Friday, March 13, 2015

*Does* music soothe the savage beast?

Sometimes Elka is whiny and anxious for no reason that we can tell. Sometimes it's something we can do nothing about at the moment, like ice falling off the side of the house (note to self: insulation).

She can be distracted, and sometimes consoled, but the same thing doesn't work all the time. A peanut butter Kong only does so much when you stop licking it periodically to mohawk up and grumble around the first floor. I think it's worse for her if we know what the deal is, because we can't make her understand. Sometimes "leave it" just isn't good enough. In a way, this is a "willful disobedience" sort of situation; we're telling her, "it's okay, get over it", but she's like "no, for serious, THERE'S SOMETHING DANGEROUS WHY DON'T YOU CARE??!!?!?!"

So at one point during this one Sunday, for our own sanity, we turned to listening to music. You know how conversation can make you think of a song? Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" came surface, so we brought it up on YouTube.

And Elka calmed down.

We then listened to "Hey Joe", which had the same effect (or at least maintained it).

I'm fairly certain I've listened to one of both of these songs around Elka in her life, but I never remember them having a soothing effect on her before. Maybe it was just the right combination of factors? The level of guitar complication may or may not matter; Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" seemed to kind of break the spell actually. Maybe it's the drumbeat she didn't like?  I guess more experimentation is in order, and this is far from scientific anyway.

Have you ever tried to use music to soothe your "savage" beast?  What's worked at your house?


  1. I'm sorry that Elka gets anxious sometimes. We use music or other things on the radio when there are noises outside that we don't want our dogs to get anxious about (to cover up the outside noises). We also use a thundershirt - and it does wonders for both dogs.

    1. sometimes she gets like, existentially anxious, which makes it that much more weird. She seems to have such good communication with what we tell her (...sometimes), I really wish she could express to us better what the deal is.