Last week I was in my car, windows rolled partially down, my dog Zoey sunbathing on the passenger side when Blister In The Sun by Violent Femmes came on the radio. I turned it up and began singing because I’m sure it’s against the law not to do so. As I belted out the inappropriate and dated words that I looove, Zoey made a strange whining-wailing noise I’d never heard before.
I switched off the radio to hear her better. She stopped and turned her long neck so she could see me. We regarded at each other. Nothing seemed wrong, so I turned the radio back on and got back to singing.
Again, I heard Zoey over the speakers, her head lifted, nose pointing into the wind, yowling. Of course, I was offended. My dog hated my voice! It was auditions at my high school’s competition choir all over again. I thought I was a decent singer until those tryouts—but then, everyone’s a great vocalist behind the steering wheel or inside the sound safety of hot running water in a shower.
When I stopped singing, Zoey stopped moaning. My heart sagged and felt as if it turned dark brown. We finished running my errands with the radio down low and me not humming a word. Thank goodness David Bowie didn’t come on, I wouldn’t have been able to help myself, and Zoey would have jumped out the window!
Later, during dinner, I repeated the story to my kids, but they both didn’t understand why I felt defeated.
“Zoey was singing with you,” Lorrin said.
“Yeah, she probably was.” Nate agreed though neither had experienced this with our dog before.
It hadn’t occurred to me that her cry wasn’t a reflection of how badly I sang, but that she wanted to croon along. See, it’s proof; you just can’t help yourself when Violent Femmes comes on, and that’s why it’s probably against the law to remain silent when one does.
I’m tempted to try out this theory, blast Blister In The Sun once more just to verify that Zoey’s a singer and not a critic, but what if my dog doesn’t sing after all?