Well, no more storms, thank heavens, but I did read more of Through a Dog’s Ear. In it the authors talk about the effects of sound on the health of humans, as well as that of dogs. I’m as sound sensitive as a stereotypical sheltie, so I pricked up my metaphorical ears. Here I am, some one who can’t stand noisy restaurants (take me to a noisy one and watch me start to tongue flick), is exhausted at loud parties and craves a quiet country morning with nothing but bird song in the air. (Excuse the digression, but I am reminded of a dear city friend, who was visiting me and friends at our places in the country years ago. We all sat on a hill, overlooking a tangerine sky at sunset when somene commented how peaceful it was. Royce, as urban as they come, said “Peaceful? It’s a racket out here. I can’t hear myself think for all the crickets and the damn birds singing.?”
Well, surely one person’s noise is another’s music. But still, the book gets you thinking about how much peripheral sound there is in our lives, and in the lives of our dogs. I was lying on the living room couch reading the book, at about 6 in the morning, the dogs chewing on their frozen, stuffed Kongs. As I read I realized that I had turned on the television out of habit, and the news was nattering in the background. I tend to mute the sound during commercials, but what was I doing reading with the TV on in the first place? I didn’t used to do that, and as I read I realized that more and more I’ve gotten in the habit of leaving the TV on whether I was watching or not. When he’s there, my guy notices the sound, and is better than I am about turning it off–he’s as sound sensitive as I am (very handing when looking for restaurants together when traveling!).
For the last two days I’ve been more thoughtful about the acoustic environment in which I and my dogs live. After all, if constant sound can tire and stress out a person, why not a sound sensitive dog? (like, uh, my Border collies? Right now I’m at the office, and all I can hear is the air conditioning blowing through the ducts and a little traffic trundling down the highway through my little mid-western town. Tonight I’ll go home and listen to the gold finches chick chick chick-o-ree as they fly over the garden and the nighthawks peenting over head. Well, of course, then there’s going to be all that panting while the dogs play…
Here’s a photo of six month old Brodie, who I am babysitting for a dear friend. She is a certified Animal Assisted Therapist, and Brodie is applying for the job as the animal part of the team. I suspect he will start collecting his salary soon. Willie certainly hopes so, they are best friends and play together perfectly. How sweet the sound.