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Published: Monday, 6/30/2008

Music for pets? Boy, are they barking up the wrong tree!

The pink CD insert reads: Music For Pets.

So, being the curious sort, I stopped to try and figure out exactly what kinds of music pets prefer.

I know that Fluffy and Fido can be rambunctious when their owners are absent. I suppose soothing music would calm them so drapes aren t shredded and the contents of trash cans aren t strewn about.

Further, I suspect the poor dogs and cats might be bored without stimulation of humans or other companionship.

Many seniors I know are so attached and devoted to their pets that their days and schedules revolve around the animals comfort and perceived needs.

I understand the importance of tending to a dog after a few hours, but I have also heard some owners express concern that their pet is lonely when they are gone.

How do these owners know this?

Most dogs and cats I have known are content to curl up and snooze at the slightest lack of stimulation. Therefore, I reason, when the owners are gone, they simply sleep.

The older pets, especially, prefer sleep to activity, much like some of their senior owners.

Apparently, I am in error about the pets needs. And several music companies are peddling the antidote to these concerns.

The CD that caught my eye has three lengthy tracks of New Age music. Suggested retail price is $16.98. That s $118.86 in dog money.

It is soothing, without question, but is what I call wallpaper music. It sort of hangs there and goes nowhere, heavy on piano without any discernible melody.

To a human, it is more boring than soothing.

But how do we know that a dog or cat doesn t find it annoying? And if we re concerned about boredom, wouldn t a radio in the background be just as effective or more?

Dogs or cats I have owned never had trouble napping with either music blaring or absolute silence.

The album tracks are titled Twin Souls, Heart To heart and Free Spirits. Of course, that begs the question: Why are they titled at all? The pets can t read, so far as I know.

Why not just an hour of music? Certainly, there s no need for three distinct tunes on a CD left to play by itself, perhaps in repeat mode.

Clearly, this is meant to attract the pet owners. If so, then there are some songs that should have been included.

A few of my suggestions follow. Please excuse a touch of poetic license.

Anything from Gershwin s Corgi And Bess, Devo s rock classic Whippet, Simon and Garfunkel s The Boxer, the Forties jump blues hit Chow Chow Ch Boogie, and Louis Armstrong's When The Saint Bernards Go Marchin In.

Enough, already?

Also, they should enlist the vocal talents of such stalwarts as Joe Cocker and Cat Stevens.

Maybe even the Pointer Sisters.

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