Sanchez entered my home and my heart at 4-months-old. He was a puppy in training from Guide Dogs for the Blind, and I was a volunteer puppy raiser. He came pretty close to passing all the guide dog phases. But, when he didn’t, I was happy to adopt him. I promised him the best life a dog could have, and that he had. What I didn’t know then was what a great life he was going to give me, and many others. He was to be of great service, but not in the way that was planned by his guide dog breeding and training. Continue reading
The barking Border Collie in our crating area at Cynosport World Agility Games was driving me (and everyone around me) crazy. So, I asked the BC’s handler if I could bring over my iCalmDog 3.0 to see if the clinically tested music reduced his barking. I have to admit, Nim’s barking was so intense that I wasn’t even sure it would work, but watch what happened in 20 seconds flat… Continue reading
Sanchez and Gina lay by the piano every time I practice my concert repertoire. And, other times, I play music especially designed for dogs for them. There have been some very tender times involving music. But, a shared music experience with Gina in 2013 was one of the most connecting moments of my life. I experienced the human-animal bond at a profound and deep level. Time stood still as we listened to music together. Continue reading
Four years ago, Sanchez was experiencing intense neck pain. My holistic veterinarian doesn’t have x-ray machines, so I took him to a neighboring clinic that does. I was told he would need to be sedated unless he could lay completely still on his back for the x-ray. Not only was this a clinic that was new for him, but the veterinarian didn’t exactly have a calming presence. And, I wasn’t allowed to go into the x-ray room with Sanchez. Continue reading
I grew up with a rather excitable Cocker Spaniel named Doodle. When I started playing the piano at age seven, she’d come lay by my pedal foot and fall asleep. Even in her senior years when deaf, as soon as I started playing the piano, Doodle would come from any part of the house and lay down near the piano. She must have loved the vibrations. Later on, my Golden, Byron (R.I.P.), also lost most of his hearing in his senior years. Since most of my friend’s senior dogs also went partially or fully deaf, I just thought that was normal. Continue reading
My 13 and 1/2 year old Lab, Sanchez, has been recovering from an E. Coli infection. It was touch and go for awhile. While I was waiting for lab results back after a few weeks of treatment, I didn’t know whether he just needed a diet change or if it was our final days together. I was on a complete emotional roller coaster. Continue reading
My agility addiction started so innocently.
Years ago, when Sanchez was career changed from Guide Dogs for the Blind, I knew I needed to find a job for him. I just thought agility would be a fun activity to enjoy together. I never imagined Continue reading
August 26th is National Dog Day! While every day is a reason to celebrate dogs in our lives, I decided to go searching for musical dogs. Here’s what I found….
Rescue dogs plays the organ. Uh-oh. Did she play a wrong note? Continue reading
July 4th is quickly approaching. It can be a fun holiday for children and adults, but most dogs don’t share their enthusiasm. In fact, almost all people with dogs in the U.S. declare this day the worst day of the year for their dogs. Veterinarians say July 3rd is usually the most trafficked day in their offices, with clients coming in to get drugs for their dogs. July 5th tends to be the busiest day of the year for shelters. Dogs become Houdini when they hear fireworks and escape from their yards that appear perfectly secure other days of the year. Continue reading
According to a study by the Purina Pet Institute, 43 percent of dog owners celebrate birthdays, while 29 percent celebrate their cat’s birthdays.
And, according to Nationwide Pet Insurance, $50 billion a year is spent on gifts for our pets. Wow!
In contrast, an article in Psychology Today by Stanley Coren, PhD, referred to an online survey by Kelton Research. Of 1,000 people tested,
81 percent of dog parents know their pets’ birthdays Continue reading
I can hardly believe that my yellow Labrador, Sanchez, is now 13 years old. I count my blessings that he is in good health and still enjoys our twice daily walks. But, I’m also aware that he can’t keep up to his activity level from even a year ago, let alone in his prime. I’m always looking for ways to provide mental stimulation to his environment without physically taxing his body.
Mother’s Day is not the easiest of holidays for me. I have no human children and have never been called “mom.” No one has ever said to me, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!” But, can we be mothers to species other than humans? I am the single provider for two dogs, Sanchez and Gina. But, I usually think of them as my companion animals, not my children, even though others may see me as a crazy pet parent, with my children being of the furry sort. Continue reading
Earlier this week, I dropped off my senior dog, Sanchez, at the vet for dental surgery. I had a hard time saying goodbye to him, but I was comforted when I was able to leave him with his own iCalmDog, playing music especially designed to comfort elderly dogs. When I asked the nurse if she would make sure his music went with him everywhere—both pre- and post-surgery—she said, “Sure. It’s so sweet that you really love your dog so much.” February 20th is National Love Your Pet Day, and I’ve been giving a lot of thought to what that means. Continue reading
Sometimes the best things in life happen through synchronicity. In my world, those things often involve dogs.
I am an Airbnb host, and over the Christmas holiday my guest was a senior reporter for the Sacramento Bee. When visiting my home, it’s pretty obvious that my life is all about music and dogs. She inquired about my career as a canine music expert and mentioned that it would make a great story. Within a week, she sent over a reporter and photographer/ videographer. It culminated in a very fun interview and video recording session. Continue reading
When we think of New Year’s resolutions, we often think of changes in our lives we’ve been trying to make for years. Often they are massive changes. But, in reality, sometimes the smallest changes can make the biggest difference over time. The same can be said for changes we make in our dog’s lives. These five resolutions are simple and will be enjoyed by you just as much as Buster. And you will be improving both of your lives in the process. Continue reading
Five years ago today, I adopted Gina. It’s hard to believe that I once thought she was the dog I never wanted. But, a wise soul once said, “you don’t get the dogs you want, you get the dogs you need.”
I remain forever grateful for this 44 pound package of pure joy and happiness that entered my life at the perfect time. She reminds me every day to just get out and play, and that is reason enough to be happy. Continue reading
Combining my talent and experience as a concert pianist with my love of dogs continues to fill my heart with enormous gratitude and joy as it improve the lives of dogs worldwide. Up to now, my music has mostly been accessible to dogs through recorded music ~ CDs, downloads, flash drives, and iCalmDogs. That is starting to change as I perform concerts and invite the dogs in. It starts… Continue reading
As a musician with a discerning ear, I’m ultra sound sensitive. When I enter a restaurant, I make my decision to stay for a meal based as much on the sound environment as the menu and atmosphere. I’ve also been known to go into sensory overload in large crowds with loud music playing.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m a canine music expert or a sound sensitive human, but I’m always amazed by the number of sound sensitive dogs I meet whose caring, loving people are not aware of their dog’s fear of noises. So, it didn’t surprise me Continue reading
We bring dogs into our human world because we love them with our hearts and souls. We ask them to adjust. Some do, many can’t. As responsible pet parents, it’s up to us to provide ways to help make our crazy human world more manageable for them.
Today is National Spoil Your Dog Day. While there are an infinite number of ways to spoil your dog, here are my suggestions for creating a well-balanced dog. I don’t regard any of these as spoiling your dog, but just treating Buster respectfully. Our dogs spend so much of their time observing us and fitting into our world, it’s equally important that we provide them the same appreciation. Continue reading
Now that Sanchez is 12-years-old and showing signs of slowing down, I think often about ways to comfort him. While I’m very blessed that he is in good health, it’s not unusual for senior dogs to lose memory, eyesight and experience hearing loss. Dogs also can experience some changes in behavior as they mature.
I am so grateful to connect with 10,000+ dog lovin’, sound aware Facebook fans. I love hearing all about your dogs through this virtual space. And even better when I meet fans IRL (In Real Life). That happened last week, and it was all about a dog, actually this time …
What would it be like to experience the world as a dog?
You might hear things you don’t normally hear (dogs can hear almost double the frequency that humans can), and you might not see as clearly as you do in a human body (dogs see fewer colors and less contrast).
But you’d experience a whole new world through your nose. Continue reading
Being a responsible pet parent may have many different definitions. But, it is more than just loving your dog and meeting his basic needs. Being responsible means learning how to understand the world from your dog’s point of view. Dogs speak a different language than people, and they are constantly studying everything we do to understand our behaviors and language. Being responsible means understanding their language and ways of communicating. Continue reading
Joshua Leeds and I recently enjoyed a delightful interview with Heather McElhatton at Minnesota Public Radio, for her show ‘A Beautiful World’. I was able to play music samples directly from my piano with Sanchez and Gina by my side. She asked heartfelt questions that reminded me why I started recording species-specific music over 10 years ago. Continue reading
Your dog or cat may be curious about the pumpkins sitting on your front porch. Halloween is now in the past, and your pumpkin may be beautifully carved, but it might also be collecting bacteria. While it’s best they don’t eat that pumpkin, canned natural pumpkin (unsweetened – not pie filling), pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for dogs and cats. Pumpkin can help with the following pet ailments: Continue reading
It’s extremely common for senior dogs to gradually lose their hearing, often until it’s completely diminished. However, there are many small changes we can make to our sound environment to help reduce their hearing loss. Continue reading
An article in WebMD reported on a recent survey of pet owners by the American Pet Products Association. It turns out that “nearly half of dogs sleep in their owner’s beds. The survey found that 62% of small dogs, 41% of medium-sized dogs and 32% of large dogs sleep with their owners. The survey also found… Continue reading
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