Few things in life tug at the heartstrings as much as seeing sweet animals in shelters waiting to be adopted. Shelter life can be very stressful for these future pets, so it’s important that volunteers do everything they can to make them comfortable.
Cheryl Wallace may be one of these regular volunteers, but her method of caring for shelter dogs isn’t regular at all.
Cheryl is a talented cellist who typically performs on stages with human audiences. But when she learned classical music has been shown to help shelter dogs reduce stress, she decided she wanted to pursue this special act of volunteerism. Besides, she’s found her mini-concerts in the animal shelter give her much more satisfaction (and let’s face it, a cuter audience).
When Cheryl arrives at the shelter, the dogs are usually barking and yipping loudly. But minutes after she starts playing her cello, the pups settle down. Some even get so relaxed they fall asleep!
According to Cheryl, the key is to play the music “low and slow,” meaning deeper notes with a slow rhythm. This provides the sweet dogs with the right conditions to calm down and doze off. Even those who don’t fall asleep remain entranced by the soothing sounds and cozy up in their kennels.
On her website, Cheryl says she has “seen feral dogs’ behavioral changes” as she’s played her cello for them. “One slowly revealed himself for the first time, coming out of his hiding place, and another allowed a caregiver to stroke the length of his body for the first time.”
Cheryl is providing these dogs with a gift far greater than just music. She’s allowing them to find peace, which will create a happier life for them overall.
Check out the effect Cheryl’s music has on shelter dogs in the video below, and be sure to share with your friends!
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