Porter: Lucky No. 1962
Porter is Golden Retriever Lifetime Study dog No. 1962. What makes this number special? In 1962, Morris Animal Foundation funded its very first canine cancer study. Since then, the Foundation has invested $15 million in almost 200 studies to advance the study of canine cancer. In addition, Morris Animal Foundation has now invested in the $25 million dollar Golden Retriever Lifetime Study which focuses on canine cancer. The study recently celebrated its second year anniversary. This is the longest and largest observational study ever conducted to understand risk factors for canine cancer and other diseases.
Porter resides in the Chicago area with Paul and Ellen. He is Ellen’s first dog, but Paul had several family dogs when he was growing up. As Paul states, Ellen “defurred” our questions to him!
Paul is a dentist and Ellen is a nurse clinician in a cardiology practice. Paul also worked for a veterinarian during his high school and college years, so he saw a lot of canine cancers during that time. He personally experienced the death of his family’s Golden, Bentley, to an aggressive canine cancer called hemangiosarcoma.
Their experiences in human and veterinary health care influenced their decision to participate in the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Paul says his life and Ellen’s have been touched by cancer: patients, dogs and family members. “We both feel a desire to help in the research to prevent and cure cancers across the board, from our pets to our family members.”
Paul hopes the study will give valuable insight into the genetic, environmental and nutritional causes that predispose Golden Retrievers and all dogs to cancer.
“Along the way, hopefully the information gathered can also help other dog breeds with a predisposition to cancer,” he says. “Who knows, maybe this research can even lead to insight into certain types of cancers found in humans and other mammals.”
Morris Animal Foundation has been committed to the study of canine cancer for 52 years. Although progress has been made, much work still needs to be done. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest study ever undertaken to examine the multiple risk factors that might contribute to the development of cancer. Study participants, such as Porter, Paul and Ellen, are crucial to the success of the endeavor. We can’t solve the cancer problem without them—and you! To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and our other programs please visit morrisanimalfoundation.org.