Editorial January 2002 Issue

Loose Ends

Where we try to start the year with a clean slate.

You may not be aware of the time lag between your reading a new issue and us preparing it. Often, by the time you are just finding out about recent events in WDJ’s life, those events have been long since resolved, or the situation has changed completely. And then I forget what people are referring to when they say things like, “So, is Carly okay?” So, as a New Year’s type of resolution, I’m going to try to catch you up on recent news and gossip.

Like Carly, for instance. In the December issue, I mentioned that while I was babysitting her for my next-door neighbors, I negligently left her playing with a stuffed fleece toy while I was preoccupied on my computer. Hours later, I found a lot of fluff and the squeaker from the toy, but I could not find the fleecy cover of the toy anywhere. I was terrified that Carly had eaten the darn thing, and it was all my fault.

Days went by, and my neighbors and I kept the closest eye on that rascally dog, but she suffered no symptoms. Yay! I can’t tell you how glad I am that she lived to run and play another day (and model for WDJ – that’s her with “packmates” Brendan and Michael on page 19). Still, I searched and searched and could not find the toy.

Okay, okay, mystery solved. I was picking up poop the other day and found it mostly buried under a rose bush, just one tiny hunk of fleece visible above ground. I tell you I looked for signs of digging and burying, with no luck.

In other news, my dog Rupert (who recently passed his 12th birthday) is hanging in there. We’re still trying to get his medication for cardiac arrhythmia dialed in just so; we’ve visited the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at University of California, Davis, so much lately that Rupert has fallen in love with his cardiologist, Dr. Karen Sanderson, a delightful woman who always has cookies in her pockets. Rupert drags me into the building to see her, which makes me wonder whether he makes his heart go pitter-pat-pat-pitter just to further his friendship with her. Don’t laugh! Border Collies are awfully smart.

Say, this issue is exceedingly full of training articles. We’ll be catching up with the health and nutrition departments with the very next issue. One of our favorite contributors, veterinarian Jean Hofve, has been out of commission for a while following, get this, a severe cat bite on her hand. I don’t want to get all species-ist on you, but the fact is, we’ve never lost a writer due to dog bites. (Forgive me, I have a friendly little competition going with the editor of our sister publication, Whole Cat Journal.)

My last desk-clearing resolution is to improve my record of responding to your calls and letters. The volume of mail I receive here, e-mail in particular, is staggering, especially since the advent of the WDJ Web site. I do really appreciate hearing from readers, even if I can’t acknowledge all of them.

However, I have a favor to ask: Please don’t write to WDJ asking for urgent advice regarding your dog’s health. Contact the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association (the contact numbers appear in “Resources” on page 24 of every issue) to find a holistic practitioner near you, and then establish a relationship with that vet. Many of us use conventionally trained veterinarians for routine care and specialists for in-depth issues, and rely heavily on our complementary practitioners to oversee and coordinate the “big picture” of our dogs’ health. It’s a lot of phone numbers to keep track of, but worth it.

-by Nancy Kerns

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