Dean Martin singing Let It Snow, Bing Crosby doing the entire version of White Christmas, “Charlie in the Box” popping up and lamenting about being passed up by Santa, a Christmas Tree that shakes to Jingle Bell Rock, and a rapping Santa are just a few of the holiday decorations in our house. My husband is what some refer to as a “Yulehead.” He loves Christmas, and boy does it show. I’ve given up on maintaining control inside the house — most department stores don’t have as much stuff as we do. His concession was the outside, and he agreed to keep it respectable. If he had free reign, our home would look like Snoopy’s dog house from a Charlie Brown Christmas.
Just about everyone enjoys coming to our home for the holidays, especially children (and those who never grew up). My nephew loves to turn on every toy that makes noise, stand in the middle of the room, and revel in the cacophony. Our cats make a fast exit when he comes over. I can only imagine what animals think of us humans and our noise!
When Joshua Leeds and I were writing Through A Dog’s Ear, we requested stories about animals and sound. We collected many accounts of music’s positive effect on pets, and we also received stories of animals who were not very tolerant. One of my favorite stories came to mind last week as we were preparing for New Year celebrations — noise makers, music, laughter and football games.
The story is about Rocky, a beautiful Bichon Frise, with the cutest face one can imagine. Rocky is accustomed to being around people and noise; she goes on hospital visits with her guardian, who educates people about Diabetes. But when it comes to music, Rocky has a different attitude.
Rocky and her family live here in central Ohio, home of The Ohio State University. If you have ever visited central Ohio, you know what passionate Buckeye fans we are. Rocky’s guardians are no different. They cheer wildly during OSU sporting events. Rocky hates OSU games, especially when TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band in the Land) starts playing the fight song. She leaps at the television in an effort to hit the power button. Her family was dismayed the first time this happened. They feared that Rocky was a fan of our arch rivals, the University of Michigan Wolverines. Angst filled the household.
As it turned out, Rocky just hated the hoopla. She let her guardians know that she was indeed a Buckeye, by allowing them to dress her in an OSU doggie sweater. She won’t wear anything but that sweater — she fights every other garment they put on her. So this New Year’s day, as Rocky’s family watched the Rose Bowl, there was peace in the house — as long as Rocky was in the other room.
May you and yours have a joyful 2010, full of hoopla!