Archive for March, 2017

239 – “And the song played on….”

Friday, March 10th, 2017

By Hetty Gray

# 239

March 10, 2017

“And the song played on….”

My family knows my penchant for classical music and opera. I well remember moniker given me by my three then teenage sons. They dubbed me a “long hair.” Well, I admit that my hair was long now and then, but they assigned the name for my tastes in music.

I was reminded of that a few nights ago. We bid adieu to our beloved Newfoundland fourteen months ago. After waiting what we considered “enough time,” we welcomed another little black bundle of fur to our household this past Sunday. And his name? For us, that could not change. It fit much too well. And so, he is Bear, 2nd Edition, though he will never hear the second part aloud.

All went flawlessly, at least for that first night. Since we did not pick him up until mid-afternoon, it was strange enough be in a strange house. No crate for him! To our surprise, he slept from 9:45 to 5:45. Man, we had it made…

Or so we thought….

The second night we carried the crate back and placed it at the foot of our bed. He was quiet for a while, but then he launched into his own aria.

It was if I were transported back to Europe to sit enthralled in one of those resplendent opera houses to enjoy one of my favorites, “Der Fliedermaus.” For those of you who do not recognize the title, it is “the bat.” I don’t enjoy those critters in the house, but I always loved the music attributed to their species by two brilliant composers.

Die Fledermaus is an operetta composed by Johann Strauss II to a German libretto by Karl Haffner (de) and Richard Genee. First performed on April 5, 1874, it boasts over 233 years on the stage. My hope is that the pup has a far shorter record of performance

In opera, the human voice reaches its apex. Although I favor the contralto with the ladies, the bass voices among the men are truly worthy of my admiration.

Bear — no matter how he tried the other night — only managed to reach the lower limits of a tenor. Although he, I must admit he did exhibit a talent for belting out a moderate vibrato.

Such is the life among those of us who choose to share our lives with dogs — those amazing animals of varying breeds and sizes whose unquestioned loyalty crosses all bounds. No matter what our shortcomings, dogs see human owners as heroes. In truth, they actually keep us young. People with dogs have lower blood pressure and much less stress than those who live alone. And, as my husband puts it, canine conversations sure beat those that revolve around every illness, medication, and doctors’ visits.

I guess the bottom line is that when you have a dog that depends on you and gives so much, the amount of time you spend dissolves in the wake of what you reap as a dog owner.

Here’s to the dog, recounted in verse, portrayed on screen, and welcomed into uncounted homes around the world. From the ragged little ones who saunter with the homeless, to the farm dogs who work alongside their owners, to military and law enforcement dogs who not only find protect the public and locate the lost, but also recover the contraband all the way to the pampered pooches of Beverly Hills who live ridiculously lavish lives, hail to you, oh dog. I salute you.

My hope is that our overnight serenades will morph into the soft snores of contentment as our growing Newfoundland discovers the nuances of living with a pair of seniors.

If you have ever had a dog, you can relate to this commentary. Not to dismiss the feline folks, if you favor cats, pet companionship is priceless. If you have been considering seeking out a breeder, rescuing a dog or adopting a dog from the shelter, there is a little fur person waiting for you. Go for it. You only live once. Why not share it with someone special?