Friday, February 20, 2009

A musical offering

The first time David pulled out his banjo and played a tune on it, Dahlia rushed out of the room and hid in the bedroom. This is, of course, the reaction any sane being might have to a banjo being played. But as neither David, nor I, are completely sane and as we both love the sound of the banjo, this was somewhat worrying.

She had never been exposed to such a noise before and she wasn't sure what to make of it. I watched as she carefully stuck her neck out and around the corner, nose active, ears back, a clear look of what did I get myself into? written all over her face.

David put the banjo away.

Dahlia came back into the room.

David and I were heartbroken. Our new dog, so wonderful in so many ways, was afraid of the music.

He later tried the fiddle with much the same reaction. She didn't run as far this time, but she did step away from the sound and peer carefully back at it. Is it going to harm me? What is that thing? Obviously her "people" before us were not musicians.

A couple weeks later we had company over to our little cottage on the lake and, as we all like Sunday morning folk-outs (or in this case, Sunday afternoon folk-outs), David pulled out his octave mandolin and played some tunes on it.

Dahlia carefully strode away and sat just inside the door to the bedroom. Still cautious, she stared at David with a curious look, head cocked slightly to the side. David continued to play. I watched Dahlia.

When David left to go check on the grill, he set his octave mandolin carefully down on the couch. Dahlia, of course, followed David out to the kitchen. After all, there might be yummy things there that have her name on it. David, in good "daddy" form, pulled out a biscuit, asked her to sit, and handed it to her. She carefully took it in her mouth and rushed back into the living room.

Usually at this point, she would head over to her bed to eat it. But not this time. This time she paused inside the room and moved toward the couch where the octave mandolin was laying. She carefully set the biscuit down in front of the instrument, touched her nose to it, and retreated to her bed where she lay down with a sigh.

Was this a peace offering? An acknowledgment that if she were to share her abode with these strange instruments, a truce should be called?

The biscuit remained in front of the mandolin for much of the evening and we all marveled over the musical offering.

Of course, later in the evening Dahlia retrieved her biscuit. You could almost imagine her saying, "Well, if you don't want it, I'll eat it."

She has never had a problem with any of the instruments since that moment. I think, though, that she has a particular affinity for that octave mandolin. When David pulls it out to play, she comes to rest on the couch next to him, watching, and listening intently to the melodious sounds of the instrument.


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