Monday, March 13, 2017

PUPPY TALES: Music Hath Charms to Soothe... Whining Puppies

One of the things that endeared Anderson Animal Shelter to me is that they play classical music to soothe the cats and dogs in their care. Even when Chuck and I were escorted back to visit Bristol's siblings, where animals are treated for various medical issues , I noticed the soft music playing in the background. 

Chuck's favorite music is classical, so it wasn't hard to provide the same musical offerings to our little adoptees when we brought them home. Each night I would make sure the classical relaxation station on Pandora was playing after the puppies retired to their shared crate. We thought keeping them together, and playing familiar music would help them make a smoother transition to life their new family, and I have to say, I think it helped. 

Nowadays, the puppies sleep in separate crates, and they don't seem to require music to get to sleep. During the daytime, I've broadened their musical selections to include New Age, acoustic guitar, and country music. But when we are leaving the house to run errands, or when Bristol and Sam need reassurance, I usually resort to classical music. 

Take last night for instance...

At 1:30, the puppies needed to go out. Hello, winter wonderland. The backyard was covered in snow, and snow was still falling. Sami quickly took care of business, and Bristol only peed, but indicated he was finished, so we hurried back into the warm house, and I put them back in their kennels. 

After I crawled into bed, Bristol began to whine. Chuck said, "He's serenading us." Ugh. I really try to keep the puppies quiet because Chuck's day starts so early, so I took Bristol back out, just in case he still needed to go. We wandered around in the snow, and then he whined to go back inside. Another unproductive trip. When I went back to bed, Bristol's soft whining quickly escalated to barking. 

Enough time had passed that maybe he really needed to go that time. Back out into the snow we went. Nothing. I realized what we have here is a mama's boy who was hoping for more attention than he was getting in his crate. I gave him some extra scritches and scratches, and reassured him with soft "I love you"s before I closed his kennel door.

By then, I was wide awake, and my feet were freezing. I headed to the living room to let Chuck sleep without my tossing and turning beside him. 

Bristol began to whimper again. Of course, he did. I know he just wanted to be cuddled on the couch, but I decided to try soothing him with music. Pachelbel Canon was playing on the classical Pandora station and after I whispered a few shushes, lo, and behold, Bristol went to sleep. 

At least, one of us could sleep. I, on the other hand, was wide awake into the morning. There's something about walking in falling snow in the middle of the night that is so invigorating. I enjoyed the classical music myself for awhile longer before I was finally able to join the rest of my family in slumber. 

Tonight I will have music ready for the puppies after their midnight constitutional. It should help us all get back to sleep a little faster. Classical music has been a godsend, and I have to say, I love Pachelbel Canon even more than I did before.

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