2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Archive for January, 2011

What a Delicious Idea!

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 31, 2011

Stewart's Ribbon Treats.

Stewart’s Kitchen has an offer on the table (or in the bowl) we simply can’t refuse. They are donating 10% of the sale of their delicious Cancer Awareness Ribbon Treats to benefit 2 Million Dogs Foundation!

Check out the ingredients in these specially made, USDA organic treats and we’re sure you and your pup will love them. Their treats have no animal by-products, no preservatives and no artificial coloring or flavoring and are baked to order to guarantee freshness.

They have quite a variety of treats besides the ribbons, so check them all out, then meet their executive chef and read the testimonials from some of their biggest (and smallest) fans!

Thanks, Stewart’s Kitchen, for your generosity! And for making the health of

Stewart himself -- Executive Chef!

our pets your number one ingredient.

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1st Annual NOVADog Magazine’s Blogathon

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 23, 2011

OK, NOVADog Magazine wrote this better than I could, so I have borrowed liberally (OK, totally) from their web page about this exciting upcoming event this February. Be there! It’s going to be a LOT of fun. Check it out …

The Scoop:
8 AM Saturday, February 5th and running until 2 AM Sunday, February 6th, each of our 3 bloggers will post one blog entry an hour. That’s 18 hours of fun give-aways, contests, trivia, tributes, and just plain jollification. Here is a sample of the fun prizes and give aways:
Bark ‘N Bubbles: gift certificate
The Happy Woof: $25 gift certificate
• Dogtopia: $50 gift certificate good at Herndon or Tyson’s Corner Locations
The Dog Eaze Inn: One day free daycare
The Dog Eaze Inn: One free Home Away From Home Package with boarding
Whole Pet Central: TWO $50 gift cards
WAGN Enterprises: Skinny pet first aid kit
Rudy’s Friends Dog Training: gift certificate for free dog training consultation
Super Pet Expo: EIGHT FREE passes to the Expo in March!
Unleashed Abilities: gift certificate for a free 90 min. private training session
High Hopes Celebration Doggie Cupcake Mix
High Hopes Doggie Birthday Cupcake Mix
• 42 Rules to Fight Dog Cancer book by Aimee Quemuel
• FOUR NOVADog T-shirts
• EIGHT NOVADog Magazine annual subscription gift certificates
• Amazon Kindle
Dogma Bakery: TWO $25 gift certificates
Fur-Get Me Not: $25 off pet sitting services, $25 off dog daycare service, $50 off dog training!
Fundamentally Dog: One of her brand new T-shirt designs on 100% organic cotton
• Goodies from 2 Million Dogs: Puppy Up! T-shirts, doggie bandannas, wrist bands, and calendars
Felix & Oscar: $25 gift certificate

For your chance to win any of these prizes, you must visit the participating BLOGS throughout the day on February 5!

A big THANKS to all advertisers and supporters who have agreed to donate some very cool prizes.

The Blogs:

NOVADog Blog
Janelle Welch is publisher of NOVADog magazine, and owner of two rescued Pit Bull mixes Chance and Nikki and a Torti cat named Savannah that bosses everyone around. She is blogging in memory of Jake her Beagle Basset Hound mix that succumbed to cancer in December 2009.

Chicks Love Beer
Beth Bates is a professional blogger and digital marketer, so starting a blog seemed the logical way to share her love of beer. Beth is also president and founder at GoodDogz.org, Inc, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating potential dog owners on dog selection and care and supporting the efforts of rescue groups. GoodDogz believes that by assisting with good dog-owner matches, it will give each family the best opportunity for a life-long relationship with their new dog and help to keep dogs out of shelters. Beth will be blogging in honor of Hugo, her mastiff who was diagnosed with cancer a year ago.

Daisy and Bob’s Blog
Lydia Best the owner of Everything and The Dog, a pet sitting and dog walking service that employs over 100 dog walkers throughout Northern VA. Best became involved with 2 Dogs 2000 Miles (now 2 Million Dogs) after her own dog, Princess Daisy, was diagnosed with a heart-based tumor in 2008. Daisy went on to be the first “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” Calendar cover dog in 2009 after she lost her battle to cancer.

Be sure and bookmark the blogs now so you can easily check in on February 5th.  You’ll have plenty of chances to win cool prizes, so stop by one of the participating blogs on February 5 to make a donation.

The Benefit:

NOVADog Magazine’s fund raising efforts will benefit a new hope in cancer research and the 2 Million Dogs Foundation.

If you go to NOVADog Magazine’s web page you can sponsor one hour of the Blogathon in MEMORY of, or in Honor of your pet for only $25. They will mention your tribute in that hour’s post. There will be a chip-in link on their web page during the Blogathon.

Have fun and THANKS, NOVADog!

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Interview With Lisa Spector – Through A Dog’s Ear

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 21, 2011

A while ago I had the good fortune to speak with Lisa Spector, co-founder and pianist of the Through a Dog’s Ear CD series. Lisa collaborates with sound researcher, music producer, and educator Joshua Leeds, and together they have created a series of music CDs that uses the sciences of psychoacoustics , entrainment , and bioacoustics to positively influence behavior in dogs. When I first discovered her work, I thought to myself, I wonder if this music would help dogs during their cancer treatments? I contacted her through Facebook and she was kind enough to grant me an interview.

I first asked Lisa, who was classically trained at the celebrated Juilliard School of Music and now runs her own music school on the West Coast, how she got interested in psychoacoustics and its effect on dogs. She told me that some time ago she attended one of Joshua Leeds’ seminars and was taken with the practical applications of his teachings so much she started applying these principles to her own students, finding them very effective. She decided to attend another lecture, taking a puppy with her. At the time, she was also a volunteer puppy raiser for the Guide Dogs for the Blind. While in this second class, she wondered if the techniques Josh was teaching could be effective in calming dogs and relieving anxiety issues. She discussed the idea with him, and so began their collaboration.

I asked her what CD she would recommend as a ‘starter’ CD. She suggested that the Music to Calm Your Canine Companion (Volumes I, II, and III) would be a good place to start, calling this the “industrial strength calming” CD series. The classical piano music, slowed down and simplified to cause passive hearing rather than active listening, has been clinically tested on over 150 dogs. It’s been proven to calm dogs in shelters and the home environment as well. The music has also been shown to help with certain anxieties like separation anxiety, sound phobias (including fireworks and thunder storms), and even excitement when company is visiting.

The Driving Edition – Music to Calm Your Dog in the Car – is designed to relax your dog but at the same time help keep the driver alert. “This psychoacoustically designed music strikes the ideal balance of keeping you alert in the driver’s seat while soothing your dog’s nerves for a comfortable, pleasant journey.” This CD  “includes Travel Prep — an additional 20 minutes of music to prepare especially anxious dogs for riding in the car. Also included are specific protocols that address three degrees of auto anxiety.”

Music for the Canine Household is a bit different and isn’t just solo piano but includes music performed by The Apollo Chamber Ensemble (piano, cello, oboe, English Horn), featuring Lisa as the pianist. This CD is not designed for use when the dog is home alone, as it is a little more complex with the addition of the other instruments in it as well, but is rather a little more stimulating. It’s still relaxing for the dog but is designed to be used when you’re around the house, active with your daily household routine, and will keep people awake.

I was curious about who decides on the pieces of music that will be used. She explained that this is a very collaborative effort between the two of them, and a part of the process she finds very rewarding. She and Joshua sit down with hours and hours and hours of music to choose from, and gradually narrow down the selections. If the music needs it, they will make acoustic changes to the work — changes that will slow the dog’s heart rate by simplifying the score — slowing the music, modifying it by taking out complex parts, etc. They don’t change the notes that are written but they might take a broken chord and turn it into a solid chord, for example. And they might also lower not only the tempo but the frequency, which also affects the canine heart rate. And while they make changes to some classical pieces, there are other pieces from which they pull sections, (movements from sonatas, for example), that suit the psychoacoustic needs for which they are striving.

Classical music by its nature is music that one generally engages in in an active listening way. The music is intricate, full, rich, and stimulating, and it takes conscious thought to interact with and appreciate it due to its elaborate qualities. While this may be fine for humans, what Lisa and Joshua have discovered is that by simplifying the music and taking it to its core tonal essence, it causes one (dog or human) to passively attend to the music. One is still influenced, but the mind and body respond by relaxing in sympathetic resonance to the slower pace and simpler melodies. This is the difference between active listening and passive hearing. And this is how their music may help your dogs.

Naturally, the subject of dogs with cancer came up and I asked Lisa if she’d given any thought to using their music with these dogs. She said this would definitely be something they would like to explore, and that many vets are currently using their CDs in their practices, pre-and-post surgery. She would like to see the music clinically tested in dogs with cancer to see if during treatments and/or post-treatments the dogs have a positive response, and she always welcomes anecdotal information. Users are welcome email her or to post their results to the Through a Dog’s Ear Facebook wall. Users are always writing to tell Lisa and Joshua about their own experiences. One boarding facility owner reported using the music to calm the dogs during a tornado. Another said that the music helped wild dogs counteract their aggression. The music is used in Grumpy Growler classes and trainers use it for reactive dog classes and also for fearful dogs. So the application for use with dogs with cancer has great potential as well.

Lisa and her lab Gina with TaDE CD's in Clicker Expo Store

How had she first heard about 2 Million Dogs? Lisa said her sister in Boston told her about the November 7th 2010 Boston Walk. About the time I contacted her, she also heard from Ginger, so it was a happy confluence of events that led us to one another. Generously, Through a Dogs’ Ear donated 100 samplers and 5 CD sets to the Boston Walk, as well as copies of Joshua’s book Through a Dog’s Ear , which he co-authored with Dr. Susan Wagner. There are many samples of their music on their website  which are free to listen to.

Lisa reemphasized that while the CDs are designed for dogs, they’re good for people too. She laughed and said, “Unless you have a Border Collie, you’re going to be the one to turn on the iPod or CD” so it’s a good thing people enjoy the music too!

Both she and Joshua appreciate and welcome feedback, and she encourages people to write with their experiences. There is a place on the website to share your responses.

Lisa and Joshua, and Through a Dog’s Ear, parallel the interests of 2 Million Dogs in that our goals for bettering the life of our canine companions are uppermost in our work. If you use their CDs with your dogs,  I encourage you to write them with your results.

Lisa with one of her two labs, Sanchez.

For a wealth of information on the CDs, how the music is designed, and what psychoacoustics, entrainment, and bioacoustics are, and how they can benefit your dog and you, please visit their website. You may also write to Lisa at: Lisa@ThroughADogsEar.com

To see the work of Lisa Spector and Joshua Leeds, check out this February 22, 2008 CBS Early Show video.

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Contagious Dog Cancer Unraveled

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 21, 2011

A canine cancer is found to be able to repair itself by tapping the infected dogs’ own cells.
By Jennifer Viegas
Thu Jan 20, 2011 02:00 PM ET

Dogs can suffer from a contagious form of cancer that has the ability to repair itself at the expense of its canine victims, according to a new study.

The discovery could help to explain how this disease, Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor (CTVT), has persisted in the dog population for around 10,000 years. Mating in dogs typically transmits the cancer, although it can also be spread when a healthy dog licks, bites or sniffs tumor-affected areas of a victim.

“It is possible that when dogs were first domesticated, they were highly inbred, and so different individuals were genetically very similar, and this might have helped cancerous cells from one dog to be able to grow on another.” study co-author Austin Burt told Discovery News.

“Then, as dogs were bred in many different directions and became genetically diverse, the cancer would have evolved to be able to grow on a diverse array of genotypes,” added Burt, a professor of evolutionary genetics at Imperial College London.

He and colleagues Clare Rebbeck and Armand Leroi analyzed the cellular structure of a geographically diverse sample of CTVT samples. They noticed that the cancer would sometimes acquire the “powerhouses,” or mitochondria, of host cells in order to repair itself in response to accumulated genetic mutations.

To determine if this was really the case, the scientists studied the evolutionary development of dogs and wolves. That investigation further supported their determination about the host-hijacking cancer. The research was published in this week’s Science

The disease is known to only spread from one canine to another, and “feral dogs — ones that run wild — are the ones most likely to come into contact with the cancer and carry it,” according to Burt.

For the complete article, please follow this link.

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22 Stones

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 7, 2011

This blog is re-posted from Luke’s original post of January 4th, 2011.


Don’t know where I left off last with Murphy’s condition but Christmas week we reached critical mass. He was struggling and I wasn’t sure if he’d make it.

I didn’t think the massive radiation doses administered over three days would alleviate his airways quickly enough for him to breath sufficiently which is why I explored radical ideas like inserting a shunt or stent.

But the radiation did work and it didn’t take the two weeks that was speculated. By Christmas day Murphy was playing with Hudson for the first time in weeks and it was a very special day. That’s a photo of Murphy taking off with his X-Mas booty that I entitled, “Kthnxbye”.

We were blessed with a mostly uneventful week following Christmas during which I turned 40 and then the Earth added another year to the 4.54 billion and change it has under its belt.

I say mostly because Murphy has had nosebleeds and down days but he’s still markedly better than two weeks ago. However, that radiation was so effective so quickly suggests serious side effects are in store. Already Murphy’s losing fur on his head and around his eyes that never fully re-grew from the first round but we knew that hitting the tumor hard would be risky.

We are due to return to CSU this morning for a clinical evaluation to assess whether he’s a candidate for adjunct chemotherapy though my mind’s pretty much already made up since the ‘wait and see’ approach after radiation last August was a complete failure. Had I run parallel courses then we may have been in a different place now.

Which is perhaps the lesson for the week. When it involves cancer always assume the worst and choose the most aggressive form of therapy. I’m listening to The Emperor of All Maladies on CD now (which I highly recommend) and while it’s chocked full of interesting metaphors I’m a movie kinda guy.

While writing this blog The Terminator came to mind when Reese is trying to convey the seriousness of the situation to Sarah Connor. “It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity or remorse. And it absolutely will not stop. Ever. Until you are dead.”

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Happy New Year!

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 3, 2011

Hudson and Murphy welcoming the New Year in festive style.

Hudson and Murphy are celebrating the New Year in Colorado at their friends’ Hope and Lily Lisle’s house. Along with Luke, Ginger has joined the festivities and brought her beautiful dog Buddy. Buddy is receiving treatment for cancer at the University of Missouri.

Happy New Year, Boys!

Hudson ... too much eggnog?

"Yup. They had to stick a hat on me too."

Buddy's Christmas at Mommy Hope's.

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