Letting dogs and humans step to the music which they hear at the Dog Rock Concert for Nuts for Muts

Letting dogs and humans step to the music which they hear at the Dog Rock Concert for Nuts for Muts

Hector ain’t a hound dog [All photos of the Dog Rock Concert provided by Shadi Kafi] 4/10/16

hector hot dog

Is that REALLY Hector undercover sneaking an extra dog?

On April 10, 2016, the Rochester Academy of Music & Arts hosted its Third Annual Dogs Rock Concert benefitting Nuts for Mutts, the link between Rochester’s homeless dogs, their foster homes and forever homes.

The evening concert was a superb combination: Rochester’s young and brave performing, all you can eat pizza buffet (for humans) and nothing but love for our cute furry friends. And a little borrowing from Henry David Thoreau in the headline.

The event was first inspired by Hector, a Jack Russel-chiwawa mix from Kentucky, being held in a kill shelter. Before the day Hector was to be put down, a chain of phone calls from animal shelters landed him at Nuts for Mutts  in Rochester. Nuts for Mutts intake coordinator Nicole picked up Hector — starving, flees and a crooked nose from abuse — and drove him back to Rochester.

hector playing

“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Could be said by Hector or Henry David Thoreau

Seeing Hector in a store front, Brigid Harrigan and Brannon Hungness, founder of the Academy of Music & Arts, couldn’t resist adopting him, crooked nose and all:

We were thinking of a bigger dog at first, but when we got home we thought his cool zen personality would be the perfect fit for us. Turns out, he’s our best buddy! He even comes to the music school and lets the kids play with him and loves the piano and guitar.

At the school, Hector has plenty of company. Brannon started the Academy of Music & Arts 9 years ago with 12 students. Today, the Academy, the largest privately owned music school in Rochester, teaches 400 students learning all instruments.

(Mic and guitar photo) Founder Brannon Hungness (on guitar) and Brigid Harrigan

Founder of Academy of Music & Arts Brannon Hungness (on guitar) and Brigid Harrigan

Like Hector’s music school human friends, dogs definitely have personal reactions to subtle nuances in sounds. Some prefer the loud trumpet over the more measured tones of the piano or the zap of the guitar over the softer violin. With animals, though, even the sight of various instruments can draw them near or closer away as they anticipate prior associations the sounds bring.

Their love for Hector, and the enormous growth of the music school over the years, inspire Brannon and Bridget to back to the Rochester community they love.display

Every year, they match the amount raised at the concert: totally from $2,500 to $5,000 to this year’s $5,050. That’s over $12,500 for medical and pet supplies for Nuts for Mutts and its commitment to nurturing all the dogs before going to foster moms or permanent homes.

3 ladies

(left to right): Colleen Wilkens, intake coordinator and foster mom; Roxanne Mauragis, Foster Mom for six years; Nicole Rongo, intake coordinator and foster mom

The event was buzzing with fun raffle games and prizes, lively music played by students of the Academy and lots of pictures of cff’s (cute furry friends) to take home.

According to Sara, a foster mom, “Rescuing a dog saves two souls, for that I am darn certain. And I am so glad that I did!”


Nykko (selfie)

And, according to Roxanne, a foster mom for the past 6 years, “Everyone thinks you can’t foster because you can’t let the dog go but if you think, there’s always another one to help out there, it’s easy!”

nykko and mon

Nykko and Nykko’s mom [Photo: Shadi]

Brannon and Brigid definitely think so and my three year old yorkie, Nykko, surely agrees.

So when you support Nuts for Mutts Rescue in Rochester, you may be giving a dog his day at Carnegie Hall.


Happy to receive copy from our new reporter at Talker’s off site headquarters at the Twelve Corner’s Starbucks. Below more cute dogs, more on and from Shadi. [Photo: Starbucks staff]



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About The Author


Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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