Music fills the infinite between two souls-Rabindranath Tagore
I recently took another step into the 21st Century and bought an IPad, a purchase I had put off as being frivolous. Buying the IPad was a smart move if for no other reason than I can now see the screen better with my aging eyes, compared to my little IPhone 3G. One of the other fringe benefits is a radio App called Pandora. Turning on Pandora each day is similar to the sensation of my first sip of coffee in the morning, that “ah”, comforting feeling. The channel I’m now addicted to is Classical New Age Piano Solos.
Since everything revolves around my dogs it was inevitable that my music choice would impact the animals, even the cat. Another piece of Essie’s past as a stray was revealed to me when she first heard the calming notes. She jumped up onto my lap, purring, rubbing her head against my hands and even blowing little bubbles from her mouth. She was the picture of contentment. For the record, this is the cat who usually, as I’ve said, gives affection in minute doses, when she is hungry or right after she’s eaten her plate of canned fish cat food. Wham, bam, thanks for the grub, see ya later Lady. You may pet me for three seconds and not a moment more. She must have heard classical piano music as a kitten perhaps or maybe the music makes her feel safe, protected and relaxed.
What about using the power of Pandora’s music to relax the dogs? When I leave the house to run errands I leave Pandora playing on the IPad next to the puppy’s crate. At this very moment she is napping quietly in her crate in the kitchen. Music means relaxation. She goes right to sleep, with no whining or barking.
When I am training the dogs I play contemporary rock and roll music. It’s upbeat, loud and keeps us moving. I may try playing the New Age music for the stationary exercises to see if that reduces their anxiety while my dogs sit in a line next to my friend’s dogs.
As for me I now play the Classical Piano music when making jewelry as I make fewer mistakes. Occasionally I’ll change to a selection of Movie Soundtracks so I can sing along. My singing is horrid but the dogs don’t complain and it allows me to laugh at myself so that’s a plus.
A friend said she met a dog trainer at a show who played her piano at home, often with her dog in the room. Someone had music playing at the dog show. Several dogs, including the pianist’s dog did quite well, the music calmed them rather than interfering with their work. The next day a show representative said the music had to stop. Many dogs that had passed the previous day, flunked the day that there was no music. It would be an interesting experiment to play something like Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata at more shows and see if the anxiety levels of trainers and dogs was reduced. Just a thought but then I’m, at the moment, under the influence of Bradley Joseph’s Piano Love Songs. If I could purr like Essie I would.