We want Whole Dog Journal to be useful to you now.
One of the most gratifying things that readers say to me is, “Every time I need an article to appear on some topic, it does!” It’s obviously a coincidence when it happens at just the right time for any given reader – but it’s also an indication that we’re on track in presenting enough articles on the issues that are relevant to you and your dogs, whether you are dealing with vexing puppy behavior, a senior dog health problem, a dietary dilemma, or any other dog-related issue.
It’s weird, but it also happens to me. Sometimes I’ll be privately wrestling with a dog-related problem, or starting to research a topic that is relevant to my dog, or one of my siblings’ dogs. Right then, I’ll get an e-mail message or a phone call from one of my regular writers, wondering whether I’d be interested in an article on that very topic.
As it happens, this issue contains a number of those kismet-kissed articles. My sister (the one with three small, naughty dogs) is hosting Thanksgiving this year; Stephanie Colman’s article on the facing page could have been written specifically for her – but it wasn’t, I swear.
Very recently, Training Editor Pat Miller and I were exchanging articles – which appeared in newspapers on our respective coasts – about car crashes in which dogs were lost after being thrown from an accident victim’s car. Not “lost” as in “died,” but “lost” as in they survived the crash, but ran in a panic from the crashed car, and couldn’t be found. In both cases, the dogs’ owners couldn’t help with the search, either, as they were hospitalized with serious injuries themselves. My chest tightens and my eyes tear up as I imagine lying in a hospital room while Otto is out there somewhere, lost, injured, and afraid. Ack! Then, a day or two later, Susan Sarubin contacts me to ask whether I would like an article on canine car safety! Sarubin has contributed a number of articles to Whole Dog Journal in the past, but I hadn’t heard from her for a while. I really appreciated the arrival of “Buckle Up Your Pup!” (page 4).
Two years ago, I tried feeding Otto a number of different commercial raw diets, and he rejected each and every one. I ended up giving them all to a friend for her dog.
Recently I tried again, in an effort to empty my freezer of the many samples that arrived while working on last month’s review of commercial raw frozen diets (and this month’s follow-up, on page 11). I guess his palate has matured, because he’s been chowing right through the samples this time. I haven’t noticed any of the dramatic changes that the proponents of home-prepared raw diets describe, such as a nicer coat, better energy, or fresher breath; he wasn’t lacking in any of those departments. But his poop is a lot smaller and less smelly. And I know a raw diet comprised of fresh foods would be healthier for him.
Between Otto’s newfound appetite for raw food and my newfound spare time (my baby boy moved out – into a college dorm! How can he be ready for college? He was only five when Whole Dog Journal was launched!) I’m ready to start making Otto’s food myself. And Mary Straus’ review of books (appearing on page 6 and in the next issue) devoted to home-prepared diets will help me choose which guides I’ll use to make sure the resulting diet will be complete and balanced.
As helpful as it is to me, it’s more critical that Whole Dog Journal is useful and relevant to you, too. What would you like to learn more about? What would you like to see less of? What training or health experts would you like to hear from? My mailing address and e-mail address are at the top of the next column. Let me know what Whole Dog Journal can do for you.