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Posts Tagged ‘2 Dogs 2000 Miles’

Auburn University in Alabama Testing Bone Cancer Treatment for Dogs

Posted by Erich Trapp on May 13, 2013

Many of the dogs we have met through the 2 Million Dogs Foundation, and earlier with 2 Dog 2000 Miles, have suffered from bone cancer (osteosarcoma). This article, by Evan Belanger, details how Auburn University is testing a new treatment for osteosarcoma. You can find the complete article here as well.

Auburn testing bone-cancer treatment for dogs that could increase survivability and translate to human treatments

 

Pictured is Lily Johnson. “Most dogs suffering from bone cancer must have the impacted leg amputated. In more than 90 percent of cases, the cancer cells migrate to the lungs, creating demand for new treatments.”

Pictured is Lily Johnson.
“Most dogs suffering from bone cancer must have the impacted leg amputated. In more than 90 percent of cases, the cancer cells migrate to the lungs, creating demand for new treatments.”

By Evan Belanger

AUBURN, Alabama — Auburn University is testing a new treatment for bone cancer in dogs that a university veterinarian says could one day be broadened to treat human cancers.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has awarded Bruce Smith, director of the Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer, a two-year grant totaling $118,848 to test the new therapy.

The treatment consists of a virus normally used as a hepatitis vaccine in dogs that has been modified to only make copies of itself when inside cancer cells.

It ruptures the cancer cells, killing them and releasing thousands of copies to attack other cancer cells.

“By using this approach, we turn the cancer cell into a factory that produces more virus,” Smith said. “You could say that we help the cancer cell become an agent of its own death.”

The immediate goal of the study is to prove the efficacy of the new treatment for bone cancer, but Smith said the long-term goal is to create a single treatment that can treat multiple types of cancer in dogs.

The lessons learned could also be used to create new treatments for human cancer and could lead to human trials in partnership with a medical college, he said.

“Ultimately, we want that to be a clinical treatment in dogs,” Smith said. “But it’s also something that’s going to tell us something about how to use this approach in people, so we’re very big on this idea of one medicine.”

Bone cancer in dogs, which accounts for about 5 percent of tumors in dogs, has a very poor survival rate.

In most cases, the dog’s leg is amputated to make the dog more comfortable and remove the tumor, but the cancer cells migrate to the lungs more than 90 percent of the time.

In those cases, dogs that receive chemotherapy typically only live nine to 12 months post diagnosis, creating demand for more effective treatments.

“This therapy attacks those metastases and will hopefully eliminate them or make them more sensitive to chemotherapy,” Smith said.

The study will involve 20 dogs over two years. All dogs must be referred by a veterinarian and must have all four legs intact so researchers can collect live cancer cells from the tumor.

The grant will cover the cost of the viral treatment, but owners must pay for the cost of amputation and chemotherapy, treatments with which the viral injection is intended to work in conjunction.

The Auburn University Research Initiative in Cancer was founded in 2012 to accelerate the translation of cancer innovation from the laboratory to the clinic.

AURIC follows a “one-medicine” concept that views human and animal health as a single field where discoveries in one species advances health in both species.

“Dogs are actually very similar physiologically to people, and a lot of the cancers they get have the same gene mutations,” Smith said.

“Tumors like breast cancer is very, very similar between dogs and humans. Dogs get skin cancer, dogs get blood cancers that are similar to human cancers, dogs get brain cancers that similar to human cancers … so what we learn in dogs is very applicable to humans.”

 

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Orchard School 4th Grade Business Project Donates Generously to 2 Million Dogs

Posted by Erich Trapp on March 5, 2013

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Luke, Indy, Carly, and Hudson.

Recently, 2 Million Dogs received word that a generous donation was made to our Foundation, thanks to the efforts of Carly Levinsohn and the heartfelt appeal she made to her fellow classmates in a 4th grade business project at Orchard School in Indianapolis, Indiana. Below is her letter to her classmates, and a letter to us. Thank you Carly and everyone who contributed so thoughtfully to our organization on behalf of dogs with cancer.

We applaud the efforts of this young generation, and the hard work that went in to supporting a cause they believe in. Thank you.

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Carly presenting a check to Luke Robinson, founder of 2 Million Dogs.

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Us In A Nutshell — Thanks, Chicago Tribune

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 11, 2012

Up Close and Personal — Melisa Kottmeier makes friends with Indy, one of two Great Pyrenees dogs owned by Luke Robinson, founder of the 2 Million Dogs organization, who spoke to dog owners at FYDO Land in Elgin about links between human and pet cancer. (photo by Darrell Goemaat)

The Chicago Tribune recently covered the story of 2 Million Dogs and did such a great job, we’d like to share it here in case you missed it.

“It’s [the article] not just about 2 Million Dogs.” says Executive Director Ginger Morgan, “It’s about how people live with cancer every day. By sharing this article you could be helping someone realize that they are not alone in their fight.”

The article was written by Amanda Marrazzo, Special to the Tribune. Photo credit is Darrell Goemaat, with the Chicago Tribune.

If you’d like to keep up with the work of 2 Million Dogs, you can set Google to do a Google Alert. How? Follow this link for simple directions.

Now, here’s the Chicago Tribune article …
October 10, 2012

When his beloved Great Pyrenees dog Malcolm died from bone cancer in 2004, Luke Robinson was sad and angry.

Adding to his loss: Nobody could tell him why.

“I didn’t even know dogs could get cancer,” Robinson said.

Beginning in 2008, Robinson and two of his other dogs, Murphy and Hudson, walked from his home in Texas to Boston to raise awareness about cancer in pets and links to human cancers as well. With stops and starts along the way, and Robinson and the dogs camping or staying with host families, the journey lasted more than two years.

“Somewhere on the cross-country walk I had this dream, this vision of taking the two dogs, walking 2,000 miles and making that into 2 million dogs,” he said.

And so his life’s mission was conceived. After the walk ended, the not-for-profit 2 Million Dogs was founded with the hope that eventually that number of canines and their owners will participate in walks to raise awareness and money to fund research to eradicate cancer from pets and people.

Humans share no direct genetic link with dogs, yet each dies from the same types of cancers in astronomical numbers, he said.

Sadly, Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer less than a month after arriving in Boston. He died a year and three days later.

Losing Murphy further strengthened his resolve.

“I think dogs are the canary in the coal mine,” he said. “I think that they hold the answer. They drink the same water we do, are exposed to the same air, environmental toxins. I can’t help to think since we don’t share a genetic link, there must be something in the environment.

“All the cancers we get, they are getting too,” he said. “And that is strange. … We share no evolutionary line with dogs. We don’t come from dogs and dogs don’t come from us.”

Robinson recently visited the Chicago area with Hudson and Indy, his newest “fuzzybutt,” on what he named the “Summer of Murphy Tour,” a cross-country journey in his van that he began in September.

He visited with local veterinary oncologists and met with dog lovers in Elgin and Schaumburg.

Robin Massey, owner of FYDO Land, dog day cares in Elgin and Huntley, said she was so moved by the mission at an event she attended last summer she became a co-chair of the local group.

“Unfortunately, being in the business I’m in, I have lost a lot of four-legged friends to cancer,” she said. “It’s not only about fighting cancer in canines, but about fighting cancer in everybody. It’s an all inclusive group.”

Since 2010, through events called Puppy-Up walks, 2 Million Dogs has raised $270,000, said Karyn Vasquez, a dog lover and member of the board of directors of the organization. About a third of the money goes to research, with the rest going toward education and awareness.

“For me, just letting people know that our companion animals really do get cancer is a huge step in the right direction,” said Vasquez, who lost her own dog, Chelios, to lymphoma on New Year’s Day 2010.

Last year the organization presented a $50,000 grant to Princeton University to fund the school’s study of canine mammary tumor development and progression.

“Mammary tumors are the most common tumors in intact female dogs,” she said. “In humans, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women. Mammary tumors in dogs and breast cancer in women have many similarities, both in terms of risk factors and biology.”

Interest in the mission has grown.

In 2010 there were Puppy-Up walks in 12 cities across the United States. In 2011, there were walks in 27 cities, and this year there are about 32. So far, about 3,000 dogs and their owners have participated, said Ginger Morgan, executive director of 2 Million Dogs.

“We are still looking for many dogs and their owners to help us in our fight against cancer,” Morgan said, encouraging owners to bring their dogs to a Nov. 3 walk in West Dundee.

“When we hit 2 million dogs, we will still continue walking. We’ll walk until we find a cure, until we can find out what is causing cancer and how we can prevent it.”

Heather Neal, of Aurora, like Robinson, also believes that cancers, as well as other ailments, in both humans and canines are caused by the environment we live in, the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.

She owns Cadence, an 8-year-old standard poodle, who last year received treatment for osteosarcoma, a malignant bone cancer. After undergoing chemotherapy, the amputation of her right back leg, a switch to a raw food diet and a daily cocktail of herbal supplements, Cadence is doing much better and today is cancer-free.

“She is vibrant, full of life, energetic,” Neal said. “Being on three legs has not stopped her at all. She is like a tornado.”

Neal believes humans have a spiritual connection with their dogs, and that dogs are the key to unlocking the mysteries of cancer.

“They are more than just pets to us; they are a family member,” she said. “Let’s do what we can to cure (cancer). It will be good for dogs and human beings.”

Dr. Tiffany Leach, a veterinary oncologist who works at Specialty Vets in Buffalo Grove, said there are cancers that behave the same in humans and dogs, and there are also treatments that work on both human and dog cancers.

For example, sarcomas behave the same in children as they do in dogs, and there are medicines that can be used to treat both, Leach said.

“Vet oncology is so important to us because we can take a lot of the human cancers and get information to use for dog cancers,” she said.

As a resident at Purdue University she worked on a study of bladder cancer. It was found that the same treatments used for human bladder cancer were effective when used to treat bladder cancer in dogs.

It’s also been proved that pediatric osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, displays the same behaviors in children and dogs. And doctors are able to use the same treatments as veterinarians in treating it.

Leach also believes environmental factors play a role in canine and human cancers. But she also believes certain breeds tend to be prone to specific cancers. For example, she said, a Bernese mountain dog is prone to histiocytic sarcoma, an aggressive cancer that begins in the muscle tissue.

Leach herself knows firsthand the pain of dealing with cancer on more than one level. Her grandfather suffered with prostate cancer, which first led her to studying oncology along with veterinary medicine.

In 2005, she was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma, or kidney cancer. Though she declined to go into detail about her health, she has gone through treatments and at least two surgeries, and simply said, “I’m handling it. I’m still able to go to work and lead a pretty normal life.”

Then there are her two beloved Irish wolfhounds, which each have dealt with their own cancers. Gideon, 6, had a soft-tissue sarcoma. The dog has had surgeries and radiation and is in remission. Jiggs, 9, was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a type of a bone cartilage tumor. Jiggs underwent surgery two months ago and seems to be in remission, she said.

All of these situations have confirmed that the profession she has chosen as her life’s work is exactly where she should be. She knows the struggles of cancer. She knows the heartache of a pet having a life-threatening disease. So when sitting with a pet owner and telling them their pet has cancer, she can honestly say she knows how they feel.

“You can at least genuinely say, ‘I’ve been through this and I understand,’ and you can really mean it on a level I couldn’t have had,” she said. “I’ve been lucky in that respect. I’m an undying optimist. I like to take the positive out of all of this.”

Robinson, meanwhile, is off to another city. His message is for all people, those with and without pets, and those who have or have not been affected by cancer.

“We are facing nature’s perfect enemy,” Robinson said. “No man, woman, child or companion animal is spared its killing field.”

A 2 Million Dog Puppy-Up will be held Nov. 3, at Randall Oaks Park, 1180 N. Randall Road, West Dundee. Registration is 10 a.m., opening ceremonies at 11:15 a.m., and a two-mile walk steps off at 11:30 a.m. Closing ceremonies will be at 12:30 p.m.

Preregistration by Nov. 1 is $20 per person (under the age of 14 is free). Day of walk registration is $25 per person. No limit on the number of dogs.

Dogs must be up to date on vaccinations and must not be on a retractable leash.

Posted in Events, Fundraiser, Puppy Up! Walks, Stories, Summer of Murphy Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The 14th Of …

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 3, 2012

Ginger Morgan with Murphy, Luke Robinson with Hudson, and a multitude of friends and supporters walking the final mile together in Boston.

So Luke had this idea a while back.

If 2 dogs could walk 2,000 miles for cancer we could get 2 million dogs all over the country to walk.  On the same day and at the same time. I’m a very visual person and the impact of that would send shockwaves across the nation.  Literally – if we had a bunch of big dogs pounding the pavement in synchronicity.  

We chose the first Sunday in November for no reason other than auspicious weather in most parts of the country and out of respect for other walks.

This year, we have 25 cities walking on the exact same day (the others are rebels) but the Fuzzybutts can only be at one of them.  And this year, it’s the final stop on the first Summer of Murphy tour and I have something special in store and you don’t want to miss it. 

But it’s not up to me.  It’s up to you.  The city that raises the most money by October 14th is where we’ll be and you can click here to sign up for your local walk, start a team, and start fundraising. 

Posted in 2012 Puppy Up! Walks, Events, Fundraiser, Puppy Up! Walks, Summer of Murphy Tour | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2 Million Dogs founder visits Denison, Texas

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 15, 2012

Jeri Waterloo, Luke Robinson, and Pamela Pyle.

As part of the Summer of Murphy Tour, Luke, Hudson, and Indiana were recently in Denison, Texas.

Here’s the article, written by Lynette George and published Friday, September 14, 2012 from the Herald Democrat.

When his beloved Great Pyrenees dog, Malcolm, was diagnosed with and died from cancer, Texas native Luke Robinson knew his life was changed forever.  He discussed that tremendous change recently when he visited Denison in support of the Puppy Up! fundraiser to be held Nov. 4 at Waterloo Lake Park.

Puppy Up events are held throughout the nation in support of Robinson’s non-profit 2 Million Dogs program.  The program was created in 2010, specifically to help fund comparative oncology research which focuses on finding the common links between canine and human cancers and their causes.  2 Million Dogs has already provided $50,000 for a study at Princeton University.  The study involved comparing cancerous mammary glands in dogs and those in women.  An upcoming study to be aided by 2 Million Dogs will involve comparative oncology studies which will be a collaborative effort between Harvard, MIT, Mass General and Dana Farber Cancer Institute.  Robinson says the hope in the relatively new world of comparative oncology is to find genetic markers between canine and human cancers which can lead to finding and possibly eliminating the causes of both, as well as finding cures.

“It’s like we are going on a fishing expedition,” says Robinson.  “If we fund enough of these comparative studies, we will find that big fish … I truly believe dogs hold the key to curing cancer in humans.”

Robinson continues, “Cancer is cancer.  It touches everyone.  Under a microscope, cancer looks the same whether it’s from a dog or a human.”

The determined Texan got the idea for 2 Million Dogs after making his own 2,000 mile trek across the country with his dogs to raise awareness of canine cancer.  It was an unexpected turn of events in Robinson’s life.

He earned his bachelor of business administration degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio.  While still an undergraduate, Robinson began a management consulting company, later honored with the prestigious “40 Under 40” Award by the San Antonio Business Journal in 2002.  He moved himself, his two Great Pyrenees dogs Malcolm and Murphy, and his company to Boston, Massachusetts in 2003.  The next year, Malcolm was diagnosed with cancer and lost the battle two years later in 2006.  It was during that time that Robinson began an educational journey to learn about canine cancer.  He discovered that cancer is the number one natural cause of death in dogs over the age of 2, and that dogs and humans get the same types of cancer.  He also learned that studying existing cancers in dogs can lead to developing better treatments for dogs and for humans, and that comparative oncology studies can help reduce the treatment costs associated with canine and human cancers.

In 2008, Robinson sold most of his belongings.  He, Murphy and his new Great Pyrenees puppy Hudson, would walk from Austin to Boston in an effort to raise awareness of the similarities between canine and human cancers and to promote comparative oncology research.  The walk lasted more than two years, the threesome carrying all their necessities in back packs, camping in a pup tent, and telling Malcolm’s story to anyone who would listen.  Along the way, Robinson also helped at animal shelters, met with veterinarians, and he was the topic of many publications and interviews.  He appeared with his two dogs on Dogs 101 on the Animal Planet in 2010, and was named one of the “Top Ten Not So Ordinary Pet People of the Year” in 2009.  He was also awarded the 2010 Humanitarian Awareness Award from Fetch a Cure and received the 2010 Caninatarian Award from the Association of Pet Dog Trainers in Atlanta, Georgia.  The walk resulted in the formation of 2 Dogs 2000 Miles.

“When I left Austin, I had maybe a couple of hundred bucks in my pocket,” remembers Robinson.  “Just when I’d be down to my last few dollars, somebody would always give me a $20 or something … The generosity of people’s hearts is amazing.”

At the end of the 826-day walk on June 19, 2010, Robinson was so encouraged that he came up with another plan.  If he and his two canine companions could walk 2,000 miles promoting cancer awareness, then why not have two million dogs walk two miles to continue the mission?  2 Million Dogs was born.  The urgency of raising public awareness was increased for Robinson about that same time when Murphy was diagnosed with cancer.  The faithful dog died in June of 2011.

To get the public involved, Robinson, in 2010, began Puppy Up! walks, not just to raise funds for comparative oncology studies, but to educate the public.  In November of 2010, the first Puppy Up! walks wer held in 12 cities across the nation.  In 2011, more than 25 cities, including Denison, hosted Puppy Up!, raising a total of almost $150,000.  This fall, nearly 40 cities nationwide, including Denison, are taking part.  It’s not as many as Robinson had hoped, but that doesn’t dampen his enthusiasm for the cause.

“I’m from Texas and we dream big down here,” says Robinson.  “I have a dream and it’s great to see it unfolding.  I just wish it would be unfolding a little faster … I’m an ambitious person and I had hoped we’d be having 500 walks across the country by now, but it hasn’t happened yet.”

Though Robinson’s continuing journey isn’t all tail-wagging good times, he continues on.

“It’s sometimes frustrating … My whole life is cancer.  People send me messages every day about their dogs having cancer … My life is already filled with tragedy … How can I just set on my laurels?”

Denison was Robinson’s second stop on his visit to 23 Puppy Up! locations throughout the nation.  He and his small crew, only one of whom receives a salary, were feted with a meet-and-greet at the Hickory House Restaurant upon their arrival Sept. 7, followed by a gathering in Sherman later that evening.  Robinson and his two canine companions, lovingly referred to as the “fuzzybutts,” also led the Bark & Paw Parade on Sept. 8.

 

UPCOMING — Denison’s Puppy Up! Walk takes place on Nov. 4 at Waterloo Park.

In addition to the Walk, the Denison Puppy Up! event will feature a pet adoption fair, live music, vendors, food, prizes and more.  For details, call 903-327-3081.

If you’re in Facebook, you can keep up with news of the Puppy Up! Walk in Denison here.

Special thanks to Jeri Waterloo and Pamela Pyle for their continued hard work!

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Featured Pup – Rainey Britton

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 18, 2012

Rainey Britton — Canine Good Citizen.

Here is our pup of the day for the 2 Million Dogs’ 2013 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down calendar contest. Remember, you can enter your pup through July 27 and voting starts July 8th. To enter your dog or for more information, email erich@2milliondogs.org To learn more about the calendar, please follow this link.

(by Beth Britton) Rainy came into our lives when a breeder I’ve long admired said she had this little female who wound up with slightly crooked teeth and wouldn’t be shown, did we want her? Although we’ve always been a huge advocate for rescuing dogs, Rainy was the one who broke all our rules and we knew we had to add her to our family.   She was our problem child as a puppy and quickly had us wrapped around her little paws but she grew into a sweet, wonderful girl and quite the Pyr About Town. She quickly finished her 2nd Level obedience class and got her CGC and therapy dog certification when she was just a year old.  We spent most weekends visiting the nursing home, at the dog park, or walking around town. Rainy was sure that everyone was there to see her and was quick to greet with a wagging tail and her head thrust into their laps for petting.  Rainy and her “sister” Mosey joined us for the first Puppy Up! Walk in Connecticut in March 2010, as well as Luke’s final mile in Boston in June 2010.

Rainy was diagnosed with inoperable nasal cancer shortly before her 4th birthday in October 2011.  What started out as some nasal discharge and rattly breathing turned into something we’d never expected or imagined.  When we decided not to pursue radiation therapy, the only option given to us that might’ve prolonged her life for up to 1 year but she would’ve had to live in a kennel at the hospital for a month, the doctors told us we’d have one to three months left with our girl.  But Rainy proved them wrong and we had five wonderful months with her. We celebrated her 4th birthday in style – she walked with us in the 2011 Puppy Up! Walk in Jersey City, and she represented 2 Million Dogs at the Super Pet Expo in Edison, NJ.   She fought a valiant battle against cancer but when she was uncomfortable more often than not, we had to let her go in March 2012.  She is and will always be our “baby girl” and we miss her terribly but  will continue the fight against this horrible disease in her honor and memory.

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I Am 2 Dogs 2000 Miles

Posted by Erich Trapp on March 29, 2012

by Luke Robinson, March 29, 2012

reprinted from the 2dogs2000miles blog

Since the conclusion of the walk I’ve been bouncing around all over the place starting blogs, fan clubs, and websites, too.  Two reasons for this; first I’m a lightening rod for novel thoughts and innovative ideas.  I was born this way and rarely a week goes by when I’m not climbing the conceptual walls.  Ginger has a placard in her house specifically for me that reads, “Go Fascinate Someone Else,” since she has historically almost always been on the business end of my ideations.

Second, it seems apparent to me now that some of them were designed by my subconscious mind as a distraction from accepting, internalizing, and processing Murphy’s loss.  I joked that after I returned from my fast last year I sat down in front of a spreadsheet to list all of the projects and ideas I had.  Three sheets later, I still wasn’t finished probably making me the busiest homeless guy ever.

I have been working tirelessly since then on multiple fronts all, in their own right in furtherance of my life’s mission and as extension of the walk.   The Homeless Chef was spawned from the many meals I made for host families to thank them for their kindness and generosity.  Finding Fuzzybutt Four was conceived by me to help find homes for other rescued Pyrenees once little Indy came into our life.

For a long while now I intended to phase out 2 Dogs 2000 Miles because that journey was over.  Evolve it into the Fuzzybutt Fight Club or one of the other sites I launched to become the central console for my efforts to eradicate cancer.

But managing so many projects mostly on my own has exacted a tremendous toll on me and it’s time to focus.

Although I loved every second of life on the road I never considered myself a hardcore hiker or adventure junkie.  That’s reserved for guys like Jonathan Stalls whom nature custom designed specifically for that.

Yes, yes… I knew we would have future adventures like 2 Dogs 2000 Beers or 2 Dogs 200 Golf Courses I hadn’t figured out what came next yet.

But I realize now after all of this reflection and introspection and the tragic circumstances in between, this story shall continue as it began.

I am 2 Dogs 2000 Miles and walking across Japan is Chapter Two.

Some of you were curious why I’ve chosen the Rising Sun next and I’ll address that in a future blog.  But for now to simplify and focus, some changes must be made.

1. My personal Facebook page, 2 Dogs 2000 Miles will continue.  However I have about a thousand people waiting to be my friend as it is my personal account.

2. The 2 Dogs 2000 Miles Group on Facebook will also continue . This will be the only authentic FB for now.  We may have to convert to a fan page rather than a group but  we’ll deal with that when we get to it.  Thank you for everyone who has been keeping the group alive and I will have a stronger presence there going forward.

3. Fuzzybutt Fight Club and the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles fan pages I’ll be phasing out and posting for everyone there to move over to the aforementioned group.

4. The 2dogs2000miles blog will be my own personal and professional public blog.  I’ll post things about cancer, the foundation I started – 2 Million Dogs events; but expect recipes, adventures, and social commentaries here as well.  If you only care to learn about developments in canine cancer and comparative oncology, please visit the foundation’s website.

5. The only other blog which will carry forward is Raising Indiana though there  will be changes there, too and to learn about those please read about them here.

Finding Fuzzybutt Four and the Homeless Chef won’t be, however, as I am winding those down. Although I’m tremendously appreciative of everyone’s involvement, I just don’t have time for them.

6. The Rock, The Ripple, and the River.  The book has been the greatest consternation and lack of clarity for me since the walk ended.  It plagues me still.  Part one, the first of the trilogy, is complete but I’m thinking now that the documentary should take priority as Jesse, my partner and DP and I have been working tirelessly to get it to a film festival for next year.  This may change.  Hell, it may change, then change back, then change again.  All I can say with absolute certainty is this story, its past, present, and future will be told.

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Featured Pup – Murphy Robinson

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 30, 2011

Murphy Robinson

Every day, from now until our calendar contest  ends on October 1st, we’ll feature several of our calendar dog contestants. If you don’t know him already, we’d like you to meet Murphy Robinson.

Murphy’s Story

Murphy’s story continues although he’s no longer here with us. He touched so many lives on his journey from Austin to Boston… how many we’ll never know. He was a beautiful old soul and I miss him terribly.

 

To vote for Murphy Robinson, please click on the link.

 

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Murphy

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 25, 2011

When the Man waked up he said, ‘What is Wild Dog doing here?’ And the Woman said, ‘His name is not Wild Dog anymore, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.'” — Rudyard Kipling

It is with great sorrow that I must tell you that our dear friend Murphy was given rest Wednesday evening, June 22, 2011 after a year-long battle against cancer.

Murphy was diagnosed with nasal adenocarcinoma only a short time after he, Hudson, and Luke finished their 826 day, 16 state, 2300+ mile journey from Austin, Texas to Boston, Massachusetts in June 2010.

The battle for Murphy is over, and no doubt by now he is reunited with his brother, Malcolm, who also died from cancer, and who was the inspiration for their walk.

But the curse of cancer remains, and it is up to us to redouble our efforts to see that these beautiful animals, and countless others, have not died in vain. 2 Million Dogs continues its efforts, guided by the spirits of all those who have gone before.

If you are new to 2 Million Dogs, you can read their story from the beginning at the 2 dogs 2,000 miles blog here.  Start from the beginning and read through the hundreds of blog posts to see where The Boys traveled, the amazing adventures they had, and all the remarkable people and pups they met.

If you are on Facebook, there are many wonderful tributes to Murphy posted on Luke’s wall  and on Hudson and Murphy’s wall . And please visit YouTube for a photo-tribute to Murphy.

Murphy, only 10, was preceded in death by his brother Malcolm. He is survived by his Papi, Luke, his brother Hudson, his Mommy Ginger, dozens of Mommies and Uncles across the country, and thousands of friends across the globe. Please remember them in your thoughts.

puppy up!

Erich and his 5 Pack

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Sermons in Stone

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 19, 2011

by Luke Robinson

Republished from the 2 Dogs 2000 Miles blog

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.

I love this passage from Will Shakespeare’s As You Like It and for this Father’s Day, I couldn’t find one more appropriate. It speaks to the fascination and beauty found in the simple wonderment of nature. It’s reminiscent of my father who first taught me that and as a dad myself, it’s a lesson my own boys, Hudson and Murphy, always keep me mindful of.

Life is a messy thing but there’s no finer, more effective therapy for it than a good piece of wood in your hand, the path beneath your feet, and your sons at your side.

This Father’s Day for me is a bittersweet celebration. It was one year ago today we walked the final mile into Boston but it’s also Murphy’s last day. Tomorrow he will be given eternal rest.

A few weeks back Murphy’s left eye ruptured and I made the decision to have it surgically removed rather than euthanizing him then. He was still willful, eating healthfully, and in true Murphy tradition, full of piss and vinegar.

It was a controversial decision and one which tore me up internally. I suspected the rupture probably meant the tumor had breached the orbit, a suspicion that was confirmed by the vet during surgery. At most I hoped for a couple of months together and if we were lucky, a few more than that.

Since the surgery, we have seen a deterioration of mobility in his right hind leg which can only mean motor cortex involvement – that the cancer has finally spread to his brain. And though he has had some really good days this week in Eureka Springs and yesterday at 3 Dog Bakery, I know what comes next and that I cannot allow to happen to my boy.

I have no doubt now the decision I made to extricate his eye was medically unsound but it was not an inhumane one. I don’t write this because I feel a need to justify it to anyone. I absolutely don’t give a goddamn what people think about the choices I have made on behalf of Murphy.

I am writing about it because to me this is what being a father means. It means having to make extremely hard decisions often in the absence of any certainty and always in the face of adversity.

A father’s love is the grit and iron will that cannot be ground down even at the end. It’s looking into the eyes of your dying son and finally admitting, “I can’t save you.”

To all of the fathers who have had to say that and to the ones who thankfully haven’t – this is our day.

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