2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Summer of Murphy Tour in Little Rock Thursday

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 5, 2012

Murphy and Luke.

The Summer of Murphy Tour continues .. while the Nashville leg of the Tour was called because of bad weather, here’s another chance to be a part of The Summer of Murphy Tour.


Local dog lovers, in partnership with 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization working to support comparative oncology, are holding the event to do outreach and share life-saving information.

It’s part of 2 Million Dogs’ “Summer of Murphy” tour going on from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Little Rock Animal Village (4500 Kramer Street).

Just like people, companion animals develop cancer: brain, breast, bone and lung cancer; lymphoma and melanoma are all common in pets, who are exposed to the same environmental factors as humans. Veterinary oncologists believe there are between four and eight million new cases of cancer in companion animals every year. Most of those never receive adequate care or treatment and often go undiagnosed.
2 Million Dogs has built the largest pet and people cancer community in the world to advocate for comparative oncology, an emerging field of study that is broadening the understanding of the links between human and animal cancer.

“The field of comparative oncology is relatively new, however it has tremendous potential to give us key insights to what’s causing cancer across species,” said Ginger Morgan, executive director of 2 Million Dogs. “Comparative oncology is important and necessary if we want a world in which cancer is no longer one of the top killers of our children, our parents, and our pets.”

The Summer of Murphy Tour was inspired by the loss of one of the two companions who accompanied Luke Robinson on a cross-country walk to raise awareness of comparative oncology in 2008. Similarly, Robinson intends this tour to honor and celebrate the lives of other pets with cancer – those who have survived, those who are fighting, and those [who] have succumbed.

“Cancer touches everyone,” said Robinson. “Cancer is the world’s greatest scourge, the deadliest pandemic facing pets and people alike. We are here to celebrate and remember survivors as well as those we have lost, and share the spirit of Murphy and other dogs who do not give up or give in until the end.”

The Summer of Murphy tour, which started in August, visits 23 cities besides Little Rock, including: Nashville TN, Denison TX, Belton TX, San Antonio TX, Austin TX, Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Las Vegas NV for the First Annual Puppy Up Charity Golf Tournament, Denver CO, Garden City KS, Liberty MO, Chicago IL, Indianapolis IN, Cincinnati OH, Columbus OH, Fairborn OH, Pittsburgh PA, New Castle PA, Monessen PA, Clinton NJ, Jersey City NJ, New Milford CT, and Madison CT.

2 Million Dogs recently donated $50,000 for a comparative oncology study of mammary tumors at Princeton University in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The project treats shelter dogs with mammary tumors and then studies tissues to understand how breast cancer metastasizes in women.
2 Million Dogs, largest pet and people cancer community in the world, was established to support comparative oncology and educate the public about common links between cancer in humans and companion animals.

To learn more about the Summer of Murphy Tour, watch the trailer here.

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Featured Pup – Holly Villati

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 7, 2012

Holly Villati and a few of her toys.

From now until voting begins on July 1st, we’ll feature our calendar dog contestants. Today we’d like you to meet Holly.

(by Emily Villati)  Holly came to be part of our family on Thanksgiving Day.  Holly was a beautiful red-haired, hazel-eyed, pink-nosed Golden Retriever. Right away the whole family fell in love with her.

We live in a house with a large back yard in which Holly got into trouble many times as a puppy when she played in the mud. One second she was a red-haired angel; the next, she was a dirty little monster.  But how could we really get mad at such a cutie?  Holly was a swimmer – she couldn’t see a pool that she didn’t want to jump in. We are so fortunate to live in South Florida so Holly could swim all year round! Holly also loved car rides, especially when we went to pick up the kids from school. She also became a Canine Good Citizen, and we were all very proud of her!

Holly was so smart that she took no time to learn to go to the bathroom outside. However, there was one incident where my husband (who never took care of any animals in his life time) was watching Holly as I went to the grocery store.  Holly asked to go outside by scratching the door. He just thought she needed attention and continued watching T.V. She went on top of his shoe and peed inside as she looked at him. She had some aim, because not even one drop fell outside of the shoe. As for my husband – he knows when the other dogs scratch at the door to let them out.

We lost Holly to mast cell cancer, but she sure put up a fight! We took her to many chemotherapy sessions and she was a trooper, always with a smile on her face.  We never took one day with her for granted. She was an immense joy to be around. We miss her every day!

Holly is and always will be in our hearts.


Mommy, Daddy, Sisters and Brother

Emily, Holly’s mom adds:  We donated Holly’s blood to TGEN research. That was when I learned more about the research.  Since then I’ve been asking everyone I know to help by asking their vets to go on the TGEN website and donate the blood of dogs with cancer.

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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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On The Road Again — A Busy Month

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 20, 2010

Just because he’s not pitching a tent in the pelting rain or waiting for killer mosquitoes the size of sparrows to dive-bomb him doesn’t mean Luke is sitting idle.

This week Luke and The Boys are in Atlanta where he is accepting the Association of Pet Dog Trainers APDT 2010 Caninitarian Award.

He has also been invited to speak at the Veterinary Cancer Society meeting in San Diego on Saturday, October 30. The conference also highlights two extraordinary keynote speakers, Dr. Steven Chang from Stanford University and Dr. Steve Withrow from Colorado State University. Check the VCA website for more details. To make hotel reservations call  1-800-815-6397.

Congratulations, Luke!

And did you know, the city that gets the most funds from their Walk will win Luke and The Boys to walk with them? We have two cities in a neck-and-neck competition right now.

And … between all this he’s still writing his book.

All this may be harder than walking 2300 miles!

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Featured Walk – Puppy Up! In Pittsburgh

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 13, 2010


Rooney with his "Do you want a cookie?" face


Megan Ward-Robinson is the City Leader for the walk in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with her own story about becoming involved in 2 Million Dogs, she wanted to give us some updated information because they changed the location for their Walk.

Our walk will be November 7th – registration at 12PM, walk at 1PM.

We are partnering with the Western PA Humane Society and our registration will take place at their location at 1101 Western Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15233 and the walk will be from their building down Western Avenue to the National Aviary and back.

I became aware of Luke, Murphy and Hudson when they were in Pittsburgh last summer. I was still recovering from losing my black Lab, Rooney, the summer before. We were fortunate that he lived to be a nice old man of 13 years with relatively few health issues. But no matter how lucky we were to have him as long as we did, I was destroyed by his loss. It was an excruciating time for me – I felt alone and lost and sad because people just don’t understand you grieving for a pet for more than a few days. Even having ou r other dog Gus close by wasn’t a comfort, because as much as Rooney was MY boy, Gus is my husband’s boy. It wasn’t me he wanted. And I hadn’t had that feeling for 13 years. I had no place to channel my sadness and it just festered. I took our boy Gus and got him certified as a Therapy Dog thinking this would bring bonding time for he and I.


Gus, just being himself.


But after each visit, he would go barreling in the house to find my husband. I had no dog, and I was afraid I would never be able give my heart away like that and risk going through the loss all over again.

So when I heard about Luke, read his story about losing Malcolm, I got it. I totally felt what he felt and could understand his drive to know why. I didn’t need to know why my boy was gone, but I could understand the pain of losing him and just had to imagine losing him at 6 to cancer and all that we would have missed of his precious life.


Rooney, a few days before he passed away.


So I began following Luke’s journey and was happy to get an email asking for help in organizing the walks this November 7th. I fully believe in the mission of learning all we can so that someday, nobody has to wonder why. Nobody should have to lose their sibling, or parent, or child, or spouse, or their beloved pet and wonder why.

By focusing our resources and putting money in the hands of people who will study the “why’s” of cancer, hopefully we can make a difference.

P.S. – About a year after we lost Rooney, my husband and I felt we really needed to get Gus a new brother or sister and we started looking around at shelters and breed rescues. In May of this year, we found Gus a brother – a 9 year old Chocolate Lab named Stanley we adopted from the Western PA Humane Society. Since he is an older gentleman, he fit right into our life and schedule and appreciates the fact that Gus is a little older too and they both enjoy walking together and well as excessive napping!

Our man Stanley with our niece Kennedy Grace.

Megan Ward-Robinson

For more information on Puppy Up! Pittsburgh please
email  2MillionDogs.Pittsburgh@gmail  or follow this link.

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