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Pet Sounds: Album Targets Music-Loving Dogs

"Animal Communicator" Kim Ogden-Avrutik, pictured on the <i>Ask the Animals</i> CD cover, helped Haynes create the CD.
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"Animal Communicator" Kim Ogden-Avrutik, pictured on the Ask the Animals CD cover, helped Haynes create the CD.

The music world offers myriad genres: classical, rock, hip-hop...but what about canine? Musician and producer Skip Haynes wants to give dogs a reason to prick up their ears. He talks with Scott Simon about his CD, Ask the Animals: Songs to Make Dogs Happy!

Haynes created the album in conjunction with an "animal communicator," Dr. Kim Ogden-Avrutik, who served as a sort of translator during focus groups to test out the music. Among the revelations: Some kinds of percussion (too much like gunshots) and the word "no" (not popular among many species) are not popular among dog listeners.

Notable titles on the disc include "I'll Be Back," "I Love Food," and what Haynes says is the album's No. 1 hit, "Squeaky-Deakey!" Haynes says that by being in the room when the album is played for the first two or three weeks, owners can create a positive association with the music that later calms pets down while the owner is out.

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Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.