Lisa Spector’s Blog

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  • My Dog’s First Piano Recital
    My Dog’s First Piano Recital
    April Fools! Sanchez didn't really play the piano on this one, as much as he loves being center stage. In fact, no dogs here. Just sharing some music humor. Just because I'm a Juilliard graduate and a concert pianist, it doesn't mean I'm always serious. In fact, I've been known to even try my hand Continue reading
  • Ready to Hit It Out of the Ballpark!
    Ready to Hit It Out of the Ballpark!
    As you can see, Sanchez is getting a little tired. He really wants to see iCalmDog make it to the finals of the Product Pitch contest, which takes place at Fenway Park in Boston. But, we really need your help. Continue reading
  • Is Your Dog Your Sweetheart?
    Is Your Dog Your Sweetheart?
    In a poll taken of 3,000 British dog and cat owners, 19 percent stated that they would rather have a pet than be involved in a romantic partnership. For 81 percent of the dog owners polled, it would be an instant deal breaker if Continue reading
  • My Most Emotional Moment of 2013
    My Most Emotional Moment of 2013
    Sanchez is 10 years old and went through some scary times in 2012 due to a slipped disc in his neck. I’m familiar with feelings of worrying about a dog in their double digits. Worrying about my young Lab, however, was completely foreign to me, until June of 2013. Continue reading
  • The Saga of the New Dog Bed
    The Saga of the New Dog Bed
    1) Spontaneously purchased a new dog bed because Sanchez could use the extra support. And, well... it was a very good price that I couldn't resist. 2) Stuffed it into the passenger seat, since the entire rest of the car was ... Continue reading
  • All Dressed Up For Christmas
    All Dressed Up For Christmas
    Through a Dog's Ear Facebook fans recently shared these testimonials with photos of their dogs all dressed up for Christmas. Enjoy! Continue reading
  • Paying Tribute to Freedom Dogs on Veteran’s Day
    Paying Tribute to Freedom Dogs on Veteran’s Day
    Freedom Dogs offers custom-trained specialty service dogs to wounded members of the military returning from armed conflict. Their mission is to create a way to speed the recovery and enhance the lives of wounded military heroes through the use of specialty-trained service dogs. Freedom Dogs’ trainers are always interested in methods that enhance their training of these very special dogs Continue reading
  • Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe on Halloween
    Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe on Halloween
    It can be very fun for children to dress up and pretend to be a different character. But, dogs don’t understand the concept and can be very fearful of people wearing masks and costumes. And the huge number of children ringing the doorbell and yelling “Trick or Treat” can cause excessive barking and put many dogs into sensory overload. In my early adult years Continue reading
  • 10 Signs You Speak Woof
    10 Signs You Speak Woof
    When I'm asked what languages I speak, I often want to answer "Woof". After all, I spend a great deal of time communicating with my own dogs, helping improve the lives of dogs I don't know, and understanding dog body language and behavior. So, why isn't "Woof" a language? Continue reading
  • Music to Comfort Senior Dogs? Tenderly!
    Music to Comfort Senior Dogs? Tenderly!
    Like many dog lovers, I have a very tender place in my heart for senior dogs. When I first began working on the initial Through a Dog's Ear project, I had a thirteen-year-old Golden Retriever named Byron. Only one year later, his memorial picture was on the piano as I recorded the first compositions. Byron was such a loving inspiration for me. Shortly after he passed, I became a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and fell in love with Continue reading
  • Top 8 Reasons Your Dog Needs an iPawd
    Top 8 Reasons Your Dog Needs an iPawd
    6. He wants to enjoy his own tunes, clinically demonstrated to calm dogs, when he's in his crate. Continue reading
  • What Dogs Teach Us About Time
    What Dogs Teach Us About Time
    I went on a mini-retreat recently with my luv. It’s pretty rare that I go on vacation without my dogs. My original plan was to leave only Sanchez with a dog sitter. There are a gazillion steps to get to the beach from the cabin, and while Sanchez has recovered well from a slipped disc in his neck, a multitude of steep steps would surely cause a re-injury. I was looking forward to Continue reading
  • High Tech Gadgets for Pets (Win an iCalmDog)
    High Tech Gadgets for Pets (Win an iCalmDog)
    The technology age may have been created by humans, but why shouldn’t pets also benefit? After all, Buster’s iPawd may relieve his canine anxiety issues, and Fluffy’s litter box could actually save her life. 4 High-Tech Gadgets for Pets: Continue reading
  • Does Your Dog Love to Kiss?
    Does Your Dog Love to Kiss?
    Yesterday was World Kiss Day. While this holiday was started in the U.K. for humans, I wondered why dogs didn't join the celebration. I know not everyone appreciates dog slobber all over their face. But, personally, I relish kisses from my dogs. Sanchez gives them out sparingly, so I'll take them as I can get them. On the other paw, Continue reading
  • Helping Fearful Fido During Fireworks
    Helping Fearful Fido During Fireworks
    July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with dogs in the United States declare this day the worst day Continue reading
  • Happy 10th Birthday Sanchez!
    Happy 10th Birthday Sanchez!
    Today is Sanchez's 10th Birthday! This birthday feels different from all others. While I've celebrated all of his birthdays, this one is not like previous ones. I've known too many dogs who didn't make it to their 10th birthday, and I'm aware that it's a milestone and a blessing. And it is also a reminder ... Continue reading
  • Happy Mother’s Day! I Love You…. Fido
    Happy Mother’s Day! I Love You…. Fido
    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, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!” But, can we be mothers to species other than humans? Continue reading
  • Do Your Pets Sleep With You?
    Do Your Pets Sleep With You?
    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
  • Confessions From a Crazy Pet Parent
    Confessions From a Crazy Pet Parent
    Today, April 28, is National Pet Parent’s Day®. VPI Pet Insurance started celebrating the holiday five years ago to help honor people with pets who consider them part of their family. I have to admit, even though my dogs are my family, I don’t ... Continue reading
  • Music to Inspire Human Creativity
    Music to Inspire Human Creativity
    I am a sound sensitive human. When I walk into a restaurant, if the sonic environment is too loud, I often leave or ask to be seated in a quiet area. Just like a dog, I can easily go into sensory overload and shut down when... Continue reading
  • Moose Calms Down with… Puppy Music?
    Moose Calms Down with…  Puppy Music?
    I bet you thought this was an April Fools' joke! Moose really did calm down listening to Music to Calm your Puppy. But, Moose is actually not a moose. Moose is... Continue reading
  • Do NOT Play This at Home For Your Dogs
    Do NOT Play This at Home For Your Dogs
    While I record music specially designed for dogs, Sanchez and Gina experience the full range of my concert repertoire. In addition to the slowed down, simplified classical arrangements on the Through a Dog's Ear recordings, I am often practicing music that is loud, fast, and lively. Keep in mind... Continue reading
  • Free Irish Reel Download on St. Patrick’s Day!
    Free Irish Reel Download on St. Patrick’s Day!
    I'm not Irish, and I don't have an Irish Setter, but I know enough about St. Patrick's Day to know that lively music is more appropriate for this holiday than the calming music of Through a Dog's Ear. Well, you are in luck! Continue reading
  • Wordless Wednesday: Keep Calm and Listen to Music
    Wordless Wednesday: Keep Calm and Listen to Music
    Muttville dogs listen to Music to Comfort your Elderly Canine. Does music help you stay calm? How about your dogs? Continue reading
  • And the Oscar for Best Dog in a Feature Film Goes to…
    And the Oscar for Best Dog in a Feature Film Goes to…
    Uggie may have gotten all of the attention at last year's Academy Awards, but Sanchez and Gina are walking the red carpet this year! They are overwhelmed with all of the nominations from Through a Dog's Ear fans. Sanchez was nominated best actor in a leading role for Continue reading
  • Nightly Rituals with Dogs
    Nightly Rituals with Dogs
    Truth be told, I am a late night owl and Sanchez and Gina aren't. They usually go to sleep hours before me. By the time I retire, I listen to Through a Dog's Ear music to help me fall asleep, not them. Continue reading
  • Dog Mounting: Is It About Sex?
    Dog Mounting: Is It About Sex?
    Humping behavior in dogs is often anthropomorphized and misunderstood. It may look like sex to humans, but unless it’s an intact male that is mounting a female dog in heat, it’s usually about dominance behavior and/or stress, not sex. Continue reading
  • 10 Dog Training Tips
    10 Dog Training Tips
    January is National Train your Dog Month. My readers know that I’m an advocate of humane, positive, science based dog training. Every Tuesday on the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook page is called “Training Tip Tuesday”. I ask fans and training experts to chime in with their training tips. Here are some of my favorites: Continue reading
  • If Our Dogs Made Our New Year’s Resolutions
    If Our Dogs Made Our New Year’s Resolutions
    I decided to let my dogs, Sanchez and Gina, make my new year's resolutions for me this year. Here’s what they had to say: Continue reading
  • Tail Waggin’ Christmas Videos
    Tail Waggin’ Christmas Videos
    While your dogs are enjoying the gifts in their Christmas stockings, I hope you can take some time to enjoy some delightful Christmas videos featuring dogs joyfully working..... Continue reading
  • Homemade Dog Treats for Holiday Gifts (with recipes)
    Homemade Dog Treats for Holiday Gifts (with recipes)
    I rarely make cookies for humans, so it was quite unusual for me to make treats for my dogs, Sanchez and Gina. But, I received this recipe for “Pumpkin Squeaks” Dog Treats from ProtectYourBubble.com at Barkworld, and it looked so easy that I gave it a try. Now, I can’t believe that I didn’t start making my own dog treats sooner. Taking an hour out of my hectic day to ... Continue reading
  • Healing with Holistic Veterinary Care
    Healing with Holistic Veterinary Care
    Sanchez had been having neck problems for a few months. When I first noticed the problem, the symptoms were acute, appeared very suddenly after little activity, and were very worrisome. At the worst flare-up one weekend... Continue reading
  • Jumping Through Hoops for Shelters and Rescues
    Jumping Through Hoops for Shelters and Rescues
    Through a Dog’s Ear recently held our 3rd annual word game. The five day event involved participants unscrambling a daily word, while downloading a free music track from one of our recordings. The object of the game was to unscramble all five words, put them in a five word sentence, and submit an entry as soon as the final word was revealed. Continue reading
  • Tips to Calm Dogs During the Holiday Season
    Tips to Calm Dogs During the Holiday Season
    December is my most stressful month of the year, and I’m not even much of a holiday shopper (in fact, I make a commitment to not even enter a shopping mall between Thanksgiving and Christmas). But, regardless, traffic intensifies everywhere I drive, crowds expand wherever I go, my workload increases, and my patience decreases. The holiday season can be equally—if not more—stressful for our pets. Continue reading
  • Celebrating 6,000 Facebook Fans !!!
    Celebrating 6,000 Facebook Fans !!!
    At 5:22 pm PST yesterday, 6,000 fans had "liked" the Through a Dog's Ear facebook page. I'm honored and delighted, apparently Sanchez is too! Facebook has been a way of connecting with.... Continue reading
  • Will Work for Turkey
    Will Work for Turkey
    The picture above was taken a year ago. When I look at it, I reflect on how grateful and blessed I am for my dogs, Sanchez and Gina. This year, I’m particularly appreciative, because Sanchez is recovering ... Continue reading
  • Helping Senior Dogs, Four Paws at a Time
    Helping Senior Dogs, Four Paws at a Time
    November is Adopt-a-Senior-Pet Month. When I think of senior homeless dogs, Sherri Franklin comes to mind. She is the founder of Muttville, a fabulous rescue organization whose mission is to change the way the world thinks about and treats older dogs and to create better lives for them through rescue, foster, adoption and hospice. Continue reading
  • Reflecting on a FABULOUS Barkworld Experience!
    Reflecting on a FABULOUS Barkworld Experience!
    A week ago, I was in Atlanta for Barkworld Expo. The fabulous learning and petworking opportunity feels like months ago, since it was pre-Superstorm Sandy devastation. However, writing this is helping me recall all of the fabulous experiences of Barkworld, including all the ways that I learned how to expand my dream of helping improve the lives of dogs worldwide. Continue reading
  • The Story Behind Through a Dog’s Ear
    The Story Behind Through a Dog’s Ear
    Have you ever noticed that the best conversations happen around the kitchen table? Joshua Leeds and I were recently sitting at my kitchen table having lunch. We started reminiscing about how our meeting nearly 10 years ago inspired us to create Through a Dog's Ear. Continue reading
  • Gina’s “Gotcha Day” Two Year Anniversary!
    Gina’s “Gotcha Day” Two Year Anniversary!
    Two years ago today I adopted Gina. Previously, I had always been a solo dog household and struggled with the decision to get a second dog for years. I'm so grateful that I worked through my fears, because adopting Gina ... Continue reading
  • Creative Uses of Sound Therapy for Canine Anxiety Issues
    Creative Uses of Sound Therapy for Canine Anxiety Issues
    People often ask me why a concert pianist with a Juilliard degree is performing and recording music for dogs. Wouldn't I prefer to have a concert career and be playing in Carnegie Hall? Believe it or not, the answer is no. Although I still love performing.... Continue reading
  • Sanchez is Woofin’ about Lisa’s Marketplace
    Sanchez is Woofin’ about Lisa’s Marketplace
    Senor Sanchez here. Lisa is out and I decided to steal the computer keyboard. Please excuse the typpos, as my paws are just a little too big for accuracy on the keyboardddddddd. I have to hurry, before Lisa gets back, so I'll be brief. But, I'll share a few thoughts on why I LOVE the items in Lisa's Marketplace... Continue reading
  • Concerts for Dogs? Seriously?
    Concerts for Dogs? Seriously?
    Has my performing life gone to the dogs? You bet! I’m loving it, and dogs are barking for more! Combining my love of dogs with my music talent inspired the creation of Through a Dog’s Ear, music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Now, I’m combining my love of performing to a cross-species audience. Continue reading
  • National Senior Pet Health Month
    National Senior Pet Health Month
    September is National Senior Pet Health Month! But when you have a senior dog that is considered part of your family, every day is about your dog’s health. As we all know, stress affects our lives and our health, and that works cross-species as well. It is not unusual for Continue reading
  • Helping Rescues…. Four Paws at a Time!
    Helping Rescues…. Four Paws at a Time!
    We love animal rescue groups. Unfortunately, they are chronically overbooked, understaffed, and seriously under-financed. And so, many of them come to Through a Dog’s Ear for donations of music for their facilities, foster homes, and to be sent home with adopted dogs. The clinically tested music helps increase adoption rates and provides Continue reading
  • How Can I Help Pet Adoption?
    How Can I Help Pet Adoption?
    Thanks for watching my video blog entry for the Iams Home 4 the Holidays 'How Can I Help Pet Adoption? contest. The lucky winner receives an all expense trip to BarkWorld 2012 in Atlanta! Continue reading
  • Rescue Dog Happiness
    Rescue Dog Happiness
    Today, July 23, bloggers around the world are participating in Bloggers Unite for Dog Rescue, an initiative started by Be the Change for Animals to raise awareness on the importance of pet adoption. According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Nationwide, only about 20 percent of dogs in homes come from shelters—the rest come from... Continue reading
  • Sound Therapy = Thunderstorm Remedy
    Sound Therapy = Thunderstorm Remedy
    It's thunderstorm season. While I've read that 20% of dogs are thunder-phobic, the number may actually be higher, as it doesn't include people who have never sought treatment for their thunder-phobic dogs. After all, who would have ever known that treatment could be as simple as sound therapy? Honestly, even I wouldn't have believed... Continue reading
  • Fireworks for Fido? NOT
    Fireworks for Fido? NOT
    July 4th is around the corner, along with the fireworks that inevitably come with this holiday. Almost all humans with dogs in the United States declare this day the worst day of the year for them. Veterinarians say... Continue reading
  • National Paw and Foot Day!
    National Paw and Foot Day!
    Today is National Paw and Foot Day! SERIOUSLY??? National Paw and Foot Day? Well.... I just made it up. But, it is Mashable's third annual Social Media Day. And, after seeing Continue reading
  • My Dog is Everything I Never Wanted!
    My Dog is Everything I Never Wanted!
    Gina is three years old today! She's now been a party of my canine family for a little over half of her life. I adopted Gina when she was 16 months old. Looking back Continue reading
  • Do you Celebrate your Dog’s Birthday?
    Do you Celebrate your Dog’s Birthday?
    I've always celebrated all of my dog's birthdays and remember them all to this day. No big birthday cake, but I always do something special to honor the occasion. It usually involves Continue reading
  • Is Mother’s Day for Dog-Moms?
    Is Mother’s Day for Dog-Moms?
    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, “Happy Mother’s Day mom, I love you!” But, can we be mothers to species other than humans? Continue reading
  • Paws Crossed for a Trip to BarkWorld
    Paws Crossed for a Trip to BarkWorld
    There’s a great conference and expo called Barkworld . I’m dying to attend because I’m positive it will help me with one of my goals: helping homeless dogs find their forever homes. Let me explain..... Continue reading
  • Earth Day with My Dogs
    Earth Day with My Dogs
    It's Earth Day and I'm once again reminded of all that I have to learn from my dogs. They are masters at connecting with the Earth. Sanchez and Gina prompt me to take regular breaks from work and get outdoors for walks, meals, naps, and even to... Continue reading
  • Celebrating 5,000 Facebook Fans!!!
    Celebrating 5,000 Facebook Fans!!!
    We are having a big virtual party. At exactly 4:22 PM PDT yesterday, 5,000 fans had "Liked" the Through a Dog's Ear Facebook page!!! It felt monumental. I remember my resistance to starting a Facebook page. It was June 2009, and I was techno-phobic. But, that feeling changed when Continue reading
  • It Works So Good! Can I Have My Money Back?
    It Works So Good! Can I Have My Money Back?
    At Through a Dog's Ear we receive the most interesting calls and emails from customers. I am not making this up. The following is actual feedback from consumers. In one case, the purchaser almost asked for her money back, which we would have honored with our 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. Customer 1: My dog used to get Continue reading
  • An International Day
    An International Day
    As I reflect on the day's events, it occurred to me that it was quite the international day. I reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and work from home, but I enjoy connecting with dog lovers all over the world on a regular basis. This morning, I enjoyed a delightful recorded radio interview with Continue reading
  • A Day of Silence with Dogs
    A Day of Silence with Dogs
    I am recovering from a sore throat and am giving my vocal chords a day of complete rest. Walks today have been speechless, including off-leash walks. In all honestly, there has been an occasional, dare I say it....... whisper. Continue reading
  • I’ll Choose Door Number …???
    I’ll Choose Door Number …???
    It is often said that when one door closes, another opens. When I said good-bye to my music school, I wasn't sure what doors would open, I just trusted there were magnificent gifts behind all the doors. Continue reading
  • Is Your Pet Your Sweetheart?
    Is Your Pet Your Sweetheart?
    In a poll taken of 3,000 British dog and cat owners, 19 percent stated that they would rather have a pet than be involved in a romantic partnership. For 81 percent of the dog owners polled, it would be an instant deal breaker if their date didn’t like their pet. And 79 percent polled stated that they wouldn’t give up their pet for a romantic partner. Continue reading
  • Stress Busters for Pets, as Seen on Good Morning America
    Stress Busters for Pets, as Seen on Good Morning America
    We live in a world of sensory overload. Human made sounds are constantly buzzing, beeping, dinging, and ringing. Each sound represents something that is calling our attention. And if we treat ourselves well, we have mechanisms for providing our bodies and souls with de-stressing techniques such as yoga, meditation, drinking green tea, etc. But, how about our pets? Continue reading
  • Interception
    Interception
    While the 49ers and Giants were in overtime Sunday night, the greatest interception of all time happened in my own living room, when I was playing retrieve with Gina. I was upstairs in my loft .... Continue reading
  • Top 10 Relationship Tips for Men ~ From an Agility Dog
    Top 10 Relationship Tips for Men ~ From an Agility Dog
    10. All good things come from your partner. Nothing is as rewarding as being with her. 9. Communication. Communication. Communication. Let her know... Continue reading
  • To Blog or Not To Blog
    To Blog or Not To Blog
    I am a pet blogger! I wasn't when I started my blog in 2009, or at least I didn't feel like one. But, I listened to some good advice and just started writing and publishing weekly. Looking back, I'm very glad that I started writing blogs before anyone was reading them. It gave me the skills that I needed.... Continue reading
  • Reflections of a Very Dog Year
    Reflections of a Very Dog Year
    New Year's Eve was really special this year. I performed an intimate concert in my living room to a lovely group of local music lovers. Sanchez and Gina soaked up all of the attention and, once they greeted all of the guests, slept comfortably in their dog beds near the piano. I couldn't think ... Continue reading
  • The Dog Who Ate Santa
    The Dog Who Ate Santa
    Gina is really a good dog. I'm sure she didn't purposely eat Santa. She just started chewing on him, and all of his padding must have just been too tempting. I love it that Gina goes nuts over tug toys. While it may appear that she is the villain in this crime... Continue reading
  • Homeless Dogs are Real Winners of 2011 Word Game
    Homeless Dogs are Real Winners of 2011 Word Game
    Through a Dog's Ear recently held our 2nd annual word game. The seven day event involved participants unscrambling a daily word, while downloading a free music track from one of our nine recordings. The object of the game ... Continue reading
  • Be Santa for Homeless Pets
    Be Santa for Homeless Pets
    First thing every morning, I write on an index card, “By combining my passion for music with my love of dogs, I improve the lives of dogs and people worldwide.” As a concert pianist, Juilliard graduate, and devout dog lover, it is a statement I am deeply grateful to write. It guides my daily decisions and manifests itself in Through a Dog’s Ear, the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system. Last December, I was contacted by... Continue reading
  • Advice from a Dog
    Advice from a Dog
    After reading “Advice from a Dog” on a beautiful card by Ilan Shamir of Your True Nature, I started thinking about everything my dogs have taught me. I have two “career change” dogs from Guide Dogs for the Blind. Sanchez is an 8-year-old Yellow Lab. If Sanchez had a tag line... Continue reading
  • Feeling Dog Blessed after Thanksgiving
    Feeling Dog Blessed after Thanksgiving
    It's been a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend, filled with lots of dog activity and time with Sanchez and Gina. As I write this, I'm enjoying the sounds of Sanchez's snoring in the background and Gina lying comfortably by his side. The picture above... Continue reading
  • Silent Meditation Walk with Dogs
    Silent Meditation Walk with Dogs
    I just looked at all the gorgeous pictures from Camp Unleashed. It was my first experience as local director of their newest camp, Camp Unleashed Sequoia Lake in California, and I'm ready to return. I loved connecting with dog lovers, their beloved canines, and watching the dogs play together off-leash, while... Continue reading
  • The Creation of the Canine Noise Phobia Series
    The Creation of the Canine Noise Phobia Series
    I had the pleasure of meeting Victoria Stilwell in January 2011 at Clicker Expo. She had previously played Through a Dog's Ear music on It's Me or the Dog and it successfully helped the dogs get and stay calm. So I was eager ... Continue reading
  • How My MacBook Taught my Dog to Retrieve
    How My MacBook Taught my Dog to Retrieve
    A PC computer crash (again) inspired me to unexpectedly buy my first Mac. Well, that and enormous influence from my business partners and friends that are Mac fans. It's been a very welcome change and much more significant in my life than just buying a new computer. I'm noticing that it's also inspiring me to let go of much of my past that no longer serves me, including some old ways of dog training. Continue reading
  • The Jewish New Year with GOD Spelled Backwards
    The Jewish New Year with GOD Spelled Backwards
    When I took on my new position as Local Director of Camp Unleashed, I didn't realize it was scheduled on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. Founder Annie Brody and I are both Jewish and we were shocked that neither of us had noticed, but, as Annie says, "Dog is my religion." Continue reading
  • Benefits of Adopting a “Less Adoptable” Pet
    Benefits of Adopting a “Less Adoptable” Pet
    Petfinder declared this past week of Sept. 19-25 as Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet-Week. Let's make every week "Adopt a Less Adoptable Pet Week." Continue reading
  • Hiding Behind my Dogs
    Hiding Behind my Dogs
    I love my dogs. Sanchez and Gina are part of my family and are with me a lot. They are extremely well socialized and I take them everywhere that allows dogs. I love our life together! However, I've also recently been noticing that I often hide behind them. Continue reading
  • More Dog Beds than Dogs!
    More Dog Beds than Dogs!
    I was feeling pretty sad about canceling my trip to BlogPaws due to hurricane Irene. So it was time for some good shopping therapy. After recently having a Feng Shui consultant update my home environment, I've had my eye out for affordable dog beds that match my blogging sofa. Continue reading
  • Top 10 Ways of Knowing You Are A Pet Blogger
    Top 10 Ways of Knowing You Are A Pet Blogger
    Here's a teaser: 10. You buy a new sofa specifically for the intent of inspiring you to write more blogs. You then call it your blogging sofa and can't write any other place. Continue reading
  • Fireworks? What Fireworks?
    Fireworks? What Fireworks?
    “I put the CD in at around 9:00 knowing the fireworks would be starting around 9:30. So down the basement, with Music to Calm your Canine Volume 1 playing, it couldn’t have been better! Thank you, Thank you! Three great nights of togetherness with beatiful background music and no shaking.” Continue reading
  • 10 Tips for Keeping your Dog Safe and Calm on July 4th
    10 Tips for providing a safe July 4th for your Canine Household. Continue reading
  • The Dog Lady
    This past weekend, I attended a local “Yappy Hour”, a growing popular term for a happy hour that welcomes dogs, usually in an outdoor setting. Gina spent the time retrieving balls and Sanchez was very content with his eyes glued to the food table, waiting for any morsel of food to drop to the ground to claim. I enjoyed meeting many new people and their dogs. One woman referred to me as “The Dog Lady”, as I was supplying her with information on Camp Unleashed (where I am the local director of a new branch in California), information on ACE Dog Sports – the fabulous agility school where I train, and Through a Dog’s Ear, music clinically demonstrated to relieve canine anxiety issues. The Yappy Hour took place in my hometown of Half Moon Bay, California, where I recently sold a music school that I owned here for 14 years. I was talking about my upcoming Elegant Dinner Concert celebrating American Music, and have an identity as “The Piano Lady” to many long-term locals. However, I was instantly known as “The Dog Lady” to a new friend. How did that happen? For one thing, probably by combining my love of … Continue reading
  • Surviving Pet Loss
    In the acknowledgments for Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1, I wrote, “In memory of my beloved soul-dog, Byron. You remain forever in my heart.” While recording, I kept the above picture of Byron on the piano. I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately. Byron’s eight year memorial is tomorrow and he really inspired my enormous love of dogs. I wrote the letter below just hours before he passed away at the ripe age of almost 14, on May 28, 2003. Dearest Byron, Words can’t possibly express what a treasure and gift you have been in my life. 12 1/2 years ago I wrote an affirmation that brought you into my life. I posted it on my bedroom mirror and read it every day. Six months later, in June of 1991, I learned that a 21-month-old Golden Retriever named Byron needed a new home. I’ll never forget the first time I saw you. You were wet because you had been playing on the beach and your entire focus was on retrieving the stick. Once the stick was gone though and I walked you to your new home, you acted as if you just loved me instantly. Barry said we … Continue reading
  • Can One Person Make a Difference?
    I regularly communicate with a multitude of people who make a difference in the lives of animals. Many conversations leave me in awe of how much people do to help animals. Sometimes it is part of their profession and other times it is through dedicated volunteer hours. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking to Jim St. Clair at Knox County Animal Shelter in Mt. Vernon, OH. It was our second conversation and it is very clear that this man really loves “his dogs”, as he lovingly refers to the dogs at his shelter. Through a Dog’s Ear provides music that has been clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system to shelters and rescue organizations at our cost. Our publisher, Sounds True, donated CD’s that go home with adopters and their new dogs.  Jim is a musician and knows the importance of playing music on a good sound system. So he reached out to his community and they donated the $1,000 needed to install good sound equipment for the dogs. Since they started playing Through a Dog’s Ear music, barking that used to be non-stop all day has diminished to a rare bark here and there. During our … Continue reading
  • Are Senior Dogs More Sound Sensitive?
    As I approach the big 50, I notice that I don’t have the same tolerance for loud environments that I did 20 or even 10 years ago. You rarely find me in Costo, clubs, or even loud restaurants anymore. Partly due to the crowds, but mostly due to the loud sound environment. I go into sensory overload and shut down quickly, meaning I can’t focus, feel stressed, my body tenses, and I’m quickly looking for the exit sign to a quieter environment where I can breathe peacefully. Similarly, if I’ve had a very stressful day, I want to come home and either have complete silence (except for the sounds of the wildlife in my remote home setting), or turn on music with simple sounds, such as the music from Through a Dog’s Ear. Currently, I have two dogs, both Labrador Retrievers. Sanchez is nearly eight years old and Gina is approaching 2 years. When I observe them, I notice that Sanchez doesn’t have the same tolerance for noise that he used to when he was younger. Growing up as a puppy in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind, he was socialized a great deal in public places and exposed to … Continue reading
  • I Have a Dream….
    Puppy dreaming to Music to Calm your Canine Companion It is Martin Luther King Day, and I woke up this morning thinking about his “I have a dream” speech. It inspired me to think about my real life dreams… I have a dream that Through a Dog’s Ear music is heard by over a million dogs in 2011, and improves their lives and those of their people. Additionally, over a million dogs in shelters find their forever homes because TaDE music calmed and quieted them. I believe in that dream so strongly that I am letting go of an identity I have been holding onto for 14 years to create the space for that dream to come to life. On November 1, 1996 I opened the doors to Lisa Spector’s Music School. Over the past 14 years, I have been very blessed to receive the support of a wonderful community eager to add music to their lives and those of their children. The school grew out of my love of teaching. It began with one piano in one room where I was the sole piano teacher. Now 14 plus years later, the school offers lessons in piano, voice, flute, guitar, … Continue reading
  • If Toto and Dorothy had Listened to Through a Dog’s Ear Music on their way to Oz!
    From 2004 to 2005, Through a Dog’s Ear music was tested on over 150 dogs with many common anxiety issues – separation anxiety, sound phobias (including fireworks), excessive barking, digging, etc. Since Through a Dog’s Ear launched to the public in 2008, people have been testing it on their own dogs with a huge variety of anxiety issues, beyond our original testing. To be completely honest, even I was shocked when I read this comment on Facebook from Dogtopia of Bayonne, New Jersey’s co-owner Donna Marie Ostrowski… “Music to Calm your Canine Companion really helped the dogs during that really bad tornado and thunderstorm that hit us on Thursday night too. Can’t wait to get the gorgeous new counter top display for our lobby at Dogtopia.”  While Through a Dog’s Ear music has helped many dogs during thunderstorms, this was the first report I heard of it keeping dogs calm during a tornado! We also didn’t specifically test on dogs with an absence of one of their senses. A blind dog seems to have a continued immediate relaxation response to Through a Dogs’ Ear music. Jude Tuttleby, owner of Life Lessons on Leash in Australia, posted this on Facebook, “I … Continue reading
  • Traveling Without My Dog
    Dog Bar in Chatham, MA. I am writing this on my return from a wonderful vacation on Cape Cod, where I visited  my sister and her family. I live outside of San Francisco, where daily walks with Sanchez along the coastal trail overlooking the ocean are a common occurrence. Swimming in the cold water is not. I am part fish (or mermaid?) and loved swimming in the warm Atlantic Ocean and ponds (that I would have called lakes) daily.  As readers know, I love my dog.  Would I have wanted him with me on this vacation? The honest answer is no. Right before I left for the trip, I posted on Facebook that I was having a very hard time leaving without Sanchez. I even cried several tears on the flight out. I couldn’t stop thinking about him until I spoke to his dog sitter when I arrived in Boston and heard he was fine. Once that occurred, I was able to stay focused on my vacation and not worry about him. There are two reasons that I didn’t want him with me on this trip. I spent most of my time at a beach where dogs are not allowed … Continue reading
  • Our Dog is Like American Express. We Don’t Leave Home Without Her!
    Sanchez in Apple Store, Hillsdale, CA I chuckled when I heard the above response about American Express when I asked my cousin, Josh Glick, about his adorable Golden Retriever, Chloe. It was funny because it’s also so true in my life with Sanchez. He goes almost everywhere with me, much more so than I’ve done with any dog in the past. I’m not sure if it’s because so many public places near me are dog friendly, or because he grew up as a Guide Dogs for the Blind puppy in training and he was bred and raised to be calm in social settgings. In his Guide Dog puppy training days, he even went to indoor restaurants and San Francisco Symphony concerts. Honestly, it’s pretty rare that he’s left at home alone, probably about once a week. Sanchez prefers an active social life of going to work with me and greeting students at my music school, going on errands with me (I think half of the town knows him by now), and just riding in the car to go anywhere. A variety of local venues (in Half Moon Bay, CA) have treats for him – my bank, the UPS store, and … Continue reading
  • Why Do Dogs Howl? Interview with Joshua Leeds
    Why Do Dogs Howl? Interview with Joshua Leeds
    Dogs everywhere have been howling to the theme song from Law and Order. It was so viral, that Dogster blogger, Maria Goodavage provided a link to 28 of them with just one click. While people think it is very entertaining, it appears that these dogs are very stressed by the sounds they are hearing. I asked sound researcher Joshua Leeds, co-author of the book Through a Dog’s Ear, for his input on this not so laughing matter. Continue reading



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