Lutz composer markets CD to pets
By Sarah Whitman
Senior Staff Writer
LUTZ — Dottie Pino tried everything to relax her dog Bandit, a Lhasa Apsos she rescued from an abusive home two years ago. She gave him hugs and kisses. She took him for long walks. Still, Bandit was always a little bit on edge. At a loss, Pino decided to try something unusual. She purchased Animal Therapy Edition, a CD of songs to ease pet stress.
Composed by Lutz resident Connie Girard, the CD is a mix of soothing instrumentals and natural sounds.
“I put the CD on and left the room,” Pino said. “When I came back Bandit and my cat were lying flat on their backs with their feet up, completely relaxed.”
Bandit’s story is one of the composer’s favorites. His picture is up on Girard’s Web site, amongst other pets of happy customers. Girard, a musician since childhood, is excited to hear about how different animals are affected by her music.
“When I started composing, I was making something for people to enjoy, but then birds were flying to the window and squirrels were stopping outside,” she said. “I realized it was because of the music and that’s where I got the idea to market it to pet owners.”
Girard said all types of animals respond to sound. Years ago, she worked as an animal specialist with the former Metro Dade City in south Florida. There she learned to appreciate animals as emotional beings.
“They experience tension,” Girard said. “When something bad happens they feel it just like us.”
Jennifer Boron couldn’t believe it when her turtle, Mitz, seemed to be moved by the music. Boron had to give up Mitz’s turtle mate because she was becoming aggressive. Left alone, Mitz gave up on day-to-day life outside his shell.
“Mitz hadn’t been eating or moving around much,” Boron said. “I started playing the CD thinking my cats would like it. I turned it up and saw the water in the turtle tank vibrating. Mitz must have felt it because he started climbing again and eating again.”
Boron’s cats, Spunky and Curly, like the music too.
“My cats always get car sick and I had to take them on a road trip,” she said. “I put the CD on in my car and they didn’t get sick. I think its because they were more comfortable and relaxed.”
Girard believes animals experience stress in a way similar to humans.
“Their brains respond to calming effects,” she said.
“I put the music on late afternoon and at night,” she said. “I cuddle Bandit and he goes to sleep. I’d recommend the CD to anyone with a pet who has been abused.”
Animal Therapy Edition is currently for sale online at www.animalmusictherapy.com. The cost is $19.95. Girard is marketing it to stores and hopes veterinarians in the area will carry it as well. To get the word out, Girard will play the CD from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Land O’ Lakes Saturday Market, 5401 Land O’ Lakes Blvd. People are invited to bring pets.