By Linda Cole
When it comes to tickling those ivory keys, Nora the Piano Cat is still in a class all her own. Unfortunately for Nora, there’s always another prodigy waiting in the wings for their own crack at stardom. In this case, it’s two talented dogs that have woofed their way into the hearts of animal-loving YouTube viewers.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Nora and her piano playing antics. Her obvious enjoyment at tickling the ivory keys is unsurpassed by any other feline. And there are plenty of Nora wannabes on You Tube these days. However, now there’s a dog duet pawing out a tune on their own specially made piano, with a cuteness factor that’s through the roof!
The You Tube video of two piano playing Golden Retrievers has been delighting dog lovers ever since it was first posted. The dogs are playing “Waltz of the Fleas” on an oversized keyboard as their owner sits in front of them playing a small flute-like instrument called an ocarina. The piano playing pups watch their “conductor” and then step on the piano keys matching the note she’s playing. And they do a pretty good job getting the right note!
At first glance, one would say the dogs are just doing what they were trained to do. As you watch the video, though, the lighter colored dog seems to be anticipating the coming note. However, they may also be responding to the musical note they are hearing, according to Charles Snowdon, an animal psychologist and zoologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Snowdon theorizes that the dogs are following cues by their owner, which is not the same as them memorizing what’s next. He believes it is possible the dogs are able to understand the notes their owner is playing and know which key on the piano will duplicate the sound from the ocarina.