Sometimes, I wonder too, if the dog food back then was less contaminated or processed, or whatever. It was a much smaller market, first of all. You also have to take into account that a lot of dogs were being fed table scraps (and not today's table scraps - back then, they were MUCH better than today's crap) as well as some raw bones occasionally. I know my grandpa remembers always throwing his dog a bone or whatever. So you have to wonder if that made any difference. Because, I agree, you hear all the time about how long a dog lived, etc, from older relatives. Then again, you also have to wonder... but how WELL were they doing? A dog "doing well" can mean so many things to different people. I've seen folks say their dog is in great health and doing well... then all I see is an over-weight dog, who smells like dog when you pet them, sheds like insane amounts of fur, has rank nasty breath and disgusting teeth, and can barely take a 10 min walk without passing out. So I think a lot can depend on genetics, exercise, environment, lifestyle, etc, and it's too hard to say "well this dog ate x food and lived longer than dog who ate y food and had a shorter life" ya know? I do think a lot of foods ARE a gimmick these days.... but that goes for both "high quality" and "low quality". I don't necessarily think five-six different meats in one food, a gazillion fruits, veggies, etc, is completely necessary. But I also don't think dogs will thrive on a diet full of corn, wheat, soy, and by products either. I like a happy medium from a trustworthy company, who doesn't use chemicals such as BHT, ethoxquion (sp?), menadione, etc.