A new year – and the start of Whole Dog Journal’s 20th year of publication.
It used to drive me crazy when my parents used to say it, but, gee, time is going by faster than ever – and it never ever goes faster than when I’m gathering information for a dog food review (our annual examination of dry dog food will appear in next month’s issue). So many products to examine, from so many companies! And this on top of ordering, fitting, sending back, re-ordering, re-fitting, and photographing a dozen front-clip harnesses for an upcoming review of those. Product reviews are the most time-consuming thing I do!
Also taking a lot of my time: Managing my adolescent dog Woody’s energy. As long as I remember to bring my camera along on our off-leash runs in my local open space areas, he’s great for photography that I can use for miscellaneous things (that’s him “flying” on the bottom of this page). I’m also leaning on him quite heavily these days for official Whole Dog Journal modeling duty, just to keep him busy and engaged. He posed with products in our gift guide last month, our "Gear of the Year" picks in this issue, and has been mostly patiently enduring the seemingly endless harness fittings for the upcoming review mentioned above. Keeping him in front of the camera is a good way to keep a sharp eye on him, as he’s prone (like any adolescent) to get into mischief if left to his own devices for too long.
Watching him grow into lanky adulthood as my nine-year-old dog, Otto, matures into an elder statesman, is another contributing factor to my sense that time is passing over-quick. They grow so fast, and they don’t live long enough!
But, boy, am I grateful that I’ve had the collective wisdom of all of the past 20 years’ worth of Whole Dog Journal writers and contributors to draw on for help and guidance as I raise and train my dogs, as well as an all-too-steady stream of needy foster dogs. How else would I know how to make Woody vomit up things he shouldn’t have swallowed (four times already this past year!)? Or how to deal with his copious and deadly emissions of noxious gas?
Or why my super-socialized, gregarious puppy suddenly started growling and raising his hair when he meets certain new people? (Look for an article on the “adolescent fear period” in an upcoming issue of WDJ; we haven’t explicitly covered the topic before, but I’m tapping our experts to make sure that I – and you, of course! – will soon know everything a dog owner needs to know about this apparently common but unpredictable phase in canine development.)
And all the articles on caring for senior dogs, such as long-time Whole Dog Journal contributor CJ Puotinen’s piece in this issue? I’m beholden to all the experts who have contributed to this treasure trove of advice, as I do everything in my power to make sure my beloved Otto stays active and happy as long as possible.
I don’t know exactly where 20 years has gone, but I do know that I’m just as excited as I was two decades ago about “what’s next” in Whole Dog Journal. I hope you are, too!