Every Dog Matters – Hero Dogs #509-510
Morris Animal Foundation appreciates the commitment made by our study participants, and we want to honor and recognize that commitment. Each month, we’ll share their stories and learn about our study dogs and the veterinarians who care for them. This month, meet Jordan and Teddie, Hero Dogs #509-510.
When we picked Hero dog #510,Teddie for this month’s blog, we couldn’t help but notice that Hero dog #509, Jordan, had the same owner, Debbie Lipley. In the name of family harmony, we decided to feature both dogs this month.
Debbie was a long-time dog owner when she got her first golden retriever, Casey, in 1999. Other golden retrievers followed, but in 2010, catastrophe struck. During the course of 2 1/2 weeks, Debbie lost three dogs, including Casey, to cancer; one to lymphoma and two to hemangiosarcoma.
When Debbie heard about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, she knew she had to participate.
Debbie is one of 222 people who have two or more dogs enrolled in the study. Debbie doesn’t feel that having two dogs in the study presents any special challenges except that her veterinarian’s office is a little small for “two wagging tails and two heroes wanting attention and kisses; makes for a good time!”
“Jordan is more laid back, a true cuddler!” said Debbie “Teddie is my Energizer bunny. I have asked my vet for the turn-off button. No button found, but I wouldn’t change him in any way.”
The dogs do share one quirk – they like to greet Debbie (and any company that comes to the front door) with a towel in their mouths.
“At night, if I do not pick up all the dish towels, hand towels, bath towels, any towels, I will wake up in the morning with all the towels on the bed with me,” said Debbie. “We now have ‘dog towels’ in certain areas so the dogs can do the job they need to do. I am still not sure what that job is but it may be they are helping make sure I put all the dirty towels from the day in the laundry!”
Having more than one dog from the same household enrolled in the study provides unique information on how a similar environment could affect individual dogs in different ways. Studies looking at human twins and siblings has provided invaluable information on the interaction between genetics and environment. Similar information gathered in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study will provide interesting new insights into how these factors affect dogs.
As for Teddie and Jordan, they don’t know they are part of a history-making cohort of dogs. They just enjoy each day with Debbie and the other dogs in their home. Thank you Debbie, Jordan and Teddie. Every participant in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, human and dog, matters!