TV, radio cause stress
Ask Ollie August 3, 2012 4:16PM
Updated: September 6, 2012 6:20AM
Dear Readers: Does music really soothe the savage beast? Well, most pet owners believe that leaving the television or radio on for “company” when we are “home alone” is a good thing. Unfortunately, that habit could be more harmful than constructive.
I have heard several studies suggest television and radio can actually create stress for us because of the drastic changes in programming and the random mix of musical styles.
Just imagine listening to a shock jock like Howard Stern one minute and then next up is Garrison Keeler from “A Prairie Home Companion.” What about rap music in contrast to the 1940s band sound?
Think about this, how scared would you be if you were me and suddenly heard loud gunshots, sirens, dogs barking or cats mewing on television or radio?
I know I’m really scared when I hear thunder or fireworks that are real and I have been known to howl at the television set when a dog barks.
So, I am told that classical harp music is used around the world to alleviate stress in people and animals. Even animal shelters are installing sound systems and using music to create a more serene environment.
It makes sense to leave the house and play classical music for us but certainly not German composer Ludwig van Beethoven. He’s a bit too heavy for my tastes.
I like listening to Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, German composer Johannes Brahms and German composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to mention a few. I absolutely do not like the group Nine Inch Nails and I hate Lady Gaga’s singing though Barbra Streisand is tolerable.
So, gather a few CDs and play them for your pets and see which ones are relaxing for them.
Any pet parent can spend lots of money purchasing a special music CD for their pet. However, I’m a big fan of just selecting a calming and soothing dynamic in some very smooth music and observing if and when the pet relaxes and falls asleep.
Dear Readers: I found out on my walk near a marsh last week that baby salamanders don’t taste very good.
I was walking and saw this green thing fly up from the marsh and I caught it in my mouth. Pretty cool, huh?
It tasted so bad that I foamed at the mouth, slobbered, spit, drooled and shook my head repeatedly. I was real attractive.
My woman human thought I had been poisoned and sprung into action by flushing my mouth out with her bottled water over and over again.
I don’t know what was worse, the bitter salamander taste or that awful drenching. Clearly, she over reacted.
I believe it is because all summer she has been watching a Showtime’s “The Borgias.” In that series, about 14th-century life in Rome, someone dies a horrible death at least once an episode and death by poison is scripted a lot.
But I wasn’t poisoned because there are only two species of poisonous toads in the United States — the Colorado River toad and the marine toad in Florida. There is only one species of poisonous salamander — the California newt.
So I lucked out living in Indiana.