Music To Our [Pets] Ear

I read a fascinating article today about the power and effect music has not only on human beings, but also all living creatures! A leading researcher named Joshua Leeds studies the effects of sound on the human nervous system, or “psychoacoustics”.

“Sound,” he says, “is a potent energy that should not be taken for granted.”

Sound effects our neurons and our body rhythms –  heart and breath rate, blood pressure, brain waves..just to name a few. The study process took an interesting turn when Leeds teamed with a veterinary neurologist named Susan Wagner. They discovered that the biorhythms of dogs were effected just as strongly as human.

Wells concluded: “It is well established that music influences our moods. Classical music, for example, can reduce levels of stress, whilst grunge music can promote hostility, sadness, tension and fatigue. It is now believed that dogs may be as discerning as humans when it comes to musical preference.”

I once read about a science project where mice subjected to hard rock music killed each other. By contrast, my red-heeler Joey gets very romantic when listening to classical music. He particularly enjoys his role playing sexy tenor to my soprano. We sing duet during daily practice sessions. (he has a high B flat that could put Pavarotti to shame…well, ok, at least I let him think so)!

An interesting sidebar included facts from various musical studies:

1. Chickens grew stronger when regularly listening to Classical Music.

2. Cattle were herded faster to the barn with strains of Country Music.

3. Dolphins swam in unique and ornate patterns while listening to Bach.

4. Cows that listened to Classical Music produced more milk

An entertaining New York Times article from 1909 details the effects of music on zoo animals such as elephants flapping their ears in time to the beat, and tigers rolling around gleefully  while listening to a grammophone. Leeds and Wagner have written a book all about the fascinating effects of sound (particularly music) on dogs. They went a step further to create special CDs designed to influence the dog psyche, such as “Driving Edition – Music to Calm Your Dog in the Car”  helping Fido relax on long road trips. Discerning doggie ears everywhere will soon be enjoying the complex patterns of Bach and the restful harmonies of Chopin. I just can’t resist suggesting their new slogan read:

“A ‘Frasier Crane’ Canine In Every Home”!

However, understanding the effect that sound has to transform us for good or ill, is not only interesting but valuable information.

“Calming music is a wonderful tool,” Wagner added. “And that’s important for the health and welfare not only of the dogs, but also of their guardians”

What a gift all of God’s creations are to us!

“The more I work with them, the more I’m convinced that our pets come into our lives to help us, to teach us. They are part of our families, and they help us along our path as humans. The best thing we can do for them is to appreciate that, be grateful for that. The more we listen to the wisdom and teaching they have for us, the more we will be our best as humans.” (highlights added)

This new research certainly bears witness to the majesty of our amazing world.

“All Creatures of Our God and King,

Lift Up Your Voice and With Us Sing – Alleluia!”

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