Editorial April 2004 Issue

Belated Birthday Greetings

Here’s to spring and a new start.

There were so many losses this winter. In December, I lost my beloved pal, Rupert. But I know several other people in WDJ’s extended family who also experienced loss. I was very saddened to learn that holistic veterinarian Carolyn Blakey, a very early supporter and warm contributor to the magazine, succumbed to breast cancer in October. Herbalist Greg Tilford’s mother passed away at Christmas. In February, our good friends Claudia and Cameron, at BARK magazine in nearby Berkeley, lost their precious old dog, Callie, in a serious car accident.

Perhaps there is no connection to the season. It sure feels like there is, especially after losing my mother a year ago at Christmas.

But here comes spring, and news of new lives on their way. One of our regular contributors, C.C. Holland, is expecting a baby next month, and is busy acclimating her rescue dog, Lucky, to cribs, baby backpacks, and strollers. She says she’s gotten some funny looks, walking her dog while pushing an empty stroller, but she’s the kind of reporter who researches hard and deep, and applies what she’s learned to her own life, and we applaud her efforts. If the work she’s done with Lucky is any indication, she’s going to be a great mom.

Another of our longtime writers, CJ Puotinen, has a new puppy, Chloe, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to do everything right, right from the start: a modified vaccination program, home-prepared diet, socialization, puppy kindergarten, etc. So many of us, myself included, learned about enlightened dog care, training, and feeding too late in our dogs’ lives to benefit them fully; what a joy it is to have the opportunity to apply everything you have learned to a new companion, still bursting with vitality from a healthy mother.

For my part, I’m embarking on a new start, too. I realized, too late, that I allowed the March issue to go to print last month without remarking on the fact that it represented WDJ’s seventh birthday. Since I made that realization, I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I’d like to see WDJ take this year.

I’ll discuss it more in the next few months; for now, I’ll give you just a hint: Dog food. Food ingredients, food production, and food selection. Home-prepared, raw and cooked, kibbled, canned, and all sorts of new “just add this or that” formulations . . . I’m going to step up the pace of our food coverage, so hold on to your hats.

My brother sent me this photo recently, taken of me and one of my Poodle’s (accidental) puppies when I was seven. It felt like it was too soon to replace the picture of me and Rupert with a picture of me and my young dog, Mokie. So, on the (belated) occasion of WDJ’s seventh birthday, I thought I’d run this instead. Here is to new beginnings, with love and gratefulness to those who have helped us get where we are today.


-Nancy Kerns

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