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My Dog Loves Opera

My dog, Griffen, loves to walk, to chase rabbits, to eat cooked eggs and to listen to opera. His affection happened by chance.

During thunderstorms, Griffen would dive under beds, huddle in closets or hurdle his 40-pound body into one of us. Once, he nearly toppled my muscular 6’2″ husband. We had to do something.

One night, my husband tuned the radio to the classical music station WFMT. Instantly, Griffen sank down on his bed and looked dreamily at the radio. His eyes closed. His love had began.

After a time, he developed preferences. Beethoven over Brahms, Tchaikovsky over Liszt. We recognized his favorites by his degree of calmness. The more calm Griffen became, the better he liked the symphony or concerto.

By now, we turned on the radio for more than thunderstorms. When we left the house, his reward was listening to classical music. Griffen did not seem to mind our absences as much. Music was his companion.

One day, we returned from the outside world to check on him. I opened the door and called his name. No dog came to greet me. The music playing was Mozart’s Don Giovanni.

Where was he? I headed toward the kitchen and opened the door. There he lay, resting on his bed with his eyes closed and his paws clasped as though he was praying. When I said his name, one eye opened. His expression said, “Leave me alone for a while. Can’t you see, I’m busy?”

I thought maybe it’s better that Griffen is distracted. If listening to Cosi fan tutte means less walking him for us, why not encourage it?

Oct. 15, 2014