As pet parents we know that our dogs expect to be taken on regular walks.. Whether the walk gives us exercise, takes us on an adventure, or brings us peace of mind, our walks together happen so often it may be easy to take them for granted. But when our beloved animal companions are taken from us too soon, every step of every walk becomes hugely important.
On September 21st, 2014, PetSafe held its 4th annual K9Cancer Walk, benefiting Morris Animal Foundation. The Foundation provides funding internationally to further veterinary science, especially in the area of canine cancer research. Over 350 participants joined together to walk for a purpose and raised over $35,000 to help more dogs and people continue their walks together.
Every story of cancer and cancer survival is unique. Our 2014 walk was led by a very special guest Ella, a 5 yr old black lab mix. Many of the details of Ella’s story are unknown. She showed up on a back porch when she was just 4 or 5 months old-- skinny and covered with fleas. But she was very bright and very much in need of a forever-home. Ella picked the right back porch and immediately stole the hearts of her new parents, Brad and Brittany. Ella enjoyed many happy moments with her new family.
In April 2012, Ella’s lymph nodes became enlarged. Her parents took her to the vet and Ella was diagnosed with stage IV lymphoma. With care from the University Of Tennessee College Of Veterinary Medicine, Ella’s cancer went into remission. But the story didn’t end there and Ella’s journey has not been a smooth one. She has relapsed twice and spent a week in ICU in September of 2012.
The cause of canine cancer research is one about which Ella’s parents are very passionate. They have attended all of the PetSafe K9 Cancer Walks. In 2012, they participated in the walk without their Ella and with very mixed emotions. Fortunately, in 2013 Brad, Brittany AND Ella participated in the walk—and Ella was able to hit the lake without hesitation. Having this special family lead our walk this year inspires us to keep making strides to find a cure for canine cancer and more dogs like Ella.
If you weren’t able to walk on Sunday but still want to help Morris Animal Foundation in the fight against canine cancer, visit www.morrisanimalfoundation.org to donate and learn more about great work Morris Animal Foundation has been doing since 1948.