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Violist’s Best Friend

February 20, 2011

Emma joined our family a year ago last Thanksgiving.  My sister, dog lover extraordinaire, had been begging for another K-9 addition to our home.  She perused the shelter sites daily, researched breeds, checked every book on dog breeds out of the library, and perfected the art of nagging… I mean, pleading 🙂  The day before Thanksgiving, two dogs were posted on the local animal shelter website.  Alerting all of us that there was a Westie there, whom she claimed would make a great pair to our mom-loving-squirrel-chasing-non-dogfood-eating Westie.  But there was also a pup labeled as a poodle mix-a stray that was the most unfortunate recipient of the name “Trixie”.  Thank goodness those little eyes won my heart on the website, because before our family knew what we were about that little miniature Goldendoodle had wormed her way into our hearts.  Sweet little Emma (Trixie was much too degrading for such  a cutie) is what we like to refer to as the perfect dog, she is all sweetness, gentleness and so eager to please.  And she is brilliant.  This dog is so smart we can’t think of anything else to teach her.  She can do everything already.

But here is where the friendship begins.

Our house is filled with music for many hours each day.  Between the piano, cello, viola practice in addition to all of my students lessons we were rather apprehensive about how Emma would react to all of it.  To our amazement, she immediately took a liking to the viola.  Every day she would trot into the music room when she fist heard my viola case open.  She proceeded to stay for the entire length of practice time- and that is usually around 4 hours.  Much to my utter amazement, she sat through every viola lesson that I taught.  But whenever the violinists began to tune, she was out of there!

The night before a major concert, I realized long after I had been in bed that there was a page of music that hadn’t been practiced that week.  I made my way to the music room and opened my case.  Just my fingers began to move the zippers, I heard “thump thump thump” on the stairs, little Emma’s head appearing at the top of the staircase.  She proceeded to curl up on the couch and stay for the entire practice session.  When the viola went back into its case, I heard “thump thump thump” back down the stairs.   That is what I call dedication.

This dog must be part angel, she is the joy of this year. I will miss the scratching on my door two hours before my alarm goes off because she wants to curl up at my feet while I sleep.  I will miss my practice partner, her romping through the snow all the while trying to eat as much as she can, and having the soft feel of her tongue giving me kisses.  How I will miss this bundle of grace, kindness and encouragement.

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From → Gap Year Life

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