Golden Retriever Foundation Partners with Morris Animal Foundation


The Golden Retriever Foundation and Morris Animal Foundation  have teamed up to announce a new major canine cancer study titled Discovery and Characterization of Heritable and Somatic Cancer Mutations in Golden Retrievers, or the MADGiC Project (Making Advanced Discoveries in Golden Cancers).

This is a three-year, $1 million project slated to start in the summer of 2010. This jointly funded project is part of Morris Animal Foundation’s Canine Cancer Campaign, a worldwide effort to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure this disease in dogs. Learn more at CureCanineCancer.org.

The study will be led by premier canine cancer researchers Jaime Modiano, VMD, PhD, at the University of Minnesota; Matthew Breen, PhD, at North Carolina State University; and Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, PhD, at the Broad Institute of MIT and Uppsala University, Sweden.  They will work together to investigate mutations that are involved in risk and progression of the two most common cancers affecting Golden Retrievers, hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.  This research will be of interest to all dog owners because these cancers affect every breed and cause the deaths of tens of thousands of dogs each year.

It is expected that this research may directly benefit humans too, because the genes involved in cancer are sometimes the same in dogs as in people, although these mutations can be more difficult to discover in people.  Therefore, identifying these genes may also advance scientists’ understanding of common human cancers such as lymphoma.

In addition, researchers will seek to identify genes that predispose some dogs to cancer so that breeders may someday be able to reduce cancer risk through breeding selection.  DNA tests may also be used for diagnosis and possibly to guide treatment choices in the future.  The scientists will also investigate mutations that occur in the tumors themselves and will profile the susceptibility of specific tumor types to various chemotherapy compounds, which may lead to improved therapy options.

Owners of Golden Retrievers diagnosed with lymphoma or hemangiosarcoma can support this research by donating a small tumor and/or blood sample; blood samples from healthy Goldens over 12 years of age are also needed.  More information about sample donation can be found at www.breenlab.org, www.modianolab.org, www.dogdna.org or contact Rhonda Hovan at rhondahovan@aol.com or 330-668-0044.

About The Golden Retriever Foundation

About Morris Animal Foundation

Service Dog case finally resolved

Carter Kalbfleisch and his Service Dog Corbin

Carter’s parents had been fighting Columbia, IL school leaders since last summer to get the district to allow Corbin to accompany Carter to school. They repeatedly refused, despite a contrary ruling by a Monroe County judge and an upholding of that ruling by the 5th District Appellate Court. This is not surprising. Years ago I attempted to bring my trained Golden Retriever Therapy Dog into school settings and was met with much opposition.

Interestingly, the district finally decided to send Carter and his dog to the Illinois Center for Autism, a quite costly endeavor (having to pay over $30,000 yearly). But, Carter is now thriving, and Corbin has not caused any of the problems that the district had feared.

One of the reasons the school district refused to allow Corbin in the school was the fear that the dog would create havoc in a room full of autistic and special-needs kids.

“We’ve had no problems at all,” Illinois Center for Autism Principal Sandra Rodenberg said. “He’s fit in beautifully and is a big motivator for a lot of our kids. We’ve had to change nothing to accommodate him.”

Rodenberg said the school would gladly welcome more service dogs trained for autistic children at the school. “We would love to have more,” she said.

Melissa Kalbfleisch watched her son interact with other children, jumping from one wading pool to another, his clothes drenched, his face, smiling. Before Corbin, it would have taken more than one adult and brute force to move Carter out the classroom to participate in the Fun Day activities, Kalbfleisch said. He would have had no interest in the wading pools or with interacting with staff and students.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Sunbear Squad Watch Tip of the Week: June 28th

The Sunbear Squad has resolved to make a difference for neglected and abused companion animals. They are transforming animal lovers into animal welfare defenders — with knowledge, tools, and inspiration.

Watch Tip: Watch and listen for dogs and cats that don’t belong to someone in your neighborhood. They are strays and need your help. Also, be on the watch for stray pets frightened by early holiday fireworks. They may bolt through traffic or get lost.


Be Sunbear Squad Informed
5 Simple Things
Bill of Rights for Pets
Risk Factor List
Learn about Abuse
Action Guidelines

Be Sunbear Squad Active
Neighborhood Watch
YouNet FAQ
Start a Squad
Free Materials

Be Sunbear Squad Prepared
Wallet Card
Roadside Rescue Kit
Disaster Plans
Reciprocal Fostering
SCRAPS Breathing
Be Sunbear Squad Inspired
Roadkilled Blessings
Be a Good Samaritan
Inspirational Sayings
Avoid Dog Slang
Humane Awards
Watch and listen for dogs and cats that don’t belong to someone in your neighborhood. They are strays and need your help.

Golden Cuddles ….. what special care

I think all us dog lovers would love having a veterinarian best friend, next door neighbor, relative, you name it—when things go wrong, we want assistance right away.

Well, meet 13-year-old Cuddles (what a name), a retired Australian Grand Champion Golden Retriever bred by Cath Perry and now in loving care of Dianne and Ross Perry.  Ross is better known as Sydney holistic vet, Dr. Ross Perry. Check out the video below as he shows you Cuddles’ new malady, her exhibiting neurological signs of nystagmus and vestibular disease, filmed while out for a drive today.

Teaching babies to swim, oh my.

Did you know that otters have to be taught how to swim? Otter pups aren’t born with any innate knowledge of how to swim or handle themselves in the water. And since otters depend on water to survive, mom has to teach her babies how to be as home in the water as they are on land. At around 30 days old, the pups are strong enough to begin their swimming lessons although sometimes, they’re not the most enthusiastic students much like kids everywhere.

Audrey is a good mom and a patient, persistent teacher. She teaches each pup individually at first this allows her to focus her full attention on each pup and each lesson especially since its the first time the pups have been in the water. Audrey teaches the pups in stages making sure each pup is comfortable with one step before moving on to the next.

Typically, Audrey eases her pup into the water, then teaches him to float. After floating comes swimming, and the pups learn how to maneuver and swim, skills that are vital to their survival as adults. Once the pup is confident as a swimmer, Audrey teaches him to dive and move underwater. Then, she teaches each pup how to dry off and stay warm after a dip in the pool.

As anyone who has been swimming knows, swimming is exhausting! So once the pups lesson is over, Audrey carefully carries the little one back to the den where they immediately nap and get some much needed rest.

Before long, the pups are confident swimmers and well on their way to becoming the expert swimmers that all otters seem to be. And, once the pups are venturing out of the den and swimming well, Audrey will begin the group swimming lessons. Its a sight to behold and, often, simply too adorable for words.

BEES!!!!!!!!!!

The beehive on the South Lawn is a first for the White House. The busy bees pollinate the kitchen garden and flora all over Washington, as well as provide honey for the White House kitchen. This year’s colony is estimated at about 700,000 bees. NO WAY I’d be anywhere near such a thing.

Do not miss Dr. Karen Becker’s Pet Emergency Plan

Dr. Karen Becker is such an incredible resource. I came to discover her work years ago when I brought on the treat, Becker’s Bison Bites, which has now been expanded to an entire wellness treat line. And, her recent book, Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats Cookbook, is fabulous as well (we reviewed it in our most recent Foundation Newsletter).

Today she shared a new video series on how to put a pet emergency plan in place. Of course, we all know that preparation is indeed priceless, as the world literally seems to stop when the life of a beloved companion animal is hanging in the balance.

Here is Dr. Becker’s advice on exactly how to arm yourself with everything you’ll need if your pet is hurt or suddenly becomes ill. What a great thought—actually being able to plan ahead for any health emergency your furkid may encounter. And, all it will take is 19 minutes out of your day (the time taken to view the following series).

P.S. When I order Dr. Becker’s products, I deal with her wonderful brother, John. While his speech style is slow and deliberate, big sister Karen talks a mile a minute. Folks continue to ask if she always talks so fast, and John’s answer is “Yes, she does.” She is just on a mission and has so much to share that she can’t seem to get it out quickly enough. That means that what you will experience in the 19 minutes below, would probably take anyone else twice as long to convey. Just a warning :0

Golden Retriever Charlie is a trip.

I cannot resist doggie head tilting. It just cannot ever get enough of this behavior. Check out 3-month-old Charlie’s Golden curiosity listening to the cute whistling puppy on a laptop

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And, here he is somewhat older, but still falling for the puppy in the laptop.

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Not hard to imagine that Golden dude Charlie would love watching television as well.