Delighted by a dog’s cacophony

Johan van Zyl, Gordon’s Bay

I am not a cyclist like Murray Williams, one of your columnists, but I love to stroll briskly, and for protracted periods of time, along our streets and through our neighbourhoods.

Like Murrray, I love to interact, he with nature and his partner-in-cycling and I with those I come into contact with.

Those that I encounter are not always of the two-legged variety. My latest meeting with an animal caused me, in like fashion to
Murray, to put my experience into

I was still on the sidewalk on Dennehof Avenue, when I became aware of noise in the distance.

As I progressed along the street, it became louder.

Soon my hearing (undelicate as it is) was assailed by the most horrific combination of sounds I have heard in a long time.

It sounded like an amalgamation of the wailing of an amorous tomcat, the thunderous squealing of an elephant bull in full musth, and the
strident howl of a
quartet of timber wolves hitting high “C” in concert.

In between I thought I heard what sounded like the plaintif shrieks of some martyred soul suffering the punishings of purgatory.

Cautiously I walked on, hoping there was no actual emergency. Suddenly the property from where the unholy din was erupting, came into view.

The first and only thing I could make out, was the face of a single husky dog framed in a small opening in the front gate.

Its mouth was open wide and its head tilted heavenward in rapt rendition.

There must be a dozen or more of those poor animals in that yard, I thought. The owners must be away, and these pets of theirs, of a breed known for their raucousness, are singing the blues, or crying their hearts out, whatever.

As I approached, a number of things happened just about simultaneously.

The first was that I came into the dog’s line of sight.

The next was that the dog whipped its head around to look straight at me. At the same time its mouth clamped shut like a steel trap.

And lo and behold, the banshee cacophony stopped dead.

In the blink of an eye, every single deafening decibel just winked out.

It seemed unbelieveable that this one dog was the sole author of that ignoble improvisation.

I returned home with laughter in my heart and a story in my mind.