Worthwhile Causes



I am extremely pleased that you chose to not only highlight the sport of agility (my chosen dog sport passion) in the August 2000 issue, but that you chose to only give reference to those agility organizations that welcome ALL dogs, regardless of pedigree!

An estimated 60 percent of dogs in this country are mixed breeds. My mission is to teach people to NOT think of getting a purebred, but to go to the shelters. Very often, the type of dogs that are too much for your average family adopting a dog are perfect for performance sport homes.

I have two top performing shelter rescue dogs. They are both USDAA Master Agility dogs and only a couple of legs away from being Agility Dog Champions. They have each qualified and competed at the USDAA and NADAC National Agility Championships numerous times and have dabbled in herding and obedience as well. The only reason that people might consider getting a purebred is because, A) they like a certain breed (that’s okay) or, B) they want to compete in AKC agility and cannot with a mix (that’s NOT okay in my opinion).

Three Cheers for Whole Dog Journal’s all-inclusive approach! You’ve certainly won me over forever!

-Elise Paffrath
Guilford, VT

I have enjoyed your recent articles on raw meat-based diets (Rractice Safe Steaks,” August, and Bones of Contention, September). When my dog was a pup, I stumbled across Dr. Ian Billinghurst’s Give Your Dog A Bone and have never looked back.

I consider raw meat and bones the backbone (no pun intended) of my dog’s diet. She is three and a half years old, lean, energetic, with a wonderful coat and beautiful teeth. In all that time, she has never, ever had a problem with either the meat or the bones and I’m not particularly careful with the choice or the method of preparation, except to say that they are always given raw.

Because I’m a busy mom, my method of feeding has evolved into something very simple. First, I look for the most economical meat I can buy (super fresh and organic would be nice but too expensive for my mindset). This is usually chicken quarters in a big bag and/or turkey backs. I try to buy these in large quantities so I have plenty on hand. Then I buy a cheap box of plastic bags. I take the time to bag the meat in single meal portions. For my dog this is usually one chicken quarter. Then I freeze it all at once. Kelly eats frozen meat nearly all the time. She loves it. This way I don’t worry about or have to deal with spoilage or dripping juices.

I also have a plastic drop cloth that I put in the back corner of the house. This is where she gets her meat. She needs room to crunch and rip the meat apart. I fold up the cloth when she’s done and it gets cleaned periodically.

Meticulous, no. Feasible, yes. For me and my lifestyle, it makes raw feeding workable, and all types of dog food, which I find unacceptable, avoidable. Kelly’s diet is supplemented other nutritious table foods, all of which she tolerates and enjoys. I also pay attention to Dr. Billinghurst’s recommendations for balanced feeding. Perhaps my experience will benefit others.

-Lisa McDougal
Madison, Wisconsin

I just received the new issue (September 2000) and wanted to make a comment about the Toy Story. In your rankings, the Fetch & Flash ball got a much lower score than the Zap ball, mostly because it only lights up instead of making noises. I just wanted to comment that if you have a deaf dog, the flashing ball is the best thing going (especially if she is a ball-obsessed Aussie).

You may not realize it, but you have a fair number of subscribers who have deaf dogs. You got glowing recommendations on the deafdog list at eGroups recently. Just thought you’d like to know!

-Jennifer Laus
via email

Thanks for reminding us about special needs dogs! We’ll have to research an article about training deaf dogs soon.