WAG: From the Editor's Desk

As usual, and thanks to a whole bunch of wonderful Bay Area dog people who know how to write, this issue of Bay Woof is a potpourri of sometimes useful, sometimes entertaining, and sometimes moving stories.

For starters, there is a missive from Borneo, courtesy of renowned Bay Area dog trainer and world explorer, Sandi Thompson. Though she left her dog, Turtle, at home, the picture she carried of her furry friend in sunglasses triggered great mirth among the native tribes and sealed her status as a friend.

I don’t really need to tell Bay Woof readers that dogs are awesome allies and companions. We all know how much our canine companions contribute to our lives. For soldiers in the battlefield, a dog can make the difference between life and death, and it turns out that’s true even after they come home. Peggy Greenfield explains how assistance dogs are serving veterans with psychological as well as physical wounds.

Two more stories touch on somber themes. ARF Executive Director Elena Bicker contributes an important piece about making sure your dogs are taken care of in the event you die or become incapacitated. Having your will in order isn’t the whole story. Learn some other essential aspects of planning for your pet’s future without you, should such events come to pass.

Ian Dunbar and Dianne Panarella offer their training wisdom in this issue. Don’t miss their tips for getting your dog to listen up and check in like a champ. Drs. Margo Mehl and Philip Watt explain the uses of veterinary CAT scans (yes, for dogs). Deb Bergfeld shares the joys and challenges of working with German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California. The group recently celebrated its 2,000th rescue, which amounts to a whole lot of love.

Finally, I refer you to Herb Canine’s column, in which he makes light of Darwin’s “interspecies altruism,” a dog who “works” at a New Zealand vineyard, and one posing as a cocktail onion. As usual, his musings inspire both fascination and belly laughs.

Doesn’t seem possible, but it’s time to begin gearing up for our 2nd Annual Beast of the Bay Awards. Starting next month and continuing through the end of the year, we’ll include a ballot in the paper for you to clip out and send in, nominating your favorite Bay Area people, places, and things. Starting in a few weeks, you can also vote at our website. Meanwhile, check out last year’s winners and start making your own list.