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Monday, April 19

Quincy & Frasier

When we first brought Quincy home from the shelter, every city noise made him hide. The shelter was deep in the country and he didn't know what traffic sounds were, let alone sirens and bus backfires. The TV freaked him for a while. I spent a lot of time comforting him and encouraging him to not be afraid. He got used to it all in time. Now he is fearless. Or so I thought.

We do not live in a quiet house. The TV is usually on, even when we are not in the room. Or there is music. The radio in the kitchen is usually tuned to NPR when I am cooking. I have a propensity for "girly" computer games that click and whirr as the jewels drop and I am known to sing loud and often, sometimes in a Lucy falsetto, for no reason whatsoever and without warning. None of these things make the dog's ears perk. He does bark at dogs on TV because we think he sees the TV as a window and there is a dog out there.

A month or so ago, Quincy woke from a deep doggy sleep he was enjoying snuggled between his two people on a warm quilt and he began to howl. As if he was in pain. Or fear. We petted and comforted him and he seemed to be fine as he dropped right back to sleep. It happened again the next night. We were perplexed.

And then, about a week ago, I was watching an old Frasier re-run as I drank my morning coffee and, as the credits rolled and Frasier sang about "tossed salad and scrambled eggs", Quincy began to whimper, then cry and then, for the first time in his young life: howl. The first one sort of worked its way out as if he didn't quite know what it was or what it was going to do. It was a baby howl. Then he pointed his chin to the heavens and let rip a series of plaintive cries that intensified as they went on. I could only stare at him in amazement and then did what any sadistic pet owner does. I replayed the theme song. He did it again.

I couldn't wait for Russell to come home.

We watch Frasier a lot. Some of those jokes never get old. Quincy didn't just now hear the closing theme. And then I thought about his "nightmare". Both nights I had gone to bed and turned to "Project Runway" hoping to stay awake long enough for the runway show. Well, that didn't happen, but Frasier comes on right after that and now I'm thinking that is what woke him (and us) up. The song. Did the song play into some doggie nightmare he was having at the time and now it is a fear thing? Did he just now realize how annoying that "tossed salad and scrambled eggs" line is?

You tell me.

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