Contentment

The contemplative creature peeking out from the leaves is not the twelve-week-old puppy I brought home nine years ago. My first month with Angel—all twelve weeks old—meant taking her out at 2:00 a.m.and then hearing her little yap two hours later, eager to leave her crate and play. Weary, I decided to set my CD alarm a few minutes before 4:30, hoping that maybe Angel would link Mozart for Meditation with wake-up time. Over a period of two months, her rising time stretched from five, to ten, and then to fifteen minute intervals. On a winter morning, just after 7:00 a.m., I opened an eye to check on her. Chrysanthemum face uplifted, inky eyes wide open, Angel sat silently. I smiled to myself. Oh, my goodness, she’s waiting for“Flute Concerto.”

Classical music became part of her waking, sleeping, and time-alone. By six months, Massenet, Elgar, and Brahms had serenaded her. Schubert and Mendelssohn sang her to sleep. Mozart and Chopin awakened her. I learned soon enough that not all classical music soothed her. If violins rose in frenzy, if trumpets blasted in triumph, she dragged her orange orangutan into another room.

She still prefers the mellow adagio and lullaby.

Tonight, with her black snub nose and alert, furry face, Angel watches me strum my dulcimer. Sometime during the Welsh classic “All through the Night,” she turns onto her back, relaxed and trusting. Contented. Sleep my child and peace attend thee, all though the night. Guardian Angels God will send thee, all through the night. After her walk, kibble-meal, and play-time with her stuffed owl, she’s ready to nestle among those jasmine leaves or curl up on her pillow, sure that Mozart’s flute and oboe will arrive any moment now to sing her to sleep.

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