One Man’s ‘Kid’ Joins the Study
Riley (last name omitted for privacy) has had large-breed dogs for nearly 30 years, usually two at a time.
“Once we had three retrievers, which was a thundering herd of dogs!” Riley chuckles as he shares his story. “We had an old Labrador we thought wouldn’t live much longer, so we got a new puppy. Well, that old dog lived another two years! Now we’re back to two dogs, which is just fine.”
One of those dogs is the newest addition, Tica, who recently was enrolled in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Riley and his wife learned about the study through the American Kennel Club during Tica’s registration process. Having lost a Golden Retriever and a Labrador Retriever to cancer, Riley was interested in the study’s long-term health goals, particularly in regard to cancer prevention and risk.
He speaks of how emotionally and financially draining a cancer diagnosis can be for a family, and he is excited to think that he can now become a proactive partner in a pioneering project to learn more about the disease.
“We talk it up all the time,” he says.
Tica was the first patient to enter Apex Animal Hospital when it opened in March 2014. Dr. Kimberly Cary owns the clinic and Tica is also her first enrolled Golden Retriever. Dr. Cary is actively working to recruit more dogs into the study as she continues to serve her patients in the new facility.
The veterinarian says, “Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study fits perfectly into my philosophy by teaming researchers with dedicated pet parents and a breed that, unfortunately, is at high risk for a multitude of different cancers.”
Tica is fitting in nicely with her new family, aggravating her 15-year-old chocolate Lab brother, “loving” the cat, retrieving everything she can and watching the birds.
Riley says he can’t imagine life without their pets.
“They are our kids,” he explains.
To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.