A'la Art

Gone For a Walk With a Ball of Twine

    We squeeze them, talk to them, command them, love them, cry over them. They are our outlets, our comfort blankets, often our emotional saviors, offering unconditional love. Who else but our precious animals could respond to such demands with only one request: Love me as I do you.
    How difficult it is to leave them for work or vacation. We supplement our disappearance with sound in hopes of filling their lonely hours. A very special lady, who has showered affection on her dogs and cats since childhood, has found a way to thank them for all their love.
    After many busy years, Cheryl Christine finally took a few months off to finish composing mood music for pets. Teaming up with Mark Husbands of The Headliners, his wife, Lise, and longtime friend, Jeff Borthick, she formed Mood Music Media Company to produce her two recent CDs for pets, Gone for a Walk, for dogs and Ball of Twine, for cats.
    As a child, Cheryl found her outlets in music and animals. Strangely enough, no one in her family played an instrument, but her parents constantly filled their home with all kinds of music. The notes enchanted Cheryl and carved a pathway into her brain where they took up permanent residence. The first time she crawled up on a piano bench, she picked out The Star Spangled Banner. "All the dinner guests turned around and stared at me. I thought I had done something wrong!" laughed Cheryl.
    Recognizing their daughter's talent, her parents gave Cheryl a piano, and from age five to eight, she studied classical musical at St Joseph's Academy in St. Paul. "The nuns were very strict and slapped my fingers with a ruler whenever I looked at my hands, which was forbidden," recalled Cheryl. "Bad as it was then, it's made it easy for me to focus on my audience, play and sing without having to look at the keys."
Admitting she was a very shy child, Cheryl says she only sang when forced. "I was very inward and did not know how to express my emotions," she said. "My music and animals were my outlets. My brother was very allergic, but I thought it would be okay to sneak puppies and kittens in the house if I kept them away from him. No matter how well I hid them, I always got caught because of his strong reaction to them just being in the house!"
    Through the years, Cheryl has found her own animals to be very comforting. Her love of music led her to learn the saxophone and the flute and into composing. Many of her CDs combine all these talents. She still rebelled over singing, but finally a job required it. "I was terrified but discovered if instead of focusing on myself, I focused on my music and making my audience happy, I could do it! Faith replaced fear."
    Cheryl moved south to escape the cold and then performed in Europe for a while before her agent found her an assignment on Hilton Head Island. "Actually, I was in the fast lane a few years, headed in the wrong direction, but I found the right way back," she said. In 1987 Cheryl's temporary job on Hilton Head turned permanent. "I loved the island and the people immediately." The Lowcountry found a new and extremely talented entertainer, and Cheryl found happy roots. Islanders followed her wherever she played. Eventually, in 1991, Cheryl opened her own cabaret, where her good friend, Lucy Kistner offered her love and support every evening. "I have such wonderful friends and have had a lot of fun along the way. One time, in Florida, I drank moonshine with the county sheriff, a judge and deputies," said Cheryl, who secretly admits loving to race cars. "I raced in high school and won first place in the powder puff race!"
    "Another mentor in my life is Patsy Scruggs, who is like a second mom to me," said Cheryl. Lawson Hamilton was a very influential friend, as well, and invited Cheryl to perform on multiple occasions when he treated friends to weekends at the famous Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs. "Once he had Chubby Checker there, and we all sang and danced the twist!" Cheryl laughed.
    But Cheryl's life was not all music and laughter. In 1998, her doctor found a lump that mammograms missed. "It was such a shock, but I tell everyone 'if it happens to you, do not panic, and try to stay calm, as there are many degrees of cancer,'" she said. "I was very lucky that Dr. Coffey found it early, so the surgery was not so bad." Looking down at her chest, she smiled her magic smile, "I'm happy to say I still have my girls!"
    Cheryl is an amazing performer who owns a videography business and has created hundreds of story albums on DVD for reunions, parties and other special occasions. She is a giving, compassionate person, loving her parents dearly. Her mom suffers with Alzheimer's, so Cheryl will donate a portion of the proceeds from Mood Music for Pets to the Alzheimer's Research Foundation Fisher Center; another percentage will benefit The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
    Cherishing each day, Cheryl strives to make others happy with her beautiful music and to leave a song in your heart. Visit her at www.cherylchristine.com or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and give your pets the gift of music and relaxation when they can't have you!

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