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Harps & Pets

  • Rod
    Rod C.

    Hello:

    Having read another thread here (about the animal shelter; there were also discussions of pets), I thought it might be fun to start a new thread to share experiences we've had with our harps and our pets.  I know there have been posts of this nature in years past, but I also know we have many, many harpists here who are dog/animal lovers. Anyone care to share an anecdote?  I have one.

    I have a little white Maltese (age 3). Wiithin the past few months, when I play the harp, she comes and sits at the base of the harp and just stares at me intently. I don't know why she does it. I don't think it's because she likes the music--she's had two years of not paying attention to it. My best guess is that perhaps she would rather I give her my attention...rather than the harp. I don't know the answer, but whatever the reason, it's fun to watch her!

    I know there are some other pet stories out there; I would enjoy hearing them!

    Cheers,

    Rod C.

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    replies to "Harps & Pets"
    • David
      David Ice

      My first dog, a terri-poo named Mike, actually seemed to learn the end of pieces.  He would not bother me at all, but as I got to the last page or so of a major work (i.e. Clair de lune) he'd come up by me, and by the last couple of bars, he'd be pawing my leg and wanting some cuddles.  He would get very annoyed if I'd back up and go over a section, almost looking at me as if to say, "Hey!  That was the end, I know it was!"

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    • Dawn
      Dawn Penland

      My dogs don't care anything about the harp.  They just watch for when I take a shower, that means it's time for a walk.  The cat used to come when I'd finish on the harp but now she sits on the bench while I'm playing.  That makes it hard to practice.  The canary knows all my songs from start to finish and has made up his own accompaniment.

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    • Louise
      Louise Vickerman

      I adopted a 3 yr old Shih-tzu about a year ago from the county shelter, he loves the harp & when I start tuning it he comes running from wherever he is in the house & plops himself down on the chair next to me. When I teach he gets quite indignant that I'm now sitting in "his" chair & tries to jump up on the student's lap which isn't very helpful! My husband plays trumpet & when he practices he doesn't mind a bit, when he first heard the trumpet he would sit up on his hind legs & peer up the bell, really funny!

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    • Kay
      Kay Lister

      My little Jackrussell (Maddie) always loved to sit IN MY LAP when I was practicing the lever harp.  Now that I am more on the pedal harp, because of obvious "dancing feet", she no longer is allowed on my lap.  She has a pad right at the base of the harp and most times lays perfectly content on it. BUT, on several occasions, I will attempt to change a pedal and the Mighty Miss Maddie is SITTING right on it.  Hmmmm . . . don't know if she wants to do her part of block my attempt.  She will just turn her little head up, nose straight in the air looking back at me like "now what are you going to do"?

      Kay

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    • David
      David Ice

      I have been raising 4 daschund puppies, and man it's REALLY hard trying to pedal when 1) they like to crawl under the pedals (especially in flat) and 2) they love to nibble on toes!

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    • Andy
      Andy B

      My two pekingese occasionally like to nap with their heads propped on the base of the harp...so I find myself cleaning pekingese snot off my harp periodically. And I have had to make them move from underfoot so I could pedal without squashing them!

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    • Laura
      Laura Smithburg Byrne

      What a wonderful post!

      My dogs Sugar and Spike are a constant source of inspiration and amusement and frequently stay in my studio with me when I practice. Sugar my golden mutt likes to stay near me in the room but doesn't interfere with my practice except for rolling around on her back with the occasional groan of boredom.

      On the other hand, Spike my lab mutt will lay in between the harp and my feet and refuse to move until I give him the affection he wants.

      I call it the puppy practice tax.

      I don't mind though, he is so loyal and adorable I can never say no.

      My pets have frequently brought me back to reality when I am chained to the bench under a practice deadline.

      Although I try to lock them both up when I teach, they occasionally escape and come bounding down the stairs to say howdy to my students.

      It is always comic fun for everyone because they are so sweet and friendly.

      Pets are such a joy, where would we be without them! : )

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    • Armande
      Armande Fryatt

      Oh absolutely. My cat Neil always paws at my leg when I practice. It's like he is trying to say "PLEASE STOP THAT RACKET!!"

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    • Lisa
      Lisa Green

      I'm really not a cat person, but my teacher's cats appear to have taken to me. They never come up to her studio when she's playing, but one of them once jumped into my lap as I was having my lesson. And last week, the other one started climbing up the base of the harp. My teacher said she was getting jealous!


      Lisa

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    • Shelby
      Shelby M

       We have an old tiger cat (who I don't trust as far as I can throw and has attacked me more times than I can remember during the 11 or so years we've had him) and he comes into my room when I am practicing.... even if the door is shut and locked, he manages to get in and starts rubbing on the legs of my chair and walking back and forth under my legs.  I have a lever harp so I don't have to worry about him interfering with pedaling.  I usually end up booting him outside because he tends to attack when you're not looking.

      My harp teacher just got a kitten a few weeks ago and he likes to jump into my lap and peer into the holes on the back of the soundbox, or sit on the base of the harp while I'm playing.

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    • Rod
      Rod C.

      Hello:

      It's fun hearing about different pets and how they react to the harp. I mentioned the little Maltese that likes to sit at the base of the harp and watch my hands intently.  Prior to this behavior, every time I would sit down at the harp and put my feet on the pedals, she would routinely come and rest her head on my foot. 

       She would never rest her head on my foot any other time (like when I'm watching tv etc)...but when I sat at the harp, she would make a bee line for my foot.  She hasn't done that lately...but has taken to staring at me as I play.

      Dogs and cats...what wonderful creatures they are!

      Cheers,

      Rod C.

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    • Donna
      Donna O

      My Bichon Andy always comes and lays down right in front of my harp when I play and will stay there as long as I am playing.   He seems to enjoy it.   He will do the same thing even when I am having a lesson.   It's doesn't bother him how well I play.   He's my best audience.

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    • Minnesota
      Minnesota Harpist

      This was such fun to read.  One of my dogs has come and laid beside my harp as I played, but generally they are gated in the kitchen when I'm practicing as I can't watch them (otherwise they are always with me).  I think I'll let her out and see if she does it all the time after reading this.  Thanks for the postings, they were all fun to read.

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    • Jessica
      Jessica Wolff

      I've had cats who love the harp and cats who hate it.

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    • hitomi
      hitomi momose

      Lucky is a mix breed dog from a local rescue and is fear aggressive; stranger people and dogs can not get close to him...a case that is less severe than those shown in TV.  He is very mellow when I play the harp, sits within a foot of my harp and lays down quietly. 

      Molly is another mix breed dog from rescue and she does not care about music or harp.  She is in the backyard when I play the harp.

       

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    • Kate
      Kate Hopkins

      I have 2 cats and a Great Dane, neither really seam to have any interest in the harp. However, I also own horses...

      2 years ago I did a photo shoot with a friend modeling. The horse (posing as a unicorn) was in an irritated mood and was difficult at best during the shoot, requiring a rider to control him and be carefully cropped out of shots. Near the end of the shoot, we decided to use a harp, the model knew some basic pieces and happily played....suddenly  everything changed, the horse (Named Guy) was curious, fascinated and placid.





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    • David
      David Ice

      I love those pictures!!! Wonderful!

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    • Jessica
      Jessica Wolff

      They sure are!

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    • Diane
      Diane McClung

      I absolutely love these photos! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Laura
      Laura Smithburg Byrne

      What wonderful pictures thanks for sharing these with everyone!

      Who says music doesn't "soothe the savage beast"!

      That is what I love about animals, they tell is like it is.

      For all the staging to create the perfect shot, the truth is in the feeling towards the harpist and the music she creates.

      That's amore!

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