Whole Dog Journal Blog

Rabies is Still a Deadly Threat

December 19, 2011 - Headline news over the weekend: South Caroline woman contracts rabies; first human case in that state in 50 years. This comes on the heels of hearing news from East Coast animal shelters that they’ve been seeing cases of rabies in cats. All in all, pretty alarming news. Today and in the U.S., most people take it for granted that rabies is a distant, old-timey threat, sort of like smallpox. But rabies has not been eradicated – far from it. It’s still common in wildlife, and a threat to any unvaccinated mammal who comes into contact with an infected species.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 04:50PM Comments (4)

Holiday Wishes

December 13, 2011 - If you could have ONE holiday wish granted that would benefit your dog or dogs, what would it be? If you could have ONE holiday wish granted that would benefit all dogs, what would that be? I’ll go first: For my dog Otto, I’d wish that an agility club, fully outfitted with obstacles and populated by fun dog people, started in my town.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:46AM Comments (17)

Make a Gift of Your Dog-Friendly Recommendations

December 6, 2011 - What if all of my dog-loving friends and relatives sent each other a “gift” of a list of beloved and trusted dog professionals with whom they’ve had personal experience? If someone sent me such a list, you can bet I’d post it on the wall near my computer, just in case I needed a referral for a good emergency clinic, rehabilitation practitioner, acupuncturist, nutrition expert, cardiologist – whatever! My friends contain a wealth of information; why not mine them for that information before I even need it (like now)?
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:52AM Comments (7)

A Dilemma – An Appointment vs. A Roadside Puppy Seller

November 28, 2011 - On Saturday afternoon, I was driving to meet a friend for a hike with our dogs. (She has two and so do I). I was running a few minutes late. I was on the busiest thoroughfare in town when I saw a truck parked on a wide pullout on the other side of the street with a large hand-painted sign on the side: “Golden Retriever puppies for sale, with a phone number.” There were several large dog crates in the back of the truck and I could see (as I slowed as much as I could without getting rear-ended) that there were at least a half a dozen pups in the crates.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 02:20PM Comments (20)

The Healing Power of Dogs (and cats)

November 21, 2011 - I woke up with a headache on Sunday morning – a migraine. I get a couple per month; they are not completely unpredictable. But I had planned one getting a lot of things done, so I was a bit stubborn. I got dressed, took some medication, and tried to start the day anyway. I fed the dogs, cats, and chickens, had a little breakfast . . . and then had to go back to bed.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 02:39PM Comments (7)

How do you decide which animal-related charities to support?

November 15, 2011 - At this time of year, we are all besieged with pleas for charitable contributions of every kind. Chances are, if you have ever given money to even one animal-related charity, the following year, you found yourself receiving solicitations from dozens of them. Then you have to choose which organizations deserve – or can do the most – with your donations.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:47AM Comments (34)

Record Flooding in Thailand Means Epic Disaster for Dogs and Cats

November 7, 2011 - When most of us hear about animal caught in natural disasters, we sigh and fret – and then move on. One close friend of Whole Dog Journal has done more. Rain has been falling relentlessly in Thailand since July, and many parts of the country are experiencing the worst flooding reported since World War II. Bangkok, the capital and the most densely populated city in the country (with more than 9 million residents) is suffering from particularly severe flooding. Bangkok is also known as a city with one of the largest populations of stray dogs in the world. It’s been estimated that as many as 300,000 stray dogs roam the city’s streets at any given time.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 11:20AM Comments (0)

A Fresh Look at the Pets...and Their Weight!

November 1, 2011 - I’ve been away from home for six days and nights (combined business trip and opportunity to see my kid play in a national championship for his sport). My husband was home feeding the animals (my dog Otto, niece’s dog/long-term foster Peanut, two former kittens/now juvenile cats/pests, three chickens). My first impression when I get home: none of the animals have had ANY affection since I left town (doubt this is true), and all the animals are too fat!
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 12:58PM Comments (7)

An Admirable Model: Lotus Pet Foods

October 25, 2011 - I’ve toured half a dozen dry pet food manufacturing plants, and to date, three wet pet food plants. In most cases, to secure the invitation for a tour, I am asked to sign a nondisclosure agreement, promising not to disclose anything that may be proprietary in nature for the owner of the plant or any information about which company’s products are made there. This is one of the reasons it was such a pleasure to be invited to a pet food plant with no strings attached. The owner and CEO of Lotus Pet Foods extended an invitation for me to tour their new (launched in February 2011) plant in Torrance, California.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:52AM Comments (4)

When Friends Breed Their Dogs

October 18, 2011 - I’m going to have to ask for forgiveness ahead of time: This post may well offend some of my friends, neighbors, and readers. I’m sorry – and conflicted. I’ve been asked a number of times for my opinion about breeding dogs. Do I know a good male Jack Russell to mate with their female; would I suggest buying a puppy from that breeder who advertises puppies on the billboard by the highway; how long should they wait until they breed their German Shepherd Dog?
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 09:16AM Comments (37)

Rabies Vaccination and The Law

October 10, 2011 - I saw a news item over the weekend announcing that my state’s governor (California’s Jerry Brown) signed “Molly’s Bill” (AB 258), exempting certain dogs from the rabies vaccine requirement. Dogs whose lives would be endangered by the vaccination “due to disease or other considerations that a veterinarian can verify and document” -- as determined by a licensed veterinarian on an annual basis – now have a legal means of avoiding vaccination against rabies. California is the 14th state to sign such a bill into law.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:19PM Comments (25)

I Think I’m Going to Have to Write a Book

October 3, 2011 - The good news: For each of the past two weekends, someone I know has come to my town from hundreds of miles away to adopt a dog from my local shelter. It’s not luck; it’s thanks to my relentless promotion of dogs I’ve met while volunteering – AND because I tell everyone I know who is looking for a dog that if they adopt from my shelter, they receive that dog’s lifetime of FREE “tech support” from me. The challenge: Actually finding the time to provide that promised support to new and somewhat inexperienced dog owners.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 03:18PM Comments (7)

Life With Canine Cancer – The New Normal

September 26, 2011 - It’s nine o’clock on Tuesday evening. I don’t know what to do with myself. The dishes are done, the dogs are fed. They are quite relaxed for Border Collies; they romped for hours in the warm spring air. I don’t want to sleep. Tomorrow everything will change. But right now my two B&W companions are snoozing happily next me on the bed. I want to hold this moment still for as long as possible. I want it to stretch out and wrap its memories around me forever. Right now, this moment, all is right with the world.
Posted by Barbara Dobbins at 03:00PM Comments (19)

A Good Time for Feedback from You, Our Readers!

September 20, 2011 - In my editorial in the September issue, I mentioned that both my writers and I have endured some various challenging life events this summer, which delayed the appearance of a few articles. Fortunately, other terrific pieces were prepared ahead of schedule, or in a few cases, appeared out of thin air from one of my regular contributors. Despite the drama, we’ve been able to bring you a full 24 pages of information you could immediately put into practice – even if it wasn’t on the topics we hinted at in the “what’s ahead” bar that appears on page 24. Mentioning these difficulties last month accomplished one nice side effect: I received a number of notes or email messages containing suggestions for other articles. It gave me an idea: While regrouping, I should take this opportunity to formally ask all of you about what you’d like to see in WDJ. And so I’ve asked the Web guys at our publishing HQ to add a link to WDJ’s home page (whole-dog-journal.com) for a short survey. Would you please go to the survey and answer just a few questions about what you’d like to see more of, or less of, in WDJ?
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 08:43AM Comments (18)

It’s My Birthday, Make Some Dog Food

September 12, 2011 - Guess what I did for my birthday? I toured a brand-new pet food cannery, one that makes super high-end food. Yippee! It may not be most people’s idea of a good time, but it was actually the most exciting way to spend the day that I can think of. I’ve been working on a review of wet dog foods (including canned and pouched products) and the offer to see this new plant, located in Southern California, was a matter of great timing.
Posted by Nancy Kerns at 04:29PM Comments (5)