Belle: The Inspiration Behind the Product Idea

BelleThe story of this remarkable, patented new invention began with a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier named Belle, Music Mutz co-inventor/founder Lisa Caputo and a violent thunderstorm.

One summer night Belle was so traumatized by loud claps of thunder that Lisa was unable to console her. In a desperate attempt to bring relief to her anxiety-stricken dog, Lisa got down on the floor with Belle, held her iPod earphones in her ears and played soothing music for her. Within minutes, Belle became less agitated and remained calm for the duration of the storm.

Knowing Kris Baggelaar’s background of working with dogs, Lisa recalled the story to her. Kris immediately agreed with Lisa that a collar with soothing music would be a wonderful solution for dogs suffering from auditory phobias. Music Mutz was born.

Our Founders

Lisa conceived the revolutionary concept to integrate the soothing power of music within a mobile device “to go wherever the dog goes.”

A former veterinarian technician at North Shore Animal League, Port Washington, NY, Lisa Caputo was passionate about animals.

Through her affiliation with Inventors Workshop in Santa Barbara, California, and the help of its president Alan Tratner, Lisa patented three unique applications of her invention. It was her hope that, in addition to helping countless pets that are afflicted by auditory phobias, a portion of all sales would be donated to animal rescue organizations.

Sadly, Lisa was not able to continue her work with Music Mutz due to a serious illness. However, Music Mutz co-founder Kris Baggelaar continued to make their mutual dream a reality, turning Lisa’s original concept into a highly effective and market-ready product.

Kris was born into a family with a Rough Coat Collie named Heidi Ho, who became her loyal companion and protector and also laid the foundation for a lifelong bond of love of all animals, especially dogs.

Because of her dedication to improving the quality of life for dogs and promoting the human-animal bond, she initiated a family community service project to raise a puppy for the Guide Dog Foundation For the Blind (GDF) in 1986. Over the next 25 years as a volunteer for the GDF, Kris raised and trained five puppies, fostered other dogs and volunteered in many ways, including using her experience as a schoolteacher to conduct educational presentations.

The concept of exposing anxious dogs to soothing music was already familiar to Kris from her experience with GDF and its practice of piping classical music into kennel areas to create a relaxing atmosphere. Kris also played classical music at home and in her car for her own anxious golden retriever Hannah, who would become Kris’s in-house test subject while developing the musical Collar.

Lisa and Kris worked for several years on modifications of the product. They obtained a patent in fall 2013. The brand name “Music Mutz” was trademarked in 2015. After Lisa became ill, Kris continued with the research and development of a custom-designed player, specially composed music, and everything else to get the product ready for market.

After several iterations of the Collar and audio system, the final product has not only been proven to not only calm dogs with auditory phobias, but is also a source of comfort to dogs with non-auditory phobias.