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which we had previously enthusiastically endorsed (with certain stated caveats) for dogs who pull excessively when on leash. Training Editor Pat Miller has a new tool she likes better for that job

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They say it’s a sign of success when your detractors start spreading false rumors about you. So I’m choosing to be flattered by the fact that someone asked me recently whether it was true that WDJ is owned by or affiliated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

First – No!

Second – It’s not the first time I’ve been asked this! In the past two months, three people have made the exact same inquiry. Interestingly, each person who asked me this was a representative from a dog food manufacturer. And when pressed, each would say only that they had heard a “rumor” that WDJ and the animal rights organization were somehow linked.

My best guess is that the person or people who began this rumor are affiliated with a pet food that we have either criticized or one whose products are far from meeting our selection criteria, and they are attempting to undermine our generally good standing in the dog world. Maybe someone thought that linking our name with an organization that is held in contempt by many would be a good way to malign us.

The timing is a bit ironic, given that I’ve been working on a feature article that is highly critical of PETA’s 2003 campaign against The Iams Company (for its purported cruelty to dogs and cats that are used in pet food feeding trials) and pet food testing in general. Its publication (tentatively scheduled for May) should dispel this particular rumor.

(I should add that I am not at all familiar with PETA’s work – good, bad, or indifferent – other than the particular campaign mentioned above. I am aware it has a poor reputation among dog owners, however.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Working for a company like Belvoir Media Group (WDJ’s publisher) is a dream for journalists who really care about their subject matter. Consumer-oriented publishing is the company’s mission. It doesn’t have any agenda beyond serving its readers. WDJ doesn’t accept any advertising, specifically so we can maintain an absolutely independent editorial voice, unencumbered by pressure from advertisers. All these are reasons why I find the rumor so interesting … and fiendish, too.

Anyway, I’m pleased to bring you a great issue this month. Longtime readers may be surprised to see that we have adjusted our recommendation regarding head halters, which we had previously enthusiastically endorsed (with certain stated caveats) for dogs who pull excessively when on leash. Training Editor Pat Miller has a new tool she likes better for that job, and she does a wonderful job of explaining her evolving opinion of the training tools.

Renowned herbalist Greg Tilford returns this month to lay a solid foundation upon which the principles of holistic dog care can be safely and effectively built.

Kansas veterinarian Randy Kidd offers another valuable installment in his “Tour of the Dog” series, this month focusing on the heart. Owners of dogs with any sort of cardiac condition will be empowered by the article to take all sorts of immediate action that will benefit their dogs – or at least, be given a number of new things to ask their veterinarians about!

Also, check the list of articles that are coming up in the next issues of WDJ. We’ve got lots more great stuff in the works.

-Nancy Kerns

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