Belle: The Inspiration Behind the Product Idea
The story of this remarkable, patented new invention began with a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier named Belle, co-inventor Lisa 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, placed the MP3 headphones in her ears and played a soothing music selection. Within minutes, Belle became less agitated and remained calm for the duration of the storm. Knowing how much her friend Kris Baggelaar knew about animal behavior, 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.
A new invention was born.
Sadly, Lisa was not able to continue her work with Music Mutz due to a serious illness. However, Music Mutz co-founder/owner Kris Baggelaar continued to make their mutual dream a reality, turning a concept into a patented and highly effective product.
Kris was born into a family with a 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.
Kris has been working for several years on the concept, research and development of a custom-designed player, branding and marketing, 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 calm dogs with auditory phobias but is also a source of comfort to dogs with non-auditory phobias.