For those of you who know me, you know writing a book about Labs is my dream come true. I've known hundreds of Labs over the years. I have boarded them in my home, fostered many for rescue both in Seattle and San Diego, and of course owned my own beloved Lab, Tank, for over 13 years.
My initial thought was, oh I could practically write this in my sleep. Hah. Some sections were easier than others, but I still did mountains of research and interviewed many experts. Don Ironside helped me with the nutrition chapter. His many years as a sales rep in the pet food business gave me an insiders' look at ingredients, manufacturing and the differences between brands and formulas. He also taught me how to sort out marketing hype from facts, a sometimes murky subject. Don's wife Barbara and Nina Mann gave me lots of good information on how they help buyers pick a puppy, health issues, activities, and showing. Edith Bryan, my training buddy and rescue partner up in Seattle, has participated in every activity ever invented for dogs and their owners. She talked me through therapy work, search and rescue, agility, tracking and other dog sports.
For health issues, my own vet, Sarbit Singh, DVM, patiently walked me through the minutiae of basic health care, from worming routines to vaccine protocol. It may seem pretty straightforward, but I found that when I was assigned to write about a subject, I wanted to understand it thoroughly and be absolutely accurate in my explanations. Once this information is in print, people take your word for it. I wanted to answer important questions correctly.
For inherited health issues in Labradors, Frances Smith, DVM, president of the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals and chair of the Labrador Retriever Club Health Committee, generously shared her time and knowledge with me.
These people all kindly gave me their time and attention, answering even my dumbest questions. I couldn't have done it without their help. Thank you!
Next time, I'll write about some of the dogs whose stories are featured in the book.
© 2011 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.