Lisa Spector discussing her latest project with one of her muses, Sanchez

I’ve been called a grinch for grumbling about this time of year, its sentimentality and sensory overload. Fine. But I contend that I don’t steal the spirit of the holiday season so much as provide a respite from it for those who need one — and that includes your dog. That’s right. Even if you, my human readers,  love every minute of this season, from entertaining your friends and co-workers to piling into the car to visit family back home, your dog may not be quite so keen on it.

Consider the information in the interview I did with Lisa Spector for Animal Cafe, then, my gift to your canine companions — a gift you can make literal at a terrific discount (see the end of this post).

Through a Dog’s Ear CDs

I love when science and art meet to make life better. That’s the case with Through A Dog’s Ear, a series of classical music CDs performed by Lisa, a Julliard-trained concert pianist, and based on the principals of bioacoustics, which studies the physiological effects of sound on the listener. A  guest poster on this blog, Wrigley the Havachon, provided a testimonial to the effectiveness of the results on him:

I was very skeptical at first when my guardian popped in the CD while we were riding in the car. “This will help you calm down a little,” she said. Right! Me? Calm down in a moving vehicle? Ha! I’m too busy ducking objects flying by the glass windows like asteroids going 100 miles an hour and always guessing where we are going and feeling every little bump the four wheels go over, turning right, no…make that a hard left…RED LIGHT!! Hit the BRAKES!! Yea, like I’m gonna calm down…wait a minute! This is nice music! Classical you say? Not bad, but if you think it’s gonna calm me dow……..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

Read the rest of the post — which also explains bioacoustics in terms even your dog could understand — here.

What I Discussed With Lisa

I’ve known about Through a Dog’s Ears CDs even before I got Wrigley’s testimony — I wrote about them in AM I BORING MY DOG — and I got to know Lisa after we did a CD/book exchange, virtually at first and then in person as her roommate at the BlogPaws Denver conference last year. But there were a lot of things I didn’t know about her and her work: The genesis of the Music to Calm Your Canine Companion CDs in general and the Driving Edition in particular (hint: dog agility sports are involved); the amount and type of research done to come up with the specific classical music tracks used on the CDs; the new collaborative project she and Animal Planet trainer Victoria Stilwell just came out with.

So I asked her. And you’ll have to listen to the interview, posted below, to find out the answers.

But before that, a couple of other exciting — you can tell by the exclamation points — things…

Free Download Week!

By happy coincidence, Through a Dog’s Ear has a big promotion going this week, with free daily downloads and an annual word game where people compete to win free music for their favorite shelters and rescues. Today’s download is  Debussy Reflets Dans L’eau from Driving Edition, available starting at noon EST.

Holiday Discount!

As promised: Get 25% off a combination of Driving Edition and Music to Calm your Canine Companion Vol. 3 until Dec 31, 2011 by using coupon code TravelWithCalmDog; the 25% will be deducted from your total at checkout. Note: This must be a combination of both exact CDs, and it’s good for product purchase only, not on downloads. One discounted purchase per customer.

The Interview!

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