Tag Archives: Lisa Spector

7 Simple Tips for Calming Your Dog During Fireworks

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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

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10 Reasons Dogs Make The Best Valentine’s Date

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

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Feeling Guilty While Caring for My Senior Dog

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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

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Celebrating Musical Dogs on National Dog Day

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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

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5 Easy Tips to Help Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

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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

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Happy Mother’s Day! Love, 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 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

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6 Ways to Love Your Dog on National Love Your Pet Day

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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

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When Dogs Bring Us The Best News!

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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

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5 Simple New Year’s Resolutions To Improve Your Dog’s Life

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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

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5 Stress Busting Tips for Dogs During The Holidays (with video)

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

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Costumes For Dogs: Yea or Nay?

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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

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Playing Piano for Gina on her 5-Year ‘Gotcha Day’

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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

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Do Dogs Belong In Concert Halls?

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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

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How Do You Know If Your Dog Is Sound Sensitive?

Hear no Evil

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

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5 Ways to Nurture Your Dog on National Spoil Your Dog Day

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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

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6 Loving Ways To Comfort Your Senior Dog

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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

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10,000 Facebook Fans Rock… Calmly!

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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

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How Could My Puppy Be 12-Years-Old Already?

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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

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Do Dogs Really See With Their Noses?

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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

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5 Signs of a Responsible Dog Owner

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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

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What is a Beautiful World with Pets?

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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

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Was Your Dog Naughty or Nice This Year?

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While it’s entertaining to think about for humans, very few, if any, dogs want to be naughty. I know it may appear he is misbehaving when you chase him around the house to get the santa stocking out of his mouth. But, to a dog, it’s simply a fun game, and the santa hat is no different than a favorite soft toy. In reality, Buster isn’t being naughty. He’s just being a dog. Continue reading

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All Dressed Up For The Holidays

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Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook fans recently shared these testimonials with photos of their dogs all dressed up for Christmas and Chanukah. Enjoy! Continue reading

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3 Surprising Health Benefits of Pumpkin for Dogs and Cats

Sanchez Great pumpkin

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

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Happy Halloween from the Bumblebees

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You’ve probably seen Sanchez and Gina snoozing under the piano when I’m playing Through a Dog’s Ear music. But, sometimes my fingers go flying on the keys while playing concert repertoire. Continue reading

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe on Halloween

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It can be very fun for children to dress up as ghouls and goblins. 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 yelling “Trick or Treat” can cause excessive barking and put many dogs into sensory overload. Continue reading

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5 Surprising Ways to Protect Your Dog’s Hearing

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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

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Prozac for Pets Grows in Popularity, How Sad is That?

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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

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5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dog in 33 Seconds

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

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Happy 11th Birthday Señor Sanchez!

Sanchez Before After Years

Today is Sanchez’s 11th Birthday!

I don’t know how my puppy is 11 already, but I am eternally grateful that Sanchez is in great health on his 11th birthday.

I’m very aware of the challenges of having a senior pet. Sanchez is teaching me to be more patient, forgiving, and present. These are lessons not always so easy for me. Continue reading

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5 Surprising Ways to Reduce Stress in Your Canine Household

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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

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My Dog’s First Piano Recital

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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

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Is Your Dog Your Sweetheart?

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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

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My Most Emotional Moment of 2013

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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

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The Saga of the New Dog Bed

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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

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Paying Tribute to Freedom Dogs on Veteran’s Day

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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

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Tips for Keeping Dogs Safe on Halloween

Sanchez Great pumpkin

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

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10 Signs You Speak Woof

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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

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Music to Comfort Senior Dogs? Tenderly!

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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

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Top 8 Reasons Your Dog Needs an iPawd

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6. He wants to enjoy his own tunes, clinically demonstrated to calm dogs, when he’s in his crate. Continue reading

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What Dogs Teach Us About Time

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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

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High Tech Gadgets for Pets (Win an iCalmDog)

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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

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Can You Help Me Win a Trip to Barkworld?

How does a Juilliard graduate, concert pianist get to Carnegie Hall? PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! How does a canine music expert, pet blogger get to Barkworld 2013?

Win a contest sponsored by Pruven Pet Products Continue reading

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Does Your Dog Love to Kiss?

Sanchez kissing Lisa at Piano

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

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Helping Fearful Fido During Fireworks

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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

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Do Your Pets Sleep With You?

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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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Confessions From a Crazy Pet Parent

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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