2 Million Dogs – The Blog

Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

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Posts Tagged ‘Murphy’

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. 

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

Long May You Run

Posted by Erich Trapp on September 13, 2012

Luke Robinson and 2 Million Dogs’ Murphy Mobile. This should make the next 2400 miles a lot easier than the first.

There are wheels and then there are WHEELS.

2 Million Dogs is on the road in style. Kicking off the Summer of Murphy Tour, the much anticipated van-wrap has happened and we’re so excited we could … well, you get the idea. Not only will Luke and the Boys, Hudson and Indy, be touring in our cool van, getting the word out about canine cancer and comparative oncology, but everyone who passes them (or who Luke passes) will see our van and read our message: Cancer. Touches. Everyone.

Look for them on the highways.

Wave and say ‘Puppy Up!’

 

 

 

 

2 Million Dogs’ Murphy Mobile, wrapped and ready to run.

We’ve been through
Some things together
With trunks of memories
Still to come
We found things to do
In stormy weather
Long may you run.

Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
Have come
With your chrome heart shining
In the sun
Long may you run.
~~from the song by Neil Young, “Long May You Run

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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 »

Puppy Up! and Walk in Auburn, Washington State

Posted by Erich Trapp on July 28, 2011

Sadie was a rescue, a sweet tempered girl we got from a local shelter. We were just getting to know each other when she got lethargic. We took her to the vet and she had massive internal bleeding due to advanced spleen cancer.

Popeye was a goof ball. Once he was chasing a bird in his air space, looking up while running, and ran into a swing set at full speed. He got up and looked around to see if anyone had seen him! Popeye also died of bone cancer.

On November 6th, 2011 we will be having our second annual 2 Million Dogs 2 Miles Puppy Up Walk in Washington State, in Auburn, Washington at Roegner Park, 601 Oravetz Road.

Joker was a sweet boy who is pictured with Mocha the pet skunk. He lived to the age of seven when he was diagnosed with bone cancer.

This walk has a special meaning this year because of Murphy’s fight and bravery in the face of this terrible disease. We will raise money and awareness in his memory as we walk the path along the banks of the White River.

My wife Ja Cee and I have lost 3 Great Pyrenees dogs to cancer, two to bone cancer and a rescue to spleen cancer, so this is a personal fight we are in against cancer!

Last year we met several dogs at our Walk who had cancer; some were in remission and cancer free, and we knew for others this would be their last walk, but they were there walking with their owners so other dogs might live cancer free.

I invite you to join us on November 6th at 10 AM to noon local time for registration, and walk with us at noon to support those with cancer, honor those we have lost and walk for those we can help. For more information about our Walk and to sign up, please visit our web page.

Buddy Brock

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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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22 Stones

Posted by Erich Trapp on January 7, 2011

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

"Kthnxbye"

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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Two Weeks

Posted by Erich Trapp on December 23, 2010

Luke’s latest update on Murphy, posted Thursday, December 23

From our 1pm meeting today…

The team at Colorado State University is confident that Murphy will show signs of tumor regression by the two week mark before they consider pursuing some of my whacky ideas like implanting a stent or shunt to alleviate his breathing difficulties.

I said something like, “Okay, but he sleeps for 30 seconds then awakens with an unforgiving version of apnea. It’s even effecting his eating.”

“He’s just going to have to learn how to adjust”, was the counterpoint and a good one at that. I had just posted the question last nite about how I could teach Murphy to breath through his mouth not his snout. But big dogs are inherently stubborn SOBs (sumbitches as we say in TX) so we’ll see how that works out.

I agreed to wait to implant a device contingent upon Murphy’s comfortability and that his clinical symptoms don’t worsen. But honestly it feels like a crapshoot like those commercials you see, ‘Give me a week and we’ll take off the weight.’ Bet it didn’t work for those guys.

Don’t get me wrong I have complete respect for and trust in our oncology team but I’m a contrarian and questioning everything is the responsibility you have when making decisions on behalf of a loved one who can’t speak for themselves.

So once again, we wait but we do so with benchmarks. I’ll meet with the radiologist Dr. Custis again next week for a clinical evaluation and then the following week to discuss chemotherapy.

There has been a plot twist though – we got back the results from the biopsy for the two new tumors and from way outta left field, they’re sarcomas not adenocarcinoma. Why? No one seems to know but they’re malignant cells and anything beyond that seems to have no therapeutic value. Roughly translated, it doesn’t matter what color they are – red, green, or purple they must die.

“You got two weeks”

Luke has posted a video of Murphy.

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Notes on Murphy

Posted by Erich Trapp on December 21, 2010

From 2 Dogs 2000 Miles, Tuesday, December 21, 2010.

Dictating my thoughts for the oncologists at CSU, others who have dogs with nasal adenocarcinoma, and in the interest of science.

Over the weekend Murphy’s ability to breath through his snout has diminished significantly. It seems this new tumor is spreading quickly. We hope the radiation will stop this growth almost immediately. In layman’s terms here’s how it works:

Cancer cells are referred to as ‘immortal’ because they divide unabatedly. The first one, not sure what scientists call it; perhaps the parental or originator, has a gene that for some reason is turned on telling it to start dividing. That one cell becomes two which becomes four, etc. until you have a tumor mass consisting of millions of cells. Radiation therapy attempts to interfere with the tumor cells’ ability to continue mitotic division thereby stopping growth. The cells that can’t divide eventually die off.

Back to Murphy. Even if this massive three day dose of radiation halts tumor growth, it’ll still be restricting airflow in the interim. We’ve already discussed a surgical option in Dr. Withrow’s words taking a roto-router and cleaning the tumor out but that presents some serious problems.

That got me thinking this morning. How can we improve breathing through his snout without surgery and how do we do something like this in humans? Well we know that when people have clogged arteries we place a stent in them permitting improved blood flow. Plus, stents are now drug delivery systems so this might be a way to administer chemo directly into the tumor site.

Must discuss this with Dr. Withrow…

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Become a Sugar Mommy or Daddy to Murphy

Posted by Erich Trapp on December 20, 2010

Re-posted from 2 dogs 2000 miles blog, Monday December 20.

The Boys in their tent.

Murphy’s total vet bills are expected to weigh in around $8,000. Ginger and I have already maxed out our care credit so we’d appreciate any help. I’ve always had a tough time with charity and those who know me intimately know this. That may seem strange but there will be a chapter on that in the book about it…

I’m a firm believer in trading value for value so this time I’m doing limited edition canvases, each autographed by me and bearing Hudson and Murphy’s actual pawprints. We have three photos to choose from all depicted nearby.

Murphy.

The photos will be transferred to canvas, then stretched over a wooden frame. Two sizes are available: 8×10 and 11×14. We’re asking $75 for the former; $100 for the later.

I’m limiting this run to 50 per photo which should completely cover his medical costs. That way some of you may consider buying one as an investment that’ll one day sell for $1 million when Murphy beats his cancer then runs for President.

Some of you wanted my current profile pic on Facebook (which is one of my absolute favorites of Murphy) but that was taken with an i-phone and is only 600kb far too small for photo quality. I might have it converted to a painting in the future.

The Infamous Fuzzybutts.

A couple of considerations. These prices cover the cost of shipping which will take anywhere from 2 weeks to a month. The mom & pop shop we’re using does each individually. Ginger has also included our final Memorial shirt and our cause bracelets on the Click and Pledge page for some reason or other.

To purchase a limited edition canvas, click here

If you have any questions, shoot me an email at: 2dogs2000miles@gmail.com

Thank you.

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