Singing Dog

December 15, 2009

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Some people say that musical ability is genetic and is passed on to one’s children. That seems to be true in our family. My wife plays piano, my daughter is a clarinetist, my son-in-law a flutist, my son a violinist, and my daughter-in-law is a cellist and horn player.  Little did we know, however, that this musical inheritance would extend to the four-footed member of our household.

Several years ago, we adopted a golden retriever from the DFW Golden Retriever Rescue organization. Mason was particularly shy and cautious around us for many months. It took a good year for him to begin feeling at ease in our home and convinced that we weren’t going to abandon him. Little did we know that he also had a unique gift to share with us. Imagine my surprise when one day I was playing the piano and Mason began to “sing” along! When he gets into the tune, he adds a quaver in his tone by moving his jaw up and down. Now, I’m not talking growling and barking, but a definite attempt to match the pitch. His favorite range is the higher end of the scale and preferred composers – Bach and Chopin.

Well, as much as this provides great entertainment for all who visit us, it does present a challenge when teaching piano in our home. We are currently training him to lay down quietly by the piano during lessons, but you still may hear him quietly singing along with your scales and arpeggios! We ask for your patience as he learns he doesn’t have to “sing” with every student that comes to our house.

Here’s a great video on YouTube showing the friendship between a golden retriever and a cat: Gabriel and Stanley