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Letter from The Publisher

Tracy Patterson

When I saw the photograph of the Rottweiler in this month’s Natural Pet section, I could not pass up the opportunity to share a few memories about my beautiful “rotties,” Jesse and Shiloh. These little stories also fit with the heart theme of this edition because they were my absolute “heart” dogs of all time. As you can imagine, I have endless anecdotes about these “wiggle bums”—as we fondly referred to them—and you will likely read more about them in future issues, but, for now, here are some stories of snow.

Jesse and Shiloh came to me and my husband as eight-week-old pups, back in March 2002. We were a month from moving to our horse farm, and it was still a winter wonderland where we were living. The snow was very deep, with a hard crust, and when the puppies went outside to do their business (we called it “poop/peep”), they were able to walk on top of the crust. They continued to poop/peep on the snow into the spring, and we didn’t pay attention to the habit they had formed, until one day when we had to walk and walk until they finally found a tiny patch of snow on which to do their duty. The confusion on their little faces during that walk was evident, and once the snow was completely gone, it took a little doing to convince them it was okay to go on the grass.

As our dogs got older, one of our favorite year-round activities on the ranch was to light a fire in our outside fire pit at the end of the day. In the winter, we’d schlep out their big foam beds and blankets and position the rotties beside us near the warmth of the fire. Shiloh, our male dog, would stay until my husband got up to go into the house, and then he would make a beeline for the door. My little girl dog, Jesse, on the other hand, would remain until the bitter (literally) end with me to make sure the fire was safely out.

I’ll always remember their love for snow, and the pride they seemed to have when donning their bright red coats and Muttluks dog booties when it was really cold. Despite the outdoor fun, they were primarily indoor dogs, and often preferred to supervise my work and the great outdoors from their vantage point on the couch on long winter days.

It’s hard to believe so much time has passed. The big lesson I learned from my dogs is to cherish each day with the people and pets in my life. Time passes so quickly, and I discovered that it’s important to understand the concept of living in the present moment—actually “living” the precious time that we have with those we love.




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