Today, Charlie, Miley and I went to the 3rd annual Puppy Up! fun dog walk in New Paltz, NY at the Adair Vineyards. The Puppy Up Foundation is dedicated to finding the links between canine and human cancers – through education, awareness, and investment in research, they are commited to finding these links as well as the causes of cancer for both human and canine patients alike.
Although Charlie doesn’t have cancer (and neither does Miley – I should note), we went to support both my job, my coworkers who have pets who have undergone chemotherapy, and the doctor that I work for – Dr. Sue Ettinger!
Dr. Sue Ettinger is known as Dr. Sue Cancer Vet, she co-wrote a book, speaks all over the country, and is a real advocate for canine (and feline) cancer – she loves her job and her patients! Dr. Sue spoke to the crowd about what it means to be an oncologist, why she loves it, and spoke about her passion — her new campaign — “See Something, Do Something – Why Wait, Aspirate!” Basically, there were never any real guidelines for lumps and bumps – how long do you wait? How big should it be before it gets looked at? So she set out to answer these questions with the See Something, Do Something – Why Wait, Aspirate campaign. If a lump is the size of a pea (about half the size of a penny) and has been there for more than a month, the new recommendation is that you bring your pet (this is not exclusively for dogs!) to your veterinarian to have it aspirated and have those cells sent to the lab for analysis.
During the day, I had many people come up and ask me questions about their dog – one man spoke to me about his dog with two large lumps on his neck that his General Practitioner (GP) Veterinarian told him was cancer, but had never done an aspiration. The aspiration is not that big of a deal, doesn’t hurt, and can save an owner a lot of pain, suffering, and money in the long run! In general many times surgery alone can be curative if a malignant cancer (this is not a death sentence — quite the opposite if caught early) is found early.
After Dr. Sue’s speach, some announcements, and the honoring of both a canine and human cancer survivor, the walk began!
Of course Charlie didn’t last long and needed to be carried almost immediately!! But Dr. Ettingers son came to my rescue and walked Miley while I carried Charlie for two laps around the vineyard!
One of the best parts about my job, and going to events like this is seeing the survivors! It just so happens that one of my coworkers, and a great friend of mine – Heather’s dog Hogan recently finished his chemotherapy protocol for lymphoma. Hogan went through his entire 19 weeks with little to no issues (except maybe a change in tastes which means he got to eat more of whatever he wanted)! Hogan is such an amazing dog, if it weren’t for his puppy cut hairdo (his hair didn’t really grow back after a haircut mid-treatment but should start to grow back now that he’s off of chemotherapy) and his bandana’s you’d never know that he had cancer!
Hogan enjoyed his walk with all of his friends today and really enjoyed this photo op!! Throughout the walk there were either In Memory posters or Survivor posters of both humans and canines alike. One of the owners of a patient we had seen was also there and found me to talk to me about her dog and where the family is now after their loss of their sweet boy. She has rescued two dogs since the passing of her boy, and now with a newfound understanding of what it is like to lose a pet to cancer – supports foundations like PuppyUp! It was sad, but it was nice to see that she seems to be in a good place and happy.
After the walk we watched the police dogs do their presentation – it’s always cool to see what they are capable of. And to our surprise there was a pitbull as a police dog! This was exciting because it shows the public that pitbulls are not all fighting, scary dogs. They can be trained, they are smart, loyal, and even play frisbee (as the police pitbull abptly showed off his skills after the demonstration right before he ran into the food truck to beg for treats!).
All in all today was a great day, we helped to raise money for the Puppy Up Foundation, got some exercise, enjoyed a day with our team, and even got to taste some really good wine (and some of us even bought a bottle or two — or three)!
For more information on The Puppy Up foundation head to puppyup.org.
- Do you or someone you know have a pet with cancer?
- What is your favorite foundation to give to?
- What is your favorite type of wine?