Editor’s Letter - Winter 2008/09

Editor’s Letter - Winter 2008/09

The close of this year and the beginning of the next has many of us taking stock of dreams, goals, and ambitions. We all have them, but attaining them is often another story altogether. With this in mind, I thought I’d share a practice that has helped me maintain the courage and conviction to realize my own dream—that of creating and running a successful magazine.

Seven years ago, when I first started Modern Dog, I knew nothing about the publishing industry.  I did have a strong business background, though, along with tons of enthusiasm and energy, a drive to succeed, and my trusty muse and mascot, Kaya, by my side. It was Kaya who was my inspiration for creating the magazine. What I didn’t have was an awareness of how few magazines actually survive their first year. As I immersed myself in this new field, I started to realize why the failure rate is so high. It is a demanding business, with costly print bills, constant deadlines, and tons of stress.

It was when I was feeling totally overwhelmed and wondering just what I had gotten myself into that I started implementing the practice of affirmations. If I woke up in the middle of the night feeling anxious, I’d recite my affirmation. Whenever doubt crept into my mind, I’d recite my affirmation. On my walks with Kaya, I took the opportunity to repeatedly recite my affirmation, actually putting it to song.

If you’re wondering exactly what an affirmation is, it’s simply a positive statement in the present tense that describes a desired outcome. By using an affirmation, you replace negative mind talk that can get in the way of achieving your goals with a repetitive, positive statement. Over time, your subconscious mind will begin to accept the positive statement as true and start transforming your mental attitude and behaviour to align with your affirmation, in turn reshaping your life. Sometimes, the results will be immediate; other times, they will take time to manifest. The important thing to remember is that you must surrender to trusting that you will achieve the desired outcome.

The affirmation I chose is a little lengthy to print here, but I’ve put it online for you to read at moderndogmagazine.com/affirmation, along with some information and resources to get you started with your own affirmation, should you have an interest. A further lesson in the effectiveness of this practice can be learned by simply watching our dogs, who constantly affirm their love for us with their adoring eyes and wagging tails. They make us feel good, which is one of the reasons for an increasing number of people choosing a dog-inclusive lifestyle, as well as for the elevation of today’s dog’s status to privileged family member. Although this may not be a conscious plan on the part of our canine pals, it does illustrate positive cause and effect. Your dog can be a great daily reminder to affirm the changes you’d like to see happening in your own life.

This winter edition is jam-packed with articles that focus on the deep connection we share with our dogs. In “New Orleans Revisited” (page 54), we see that the love we hold for our pets has forced politicians to enact laws that include their welfare in our evacuation laws. “Redemption” (page 116) explores an innovative program in which prisoners and unwanted dogs give each other a second chance and an opportunity to heal. Patrick McDonnell, the beloved Mutts cartoonist, talks about his “Shelter Stories,” a collection of strips drawing attention to the plight of homeless pets and inspiring adoption—and a few tears (page 70).

And, of course, this is our big celebrity issue! We bring you an exclusive peak into Jessica Alba’s house and the doggie oasis she has created for her dogs, Sid and Bowie; our cover girl, the incomparable Rachael Ray, dishes dog recipes and stories; and we check in with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson, stars of the upcoming film adaptation of John Grogan’s best-selling book, Marley & Me. (You’ll love the photo of Jennifer with a puppy version of Marley! page 88)

If you’re in the mood to reward your best friend for his unfaltering devotion, continue to flip through this issue for tips for better bonding, as well as all kinds of great gift ideas. We’re pretty sure we’ve covered all the bases, from gifts for dog-less friends to special ideas for every dog out there, from the unstoppable athlete to the pampered princess. Plus, we have another installation of our popular “Cool Finds Under $20,” with a great round-up that offers big style on a small budget.

As usual, our relationship, training, and health experts help you resolve canine-related problems, from marking to barking to jumping up and we even tackle “petiquette” issues should you be making some resolutions! With all this and a lot more, we’re sure you’ll be starting off the New Year right.

Wishing you a joyous holiday season and the fulfillment of your dreams in the new year,

Constance Wilson
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

“Your beliefs about reality create your experience of it.”
Sanaya Roman, Living With Joy

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Meet: Kato