By Agnes Davies*

International Dog Day – 26 August observed annually to honour all dogs – no matter shape, size, age, and breed – and encourage adoption to all those who have yet to find a home and a family furever

Simba our cocker spaniel whom we adopted at 10 months, sings a song every once in a while. It is mostly by instinct. First time it happened we were flabbergasted, to put it mildly! Suddenly and out of the blue, your dog tips his head back and howls right along in tune. We may have even wondered fleetingly at the effect of the full moon gazing placidly and unblinkingly at us!  

 It is accepted that dogs might even impressively join in with music playing on television! Or the sound of a siren! Howling is in the nature of cocker spaniels. For us, it is another side of his loveable, adorable identity.  

 Sometimes, crooning along to whatever tune strikes him creates a small pandemonium; that includes any random ditty or jingle. “Yabba dabba dooo” is highly infectious and can set Simba off! It sounds like a yodel, with the tones going up and down.  Another favourite is “Tagra Raho” (meaning ‘be strong’), salutation of the Assam Regiment of the Indian Army. The Army Colonel at home calls out the war cry and it is echoed back splendidly in full throated measure for measure! We sing awful parody tunes for him that often times (actually, most of the time!!) make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

 Throwing back his head, shaking his golden curly hair and rendering a rapturously ecstatic tune! The sound of music can be so highly imaginative and cute; you can chuckle with laughter alongside!  It’s his way of reminding us of his ‘favourite things’. Simba loves his veggies – Crunchy carrots and boiled potatoes bring out the drools. His special privilege is opening up packages and strewing bits of it everywhere.

I am roughly translating his merry yodelling and excitable notes to lyrics, and it goes something like this:

 Smells from the kitchen and chasing pigeons on the fence,

Bright red carrots, potatoes & chicken,
Brown paper packages tied up with strings,

These are a few of my favourite things.

We see how fiercely loyal, affectionate, and emotional our furry companion can be to Lyn, our daughter. Simba loves to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ jingle with her and birthday greetings are incomplete without Simba’s impressive audio support!  No matter whether he is wide awake or in the land of snooze or dreamland, Simba does not like to be excluded and will sing along.

 No, Simba probably isn’t the world’s next singing sensation on America’s Got Talent! The likelihood of a performance on Indian Idol is also not imminent! But he can vocalize his barks in an almost jovial, delightful and thrilling tone! And make it a pawsome day!

 You can catch a glimpse of his performance on his Instagram handle @Simbatails.

 “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing” – George Bernard Shaw

*Mrs Agnes Davies is the Director Academics & Principal of Sherwood High, Bangalore. She is a profound Educationist and an avid Pet Lover. You can visit her blog at https://agnes27davies.wixsite.com/blog.

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