Posted by Josie

Whisker Fabulous Josie the dog

My human aunt Maya just got a Golden Retriever/Irish Setter mix dog named Teddy. At a year old, he is one big  lump of fur! Her family had been looking for that type of dog in animal shelters and rescues all over the Midwest, and they finally found one in Wisconsin. (They're very much advocates of adoption.) Since his arrival, the 85 pound canine has chewed multiple objects, but that doesn't matter because Teddy is their pride and joy and exactly what her family was looking for. They do everything possible to keep Teddy healthy, including making him bland ground beef for every meal because he has a sensitive stomach. One thing my aunt Maya is concerned about is Teddy's disposition to get cancer. Scientific research isn't making her feel better either.

Whisker Fabulous Teddy the Golden Retriever

Teddy the Golden Retriever/Irish Setter Mix

I was surprised to learn 60 percent of Goldens will succumb to cancer. That's a disturbing trend for one of America's favorite dog breeds. The Morris Animal Foundation, which has invested more than a hundred million dollars towards thousands of studies involving animal health, has been conducting major research on the topic. The foundation recently reached out to me to see if I could help spread the word about their second annual National Dog Day campaign. Given that it's about dogs, I said of course! The campaign, which culminates on August 26, which is National Dog Day, will raise funds for the foundation’s groundbreaking Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, a $32 million study designed to identify correlations to cancer in dogs. The study began in 2010 and is a 14 year scientific adventure. With the help of 3,000 purebred Goldens, their owners, and their veterinarians, the study will gather information and physical samples throughout the dogs' lives, to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases.