2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Posts Tagged ‘Hudson and Murphy’

Breast Cancer And Dogs: The Next ‘Canaries In The Coal Mine’?

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 12, 2013

By Lynne Peeples, Huffington Post

(Thanks to Lynne Peeples and the Huffington Post for this article.)

When his beloved Great Pyrenees Malcolm died of bone cancer at age 6, Luke Robinson resolved to learn why.

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

The nagging mystery would send Robinson walking over 2,000 miles from Austin, Texas, to Boston with his other two dogs to raise awareness for canine cancer. It would also inspire his launch of an organization devoted to finding an answer — through the discovery of links between dog and human tumors.

“Breast cancer was the first cancer we funded,” said Robinson, co-founder of the nonprofit 2 Million Dogs . “Under a microscope, a mammary tumor from a dog and from a person look the same.”

As the prolific pink ribbons seek to remind us this month, breast cancer’s grip remains strong and its reach ever-expanding. One in eight women in the U.S. will now face the diagnosis — a rise of 40 percent in just one generation.

Perhaps less well-known, however, is that most breast cancers are not hereditary and that cancer is the leading disease-related killer of dogs, with mammary tumors the most common type afflicting females. (Early spaying significantly reduces the risk of such tumors.) These facts, combined with mounting evidence of harm posed by certain chemicals used on carpets, couches, food bowls, squeaky toys and manicured lawns enjoyed by people and pets — has led some experts and advocates to recommend a shift in breast cancer research and funding.

Only about 10 percent of breast cancer research dollars are devoted to its environmental causes, according to a federal interagency report published in February.

Luke Robinson and his two dogs, Murphy and Hudson, peer from a tent during his canine cancer awareness walk from Austin, Tex. to Boston in 2008. (Marei Burnfield)

Luke Robinson and his two dogs, Murphy and Hudson, peer from a tent during his canine cancer awareness walk from Austin, Tex. to Boston in 2008. (Marei Burnfield)

“Dogs drink our same water, they are exposed to the same toxins,” Robinson said. “The logical assumption is that indeed there is an environmental basis for these cancers. But a lot of research and funding comes from pharmaceutical companies. And there’s no money in cause and prevention.”

Overall, growing interest in canine cancer has led to new comparative oncology research at the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, with financial help from 2 Million Dogs. Investigators are treating shelter dogs that have developed mammary cancer, while gleaning information about the progression of the disease. The researchers hope to identify treatments that will benefit both dogs and humans.

Penn veterinarians previously studied dogs involved in September 11 search and rescue missions thought to be exposed to chemicals in the rubble. They found no elevated rates of major health problems in the decade after the attack.

To read the entire article by Huffington Post, please follow this link.

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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 »

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.

From KARK 4 NEWS

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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Music City — Here We Come

Posted by Erich Trapp on August 26, 2012

Indy’s resting up for his trip to Music City, September 2nd. No doubt — he’s dreaming of Jackson’s Brunch Menu.

OK. So you wouldn’t know it to look at him, but Indy is pretty excited about heading to Music City on September 2nd!

Meet Indy, along with his brother Hudson, Founder of 2 Million Dogs, Luke Robinson, and Executive Director, Ginger Morgan (AKA Mommy G) this coming Sunday, September 2nd, at 3PM CDT at Jackson’s Bar and Bistro located in the center of Hillsboro Village one block from Vanderbilt University and three blocks from Belmont University and Music Row, 1800 21st Ave S, Nashville, TN 37212

Come enjoy some great company and delicious food and learn all about the Summer of Murphy Tour.

Nashville, TN (yes, THAT Music City) is their first stop on the Summer of Murphy Tour. (Click on the link to see their schedule of cities across the country.)

For more information on this event AND the 2 Million Dogs’ Nashville Puppy Up! Walk, please contact Sheila at sheila@2milliondogs.org.

For directions to Jackson’s, click here.

For news and updates on all 2 Million Dogs’ events and activities, our Puppy Up! Walks nationwide, and a complete schedule of The Tour, please visit our web page. And don’t forget to check out our new Puppy Up! Store.

While you’re at it, why not stop by and ‘like’ us on Facebook here.

Posted in 2012 Puppy Up! Walks, Puppy Up! Walks | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Father’s Father’s Day Wish

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 17, 2012

(by Luke Robinson) Late December 2010 when it became evident that Murphy’s initial course of radiation had not only failed but a new tumor, a sarcoma, had developed I knew his time was running out.  And even though I made the hard decision for a radical second round of radiation, my mind was already planning one final farewell tour:  To the cities we had not walked through and for those who hadn’t met Murphy and witnessed his indomitable spirit.

The handful of my confidants, who were in on the early discussions about the tour, were resoundingly against it for they feared the stress would compromise his already battered body.  Although I fought fiercely for it, within a few weeks his health deteriorated and I knew they were right and the tour was canceled.

Almost equally painful than resigning yourself to the inevitability of losing your child and the absolute sense of helplessness was the sad realization that Murphy would never directly touch lives like the thousands he had on our walk.

I saved this blog for Father’s Day because as a father you do everything you can to save the life of your child and when that fails you do everything you can to carry their memory and beauty forward.

On the eve of the first anniversary of his passing, we have the possibility of fulfilling that dream.  We are planning a 20 city Summer of Murphy tour and the Toyota 100 Cars for Good has given us the chance to realize it.

The Murphy Mobile, as it will be christened, will be a beacon of hope and belief at every stop it makes for everyone and anyone who has been touched by cancer.  It’ll be both a place of celebration and remembrance and a reminder that our work is not done.

I wish I could have saved my boy.  I wish I could bring him back.  But I hope and pray I can keep his legacy alive. This is my Father’s Day wish.

And to do so, I need your help.  Please vote for 2 Million Dogs to win a Murphy Mobile. Even though voting doesn’t begin until 10AM EST on the 20th, right now you can go to www.100carsforgood.com,  type 2 Million Dogs in the search box and click on ‘Remind Me’ and an email reminder will be sent to you.

Keep the Faith, Puppy Up, & Happy Father’s day.

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A Letter for 2 Million Dogs’ Executive Director

Posted by Erich Trapp on October 30, 2011

Murphy and Ginger

I’m often asked, “How do you do it; work tirelessly for the cause and the mission?” And, “Why did you get involved in the beginning?” The truth is, in the beginning, I just wanted to make sure that Hudson and Murphy arrived in Boston safely. And if Luke got there safely, too . . . well, that would be an added bonus.

I watched over Hudson, Murphy, and Luke from the fateful day they walked into Memphis in August 2008, to the time they took their final steps into Boston on June 19, 2010, and I learned. I thought I knew that one out of three dogs get cancer in their lifetime and that one in four die from it. I thought I understood the meaning of “Puppy Up!” Then in 2010, I lost eight close canine friends to cancer, including my very own Pete. The numbers are just numbers until one of your own is one more. When I heard Pete’s diagnosis, I wept silently in a friend’s arms. I prayed to God that if he was truly merciful, he would take Pete and not make me have to make the decision that every pet parent dreads.

My prayers were answered.

Then, weeks after getting the news about Pete, our very own Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer. My cries were not silent this time. I wailed, kicked, screamed, and cried on the floor for hours. Not Murphy, my God, not Murphy. It was sick, unbelievable, that Murphy’s cancer had been growing while he walked all those miles to raise awareness of canine cancer. There must have been days he didn’t feel good. As Luke tells the story, Murphy was always the first one wanting to start the day, always the first one out of the tent in the morning. He never wavered.

That same strength is what kept Murphy going through eighteen rounds of radiation at CSU. He came back to Memphis, full of life, running in the back yard, taking down my Lilly and holding her there with that big Pyr paw. Sure, there were times he slept more than not, wouldn’t eat—or only if I hand-fed him. But there were also times he was all Murphy, and then some, demanding belly rubs, dinner. I had hope.

Those last months, there were times we danced, times we snuggled, times just shared. In the end, there were times we leaned into one another to just “be.” And then time ran out.

Time is what we have. One week before our Puppy Up! Walks, we’ll be walking in unison across the country in nearly twice as many cities as last year. For some of you this is your city’s first walk. You may get the same questions I get. “How do you do it? Why did you get involved to begin with?”

I can’t answer that for you. But personally and as the executive director of 2 Million Dogs, I’m asking that you take a moment before your walk begins to remember and dedicate each step to the one who was always the first out of the tent, who walked thousands of miles, always smiling, for others though he suffered himself; the one whose courage and strength will always lead the way because he embodied our rally cry and our song, “Puppy Up!” And I have my answer. He is still my reason. Murphy.

Puppy Up!

Ginger Morgan

Posted in Puppy Up! Walks 2011 | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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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Celebrating Survivors

Posted by Erich Trapp on June 6, 2011

Last year in the United States, more than one and a half million men and women were estimated to be diagnosed with cancer.   And about 1,100 dogs in every 100,000 will develop some kind of cancer. These numbers are alarming!

There are probably few of us who do not know someone who has cancer, has been lost to cancer or has survived cancer.

Did you know that Sunday was National Cancer Survivors’ Day? It falls on the first Sunday of June, every year, so mark it on your calendar. It’s an important day to recognize and celebrate, because it means cancer has failed to claim another life.

Whether they are two legged, three legged or four legged, those who survive cancer deserve our admiration and support, and they teach us about both the fragility and uncertainty of life, and the value of fighting for that life and what it means to appreciate the time we have and the health we enjoy.

2 Million Dogs has known a great many canine cancer survivors. Take a look through one of our “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” calendars or visit our Puppy Up! Blog  to read their inspiring stories and get a glimpse of these amazing champions.

Do you have a canine cancer survivor in your family? We’d love to hear their story and share it with everyone. Please write and tell us. (Write to Erich at sturmie1@gmail.com) Please include a photo or two as well. We’ll post it to our blog.

Better yet, enter our upcoming “Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down” Calendar Contest starting this month.

And pledge your dog(s) to walk against cancer during one of the many nation-wide Puppy Up! Walks coming soon. You can learn more about the Walks here.

Murphy with his Papi Luke.

However you choose to celebrate the survivors of cancer, don’t do it just once a year; make it a daily celebration. They deserve it!

Every cancer survivor is special. We’d like to share with you three very special canine cancer survivors we know personally: Murphy Robinson, Buddy Morgan, and Lily Lisle. Congratulations to all three, and their people, for the courage and tenacity to stay the fight!

Lily Lisle at Red Rocks. You be she climbed those stairs!

 

 

 

 

Buddy and his Mommy G.

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