I leave the radio on for my dogs when I leave the house. Some people leave the television on, but I think my girls prefer the music. The Laurel Canyon Animal Company makes music exclusively for animals – especially dogs. The company has been producing music since 1999, and they collaborate with psychics and animal communication specialists to get dogs directly involved in the making of the music.
Company co-founder Skip Haynes says that they “listen” to what the dogs say and then turn it into a song. They are likely the only company in the world that makes music in this unique way. The Laurel Canyon Animal Company hopes their music creates a bridge between humans and animals.
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Every CD they create is geared toward a particular species. Every track addresses a unique situation, concern or shared experience of humans and animals. They work with writers, artists, musicians, poets, producers and communicators who all love animals – and, of course, the animals themselves.
The best way to explain how the concept works is to tell you a bit about the company’s latest release, I’m Here For You. It is a CD that was created by collaborating with Paula Brown, a well-known animal communicator, and Surf Dog Ricochet, a therapy dog. The Laurel Canyon Animal Company used Brown’s “reading” of Ricochet to produce a song, and then they played it back for the dog.
They made some final adjustments to the track based on the dog’s responses to the song, and then added lyrics sung by Donna Delory (who was also approved by Ricochet). They also created a holiday album for dogs entitled Bring an Animal Home for the Holidays. It includes tracks like “Squeaky Christmas,” “Jingle Fish,” “Animal Holiday” and “Holiday Bark.”
They make CDs for cats as well and even one for gorilla lovers. Dogs still remain the favorite. Maybe it’s because the company’s very first CD, Ugly Dogs Need More Love, was produced specifically for canines. Haynes said that the tracks from the CD were played over the radio and thousands of dogs responded to it. It’s unsure exactly how they know that.
If you think what you just read was strange, hang on – it gets even stranger. One of the company’s most popular tracks for dogs, Squeaky Deaky, was created with the help of Dr. Kim Ogden-Avrutik, an animal communicator. She actually put together focus groups of more than 200 dogs which she questioned on their musical preferences.
Dr. Ogden-Avrutik also played many different types of music for the dogs and noted what they liked and didn’t like. Squeaky Deaky is the result of the canines’ responses. Haynes says that the company’s mission is to show people that they aren’t just dogs – they aren’t pieces of property. Dogs are living beings that have things to tell us.
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I believe that part. I know our dogs have things to tell me, and I watch for all their signs. Dogs use body language and vocalizations to communicate their wants and needs. There’s no doubt about that. But do they have a preference in music? Maybe.
Some television stations now make shows specifically for dogs. Research has proven that dogs are drawn to certain sights and sounds. Maybe there are certain types of music that they are more interested in. Or maybe, like humans, every dog has his own personal musical preferences. What do you think?