A year ago my life changed. Because of my deep desire to improve the lives of dogs using sound therapy, I made the decision to sell my music school that I owned for 14 years and devote my full working time to the growth and expansion of Through a Dog’s Ear. Although it appeared as a decision I made, it felt as if life just made it for me. I just followed the signs that were showing up.
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.
Door #1: In January 2011, I attended Clicker Expo and met Victoria Stilwell, star dog trainer on Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog”. She had played Music to Calm your Canine Companion for stressed out dogs on several of her shows, with great results, so she was very familiar with Through a Dog’s Ear. Through the course of several months, Joshua Leeds and I enjoyed phone conferences with her, brainstorming ideas for a collaborative project. When discussing the needs of dogs, we wanted to create an auditory tool for the prevention and treatment of canine anxiety disorders, hence the creation of our joint project, the Canine Noise Phobia series.
CNP is an innovative desensitization training tool that combines three distinctive elements:
- progressive sound effects (distant/close)
- specially-designed psychoacoustic music (Through a Dog’s Ear)
- reward-based reinforcement protocols (Victoria Stilwell)
We launched CNP at the Association of Pet Dog Trainer’s Conference in San Diego in October 2011, where Joshua and I were co-presenting. We were thrilled with the enthusiastic response from all the trainers and have enjoyed all the wonderful testimonials coming in since the October launch, including this from N. Weller in St. Louis, MO.
“I am preparing for the New Years Eve firworks. We are relaxing to the Canine Noise Phobia Fireworks CD. My skittish Greyhound fights hard to stay awake. The subtle fireworks make him stare at the speaker. Then he drifts off. 75+ lb brindle boy, sleeping like a baby. Mom might have to curl up too.”
Door #2: When we launched our first CD in 2008, we knew that it would help calm dogs in shelters (as phase one of clinical research was tested in shelters), and we were hopeful that it would help increase adoption rates. So we started providing CD’s at cost to shelters and rescue organizations. The shelters played the two CD’s we sent them, Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1 and 2, and foster homes of the rescue organizations played them for their transitioning dogs. Our publisher, Sounds True, donated 2,500 CD’s to be sent home with the new adopters to play in their homes for their newly adopted dogs. By 2011, we had sent CD’s to about 400 shelters and many had reported an increase in adoption rates. The music was creating a quieter shelter environment, encouraging visitors to stay longer, and adoption rates were increasing.
In early 2011, Adopt-A-Pet.com had become familiar with Through a Dog’s Ear and our shelter program. We both share the mission of helping shelter and rescue dogs find their forever homes. They were able to match us with a corporate sponsor that donated 1,000 copies of Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 2 to 1,000 shelters throughout the United States at the end of 2011. We are thrilled that Through a Dog’s Ear music is helping even more dogs find their forever homes.
Door #3: On January 25, 2012, Through a Dog’s Ear was featured on Good Morning America on a segment called “Stress Busters for Anxious Pets”. We were honored to be one of four sensory integration products that was recommended by “America’s Vet”, Dr. Marty Becker.
Door #4: Two weeks after the Good Morning America feature, Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 1 reached Billboard’s Classical Top 20 chart! When I was a student at Juilliard, I never could have guessed that I’d be going through the doggie door to make Billboard. Well, all I can say is, “My tail’s waggin!”
What’s behind Door #5? We create therapeutic sound tracks cross species. Stay tuned for some pretty exciting news about music we are releasing this year for an additional two species. What species are you interested in introducing to psychoacoustics?
Have you tried Sound Therapy for your dogs? Through a Dog’s Ear is the first music clinically demonstrated to calm the canine nervous system.