Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Songs for Dogs- I get all philosophical here.

We've played this game for all our dogs for as long as I can remember: If the dog was a song, what song would they be?  In other words...Rather than try to understand the minute neural firings and cause and affect implications that drive the thought process behind their behaviors and moods, we try and think of our dogs as a whole and guess what song they might have as a driving force instead. In our imagination, this song IS their thought process, and it plays through their brains like a chain of thoughts would in yours or mine.  When we think we've got it, it helps us understand what they output in life a little bit better .

We've had a John Denver song, "Wild Montana Skies," one "Flight of the Bumble Bee," and one "Happy Birthday to You." These songs are so the very definition of these dogs, musically, lyrically, in body and meaning that if you've heard them before, I think you would really understand the kinds of dogs we had. 

And whyyyy am I thinking about this now? I had a REAL practice tonight (finally, yaaaaay!) and ended up running all three of the girls: White, Black and THE Dog. It's been awhile since I've run them in succession, so I had fresh eyes ideal for comparison. So naturally during my long drive home I fell into thinking about the differences between them. On the surface, they seem more or less alike. Three bratty, excited, eager border collie girls looking for a good time but after all that they are still so different to run. It got so complicated trying to weed through the "why?" and "why nots?" that I gave up and switched over to our old standby game- what are their songs?

White Dog. I love to run her. It's ... easy- I'll say it! Just be honest in your handling and you have a girl who will seem to read your mind.  She is better than predictive texting while driving (not that I do that).  Her song would be the duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, "Islands in the Stream." It's simple, but there is a depth to it that is kind of beautiful. You appreciate the two separate parts coming together for a brief time. It's nice and classic and makes you feel good. 

Black Dog, on the other hand, is new and fresh and fun. She IS pop, constantly keeping you on your toes. I wouldn't say she is difficult to run, but she has some 'rules' to be followed.  It's more complicated, like using a mixer instead of just playing acoustic. And it's fast. But there is an upbeat rhythm you can dance to. Warning though- if you are going to try and keep up with her beat, be prepared because you'll fall out of sync pretty quick if you aren't up to it her pace. So for her? Usher all the way. I'm going with his new song "More." Because that's what she wants.

 And then there is THE Dog. Ever heard of this little ditty called "The Planets?" Yeah, I DO mean the full orchestral suite from Holst.  She is complex in all parts of her life. She shifts, from one movement to another, sometimes so subtly you might miss it. There is a range of emotion to boggle the senses. Some parts evoke beauty and some are just plain ugly (usually this is the tunnel vortex syndrome).  There are rules: note for note, one must play with technical precision.  Down to the shortest 'ting' of a triangle, you have to play every second. No forgiveness, only a sour chord if there is a mistake.  But if you can master it you can have something wonderful.  You've just got to go through some Mars to get to Jupiter though.
So what about your dogs? Having an issue understanding their motives, or actions? Well, try and play our game.  Figure out the tune stuck in their heads and maybe you can get inside there for awhile!


  1. Brother Dog = well, his name says it all.....Lytnstkye's Hail Yeah. So, he has two songs. Hell Yeah - by Montgomery Genty - especially the end of the 'official version' where they get arrested. G Second song - Alcoholin Ass by Hellyeah. Sounds to me like the 'triplets' should use - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cindy Lauper.

  2. For Phoenix, it's gotta be "I Can't Drive 55." Complete and total disregard for rules, angst at being forced to conform to the law, laughing at the face of authority.