropractor. Well that’s it for me you monstrous dog training waste of protoplasm. I’ve got a meal to steal.

The next night…

Hound of Christmas Present: Wakey wakey Ebenezer before I put my cold wet nose down the old pajama bottom and have a good moist sniff.

Scrooge: No! Please don’t do that! T-Bill did that last month when I was late for his walk and I still have nightmares about it. And speaking of whom, you look like him too.

HoCP: Yes, I am another relative, Ch. If I See It It’s Mine. Well now we are going to look at the dreadful present that you’ve created.

Scrooge: Look! It’s T-Bill! Can he hear me?

HoCP: Would it matter if he could?

Scrooge: No, I suppose not. It’s one of the reasons I hired Cesar Millan. There he is, trying to train T-Bill!

Cesar Millan: I am the pack leader.

T-Bill: And I can flap my ears and fling drool at the same time.

Cesar Millan: Wipe! I am calm and assertive.

T-Bill: And I make people crazy and frustrated. Wanna see?

Cesar Millan: I am the leader and you are the follower.

T-Bill: Don’t care if you are the man in the moon, I’m off to shred something valuable unless we spend the day in the park.

Cesar Millan: I’m going to put you on your side and make you submit.

T-Bill: Don’t mind if I do but while you’re doing that could you rub my belly? See the thing is, I actually don’t care if you think that you are the pack leader or are calm and assertive, or are the dominant one, etc. It’s all the same to me. I just do what I want to do. I am a Hound.

HoCP: Now does T-Bill look happy? Wouldn’t he rather be dragging you around the park?

Scrooge: I don’t have time. I am too important. I hire people to look after him.

HoCP: But he feels that making the life of your employees miserable is not the same as making yours miserable. It makes him unhappy. And whatever makes a Hound unhappy is inherently wrong.

Scrooge: But he has his own room! And it’s filled with expensive toys.

HoCP: But they’re his toys. Where’s the sport in playing with those! He needs your toys and your time to fulfill his Houndly nature.

The next night…

Hound of Christmas Future: Awake you dog training pustule. I am the Hound of Christmas Future and I wait for no man.

Scrooge: Another of T-Bill’s relatives I presume?

HoCF: Yes, Ch. You Talkin To Me not at your service.

Scrooge: OK, what are you going to show me?

HoCF: Observe! It is Christmas some years hence.

Scrooge: I hope it’s before I total the Ferrari and die.

HoCF: Well we thought of showing you that but we’ll leave that sort of thing to Dickens. Anyway, we have something much worse.

Scrooge: Worse? But this looks like a fun party!

HoCF: Notice anything?

Scrooge: The apartment and the furniture are all white and unblemished.

HoCF: Disgusting isn’t it? It’s simply not organic.

Scrooge: And the table appears laden with wonderful aromatic food. And the food is staying in place.

HoCF: Appalling waste!

Scrooge: And I have a real Christmas tree!! And there are presents under the tree! And real candy canes are hanging from the branches. And nicely dressed people are sitting around. And it’s so quiet. There’s no baying. And people aren’t shrieking “Go away!’ and ‘Get off me!” and ”Get me a towel!” and “I was eating that!”

HoCF: And you know your local dry cleaner had to close his store because of the drop in business. It’s now a Duane Reade.
Scrooge: But where is T-Bill?

HoCF: Cesar Millan took him away to the Dog Psychology Center.

Scrooge: There’s me! How come I’m so fat?

HoCF: Without T-Bill to chase after and endlessly walk and share your food you started putting on weight.

Scrooge: I don’t think ‘share’ is the right word.

HoCF: A technicality. The point is you’ve had to forget about all those double breasted Italian jobs you used to wear.

Scrooge: I loved those suits! They made a real statement.

HoCF: What statement was that?

Scrooge: “I make more money than you do.” Of course T-Bill loved those suits too which is why I had to buy so many.

HoCF:  The company that made them went out of business too. But I have saved the worst for last.

Scrooge: It’s me talking to my guests. But what’s that on my lap!?

HoCF: It’s a toy poodle!

The next morning…

Scrooge: Hello, Cesar? Yes. Scrooge here. Yes. T-Bill’s human. Listen it’s not working out. I’ve decided to go another way. Yes, I thought you’d think that was good news. T-Bill! Stop shoving! This is not your bed! Well, OK, not all of it is your bed. Here have my croissant and Merry Christmas!

The End.

I love stories with a happy endings—we Hounds usually do since we strive to make all our endeavors end happily. At least for us.
Anyway, Happy Friday 13th—not to worry, anyone lucky enough to have a Hound has paid their Friday 13th dues for the forseeable future!
Well happy shopping (and good luck hiding it from your Hound)

Until next time,

Wimsey, the Hound of Christmas “Oh No! What’s He Done Now!”