Our publishing headquarters is located in Connecticut. I work from a home-based office in the San Francisco Bay Area. As a result, I’ve met some of my “co-workers” only once or twice in almost 10 years, but we communicate often via phone and e-mail. That’s how I first heard about Brittany, a 10-year-old Beagle belonging to Jennifer Jimolka, an executive assistant on the headquarters’ staff.
Jennifer had taken a call from someone who was interested in sending literature and samples of an arthritis-relief product called “Dog-Gone Pain” (or “DGP”) to the Whole Dog Journal. Jennifer gave the caller my address, but, as the owner of an older, arthritic dog, she asked if she could receive information about the product, too! The caller turned out to be from American BioSciences, the sole U.S. distributor of DGP, and she offered to send a sample of the product to Jennifer for her dog.
I received a sample and some product literature, and filed it away. Then I started getting calls and e-mail messages from Jennifer about Brit’s near-miraculous response to the DGP. “You have to do a story about this!” Jennifer would tell me. “Brit is doing much better now that she’s getting DGP. She’s not so sore after a good run, and she can jump on the bed again!”
Later, I heard that Jennifer was telling all of her friends about DGP. She wrote me a note about one of her friends, an owner of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, who are now receiving DGP with great results. Most recently, Jennifer told me, “This is one pill I feel very strongly about and make sure Brit gets every day.”
The next person to start pushing me for an article about DGP was our Training Editor, Pat Miller. Pat heard about DGP through an e-mailed request for participants in a study of the herbal pain reliever. Pat has an arthritic Kelpie who needed Rimadyl in order to get up easily, so she contacted the coordinator to see if the dog could be included in the study. Soon I started receiving e-mails from Pat, too, about how well Katie was responding to DGP.
So when I received an e-mail from the study coordinator, Jan Skadberg, asking if WDJ would be interested in being the first publication to receive the study results, I was like, “All right, all right already! I’ll publish an article about DGP!”
Seriously, I was honored to have been given the opportunity to publish the study’s findings. But when I received them, I found myself having questions about the study’s coordinator. I called Jan, and quizzed her very closely about her connections to American BioSciences (she has none) and her motivation for putting such an enormous amount of time and energy into a study that would clearly benefit the distributor of the product if DGP performed well.
As is often the case, there was a dog in the answer. Jan felt a deep debt of gratitude for the relief her beloved canine companion, James, received from DGP in his final years. She chose to pay back that debt by testing the product further and by publicizing the results. At my request, her story, and James, became part of the article I asked her to write. It appears in this issue.