A Busy Ram, A Wonderful Seminar

First off, thanks to everyone at All About Dogs and all the participants of the seminar in Woodbridge, VA. Every audience has a personality all its own (anyone every done temperament tests on audiences?), and this group was a delight from beginning to end. About 150 people and I spent the weekend in an inquiry about emotions, ethology, people and dogs. And as usual, I learned a lot. Several people reported that they too had played the music from Through A Dog's Ear, (designed by a musicologist and a veterinary neurologist to soothe and calm dogs) and that they had seen impressive results. One person said her dogs now lay down and go to sleep as soon as she turns on the music. (Don't expect miracles though... no sound is powerful enough to sedate an exercise-starved puppy who just got out Read More

Us, Our Dogs and Sound Pollution

Well, no more storms, thank heavens, but I did read more of Through a Dog's Ear. In it the authors talk about the effects of sound on the health of humans, as well as that of dogs. I'm as sound sensitive as a stereotypical sheltie, so I pricked up my metaphorical ears. Here I am, some one who can't stand noisy restaurants (take me to a noisy one and watch me start to tongue flick), is exhausted at loud parties and craves a quiet country morning with nothing but bird song in the air. (Excuse the digression, but I am reminded of a dear city friend, who was visiting me and friends at our places in the country years ago. We all sat on a hill, overlooking a tangerine sky at sunset when somene commented how peaceful it was. Royce, as urban as they come, said "Peaceful? It's a racket out here. Read More

Thunder Phobia and Your Dog: Good Sounds, Bad Sounds

5 AM. I wake up to Lassie's nails clicking on the floor (wasn't I going to trim them last night?) as a boom of thunder shakes the farmhouse. Damn.  Why is it that Lassie's slight discomfort of storms has become more serious as her hearing degrades?  Surely it should go the other way around. We pad downstairs and lay down together on the carpet, she spooning against me as I stroked her head. (And no, it won't make her more afraid of storms.... check out my column coming out in Bark magazine soon.)  "Eaa-a-a-a-a-a-a-sy" I crooned, using my voice to help her calm herself.  Why didn't I bring the CD home from "Through a Dog's Ear," a new and fantastic book about the effect of sound on dogs? The CD has music designed by the authors to calm dogs, and both it and the book are invaluable Read More