Life on Whidbey: What a nice doggy ... chomp!

By Eileen Brown

Let’s talk about dogs. Not that fuzzy-faced wiggle butt in the middle of your bed, but aggressive dogs. I was surprised to learn that many insurance companies will not sell you personal liability coverage if you have one.

BONNIE WALLIN of Koetje Insurance explains. “Pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas, Chows or Doberman Pinschers are the breeds. If you have one of these or a dog with a bite history, you may not be able to get personal liability coverage. With an average house pet, the dog is automatically included in your personal liability insurance.

“For certain other breeds or if your dog has a bite history, you are vicariously liable for their actions. That means even if it’s not on the banned list but has bitten someone, we cannot insure you.”

There are a few companies that will insure owners of aggressive dogs and they charge about two or three times the normal cost.

In 1996, Oak Harbor Ordinance nos. 1479 and 1480 defined in detail how pit bulls must be muzzled when outdoors and kept in a secure enclosure. This seems unnatural to families who consider their dog a member of the family. There’s much more on this at


It’s important to do your homework before adopting a pet. It’s a bit more complicated than buying a new pair of shoes and not all animals at the WAIF shelter are adoptable. Ask yourself if you can afford the expense of licensing, feeding, vet care, a warm home (ask your landlord first) and 10 or more years of unconditional love? If the animal becomes ill, can you afford the cost of surgery? Deciding to euthanize a pet is a terrible job and it’s not free. Costs start around $100, depending on the size of your pet.

Keep your landlord informed if you procure one of these pets. They may not let you stay if you insist on keeping the animal. A visit to will answer more questions. WAIF relies heavily on donations to supplement the cost of services. In addition to adoption and medical fees, license fees may also be required, and are dictated by the municipal ordinance which governs your place of residence.

I applaud WAIF for making it a rule to introduce your current dog to the one at the shelter. They have a chance to interact and see how they get along sharing a home and family.

Tell me about Passover

JESSE RAYMOND & CARL SMITH, pastors of Whidbey Messianic Fellowship, invite members of the community to learn about “Christ in the Passover,” a Passover demonstration from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, in the Chief Petty Officers’ Club.

“We are not trying to be Jewish,” Raymond said, “but we are teaching people the Hebraic roots of their Christian faith. Unfortunately, many people misunderstand these roots and have already made up their minds opposing them.

“Jesus was Jewish and said for us to follow after Him. All of us were guilty under the ‘law of sin and death,’ and Jesus paid this penalty with His blood, death and resurrection. The Passover Seder celebrates this,” Raymond continued.

“People celebrated Easter last week, but the Passover does not occur until April 19.”

Every Friday night at 7 p.m., folks are invited to attend Erev Shabbat at the Raymond’s home, 1410 SE Islander Lane (take Barrington to top of hill at Fairhaven one block past Fairhaven on the right). There is also worship, preaching and teaching on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. “Many people come for worship, stay for lunch and are invited to be part of the Bible study from 1 to 3 p.m.,” Raymond said. Call 675-7189 for a reservation to the April 11 event.

Grow food for the hungry

This Saturday, March 29, from sunrise to sunset, the “plant a row for the hungry” project kicks off at Hummingbird Farm and Nursery. It is part of its year-round youth demonstration and educational garden.

LORI SPEAR said, “We will be donating the locally-grown produce to our three island food banks: North Whidbey Help House, Gifts from the Heart and Good Cheer.”

Learn to garden and plant vegetables in the farm’s freshly-tilled field, then take those skills home and plant your own garden this summer and fall, dedicating a “Row for the Hungry.”

“We will continue to plant, grow, harvest and provide fresh local produce to our neighbors in need all year,” Lori continued, “so we encourage your kind and generous assistance whenever you can provide it: weekends, weekdays, after work, holidays from work and school. You don’t need to know much about gardening. Our local Master Gardeners and 4-H leaders will be here to help. And, it won’t cost you anything but some time, some energy, some sweat. Motivate your church members, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors.”

Call Lori or Lee at 679-5044 or email lori@hum

Please call me at 675-6611 or email lifeonwhid with your story ideas. I’ll be back here April 2.

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