On Vacation


On several occasions


Lots of people take vacations in the summer – and I know, because I usually babysit their dogs when they leave! I enjoy having my friends and family members’ dogs come and stay, and of course, while they are here, I press the canine members of the “family” into service. They have to model for the magazine, eat the foods, treats, and chews that we’re reviewing, sleep on “test” beds, wear “test” collars and leashes, etc. Fun for me, and I hope, fun for them, too.

But as I write this (in mid-June) I’m about to leave for my own vacation – the first two-week vacation I’ve taken in my adult life! This has required that I get this issue to the printer a little earlier than normal – no small feat – and arrange for a dog-sitter for my dog, Mokie.

On several occasions, Mokie has stayed for a night or two with my good friend and frequent model for the magazine, trainer Sandi Thompson of Sirius Puppy Training (seen in this issue, again!, modeling proper loose-leash training techniques). But for a dog-sitting duty of more than two weeks, you have to look to family.

So Mokie is going to my sister Pam’s house. Pam and her husband Dean have two Jack Russell Terrorists (er, Terriers), Patrick and Sophie. You’ve seen their pictures occasionally, usually when I needed a picture of a dog doing something naughty! These dogs don’t know the definition of the word “sit,” much less “down,” “shush,” or “for crying out loud, OFF!” But they completely adore my sister, who worships them, and they appear to love Dean, too. Does Dean love them? I think Dean really loves Pam, the dogs amuse him, and he’s an awfully good sport.

Mokie loves it at Aunt Pam’s house. They have a dog-door, a yard full of squirrels, and baskets full of toys, and they let the dogs sleep with them on and even in the bed, which Mokie loves to do. Plus, there is a lot of delicious food there (Pam is a chef), and it is shared so freely with dogs that all a dog has to do is make a little whimper and voila! Bits of steak or something equally delectable fly into that dog’s mouth! Those dogs have trained Pam well. I’ve had Mokie on a little diet getting him ready for the weight he’s sure to gain on his vacation. He’s going to have a blast, and so am I!


Top products?
Don’t forget that we are still looking for extra- cool dog care or training products to feature in our year-end “Gear of the Year” showcase. We need plenty of time to order and test these products ourselves (plus we’re always working a couple of months ahead of the cover date), so get some information about your favorites to us as soon as possible! You can mail your suggestions to the editorial office address, or e-mail them to WDJTopProducts@aol.com. Please include some clues about how we can find the product: its manufacturer’s name and location, for example, and/or the name and location of the place you found it. And, yes, if you have a picture of your dog enjoying the product, we’d love to have that, too!

I’m most looking forward to coming home from my vacation to test one product that I had only a tantalizingly short experience with a couple of years ago. For the scoop, check out “Letters” in this month’s issue. Ciao!

-Nancy Kerns