We get a lot of new readers every February, which is a good thing, since we are supported only by readers (we dont sell ads so we can retain our independent voice). Most of these new readers come on board as a result of their response to one of our direct mail marketing efforts. (I know that many people have negative associations with direct mail, but these mailings are the only way, other than word-of-mouth, that we find new readers; its probably the way we found you!)
So, we love new readers; we need readers. We wouldnt be here without you. However, the challenge for me, in the month that follows publication of the first issue that many subscribers receive, is responding to the tidal wave of calls, letters, and e-mails from people who, being new to our holistic health/nonviolent training orientation, tend to kind of freak out when they read WDJ for the first time.
Some sample correspondence:
What the heck do you mean Science Diet is no good?! I get it from my vet!
Did you really mean to say we shouldnt use spot-on flea treatments on our dogs?
And, I dont want to spoil my dog with treats. Why dont you talk about training with shock collars?
I try to tell people to hang in there; I know its a shock, at first, to see a publication that actually takes a stand on these issues (and more), advocating for healthy, happy dogs instead of toeing the line in consideration of their advertisers, who actually support those magazines. I try to suggest that they read past the headlines to learn the reasons why we dont like certain foods, pesticides, or training methods; were really not coming out of left field. (I have to admit, in fact, that a small percentage of my correspondents complain that we arent left enough!)
Fortunately, just as many of the new people are thrilled to discover a community of dog lovers who are just as committed as they are to getting and keeping their dogs in tip-top physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual health. Its a great pleasure to hear the stories these people have to tell about their own quests to find the healthiest dog foods and safest and most humane training methods and equipment.
Anyway, I just wanted to say Thanks for your support! to our repeat subscribers, and Welcome! Sit down and relax! to our new friends. If weve piqued your interest in a certain subject, please consider purchasing one of the articles weve published on the subject in the past (see the “Back Articles” page of our site). OR, simply stand by for more information. We talk about all this stuff food, training, products, health, and the dog/human bond in every issue.
-by Nancy Kerns