On Moving

Just 150 miles away, a new dog world awaits.

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The San Francisco Bay Area, where I’ve lived for the past 10-plus years, just might be the center of the holistic dog-care world. You are more likely to see dogs being walked wearing head halters or front-clip harnesses than choke chains. People trade information about the best holistic veterinarians in the area – not just clues on how to find the only one in a five-county area. The pet supply stores carry a dozen different brands of top-quality dog foods, and raw frozen diets, too. Most of the health foods stores have pet care sections. Positive puppy socialization classes and daycare facilities abound.

Things are about to get interesting for me, since I’m sort of moving back in time – in terms of dog training and care. This month, right after I ship this issue to the printer, I’m packing up both my home and my home-based office of WDJ and moving 150 miles to the north and east. Oroville is a small northern California town said to contain about 13,000 people; I suspect they have to reach pretty far outside the city limits to come up with a total that high.

My dad lives about 15 miles out of town, and I’m looking forward to being close to him. I’m also really looking forward to life in a much quieter town. Quieter, at least, except for the barking dogs! That’s going to take some getting used to (and I suspect I may get involved in a community dog-care education project).

Where I live now, many of my neighbors have a dog; some have two. All of the dogs in my immediate neighborhood spend most of their times indoors when they are not being walked or hanging out with their owners in the yard. But in Oroville, I’ve noticed, there are many dogs who seem to live outdoors full time, in yards and chained to trees or porches. Lots of yards contain several dogs – and lots of dogs aren’t contained in any way, shape, or form at all! I’ve never before been in a town where you can spot several loose dogs in any given hour. On one memorable walk, as we scoped out available real estate, my husband and I were confronted on a sidewalk outside a school by a huge, growling, collarless St. Bernard, who was being egged on by a tiny, greasy, collarless Chihuahua-mix. As I said before, it’s going to be interesting.

I’ll still spend a lot of time in the Bay Area; so many of WDJ’s models (canine and human) and friends are here. And I couldn’t do what I do without the regular help and support of my holistic vet (Dr. Jenny Taylor, of Creature Comfort Holistic Veterinary Center) and famed positive trainer Sandi Thompson, who has taught thousands of puppy training classes in the Berkeley area.

Please note WDJ’s new editorial office addresses (PO Box 1349, Oroville, CA 95965 and 1655 Robinson Street, Oroville, CA 95965). This is the place to send letters to the editor (me!), questions about articles, and product information and samples. As always, inquiries about subscriptions (such as magazines not received, problems with payments, gift subscriptions) should be directed to the subscription services department. Questions about WDJ’s website, online access, and back issues should be directed to our customer service department in Connecticut.

-Nancy Kerns

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