2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Archive for November 2nd, 2010

Happy Birthday, Malcolm by Luke Robinson

Posted by Erich Trapp on November 2, 2010

Malcolm

Malcolm would’ve been 13 Sunday. I didn’t realize it until now that his birthday comes on the eve of Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

A year or two ago I might have said that was curiously coincidental but I’ve witnessed way too much in my travels and I know otherwise now.

Last night I was fortunate enough to listen to Dr. Steve Withrow‘s talk about his lifelong work in comparative oncology. The title of his presentation tells all, “Some Science. Some Stories. Some True.” It was both enlightening and invigorating, and I hope every one of you has the opportunity to hear him speak some day.

One of the most interesting points he made was that despite breakthroughs in understanding and technological developments, “The dumbest cancer cell is smarter than all of us.” My father, a nephrologist, used to talk to me at length when I was young about the amazing complexity of the human body and the intricacies of its individual yet interconnected systems. A few months back in a blog about Murphy I described cancer as nature’s perfect enemy. It uses that complexity against its victims.

Dr. Withrow also talked about his efforts in convincing the National Institute of Health of the importance of studying cancer in companion pets. In his words, “NIH never questioned the science but the relevance and the ability to extrapolate it into humans.” Comparative oncology or translational studies are not even a rounding error in the billions of dollars spent on cancer research in the U.S. every year.

Public perception is still another problem and one I can speak about personally. While on our cross-country walk I was invited to a number of human cancer rallies and at every one, I was introduced as the ‘Dog Cancer Guy’ or on a few occasions the ‘Dog Cancer Boy’ which made me sound a little like a circus act. Don’t get me wrong; I was grateful for every opportunity we had on the road to share our story, but most of my time at those events was spent on, “Yes, dogs get breast cancer, too, and by working together we may find a common link or a key.”

It’s important this month, Pet Cancer Awareness Month, to keep in mind exactly what we’re up against —  the greatest epidemic facing companion pets, limited government funding for research, and even public perception.

That’s why participating in the 2 Million Dog March this November 7th is so imperative. We’ve got to send a message to the media that this isn’t just an “Aww, puppies” story, and to the general public that the only way to eradicate cancer in both pets and people is through partnership.

We’re not going to get 2 million dogs to walk in the 12 cities this year or any where close to that but it’s the start. You know, when Malcolm’s cancer spread to his lungs he had hard days, and when he struggled, I whispered to him, “We don’t give up, we don’t give in until the end, my friend.” That’s where ‘puppy up’ came from…

I miss you Malcolm. puppy up!

To participate in a puppy up walk near you, please follow this link.

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Featured Walk – Puppy Up! Fort Collins, Colorado

Posted by Erich Trapp on November 2, 2010

Claire and Bailey just before her surgery in 2006.

Special Thanks to Guest Blogger Claire Preston

On May 22, 2006 I lost my 12 year old Cocker Spaniel, Bailey.  She had liver cancer and developed complications immediately following the surgery that was supposed to extend her life.  Losing her left a gaping hole in my world.  She was the bright spot of each and every day of the 9 years we spent together.  My fondest memory of her will always be her role as my co-pilot during our cross-country drive when she and I moved to Colorado just five short months before she died.  She smelled every rest stop and hotel room along the way, was fascinated at the sight of black squirrels in Iowa, barked at cows

Claire, Luke, and Murphy at Estes Park in August 2010.

in Nebraska, and then thoroughly mapped out every inch of our new home as if it were her most important assignment ever.  She was my co-pilot, my protector, and my best friend.  She stayed with me in our new home long enough to make sure I’d be okay without her, looking out for me until the very end.

“Cancer.  Touches.  Everyone.”  Not for much longer if I can help it.  Cancer took Malcolm from Luke Robinson, but he decided to fight back.  Cancer brought Luke and Murphy to my doorstep in Fort Collins where Murphy started fighting back.  Cancer took my Bailey and now it’s my turn to fight back by joining Luke and 2 Million Dogs in their quest to eradicate cancer.  And my precious little Bailey will be my co-pilot every step of the way.

Please join our fight against cancer on November 7th.  A cancer-free world starts with one dog, one mile at a time.  Register for the Fort Collins, CO walk  here or visit our local website.  If you can’t join us that day, please consider making a donation on my personal fundraising page.  Thank you for your support!

Claire Preston

Fort Collins volunteers, brainstorming over lunch.

Treasurer & Ft. Collins City Leader

Sunday, November 7, 2010
12:00 – 4:00 PM
Rain or Shine

Fossil Creek Park
Oval Pavilion
5821 South Lemay Avenue
Fort Collins, CO  80525
Fossil Creek Park

Schedule of Events:
12:00 PM – Registration, Check-in & Festivities Begin
1:00 PM – 2 Mile Walk Begins
4:00 PM – Event Concludes

For much more info, please see our local website at http://www.PuppyUpFC.com

Vendor Booths, Demonstrations, Raffle, Prizes, Music, Food and more!
Arrive early ~ goodie bags will be given to the first 100 registrants to check-in.

Pre-register online by November 5th = $20.00/person
Day-of registration = $25.00/person
(Registration fee can be donated by you or fund-raised.  Kids 14 and under are free!)

CONGRATULATIONS go to Fort Collins for raising the most funds! Their special guests will be Hudson, Murphy, and Luke!

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Featured Walk — Puppy Up! in Boston

Posted by Erich Trapp on November 2, 2010

Luke, Tracey and The Boys at the Puppy Up! Gala in Boston, 2010

Special thanks to Guest Blogger Tracey Goodwin

I first heard of Luke and the Boys’ journey shortly after they started their walk from Austin to Boston, and began following the blog to watch their progress. I was particularly interested in being part of the “welcoming committee” when they arrived here in Boston and was happy to volunteer at the Puppy Up Festival and the Gala event held here in June.

I could not have imagined the overwhelming sense of community and the strong emotions that would fill me at the festivities when Luke, Hudson and Murphy arrived in Boston. It was an experience that I will not soon forget. The “trail magic” was there in full force as people who have never met before embraced this Pack and came together for a common cause – to find a cure. Listening to Luke tell stories of where they had been and where they are going was very inspirational, and we want to be a part of fulfilling his promise to Malcolm.

I have been blessed in that I have not had a member of my canine family suffer from cancer; however, many of our friends have lost their dogs to this terrible disease.  According the National Canine Cancer Foundation, 1 in 3 dogs will get cancer, and so we will help raise awareness and fight for all those dogs until there is a cure – for the dogs of today and the dogs of the future. We will do our part to raise awareness, starting with our Boston Puppy Up! Walk.

Walking beside me will be my heart dog, Baxter. He is my personal

Baxter Goodwin in his wheels!

inspiration of love, hope, and a never give up approach to all of life’s challenges. Baxter suffers from an unknown neurological disease which developed when he was 6, and he has been in a wheelchair for the past 16 months. Despite his physical challenges he continues to greet each new day with a wagging tail, a “can do” attitude, and boundless energy that has taught me so much – I have a new appreciation for the canine spirit which motivates me to help others.

We will be walking in memory of our canine friends Little Bit Kloth, Cleo Johnson, Zak and Bean Kellogg, Beatrix Gowan and Boudreaux Banks. We will also walk in honor of my father Jerry Goodwin, who was recently diagnosed with Melanoma and to honor many others who have been lost to this disease.

I am very thankful to the Boston communities that have embraced the cause and offered their help. We have an amazing team of volunteers planning a fantastic event in Boston. Update – location has changed slightly – we will be holding the festival at Jacobson Floral – 500 Albany Street, Boston – right across the street from our original location at Urban Hound. The festival will be outdoors, and there is plenty of off street parking!

We have some incredible sponsors that have donated some unique items to our raffle and gift bags that I am sure participants are going to love.

I have met some wonderful people since joining Luke, Hudson and Murphy on their journey, and I look forward to meeting all of the participants, both human and canine, as we join together to raise awareness for a cure and remember those we have lost. Puppy Up! Boston!

Tracey Goodwin
Boston City Leader

Boston, MA Puppy Up! Walk
November 7th, 2010
The Urban Hound Hotel
129 Malden Street
Boston, MA 02118

Registration starts at 1 PM

1 mile Outdoor City Walk begins at 2 PM
Indoor Festival – 1 PM – 6 PM

Pre-register online on or before November 5, 2010 = $20.00
Day of event registration = $25.00

Participant rewards –
Receive a bandanna and a 2 Million Dogs Bracelet when you pre-register prior to the day of the event.
Raise or donate $100.00 or more (per person for teams) and receive a walk T-shirt, bandana and bracelet.
First 100 registered participants to arrive will receive a Puppy Up! Gift Bag the day of the event.
Top fundraiser will receive a special prize!

For all the details and to see a list of our terrific sponsors, please visit our Boston Walk Events Page.

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