Sweet animals in shelters waiting to be adopted are one of the few things in life that tug at people’s heartstrings. Since shelter life can be pretty stressful for these future pets, it’s important that volunteers do everything they can to make them as comfortable as they can.
Meet Cheryl Wallace, one of those regular volunteers. Her method of caring for shelter dogs, however, is nothing close to regular.
The woman is a talented cellist who normally performs on stages with human audiences. But as soon as she learned classical music has been shown to help shelter dogs reduce stress, she decided she wanted to start doing this special act as a volunteer. Besides, the woman has found her mini-concerts in the animal shelter give her much more satisfaction and she enjoys having such a cute audience.
Usually, when Cheryl arrives at the shelter, the dogs are loudly barking and yipping. However, only a few minutes after she starts playing her cello, the pups settle down. Some of them get so relaxed that they even fall asleep!
The key to it, according to Cheryl, is playing the music “low and slow,” which means deeper notes with a slow rhythm. This provides the sweet dogs with the right conditions to calm down and doze off to sleep. There are some of them who don’t fall asleep, but they still remain entranced by the soothing sounds and cozy up in their kennels.
On her website, Cheryl says that as she’s played her cello for them, she has “seen feral dogs’ behavioral changes”. “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.”
The gift that Cheryl is providing these dogs with is far greater than just music. She’s allowing them to find peace, which will create a happier life for them on long terms.
In the video below, check out the effect Cheryl’s music has on shelter dogs.