If you read last week’s post, you’ll know that canine cancer is on my mind. Not only Alberta’s, though. Cali, as many readers know, is a Hero. That’s what the Morris Animal Foundation calls participants in its Golden Retriever Lifetime Study.
Cali does her bit to fight cancer by “enduring” a very thorough annual physical, which is coming up next month. She blogged about last year’s visit. She pretends it is awful, but the nonstop tail (and butt) wagging gives her away. Anything that involves that many cookies can’t be all bad.
Cali’s one of 3,000 goldens in this study. Morris started signing dogs up a few months before she was born. Two of her brothers are also in the study. The oldest dogs accepted were two years old. The study will examine a huge amount of data and try to identify genetic and environmental factors that lead to canine cancer.
Why am I saying all of this? Some of the participants, none of whom could be older than six, have already gotten cancer. Some are in remission; a few have died. I don’t know how many. I follow the experiences of participants whose humans post on the group’s Facebook page; it’s a very unscientific sample. Some participants have older sibling-supporters (like Jana!) and some of them, too, have died of cancer in the three and a half years that I have been part of this group.
It’s too much!
What can you do? Funny you should ask that …
You can register your dog for the draft. The Morris Animal Foundation Canine Lifetime Health Project draft, that is. It is a registry of dogs / humans willing to participate in future studies. Morris is not registering for a specific study right now, but the re-opening of the registry might mean that they soon will be. It’s a chance for your dog to be a hero too. And for you to help fight this killer disease that takes too many of our dogs too soon, and causes millions more to suffer. In fact, their research is not limited to cancer, so your dog might be able to help researchers understand other serious canine illnesses.
Think about it. Take a look at the website. Cali, Alberta, and thousands of other dogs will thank you.