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I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last night we experienced heavy rain and the loudest thunderstorms of my life. Since I grew up in Syracuse, NY, where summertime thunderstorms were plentiful, that’s saying a lot. The loud booming sounds woke me up around 3 in the morning. My dog, Sanchez, however barely noticed the sounds of thunder. I think he only slightly noticed that I was awake and moving about.
I have received hundreds of emails telling me stories of how much the music of Through a Dog’s Ear has helped dogs during thunderstorms. In honesty, I was momentarily jealous that I couldn’t test it on my dog, but that feeling didn’t last long. I soon became very thankful that he doesn’t have sound phobias and has a very solid temperament that has served him well on so many occasions.
I remember when he was a puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind and it was our first July 4th together. I was prepared with so many calming techniques (including my music) and he literally sat with me on my mother’s porch and just watched the fireworks, completely unaffected by the sounds.
I wouldn’t have been so surprised by his calm demeanor last night, except that the thunder was so loud that it even rattled me a little. Then I reflected on his breeding. Sanchez was bred by Guide Dogs for the Blind. A successful guide dog is confident, calm, smart, and very reliable. And although he didn’t make the final cut to be a working guide dog, many of his character traits would have served him well in that work.
Since he was bred to be a working dog, he loves to “work” – whether that means greeting students at my music school, or running agility courses, or acting in theater – he likes staying busy and he likes being the center of attention. If he had a tag line, it would be “It’s All About Me.”
Are there ways that your dog works in a traditional or untraditional sense? Please click “comment” below to share your story.