Saturday, December 6, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #367

Entry #367
December 6, 2014

(There are a lot of pictures this week towards the end of the post so don't despair of not seeing enough of me)!

Hello Everyone, it’s me, Wimsey coming to you from Manhattan’s Upper West Side where the Christmas season has officially begun! The season brings with it a plethora of humans carrying packages that I wish to inspect and that my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth wish me not to inspect.  Much has been made in these and other cybersites about the many admirable (or not, depending on whether you are a human or a Hound) characteristics of the bloodhound but I think it is worth taking a moment to explore another: we are major busybodies. Anywhere there is human activity there is an inquisitive Hound (and his even more inquisitive nose) wishing to determine the cause of the activity and evaluate its possibilities for active participation and benefit.  In my case, this includes but is not limited to:

People carrying bags, purses, luggage, backpacks, carryalls or wearing clothing with pockets.

Construction work of any kind, but especially sites where there are construction workers to admire and pet me and to create those pop up urinals in the form of barriers, cones and mesh fences that I so enjoy

People sitting in cars who always look like they could use a little canine company in their vehicles

Crowds doing anything

Courting couples doing everything

People taking pedicabs or horse carriage rides (or trying to)

Tourists taking pictures that cry out for a photobombing Hound

Tourists eating meals on benches that cry out for a food sharing Hound

Toursits visitng museums whose clothing exudes fasinating “out of towner” scents that must be thoroughly (and I mean thoroughly) investigated.

People having (or trying to have) picnics.

People playing (or trying to play) sports

People eating at outdoor cafes

People trying to have a conversation

People coming off of tour buses

People running back into tour buses

And of course my humans trying to cook, work, talk on the phone, read, watch TV, use the computer, use the bathroom or have a life. (This is especially true when they are together trying to collaborate on something other than me)

My humans have always believed that my motto is “If you have it, I want it” (they even had it translated into Latin so it would sound more official) but I feel this should be augmented by the more plebian “Whatcha doin’” and ‘Whatcha got there.”

Anyway, this Monday was a bath day and I apparently outdid myself in porcupining Elizabeth’s bathroom—furious texts were flying to Maria about how every available surface was now covered in Hound hair. I then added to the fun by consuming my freshly boiled chicken and four cups of kibble with so much enthusiasm that I threw them all up on the carpet. But at least I was clean.  For 48 hours.

Now last week’s post discussed what it was like to spend a day with me when I was in a “mood.” But one of the (many) great things about being a Hound is that I have several different “moods” and Thursday this manifested itself by being in a mood to spend the day in Central Park. The weather was ideal—it was in the low forties and cloudy when the annoying sun eventually went away and resulted in a day of unsurpassed and fabulous gloom.  Fortunately, Elizabeth’s “to do” list for the day included a large number of things that she preferred not to do, especially when compared with the alternative of perambulating about the park with me.  This week, therefore I have decided to do a photo post about our day.

But before I begin, let me say that the denizens of New York City are very excited about Nathan the bloodhound’s win in Philadelphia. This prompted Maria to do some genealogical research and to discover that my grandfather, Ramsey Creek’s No Time to Lose is also Nathan’s great grandfather! Now when people come up to us and start sentences with “Did you see…” my humans chime in and proudly announce that Nathan and I related. Hopefully this makes up for all the drool I deposited on their nice clothing. In a city known for small dogs wearing designer duds, it turns out that lots of folks are excited that a “real dog” won a televised dog show. In fact one of the most frequent comments I hear on the street—after those about my size, my cuteness and those of the “who’s walking who” variety-- relate to me being “a real dog.”  My humans are never quite sure what this means but I know that they often wish that I were a lot less real.

OK on to the pictures.  The first couple are actually from Sunday and show me with the Frenchie puppy Lola whom I adore.  She is tiny, even for a Frenchie and I make frequent attempts to inhale her.

Next, we ran into my friend Phineas the Ibizan Hound and his humans.  We met him and his male human when he was just a puppy several years ago and we used to run in to him quite a lot, but now his evening walks and dog run activities are further north.  I am sure the guy would be mortified to know that in spite of all the time we’ve spent together the only name by which my humans know him is “Phineas’ human.”  As is the case when Hounds congregate, getting one to pose is an achievement and getting two to pose at the same time is a miracle. It was a lovely visit and I even behaved politely by actually consuming the proffered treat and not spitting it out in disdain.

"Hello Phineas! What’s this over here? It’s more interesting than you."

"Not interested."

"A snack? Now you have my attention!"

Here I am at the Boat House Café. Having finished annoying the people trying to eat along the railing. I am now refusing to move until I get a tuna sandwich—it’s been three weeks since I had one!

Next, “Not gonna look at the camera.”

              “Still not gonna look at the camera.”

“How about a nostril shot?”

“I’m not really looking at the camera. There’s a dog behind you.”

I'm still not looking at the camera. I'm watching Maria act like an idiot trying to get my attention. I think this shot makes me look exceptionally intelligent. Especially when compared to Maria.

Now for Thursday.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has finally unveiled its newly designed plaza so I decided to take Elizabeth over there to check it out.

This is a new giant, fancy drinking bowl that I will investigate more this summer. I look rather irate because I was being forced to stop my exploration for this picture.

“One dog. Hold the mustard!” What would a museum visit be without checking out the food trucks?  Also I was able to demonstrate my public spiritedness by cleaning up the area around the trucks.

OK, a tongue shot. Cuter than a nostril shot and besides there might be food truck crumbs left on my snout.

Still not looking at the camera but this is as good as you are going to get.

Time for a water break. Whenever I want a drink I go over to a fountain. When the parks department turns off the fountains for the winter my humans have to carry water canisters for me. Hydrating a Hound is essential to his comfort and inimical to theirs.

So Central Park is covered in all these fragrant dried leaves and I spent quite a bit of time with my nose glued to the ground.  The fact that this field happens to be adjacent to a snack shop was a total coincidence.

So don’t all dogs sit with their posteriors parked on this handy top plank?

If you want me to get off of this bench anytime soon fork over a piece of turkey.


Still here. I’m serious.

Moving away will not cause me to jump off and follow you.  This is a serious turkey face.

This is the way home.  I do not wish to go home. You can tell that by the fact that I am not moving.

This is still the way home. I am seriously displeased.

If we cross the street we will not be going home.

Really? You’re not going to cross the street with me?

Notice the lady behind me—she has been watching our slow and laborious turkey-induced progress. Or lack thereof. She is amused and is just about to take a picture of me being obstinate. Which is to say, she is about to take a picture of me.

Anyway, this lovely walk consumed the afternoon but it really was good fun. For me. And Elizabeth got the best possible excuse for not doing the things she was supposed to do.

I think I will leave it there for now.  For those of you who don’t live amongst Christmas tree vendors here is a picture featuring the tempting gauntlet that I am forced to run on all my walks?  Those fragrant trees just call out for my attentions…

Oh and if I get a bit silent social media wise in December it’s because Elizabeth, who is my amanuensis and scribe (as well as being my cook, chauffeur and maid of all work) just signed up a project with yet another insanely short time frame.  So while everyone else is out enjoying themselves for Christmas, she will be glued to her computer writing things that are not about me—a situation which I find abhorrent.  Almost as abhorrent as the seasonal headgear and jingly ruff which are threatening to make their annual appearance from the back of her closet.

Until next time,

Wimsey, a Picture Perfect Hound

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #366


Entry #366
November 29, 2014

Hello Everyone, it’s me Wimsey with a late breaking blog post from the Upper West Side of Manhattan written under the assumption that people must be bored with eating turkey sandwiches and watching football.  I’m sure they would much rather read about me instead. I mean how much turkey and football can humans stand, especially when there are Hounds who have much better uses for their time. I must say though, that I am finding the 4-day weekend a bit trying, as are my human Maria and her friend Elizabeth.  Maria is tired of me trying to drag her over to Elizabeth’s apartment to make up for the two-day deficit I have in hanging out over there and Elizabeth worries about me when I am not under her daily supervision.  That, and the fact that she has been trying to deal with all kinds of fun technology glitches in my social media career which she manages. But more about that later.

First, this week there is a serious absence of photos owing to the fact that we have been experiencing some premature winter weather and the ordeal of removing gloves and fishing out a camera or phone has proven too arduous a task for my humans.  Not to mention the fact that by the time they accomplish all of this I have moved out of frame and on to some other entertaining activity that requires their full attention—like being “in mood”, a condition that was the subject of some furious email exchanges between my humans this week.  Usually such exchanges take the form of texts but in this case there was simply too much obnoxiousness to convey.

A Day in the Life of A Hound in a “Mood”

The “mood” began on Tuesday when Elizabeth turned up as usual to take me for my customary midday walk and subsequent sojourn at her place. While she was getting me ready (eye ointment, ear cleaning, teeth brushing-- the usual pre-walk hygienic routine) there was some activity in the hallway which required some vigorous baying at on my part. Let me say that as vocal a Hound as I am outside I am very quiet inside and my humans discourage indoor baying in the interests of not getting nasty notes from the neighbors. It is extremely unusual for me to bay at anything going on in the hallway but all bets are off when I am in a mood. And in spite of the fact that the activity had ceased by the time I been bribed off the couch and into my harness I charged out of the apartment baying at the top of my lungs (which is to say at a deafening decibel level) and nearly tore Elizabeth’s arm out of its socket.

Once out, I made an immediate turn to go to Broadway, intending to investigate all the pre-Thanksgiving shopping going on at Fairway.  Elizabeth intended that I not investigate all the pre-Thanksgiving shopping going on at Fairway however.  I did eventually succumb to the lure of turkey dangled in front of my snout to get me away from the action (and the fully loaded grocery bags). At that point I realized that I was, in fact, quite peckish and had a major Snack Attack that required much feeding of multiple kinds of snacks to satisfy.  After dilly dallying and munching for a while I decided to head over to Unleashed to avail myself of some further snacking opportunities. En route I deigned to produce one pitifully small piece of business of the type that always causes my humans to wonder where everything that they shovel into me actually goes. (Not to worry though, Maria had the honor of collecting two bags full the next morning).

Anyway, I charged into Unleashed, rushed over to the cashier and began baying furiously at her to give me a snack from the cookie bar. Elizabeth tried to fob me off with their complimentary Snack of the Day which I promptly spat out, since it was a) not the snack I wanted and b) was not served to me by the cashier. Good thing the crew that was working that day likes me.  Elizabeth conveyed to the cashier the necessity of feeding me the desired cream cookie snack and then I took off around the store on an extended sniff-a thon. After this Elizabeth asked about whether they had any more of   another snack that I like (carob chip cookies) so she could indulge in some Guilt Buying.  She kind of feels bad that I regularly use the store as my personal olfactory and culinary playpen and then exit without purchasing any merchandise. The requested box of the snacks was brought out for me from the stockroom and the cashier handed me one just to make sure that they were still on the Snacks Acceptable to Wimsey list (I tend to go off snacks without warning—it keeps humans on their culinary toes). 

After buying a small bag of these snacks we finally exited the shop and Elizabeth and I promptly had a disagreement about which direction to take (my vote being to visit the restaurant arcade further south and Elizabeth wishing instead to head in a homeward westerly direction).  Such was my annoyance at being denied my preferred route that I set about baying in protest.  This attracted a group of picture taking and videoing humans (giant baying Hounds in the middle of Manhattan are scarcer than the proverbial hen’s teeth or the ((mythical)) Hound who listens to his humans).  And when I realized that people wanted me to bay, I promptly shut up, causing all manner of human antics to encourage further vocalizations and forcing Elizabeth to explain that I seldom bay when anyone wants me to.

Anyway, after accepting copious compliments about how amazing I am, we finally headed west where I carried on because I was not allowed to visit Furry Paws. I then cruised by the Cat Hospital and attempted to visit there with a similar result. Next I determined that it was essential that we not return home, but take the ramp down to Riverside Park South. The reason became apparent when Dana the Dog walker appeared heading up the ramp with her Pharaoh Hound and assorted poodle clients. This happy circumstance necessitated some extended and joyous baying (as opposed to the protesting kind—I have a bay for every occasion) after which I felt strongly that we should head south. As this was the opposite direction from home the bribing turkey made its reappearance. Elizabeth’s triumph was short-lived however because I decided that if I couldn’t go south I wanted to take a long walk to the end of the pier in the hopes that perhaps I would finally be able to follow scent across the Hudson River to New Jersey.  (Attempting to do this is one of my ongoing projects and I would succeed were it not for the presence of that pesky fence at the end of the pier). It took the rest of the package of turkey to make me appreciate the wisdom of returning home. That and the fact that my boiled chicken and yam lunch awaited.

Normally, this might be the end of the story, but when we came in, a mere two hours after Elizabeth picked me up, she made the mistake of putting the new pack of Unleashed snacks next to other unopened ones that are stored on the top of the filing cabinet. I had never before paid any attention to this cache but it suddenly became imperative that I liberate these snacks. Elizabeth rushed to the refrigerator to show me the leftover salmon that she was adding to my lunch (I am a well known lover of salmon).  So I ceased operations and ate most of my first bowl of salmon, chicken, yams and kibble and only finished the bowl when I stared at Elizabeth to get her to add some turkey.  I then returned to my activities at the filing cabinet causing a second bowl of food to rapidly appear and the snacks to disappear into a drawer. I did finally repair to my futon for a nap-- loud and gassy, which are the best kind-- and Elizabeth repaired to her computer to complain to Maria. Maria thought my antics were hilarious, mostly because they didn’t happen to her.

Anyway, on Thanksgiving my humans went to a nearby Australian restaurant where the food was surprisingly good (I can personally attest to this since I had a doggy bag of turkey) and they discovered by accident that there was a hidden, upstairs speakeasy kind of bar. The bar delighted them so much that they barely noticed it when I subsequently took them all over the neighborhood for a nice long holiday walk in the freezing cold. They also discovered that the place has a brunch that includes 4 cocktails for an extra $16 and they are threatening to avail themselves of this if I get in another mood.

So it was a very successful week for everybody. Less successful was our attempt to get my picture book The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art that is currently sold on Amazon onto iTunes for sale there as well. It spat out our ePub version with a long list of its failings.  There is talk of that brunch again. I also now have an instagram account under Wimsey Bloodhound so I can share some of the many thousands of photos I have in my archive.  Currently I am posting pictures of my hat wardrobe and intend to move on to coats next.  I will share everything on Facebook and Twitter so no one will miss out on my splendor. I also now have a Tumblr blog under The Wimsey Institute of Houndish Art.  Watch out Grumpy Cat, Obnoxious Hound is coming for you!

Well I think I will leave it there for now. I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving and remembered to give thanks (and turkey) for their Hound. I know I give thanks for me every day.

Until next time,

Wimsey, A Moody Hound



Friday, November 21, 2014

Wimsey's Blog: Diary of a Manhattan Bloodhound #365

Entry #365
November 21, 2014

Hello everyone, it’s me, Wimsey, coming to you from the Upper West Side of Manhattan where we are having something of a cold snap that I personally find rather invigorating. My human Maria and her friend Elizabeth also like the brisk conditions although they find it less than invigorating when they have to remove their gloves to respond to my frequent need to be snacked.   Cold weather always gives me an appetite which means that I have gone through a vast number of snack packs and turkey portions and yet still have room to dive snout first into leaf piles to extract abandoned edibles. 

And post-walk I am also to be found nose in the trough of my Never Ending Kibble (‘n stuff) Bowl.  I have always been a free feeding Hound and no sooner does one bowl of kibble disappear down my gullet than another appears as if by magic (although a hard and hungry stare helps the magic along). And then there is the daily Kibble Count. Maria’s kibble scoop holds 1 ½ cups and Elizabeth’s holds two cups so the ladies are able to experience shock and awe at the amount of kibble that I am sometimes able to put away when the daily eatings are tallied. But because this eating occurs throughout the day (and sometimes at night) it is thought to be an excellent bloat retardant since I seldom eat large amounts at any one time (large being relative, but usually I get cut off for an hour or so if I am exceptionally hungry and consume 6 or 8 cups at one go). I am also a leisurely eater which is thought to make me less prone to bloat. 

Of course the cup count also includes the amount that I manage to scatter around the apartment which is sometimes quite impressive—when a Hound with his flews filled with kibble shakes his head more than the fur flies. And much to the inexplicable annoyance of my humans I maintain a pretty constant 130 pound weight regardless of how much I eat but lose weight if I go on one of my light eating binges.  I pride myself on the fact that not only can I annoy my humans utilizing an arsenal of active techniques but I can also annoy them by passive methods such as my gifted metabolism.

But I digress (although a discussion of the ways in which I annoy my humans is always a pleasurable digression). The cold weather brings out the beast in me and as mentioned, this beast has a humongous appetite.  My humans are indeed fortunate that my increased appetite does not include a predilection for such delicacies as the couch. But really with so much gourmet nosh on offer, both in and out of leaf piles, I can’t be bothered. Also I have never figured out a way that the couch could be cut into bite sized portions and hand fed to me. But I do require the endless feeding of snacks and turkey during my long walks and then a rapidly replenished food bowl, (after which consumption I repair to one of my many napping venues to digest in the manner of a snake that has just eaten an ostrich). And as is the custom every year, my humans hope that all the food taken in will create a greater sense of urgency in finding a spot to get the food taken out. And every year they are disappointed. The carrying capacity of my bladder is only exceeded by that of my digestive tract so there is never any rush to empty either, especially on our pleasant nightly arctic perambulations.

The only bad thing about the weather will be obvious from the photos—the need to wear my coat (it’s made by Chilly Dog in Canada by the way, and is supposed to be suited to very cold conditions).  The Winter Coat Algorithm calls for it to be deployed when the mercury dips below 35F. (My care requires many such algorithms but fortunately none of them requires the solving of quadratic equations, although I am working on it, but so far my humans do not seem interested in calculating whether a gob of spit that I’ve flung will hit them in the face—they just run). The only good thing about the coat is that, if possible, it enhances my appeal and things that enhance my appeal enhance the chances of me being fed other people’s food.  

This weather makes it feel more like Christmas than Thanksgiving, which is shortly to be upon us. So in honor of the holiday let us look in on Dick and Jane and see how they celebrate.

Thanksgiving With Dick and Jane

See Dick. See Dick in his new suit. It is Thanksgiving!

See Jane. See Jane in her new pink dress. It is Thanksgiving!

See Dick’s mother.

See Dick’s mother in the kitchen. Dick’s mother has been in the kitchen for 2 days.

See Dick’s Hound. See Dick’s Hound in the kitchen. 

Dick’s Hound has also been in the kitchen for 2 days.

See Dick’s father. 

See Dick’s father in front of the television set.

 Dick’s father has been in front of the television set for 2 days.

 “Let us give thanks!” says Dick. “

Dick’s mother gives thanks for her large kitchen.

Dick’s father gives thanks for football.

Dick’s Hound does not give thanks. Hounds do not give anything, they take.

“I am thankful that you are my friend,” says Dick.

“I am thankful that I do not have to go to school!” says Jane

“I am thankful that my mother is a good cook,” says Dick.

“I am thankful for my pink dress” says Jane.

“I am thankful for the turkey,” says Dick.

Dick’s Hound is thankful that Dick’s mother had to leave the kitchen to pry Dick’s father away from the television.

See the Thanksgiving table. 

The Thanksgiving table is beautiful.

The Thanksgiving table has china.

The Thanksgiving table has crystal.

The Thanksgiving table has silver.

The Thanksgiving table does not have a turkey.

See Jane.

See Jane’s pretty pink dress.

Jane’s pink dress is no longer pink.

Jane’s dress is no longer pretty.

Dick’s Hound has eaten too much turkey.
Jane’s dress was in the way.

See Jane cry.

See Dick cry.

See Dick’s mother cry.

See Dick’s father watch football.

The End

The holiday season always pleases me (with the exception of the appearance of my elf hat and antlers) and I can already see signs that the Christmas tree vendors are setting up shop. This brings the annual “don’t let Wimsey pee on the Christmas trees” battle which I enjoy tremendously since I become the focus of even more attention, albeit of a different kind And then there is the abundance of gullible tourists in town to feed, photograph and admire me. 

Everyone thinks I am terrific but of course appearances can be deceiving—especially Hound appearances.  For instance, we look so noble, intelligent and wise when we are really a pack of silly idiots who frequently labor under  persistent delusions such as that slowly stalking a squirrel will result in its capture or that staring at the refrigerator will cause it to open.  And people think we look lazy, mellow and relaxed and that we would like nothing better than a life spent on the couch when we are endurance athletes and need vast quantities of exercise otherwise the couch in question is doomed to have a short life.  And we look like sturdy robust animals but really we are rather delicate and it is quite easy to issue us a ticket to the rainbow bridge with a bit too much anesthesia. And because we are such knuckleheads we look like we are impervious to human actions, but really we are very sensitive creatures and require gentle guidance as opposed to harsh discipline. And our droopy eyes and skin make us look perpetually sad when in fact the opposite is true since we tend to be a cossetted and much canoodled with lot. But the sad looking eyes do come in handy when we want something (and when do we not?).  We Hounds are the epitome of the rationale for not judging a book by its cover, something that my humans are frequently called upon to point out to all those admiring tourists. Fortunately they never believe them.
Anyway, I think I will leave it there this week. I hope everyone has a lovely Thanksgiving and I know that Maria will be thankful for not having to go work for four days and Elizabeth will be (very) thankful for not having to take care of me for four days. Of course, somehow during those times when Elizabeth does not have the daily care and feeding of me she texts Maria incessantly to find out what I am doing and when she can join us for walks. I am a hard habit to break.

Until next time,
Wimsey, a Hound to give thanks for (and to feed turkey to)

PS: There are now 365 posts so you can start at #1 and read about me every day for an entire year!