A song about dreams, wishes and puppy dogs.
This is possibly the saddest, sappiest song Dolly Parton ever recorded.
So why does it give me chills?
You’ll have to wait until next week for the details, but ohmidog! is moving, and since we’re not sure how much time we’ll have to post stories in the days ahead, we bring you this three-day musical interlude.
Dog songs, of course — the first by a singer-songwriter once named Cat. (“I Love My Dog” was the first song Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, released.)
We’ll be back with fresh dog news next week, good Lord and internet connections permitting, once we’re semi-resettled..
Readers of ohmidog! and its sister website, Travels with Ace, may remember that our year-long trip, following the route John Steinbeck took with his poodle Charley, came to an end when I moved into my birthplace — a little apartment in Winston-Salem, N.C. that just happened to be for rent when Ace and I felt the need to, at least temporarily, settle down.
Having all but finished up the book version of Travels with Ace, and learning that our landlord has sold our unit, we debated hitting the road again and also started looking for a possible new place in the area to call home.
Trying to locate a particular one of those, we got lost. As was the case on our trip, all the best things seem to be found when you’re lost. We ended up in a different town, very nearby, where we stumbled upon a little non-historic house for rent, across the street from an historic one.
We’ll tell you about it next week. For now, we’ll just give you a clue as to our new hometown: It was established in 1759, has a population of about 350, and was the first planned Moravian settlement in North Carolina.
The first correct guesser — whose guess comes in the form of a comment — wins a copy of my first book, Dog, Inc.
Everyone else has to help me move.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 27th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, cat stevens, dog inc., dog songs, dogs, i love my dog, move, moving, music, ohmidog!, pets, song, travels with ace
We conclude today’s series on dancing dogs with a non-dancing one — a pug who seems not the least bit inspired by Chopin’s “Minute Waltz.”
Not everyone knows this — unless they have been classically trained, read Camille Bourniquel’s riveting (I’m guessing) biography of Chopin, or visited Wikipedia — but the composer got the inspiration for the waltz as he watched a small dog chase its tail.
The little dog, named Marquis, belonged to French novelist George Sand.
(Sand, despite being named “George,” was a woman. “The Minute Waltz” despite being named “Minute,” generally lasts about two minutes — “minute,” in its case, being used to mean small.)
Chopin initially named the piece “Valse du petit chien,” or “The Little Dog Waltz.”
Posted by jwoestendiek March 4th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, chopin, dancing, dancing dog, dancing dog day, dancing dogs, dog, dogs, minute waltz, music, pets, piano, pug, videos
Next, we present what appears to be a shepherd mix who’s ready for a night at the Roxy.
This one’s short and sweet, as should be the case with techno music, which is written by robots who have been programmed to give us all headaches.
Fortunately, this dog, after feeling the beat for a few seconds, decides to move on.
We hereby proclaim this — now that spay-neuter month is officially over — Dancing Dog Day.
And we begin our presentation with a dancing English bulldog who, though deaf, still seems to feel the blues.
Jamynne Bowles, of Long Branch, N.J., shot the video on her phone when her bulldog began seemingly following the rhythm of a song a friend was playing on his guitar.
Some viewers of the video speculate the dog is merely scratching his butt, but others believe, given how the dog’s moves are so in sync with the song, he truly seems to be feeling the music.
Then, too, it’s possible both might be true.
A lot of viewers of this video suspect there’s trickery at work, but German musician and dog trainer Schlauwauwau says her two golden retrievers are neither scammers nor musical geniuses — just dogs.
And dogs, though perhaps best known for their noses, have some pretty impressive ears as well.
You can see other videos of her musical dogs here.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 6th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, dog training, dogs, ears, germany, golden retrievers, keyboard, music, musical, pets, piano, Schlauwauwau, talented, talents, training, videos
A Colorado State University study suggests classical music might be the best way to calm an anxious dog, and that heavy metal — no big surprise — seems to do the opposite.
The study, reported in the latest Journal of Veterinary Behavior, found that classical music was more soothing than any other music, even “psychoacoustic” music and pet CDs designed to calm animals.
Dogs listening to classical music — whether they were rescued dogs being sheltered, or pets being kenneled — barked and shook less often, slept more and had slower heartbeats.
The authors of the study say playing classical music may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for dogs being kenneled as well as those awaiting adoption in stressful shelter environments.
Their research analyzed the behavior of 117 dogs of various breeds, all at one kennel in northern Colorado. Of the group, 83 were boarders of different breeds and 34 were rescued dachshunds. Lead author Lori Kogan and her researchers did thousands of behavioral assessments over a period of four months.
The dogs were exposed to 45 minutes of three different genres of music while their behavior was recorded every five minutes.
Classical music was linked to more relaxed and restful behavior, while heavy metal was linked to greater anxiety and unrest.
Dogs listening to heavy metal had speeded up heartbeats: Motorhead’s “Ace of Spades” led to 140 beats a minute, while “Turbo Lover,” by Judas Priest, resulted in 151. In contrast to that, Beethoven’s “Für Elise” produced average heart rates of 111 and Bach’s “Air on a G String” a relatively mellowed out 100.
In addition to heartbeats, researchers recorded the amount of time the canine listeners spent sleeping, barking, shaking, and whining.
Both boarded and rescue dogs responded to all the classical music selections by sleeping more. The dogs were most silent while listening to classical music, and noisiest when no music was playing at all.
Researchers said the results are consistent with human studies showing music can reduce agitation, promote sleep, improve mood and lower stress and anxiety.
“It is suggested that shelters play classical music as a cost-efficient, practical way to enhance the environment and, therefore, the welfare of shelter dogs. Classical music can reduce dogs’ stress levels and potentially increase the likelihood of adoption.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 6th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anxiety, bach, background, behavior, boarding, calm, classical, colorado state university, dogs, heavy metal, judas priest, kennels, listening, motorhead, mozart, music, pets, rescues, shelters, slayer, soothing, strauss, stress, study
What happens to the souls of dogs when they die?
Here’s one magical interpretation — a song and animated video that follows a dog named Dingo as he leaves his earthly life to take his place among the stardust.
The song, “Back to the Stars,” is written and performed by Los Angeles-based artist Mark Alan and Alphanaut, which is described as an “art-rock/euro-pop musical collective.”
The video is directed by Tonda Ros, of the LA-based production company Dogubomb.
The song is from Alphanaut’s newest release, Little Sun, which is about the life cycle of Alan’s dog Dingo, who passed away from canine lymphoma. Each song on the album is a chapter in the story of Dingo’s life, from birth to ”his ultimate passage back into the realm of the spirit.”
As Alan explains it, “The song ‘Back to the Stars’ marks the final chapter in the Little Sun story of my dog Dingo’s life. The album begins with ‘Falling to Earth,’ which recounts the experience of birth on a grand cosmic level, and moves through various key moments of his life. I knew I wanted to wrap things up full circle with the journey concluding where it began — in the ether of space.”
Like most of Little Sun, ‘Back to the Stars’ is told from Dingo’s perspective.
“I imagined him overseeing a gathering of those who loved him and the discovery of his journal, its pages filled with mementos of the joys, triumphs and tribulations of his time on Earth,” Alan said.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: afterlife, alphanaut, animals, back to the stars, death, dingo, dogs, earthly, hereafter, life, little sun, mark alan, music, national canine cancer foundation, nccf, pets, rainbow bridge, souls, souls of dogs, stardust, video
Our recent post about Bobby, a Nicaraguan street dog, drew a comment from Mary Graham Bliss, the founder and executive director of Practical Small Projects, a non-profit organization that works to create health, education, and income-generating opportunities in West Africa.
She wrote to share a song, written and performed by her husband, Evan Bliss, who lives with her in Nicaragua.
Last year, they rescued a starving dog from the street in Nicaragua, and named her Tila. In addition to being “the most precious gift to our family,” Tila inspired Evan to write “Sweet Dog,” a song dedicated to rescuing stray dogs in the impoverished world where shelter systems often do not exist.
“The idea was to show people what amazing and loyal pets these dogs can make if given a chance. We also hope the images and song will inspire others to consider adoption and rescuing,” Mary wrote. “Tila will be traveling with us to Haiti for our next assignment.”
Evan Bliss, a Billboard Songwriting Contest-winning singer/songwriter from Washington, says on the song’s YouTube page that “Sweet Dog” is “the most important piece of music/art I have done to date. I have witnessed first hand how far off our preconceptions about stray/street dogs are and how vital it is to dismantle any misleading ‘facts.’ I was inspired to write, record, and create a video in order to share this idea with the world and to honor such deserving and beautiful animals.
“My wife opened my eyes to this dire situation, living in Nicaragua opened my mind to the reality of it, and our pride and joy Tila (our rescued stray dog) opened our hearts to sheer beauty that can arise from despair. I love this song and it is my hope that you share this with people that know or need to know about this often overlooked global issue.”
Posted by jwoestendiek April 3rd, 2012 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: adopt, adoption, africa, animals, bobby, dogs, evan bliss, mary graham bliss, music, nicaragua, pets, poverty, practical small projects, rescued, singer, song, songwriter, stray dogs, strays, street dogs, sweet dog, tila, video