Me and My Shadow

The Band of the Fighting Irish is going to Dublin, Ireland, for Notre Dame’s first football game this fall!

That’s the good news. Those, like My Favorite Domer, who early on expressed interest in going, have already acquired their passports and paid their fees.

The bad news is, not everybody can go. With close to 400 members, it’s no wonder. The logistics of transporting them, not to mention the costs, are practically unthinkable, and the incoming freshmen won’t even have learned the marching style or participated in one game.

So how will the directors pick and choose?

Auditions, naturally.

Domer has taken to heart their advice to keep his chops in good working order by practicing. Daily.

After work he gets the ole trumpet out and holes up downstairs, where he runs up and down scales, refreshes his memory on various school songs, and starts learning the new music designed to impress the overseas Irish (and any alumni lucky enough to snag a ticket!).

Practice isn’t a lonely time, though. Far from it.

My trusty Sheltie, it seems, has a phenomenal ear when it comes to music.

Who would have thought??

So when Domer brings out the trumpet, no matter where in the house the Sheltie is, he makes a beeline toward the practice room. And while Domer plays, Sheltie sings.

First, he checks out the instrument:

Gotta make sure everything’s okay, Kid

Then, he throws back his head and attempts a few notes:

I am Sheltie — hear me sing!

Then he pauses to think about it for a few minutes:


Just warming up for the high notes, Mom

And finally, he leans way back and howls away:


Matching your tone, Kid — let’s go higher!

Shetland Sheepdogs originated in Scotland — who knows, perhaps this one hears the wail of the pipes in my son’s horn??

Doesn’t matter. He’s at least doing what he’s supposed to, comforting and encouraging “his kid” in something that could be fraught with nerves and fear — another audition.

At least Domer has already made the first cut on the Going-to-Ireland list. But it’s up to him to keep his spot!

Obviously, the Sheltie can’t go with Domer to his audition several weeks down the road, but I suspect he’ll be there in spirit. And Domer will have a hard time playing a note without hearing his trusty sidekick singing along!

Tell me, Does your dog sing?

24 thoughts on “Me and My Shadow

  1. Yes. Rascal sings. She is not suppose to howl but I taught her too. It was a mistake. 😀
    So cute that the Domer Dog wants to practice and sing along–that he seeks out the music instead of running for cover.
    Now lets talk about YOU–OMG how will you sit still for the next two weeks and through the audition process? It’s not fair—Your son did everything right early! He should go–what is the number I will call and tell them. . .My grandfather went to Notre Dame AND my Grandmother and Great Aunt went to Saint Mary’s…..Of-course, it was a while ago…Ok instead I will just keep my fingers and toes crossed and Rascal will howl.

    PS. Think about sending that trumpet and your favorite Domerdog picture to the school–for the newsletter—SO CUTE.

    • Katybeth, you’re sweet to volunteer to call ND and attest to Domer’s readiness for the Ireland trip! I hope they’ll give rising seniors like him preferential treatment! I know his actual marching is practically perfect, and Sheltie would swear his playing sounds spot on. As for me, yep, there’s a LOT of angst there, but I’m trying not to hover. Or worry. You know that’s not easy for us moms, either. So please do keep him in your prayers — he wants to go soooo bad!

  2. Keeping my fingers crossed, what a great opportunity for Domer and the band!

    So many take their playing for granted, he’s practicing, my money is on him. Hoping for a similar trip for my guy next year.

    • Thanks so much for your good wishes! He’s doing his part, and he IS a rising senior, which should count for something, right? Bet Green Wuf would love a trip like this, with all his Band buddies — they form such close ties because they’re together all the time. This would be the culmination of all those Band-related gigs, starting in fifth grade!

  3. I hope he makes it through the auditions! Dublin would be a fun place to visit.

    And your dog is the cutest thing! I love the pictures of him howling with the music. My dogs don’t sing – they just bark…a lot. My parents have a poodle that ‘sings’ every time the phone rings. The sad part is, I think the dog is tone deaf because it sounds like a seriously injured animal.

  4. Fingers are crossed for your son. Either way, what an adorable sheltie and son musical time you have to treasure!

    • Bless you, Hipster! If he has anything to say about it — and his determination to practice says a lot! — he’s going! Too bad I can’t tag along; Ireland is on my bucket list, for sure!

    • I’m afraid my son would never cotton to that, haha! The Sheltie, shameless imp that he is, would be proud to sing away and let the world sing with him! But I’m not mean enough to record them without permission — a mom’s got to have limits, you know!

  5. What a precious story and pictures! Best wishes to Domer in the final auditions. Too bad your Sheltie can’t accompany him but like you say, his spirit will be with him. I wonder how Sheltie will do on the flight to Ireland! 🙂

    • Thanks for the good wishes, Kathy! I’d like to see the director’s face if Domer told him he had to have the Sheltie along, both for the audition and the football trip, haha!

    • Thanks, Lynne. Sometimes he can be a huge nuisance, but I have to admit he’s the best dog I’ve ever had. Nothing goes on in this house without his “input” and attention!

  6. Oh how funny! Katie used to bark at me when I practiced the clarinet. Now she’s pretty good at just going and lying down with her Dad out in the living room.

    • My Sheltie doesn’t seem too interested in my son’s other instruments (piano, keyboards, or guitar). But brass? Yep, that’s his nudge to start singing!

  7. What a cutie! I wonder if the desire to “sing” is a Sheltie thing. My best friend in high school had a sheltie and when she would sing, Laddie would always join in.

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