Monday, October 10, 2011

Rose's Lullaby

Life is funny sometimes!! Comical to the point of hilarity, even. Truly!! And occasionally, some things just happen, nearly magical, that bring about a simple solution to an ongoing issue!! Rose bays. From the Beagle within her. "What's a bay?" people oft ask me. My answer? A cross between a howl and a cry. That is my definition of the word, anyway!! Not a howl. No. Rose seldom ever howls!! Not a cry, either, but close enough!! It is a high-pitched, eardrum piercing, "siren-like howl" that residences in China must hear!! Seriously. When Rose bays, it sounds as though she has just been stabbed!! Literally!! I have tried seemingly everything to train this out of her. Gently "muzzling" Rose's mouth with my hands, giving the "Quiet" command, being firm, accepting her baying as "It is what it is". Nothing works!! But apparently, Rose likes it when I sing. Yes, sing!! It can be a Christmas song. An ancient church hymn. Or the chorus to a country song. Fast. Slow. Or out-of-tune!! It does not matter. Dogs never criticize!! The other morning, on Saturday, my sister was sleeping in. Trying to, at least!! I was sitting on our living room floor, stroking Rose's velvet-soft fur, when in the front door walks my Dad!! My mongrel barked and barked. "Rose, quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet!!" I commanded her. She refused to obey. Fine.... So I then grabbed Rose's collar and gently pulled her toward our great room. Really. My strong, stubborn girl tensed up every muscle within her neck. How does a medium-sized canine even do that? The German Shepherd within her, perhaps? During our human/dog tug-of-war, Rose's barking was swiftly changing itself into baying!! Uh, oh. I somehow managed to lead her into the great room. Quickly closed our French doors. And the baying began!! "Rose Quiet. Quiet. Quiet. Quiet!!" She did not obey. I gently "muzzled" Rose's mouth. Still no obedience!! I was losing my patience. I then attempted to shush her. "Shhhh, shhhh, shhhh, shhhh, shhhh, shhhh...." Nope. She continued on with her baying!! Controlling a howling dog is like quieting an upset fit-throwing toddler.
Difficult!! For Rose's baying is instinctive!! And once it happens, it happens!! Finally I began to sing!! And, quite by coincidence, I sang the lullaby "Hush Little Baby"!! Funny.... Only I did not have its words memorized. I just knew the tune!! So I looked it up.

Hush Little Baby
Hush little baby, don't say a word,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a mockingbird.
And if that mockingbird won't sing,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a diamond ring.
If that diamond ring turns brass,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a looking glass.
If that looking glass gets broke,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a billy goat.
If that billy goat won't pull,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a cart and bull.
If that cart and bull turns over,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a dog named Rover.
If that dog named Rover won't bark,
(Mama's) gonna buy you a horse and cart.
If that horse and cart fall down,
You'll still be the sweetest baby in town!

Interesting lullaby!! But much more comforting than "Rock-A-Bye Baby", that's for sure!! The words I found were "Papa", not Mama. However, I altered them!! Rose, hearing my voice, stopped her baying instantaneously!! Who would have guessed!!

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