String Quartets and a Dog

Unexpected dose of Mozart string quartets yesterday, thanks to the local Humane Society.

I ended up spending an extra 45 minutes or so in the car yesterday, listening to the Talich quartet play Mozart. This is one of the quartets, I think same recording but different packaging. I have a boxed set of them playing the complete quartets, and it’s really enjoyable – one of those things I listen to over and over and never get sick of. If anything ever pushes me to take up the violin again, it will be Mozart’s chamber music.

But the reason I was in the car for so long was that there has been a little bit of a dog problem at my house this week. A dog, a hyper and very friendly dog, showed up when I got home on Monday and leapt all over me as I went into the house. I figured it was the neighbors’. But it isn’t. It was still there Tuesday morning, Tuesday evening on the porch waiting for human attention, Wednesday morning (the poor fellow followed me to my car and then tried to chase after it) Wednesday evening, Thursday morning . . . The dog would sleep curled in a little ball next to my front door, and whenever I opened it in the morning I was greeted with waggy tail, big doggy eyes, big floppy doggy ears – you know how it is.

Since I live just outside the city limits, Animal Control couldn’t do anything. There is no leash law in the county (there is within the city limits) so people can just let their dogs roam and it’s perfectly legal, even though they might be hit by cars, or be a nuisance or a danger to people, depending on the temper of the dog. This dog had a collar but no tags, nothing to indicate who might be its owner. So, after four days of being shadowed by this very friendly dog who was probably quite hungry and needed a bath and a nail trim and someone to look at its left eye for a possible infection, I felt sort of obligated to do something – if the poor thing had gotten hit by a car or something, I would have felt like it was my fault.

However, the shelter is only open between twelve and five, so I had to drive to work, write 2/3 of a lecture on why the early Jamestown settlers were so unable to get their shit together, drive home, find the dog (quite easy, as he came to meet me as soon as he saw the car) coax the dog into the back seat (again easy, once I got into the car myself) and convey the dog to the shelter. The dog did not appear to have any objection to Mozart. He seemed like a very sweet-tempered animal and healthy, and I thought about asking if I could adopt him if he turned out not to have a home, but having read their adoption criteria I do not think I would meet their standards. My yard isn’t adequately fenced, for one thing. If he has owners, perhaps they will call the shelter looking for him, and get him back.

I also got to overhear a great phone conversation between the woman at reception at the shelter and what sounded like an undergraduate who did not like her new cat. “No,” the shelter employee was telling her, “no, give it the full two weeks, and then if you still aren’t getting along, maybe bring her back then – are you playing with the cat? Do you have a roommate; can the roommate maybe spend some time with the cat while you’re in class, so she gets used to the new surroundings?” She seemed as if she was trying to calm the poor frustrated new-cat-owner down – part of me wishes I could know how this turns out.

2 thoughts on “String Quartets and a Dog

    1. A secure fence is in the works. It’s really just the gate, which does not close properly. So after my landlord replaces the window screens, I may nudge him about the gate. Or I could fix the gate myself, I guess. And then I may be back to the shelter for dog adoption – if not that dog, then maybe a different one.

      Excavation is a good word for email inboxes – my students have a paper due today and there is always a torrent of email the evening before.


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