Season of Hope – a golden opportunity to support Morris Animal Foundation
For Kristi and Chris Fiala, life just wouldn’t be complete without their golden retrievers. Like many, the Fialas got “hooked” on the breed when they got their first golden, Maggie. Since then, they’ve welcomed Jack, Gracie, Cody and Milton into the family.
Kristi and Chris also are passionate about training their pets as therapy dogs. Jack and Gracie became well-known figures beloved by the children at the Fialas’ local elementary school. The children practiced reading to the dogs and, like all golden retrievers, the dogs thrived on the attention.
Tragically, both Jack and Gracie died of hemangiosarcoma in April 2015. The Fialas were devastated. They had already lost Maggie to the disease. They couldn’t believe it had happened again. And they wanted to know why.
The Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study was conceived as a landmark longitudinal study to find risk factors for cancer and other major diseases that have so far eluded veterinary scientists. The study designers recruited purebred golden retrievers, since they have a higher-than-average likelihood of developing cancer.
Launched in 2012, the study reached full enrollment in 2015 and is already providing insights into the health of dogs. This is all thanks to the collaboration of many generous donors, dedicated golden retriever owners, veterinarians, and more than 3,000 dogs.
Not surprisingly, the Fialas are part of the study. They enrolled Cody in 2014, and their determination to help find answers only increased after Jack and Gracie’s passing from hemangiosarcoma, one of the most aggressive cancers recognized in dogs.
As we give thanks this week, Morris Animal Foundation wants to acknowledge everyone that has made the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study not only possible, but successful.
And now, during our Morris Animal Foundation Season of Hope, your support can help us continue to fund important and unique studies such as the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Your gift this holiday season provides hope that Cody, Milton, and all dogs, will one day be able to live longer, cancer-free lives.