WAG: From the Editor's Desk


The darkest hour comes just before dawn, as the old proverb goes. If 2009 wasn’t the best of times for you and your two- and four-legged loved ones, buck up. The New Year offers a metaphorical clean slate, a chance to think afresh about what’s gone before and what lies ahead.

When times are tough for humans, they’re especially tough for dogs. Unemployment, the foreclosure crisis, sudden homelessness – these harsh events threaten the very lives of pets. And so it’s good to celebrate the wins, to pat ourselves and each other on the back when things go well and right. That’s what our main feature this month is all about: saluting the dedicated people who try with awesome love and determination to rescue canines in trouble – and often succeed. Meet an assortment of lucky dogs who suffered dire circumstances in 2009 but are starting the new year in loving homes.

In a similar vein, we offer a sweet and inspiring piece about Daisy, a rescued dog who “made it” a few years back. Her adopter came close to giving up on Daisy during their tough first few months together, but decided to try just a bit more training. Now they are the very best of friends. It’s a win-win story in spades.

If you’re like me, you use winter for catching up on your reading. Quite a number of excellent dog books were released in 2009. Winter is also a fine time to hire a dog walker. Come rain or come shine, your dog needs his play time with canine pals, and the pros are well-versed in navigating the seasonal mud and muck. Turn to for dogTEC founder Veronica Boutelle’s tips on choosing the best walker for your pooch.

Elsewhere in the issue, you’ll find Chad Culp’s tips for dealing with “the doors;” Dr. Frank Utchen’s advice about canine oral hygiene; and Ian Dunbar’s impassioned plea to properly train all puppies, everywhere. Lynda Barry and Herb Canine lend laughter to the mix, as always.

The Bay Woof staff will be taking R&R for a few weeks, so the paper you hold in your hands must suffice for both January and February. We’ll see you again in March with our third anniversary issue, devoted to this year’s BOTBA winners. Huddle with your personal pack and stay warm ‘til then…

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