Letters December 1999 Issue

Appreciation Day

Readers share their opinions of WDJ’s bias toward positive, non-force-based training and focus on gentle, effective health care methods.

This is just a quick note to let you know how delighted I am with WDJ. I have ordered and received all the back issues, and am still working my way through them. (I already have a holistic veterinarian and use veterinary chiropractic services occasionally.) I also faithfully cook for by two blessedly healthy dogs.

I have been following the discussions on dog training with great interest, and am now curious: How are service dogs trained? How are the dogs in government service (customs, drugs) trained?

Also, in addition to the “dry” shampoos mentioned in the November issue, I would like to mention “Fur Foam” as possibly worthy of your research. It’s made by Beaumont Products, Inc., Kennesaw, GA, 30144. I found it in the Pet Sage catalog, and use it with great success on my Samoyed. In the past, he had some diarrhea problems, and you can imagine the mess. This no-odor shaving-cream type preparation both cleans and deodorizes. It’s too expensive for a complete “bath,” but super for occasional spot-cleaning.

-Annie Tipton
Harrison, OH


Thanks for your kind words and suggestions, Annie. You’ll get your answer about certain types of service dogs in this issue (See “The Smell of Success.”) Readers can ask to receive the Pet Sage catalog by calling (800) PET-HLTH or (703) 823-9711, or looking up www.petsage.com.


First, I must tell you how much I enjoy WDJ. I have learned so much from your publication in the areas of nutrition, learning behaviors, and what products are better for our pets. Our household has two dogs; one is a yellow Lab and the other is a stray we found and, of course, kept. Our stray had many health problems and also many behavioral problems, but over the years he has improved both physically and mentally. He is the main reason for this letter. Since we have found him, whenever we travel he has gone to the same socialized boarding kennel. But we just received word that the kennel is now for sale!

An article in the October 1999 issue listed a few socialized boarding kennels. Do you know of any way to obtain information on where I might find another such kennel in South Carolina? I have been unable to locate one through the Internet, friends, or yellow pages.

-Linda King
Beaufort, South Carolina


I don’t know of such a list, but I know at least a few thousand dog owners who would like one. Readers? Any ideas?


I was very skeptical when asked to send in and get a free copy of your newsletter. So when I received my first issue, I quickly sat down to read the information at hand.

I do appreciate the information that was offered regarding nutrition and medical attention for dogs. But I was very disappointed in the “Product News and Reviews” section.

First of all, a very biased opinion was given in this column in regard to the clicker. I have been training my own dogs as well as teaching group classes and private lessons for some time, and I was offended that some of the methods I and many other people use being called “archaic.” I consider myself a very positive and motivational trainer, but the minute that some of these people forget to deal with canines as animals, the enjoyment of what a dog is can be completely taken away.

There are many training methods available, but to limit oneself to only one is not what I would consider the “Whole” picture.

To say that the euthanasia room is where these dogs will end up due to using these methods is ludicrous. Rather, look at the irresponsible breeding going on and of course the LACK of training – this is the big problem.

Please discontinue my subscription. I find the best reading and information is from a variety of sources, not from such a tunnel vision approach.

-Sherma Miles
Highland, UT


We’ll admit it: We ARE biased toward non-violence, and don’t plan to change.


I just received my first issue of WDJ and to my great surprise I found an article on a problem I have right now: fighting between alpha female dogs in a multiple dog household.

I have a 12-year-old female Lhasa Apso, and I recently took in two older, female Norfolk terriers from rescue. I expected a little snarling and snapping while the girls were adjusting, but the oldest, most frail-looking female Norfolk, bit the other two dogs, drawing blood.

I was advised to accommodate the alpha female by allowing them to fight it out, or by supporting the alpha in ruling over the other two. But I decided that in my household the only alpha female would be me! This is “our house,” for dogs and humans alike, not the jungle!

Looks like I made a wise choice subscribing to the Whole Dog Journal.

-Christine Schmidt
Preston, CT


I’ve been struggling with myself for months now. I have wanted to volunteer at our local Humane Society to walk dogs and have even called to see what is required of me. I enjoy and love dogs so much and my own dog, Jesse, is getting too old for walks longer than a half-mile; that leaves me with another two to three miles to walk dogless!

However, the problem is that I cry when I even think of a dog being euthanized. Even now I can feel that lump growing in my throat!

But after reading your editorial, “Doing it for the Dogs” in the November issue, it has made me realize that even though I have a hard time dealing with this it will be worth it to know that I might make a difference in whether or not a dog is adopted or euthanized. Your article has made me realize what is important and that is the dogs. Thank you.

-Connie Erickson
via email


Thank YOU, Connie! I feel like a real success, hearing that I’ve motivated even one person to go volunteer at a shelter.

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