The San Francisco Bay Area, where Ive 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 Im sort of moving back in time in terms of dog training and care. This month, right after I ship this issue to the printer, Im 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 Im looking forward to being close to him. Im also really looking forward to life in a much quieter town. Quieter, at least, except for the barking dogs! Thats 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, Ive 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 arent contained in any way, shape, or form at all! Ive 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, its going to be interesting.
Ill still spend a lot of time in the Bay Area; so many of WDJs models (canine and human) and friends are here. And I couldnt 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 WDJs 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 WDJs website, online access, and back issues should be directed to our customer service department in Connecticut.