- Concert Pianist Juilliard Graduate Canine Music Expert
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- Do Your Pets Sleep With You?
- Playing Piano for Gina on her 5-Year ‘Gotcha Day’
- Do Dogs Really See With Their Noses?
- 5 Simple New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Dog’s Life
- 6 Loving Ways To Comfort Your Senior Dog
- Win an iCalmDog… It Stopped Border Collie’s Barking in 20 Seconds Flat!
- Happy Mother’s Day! Love, Fido
- 5 Signs of a Responsible Dog Owner
- How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Sound Sensitive?
- What is a Beautiful World with Pets?
- 5 Ways to Nurture Your Dog on National Spoil Your Dog Day
- When Dogs Bring Us The Best News!
- 6 Ways to Love Your Dog on National Love Your Pet Day
- 3 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats
- 10,000 Facebook Fans Rock… Calmly!
Lisa Spector’s Blog
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
It’s that time of year again… the kids are going back to school after an action packed summer. It’s been fun for the children, and Buster has been so happy with the extra attention and playtime. Then one day, his world changes. The house is empty and he’s left home alone. The stress of suddenly being alone may cause... 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. Continue reading
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
When you are single on February 14th, all the romantic advertising can make you feel that you need a date on Valentine’s Day to be happy. But, the truth is, your best Valentine’s date is already greeting you at the door when you come home, he just might happen to have four legs. I’ll be snuggling with my dogs, Sanchez and Gina, on Valentine's Day, and here’s why I’m happy to have the best date ever! 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
December is my most stressful month of the year, and I’m not even much of a holiday shopper. Regardless, traffic intensifies, crowds expand, my workload increases, and my patience decreases. The holiday season can be equally—if not more—stressful for our dogs. In addition to feeling the stress of their humans, holidays are also usually filled with changes to their daily routines and unfamiliar visitors, which can create anxious, stressed out dogs. Continue reading
In recent years, pets have become part of our families. There is a wealth of good information readily available about their health and behaviors, they often sleep with us, we take them on our vacations and we might even call ourselves pet parents. But, unlike our human children, they don’t understand the concept of Halloween or dressing in costumes to pretend they are someone else. Some dogs (and even less cats) can tolerate wearing costumes. Others may even enjoy the extra attention if their costume is comfortable. But, many can’t. They don’t like their paws being touched and put through sleeves, don’t like hats on their head and aren’t comfortable with anything that restricts their natural movement. 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. Serious behavior changes like resource guarding and separation anxiety developed later in life for him. I have heard from many people with senior dogs that get restless and agitated at night-time, yet they calmly sleep all day. It's easy to feel helpless watching their discomfort, yet there are many simple things we can do to help. Continue reading
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 ... Continue reading
We've been partying all week because my beloved Sanchez is 12 years old today, May 17. Yipee!!! While all of the years went by too fast, I'm learning to cherish every moment. Sanchez is teaching me to be more patient, forgiving, and present. These are lessons not always so easy for me. Yet, he has the patience of a saint and is the world’s best teacher. And I am a crazy pet parent that would do anything to make his life more comfortable. Continue reading
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
Animal pharmaceuticals are a booming business. Salon also reported that the pet pharmaceutical business has grown from $6.68 billion in 2011 to a projected $9.25 billion by 2015. Zoetis Inc., once a subsidiary of Pfizer, is at the top of the pharmaceutical chain, with yearly sales of Pfizer’s animal pharmaceuticals worth roughly $3.9 billion. Continue reading
As well as I thought I knew my Labrador, Gina, she even surprised me recently during this recent run at an AKC agility trial. It never ceases to amaze me how much I continue to learn from my dogs. Here’s what Gina taught me in 33 seconds: Continue reading
April was National Stress Awareness Month. As humans we have a multitude of choices regarding ways to reduce our overall stress level, including taking yoga classes, drinking green tea, meditating, keeping a gratitude journal, etc. But, how about our dogs? Continue reading
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
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
6. He wants to enjoy his own tunes, clinically demonstrated to calm dogs, when he's in his crate. Continue reading
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
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