Sunday, 8 July 2012

All You Need is Love?

I played at a wonderful wedding yesterday. The bride was a colleague of one of my friends, and works in the same office that I used to work in. I met the bride and groom last year when they came round for a consultation before booking me to play for their wedding. They both love music, in particular the Beatles, and this was therefore a great opportunity to add some fantastic songs to my growing repertoire list.

They walked down the aisle after their ceremony to All You Need is Love by the Beatles.  A wonderful song, but tricky on many levels. Firstly the rhythm is not standard 4/4 - it's either in 7/4 or 4/4 then 3/4 depending on your point of view and the score you are using.... Secondly, the bit that makes the song is incredibly chromatic, which involves a lot of frantic footwork moving the pedals. In the chorus, where you sing "All You Need is Love (dah dah dah dah dahhhh)" the dah dah... bit is the part I mean. It was challenging but sounded great on the day, and I was trying not to be too choked when playing it.

Add to that a lovely venue with very helpful staff, and I was a very happy harpist when I got home yesterday.

Today has been a very slow day as I had a bit of a hangover this morning, having been out with one of my closest friends last night. I didn't have many plans apart from watching the MotoGP and the tennis, both of which were very entertaining. The tennis in particular was gripping, and very emotional at the end.

Today, my gorgeous greyhound girl Wendy has made bold steps and joined me on the sofa. In fact, she pushed Ronnie (boy hound) off so she could stay on with me.

Six months ago, I adopted two retired racers from my local Retired Greyhound Trust branch

It was love at first sight with Ronnie, who bounded into the RGT office and promptly went and hid under the desk. My heart leapt out of my chest. He then couldn't get out so waited patiently to be rescued, then went on the hunt for treats in the cupboards. I reserved him straight away. I had to wait a couple of weeks before I could take him home, so went to visit him a couple of times to make friends properly. The second time, after a nice long walk together, he refused to leave the office to go back to his kennel. I like to think we had bonded.

I didn't meet Wendy until the third time. I had wanted a second dog to keep Ronnie company. She had been returned to the kennels by another family who had changed their minds. They had given the kennels a load of pithy excuses about her behaviour, none of which stacked up, so the kennel suggested she should be returned to save any toing and froing and to give her the best chance of finding a good home.

She is smaller than Ronnie, and as soft as silk to touch. She has a slightly curly tail, which we think was broken and then didn't quite heal straight. She had the biggest ears for a little dog, almost like an Alsatian. Wendy is on the left below, Ronnie is snoozing on the right.

Ronnie had never been in a home before, but settled very quickly apart from a slight nervousness around strangers in the house. He was very affectionate from the very start, and quickly learnt his name and the word No. 

Wendy did well too, but has kept herself to herself pretty much since Day 1. She has always been happiest in her bed, on her own. Or sunning herself in the garden, again on her own. I have never tried to force this, feeling that she would come round when she was ready. She has always operated on her own timescale, particularly going out into the garden for a last visit before bedtime. She responds to her name with a little wag of her tail, and then ignores you and carries on with whatever she was sniffing.

Ronnie discovered the sofa within a couple of hours of moving in, and has rarely moved since, and he loves nothing better than wriggling up for a good cuddle with his head tucked in the crook of my elbow and resting on my lap.

I'm delighted that Wendy has recently started to wander through into the living room regularly, and likes to lie by my feet. She loves a fuss around the ears, and is very content to stand and have a stroke.  Even better, just the last couple of days, she has been found on the sofa, but until today, as soon as I sat down with her, she would spook and run off.

Today she has hopped up to sit with me, and to my great surprise, chased Ronnie off when he tried to join in. He took the hint, and chose the other sofa instead. Wise boy.

So I have had a very enjoyable afternoon, with one dog on one sofa, and one dog on another. Greyhounds are known to snooze a lot, and I'm afraid their slumber was frequently interrupted today, as the tennis was quite tense and I got rather into the spirit of the game.

Poor Wendy is covered in bumps, dings and scars on the outside, hallmarks of a tough life as a racer. Ronnie has lots too, but Wendy has more. Gradually though, she is coming out of her shell and growing in confidence all the time. She barks less at other dogs on our walks. I feel very proud that this beautiful little dog (well, little as greyhounds go at least) is starting to enjoy life and settle in. She's very camera shy but I managed to sneak this little picture of her recently.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful post. As for Wendy, well "all she needs is love" and you are giving that in abundance on her terms. She will soon be a permanent fixture on that sofa. Poor Ronnie.