So my Boyfriend (“B”) and I decided to move in together about a year ago. We found a perfect house with lots of character and in a really great location. What happiness! I will call this house First House.
Then we decided that we wanted to save money and we somehow convinced his parents to let their grownass child and his grownass girlfriend move into their house. This is our story.
B’s parents adopted a rescue dog from Labrador last year. I will call him T. T is an entirely beautiful pup. He has silky fur and a fluffy tail and a big smiley face. His eyes even have perfect black outlines as if he had gone to the doggy salon and had eyeliner applied by a doggy makeup professional.
T is also kind of a jerk. He doesn’t try to be but that doesn’t change that yesterday when I was vacuuming in the bathroom (I couldn’t find the Swiffer…whatever) when I turned my back for a moment he managed to get into the garbage can after which he delicately scattered tissues all over the house where I had just finished vacuuming.
And he thinks everything is food. Your toys aren’t food. Grass isn’t food. The cream that I just put on my legs isn’t food. Only your food is Food.
And he doesn’t play fetch which is maddening because that game is SO LITTLE EFFORT FOR SUCH CONSISTENT REWARD. He only plays keepaway and I am not going into the garden with you and chasing you for 20 minutes. I’m not.
He’s not a jerk like Joffrey he’s more of a jerk like Draco who is really just a harmless minionfollowing mom and dad’s orders and is going to cry at the end of the series instead of following through. You know…he’s kind of just an innocent do do.
But regardless, T has his good qualities like being an excellent walking companion, making me feel very loved, and barking at intruders who could be murderers or thieves or bearded men.
I am getting ready for a recital of opera and art song in July. So, when we moved into B’s parents’ house, we put my keyboard in the living room. B’s parents were off on a grand adventure in Europe so keeping the keyboard in the open and practicing there seemed like a great idea. So, the living room became my Practice Room.
I have a regular practice schedule of a first practice in the morning before work and a second round at lunch or in the evening. Not long after moving in, B was gone and I decided it was a perfect time to practice. I gathered my books and meandered into the Practice Room and started doing lip buzzing to gently warm up my vocal chords. You know what I’m talking about – that sound like you’re driving a dinky car.
From there, I started doing ascending and descending fourths. Just a nice, calm way to get the vocal chords and the mind ready to work.
Then, I turned to the octave and the fourth, so that if you start singing from middle C, you end up at the F an octave above that.
The Practice Room was getting progressively noisier and louder. T was staring at me like I was either a terrifying bearded man or a precious queen from heaven. He cocked his head and then let out…a Howl.
Now, I mentioned above that T is from Labrador and allegedly he has a bit of wolf in him. In case there was ever a question of whether that was true, I think I can definitely answer that yes. This is true. T is actually a wolf hiding in a beautiful, German shepherd looking dog body.
T’s Howl was not like normal dogs howls. This Howl was equal parts enormous and despondent. This Howl was like a trumpeting series of thunder crashes announcing the End of Days.
I stopped for a minute thinking oh maybe he just wanted one go at it. He stopped. I picked back up. He Howled depressing, reverberating Howls. I went over and comforted him,”oh don’t worry T, here let me pet you, please shut up, I’ll give you a belly rub and a treat”.
I was not really in a position to not be practicing at this point. The recital was rapidly approaching and if I was going to get both sessions in that day, it had to happen here. And now.
I know! I think to myself. I’ll put T Outdoors.
I mean…which sweet dog doesn’t love regular outdoors, let alone T’s Outdoors? T’s Outdoors has a little pond at the end, a vast area to play and jump, and lots of room to do whatever T does when we aren’t trying and failing to teach him fetch. Outdoors is best.
I got T Outdoors. I closed the door, and with a self satisfied smile headed back to the Practice Room.
I picked up where I left off and things were going pretty good. The voice was moving, it was open and spinning and…
T was Outdoors far from the Practice Room and somehow all he can do is Howl. From the neighbour’s point of view, you have this poor beautiful dog outside Howling bloody murder in the backyard for 30 whole minutes. And don’t be mistaken – the Howling isn’t cute. The Howling sounds like T was tortured, maimed, or forced to spend time with a bearded man and is crying for help.
I carried on because WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO. I was stuck between a rock and a hard place where I could either stop and let T and the Howling win, or I could push on through. I did. I pushed on through.
From the sounds of things, while I sang the extremely dramatic and loud coloratura and high Cs from Meyerbeer’s “Nobles Seignuers, Salut” while T was in the back yard outdoing my efforts by Howling the Queen of the Night’s high Fs.
I worked on Carmen’s “Habanera” and while I came down through the smooth chromatic lines I heard the sound of the Howls, like T was being chased by a White Walker.
I moved into the simplicity of some Poulenc art song and T is like “HONESTLY EFF THIS BORING NONSENSE” and Howled like the diva he is disappointed that I am not.
So outside B’s parents’ house was the sounds of a dog Howling like a maniac who is trying to escape a hostage situation and inside B’s parents’ house was the sounds of a crazy woman singing opera like WHAT I CAN’T HEAR YOU and inside my body I was tense and thinking – on repeat – my hobby is so relaxing and so fulfilling and I have made all the right decisions in life, my hobby is so relaxing and so fulfilling and I have made all the right decisions in life, my hobby is so relaxing and so fulfilling and I have made all the right decisions in life, my hobby is…
Part 3: The Need Arises for Me to Barbeque is coming soon.