Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Remembering Malcolm

Driving to the beach Sunday reminded me of a Malcolm story. Thanksgiving 2005 we were on a return trip from the coast, his cancer had already metastisized to his lungs and I knew our time together was limited.

The highway I was on was under construction and in trying to follow all the detour signs, I wasn't paying attention to the road and a car had stopped ahead of me. Braking hard and fast is a big problem when you have a three-legged dog in your SUV but I didn't really have a choice. Malcolm held fast though but I can't say the same about the luggage. It went everywhere.

Thankfully I stopped short of the car's bumper but I pulled off the highway to make sure everyone was good anyway. I turned to check on Malcolm. He was smiling as he always does in the midst of adversity yet he was completely covered in pink curlers from a cosmetics kit that had spilled. Have you ever seen a Pyrenees covered in pink curlers?

It was the last time I remember laughing for a long time but God it felt good.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Final Calendar Totals for the 2010 Cancer Can’t Keep a Good Dog Down Calendar

Congratulations to our top 13 winners of the 2010 Cancer Can’t Keep A Good Dog Down Calendar Contest and a sincere thank you to all who made this an exciting contest. And of course a special thank you to all the beautiful dogs who took part! Remember, every dog's photo will appear in the calendar.

Below is the list of the final totals. Thank you all for your patience in waiting while we double and triple checked our figures.

Emails have already gone out to the three universities receiving a percentage of the donations for their veterinary oncology programs informing them of the resounding success of this year’s calendar, thanks to all of you.

I will be sending the top 13 contestants emails within the next couple of days asking them where on the calendar they want their dog. Please have a preference and two alternative selections in mind. We have the cover and 12 months to fill. Also, if you submitted a photo that was less than 1MB, please look through all your photos for potential 1Meg or greater photos we can use. We will be talking with our calendar artist later in the week and he will be able to provide more specific details. But if your photo was less than 1MB, please be looking. The quality of photo reproduction on the calendar depends on the highest possible resolution (>MB) photo you can provide us.

Thank you all again for your participation, enthusiasm, patience, and generosity.

Congratulations again to our top 13 finalists and thanks most sincerely to ALL the beautiful dogs and heartwarming stories you shared with us!

Puppy Up!
Luke, Ginger, & Erich

1. Lucie G 1255
2. Tigger S 835
3. Abby T 787
4. Maggie S 780
5. Lexie E 759
6. Lucy R 735
7. Bandit C 663
8. Trouble A 660
9. Solar H 646
10. Katie H 642
11. Moses R 641
12. Casey C 617
13. Bailey F 614

Rocky T 610
Beardog C 586
Mini A 541
Becca W 507
Buddy M 496
Odessa F 417
Maddie M 381
Chase R 296
Abby G 240
Buddy B 236
Thunder S 221
Chance L 219
Dozer T 180
Fera P 175
Bear L 146
Huckleberry T 141
Gracie O 129
Brother C 100
Marley R 86
Willie G 80
Daisy L 73
Mali P 73
Jake C 68
Biscuit C 67
Sena G 65
Bella S 63
Harvey B 63
Barney M 62
Charlie O 60
Floppy L 59
Albion L 55
Humphrey N 53
Meggie T 52
Emmett W 51
Kraemer A 49
Lily F 47
Treynor Z 46
Keno H 45
Mack H 43
Sage A 41
Sebastian C 41
Murphy S 36
Chico L 35
Gryphon R 34
Woof D 31
Cheyenne S 30
Jessica M 30
Darcy L 25
Annie G 24
Turbo S 21
Trouble H 20
Lily L 19
Jake L 15
Keyeagan D 14
Kipper A 14
Lady A 14
Skye A 9
Grusa A 8
Kelly Lyn A 8
Nova Z 8
Koda W 6
Sophie F 6
Alyce and Moose C 5
Baxter M 5
Brewster R 5
Buglet B 5
Cupcake N 5
Delaney B 5
Duke H 5
Gambit H 5
Henry S 5
Hope M 5
Huck R 5
KC S 5
Kobe H 5
Kobie A 5
Max S 5
Meatball M 5
Ollie L 5
Roc S 5
Rudi H 5
Schultz C 5
Shilo M 5
Sophie A 5
Trance B 5
Wooley B 5

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Word About the March on DC from Yer Big Dog

Yesterday I walked the actual DC route and it's powerful and humbling both the historical significance and the breathtaking beauty.

When we walk together this Friday the 18th, we'll cross the Potomac River, pass the Lincoln Memorial, stroll alongside the Reflecting Pool to the Washington Monument, and assemble just across 15th street on a raised grassy area, the Folk Festival Site, where we can see Capitol Hill and God willing, they can see us, too.

There's a good chance of rain on Friday but we'll walk anyway. The whole area is under construction and traffic will probably be horrific. It's a Jewish holiday, too, that evening. I don't think I could've possibly picked a more problematic place and time for this march on DC.

And yet people are traveling all across the country to participate - from Dallas to Boulder to Bowling Green to Cincinatti to Pittsburgh

More On DC! -- Updated September 17th

Canine Cancer Caucus -- Friday, September 18, 2009 -- Washington, DC.

Latest news will appear here at the top of this blog.

[September 17th, 2009]: This is just a quick confirmation of where and when from Ginger, who has been in touch with the DC Parks folks ...

Location: Lady Bird Johnson Park at the LBJ Grove. The Columbia Island Marina is located next to the park. The address is 1 George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The only access to the Park by going SOUTH on George Washington Memorial Parkway.

When: We will begin gathering at 10am and the walk will start at 11am.

Distance: Approximately 2.5 miles from LBJ Park to the Old Folk Life Festival Site (Constitution & 15th).

Parking: Limited Parking is available at Lady Bird Johnson park. However, I would encourage anyone not bringing a dog to take the Metro.

Metro: The Smithsonian Metro stop is the closest to the park. If you are not bringing a dog with you and can find parking at the Old Folk Life Festival Site (where we will end up) you can take either the Smithsonian or Federal Triangle Metro to the Pentagon.

Please bring water for yourself and your dog.
Please remember to “scoop to poop” if you are bringing a dog with you.

[September 15th, 2009]: After meeting with the DC Parks Department it has been determined that we should start the walk at the The LBJ Memorial Grove which is in the same area as the Columbia Island Marina at 1 George Washington Memorial Parkway. This area can only be accessed by going SOUTH on George Washington Memorial Parkway. Once participants turn in to the parking area for the Marina they should turn right in the parking lot and will see us.

We suggest that anyone driving first Google the marina’s address, which is 1 George Washington Memorial Parkway, or enter it in to their GPS for the exact location and directions.

If people are going to take the Metro they should take the Blue Line and get off at the Pentagon stop. There is a pathway through the parking lot at the Pentagon to the LBJ Memorial Grove.

The walk distance is now approximately 2.5 miles. Anyone who does not think they can walk the distance to the Old Folk Life Festival Site at Constitution and 15th and then back to where they parked should just meet us at the Old Folk Life Festival Site. There is a huge blue concessions tent at the Old Folk Life Festival Site. We will be set up behind the tent.

Featured Speakers: Two of our featured speakers are listed below.

Dr. Ashley Hughes, DVM -- Dr. Hughes enjoys all of veterinary medicine but has a special interest in Surgery, Emergency/Critical Care and Shelter Medicine. She is also the author of the Friendship Tails, a blog that provides an insider's view of life at Friendship Hospital for Animals, and lots of great pet health information. She graduated from the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. She surrounds herself with loving animal companions that include four dogs and three cats: Westin, Tia (a Brittany Spaniel), Sparkle (a Rat Terrier), Lilly (a Chihuahua mix) and Furla, Vegas, and Breaker - all Domestic Short-haired cats.

Chand Khanna, DVM, Ph.D. -- Dr. Khanna's training in cancer research includes a PhD in Pathobiology from the University of Minnesota, where he studied the immunotherapy of metastatic cancers, and a Senior Staff Fellowship with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Dr. Khanna is currently the Head of the Tumor and Metastasis Biology Section of the Pediatric Oncology Branch at the National Cancer Institute. His primary area of research interest is the biology and treatment of cancer metastasis. Dr. Khanna has been able to couple his training in veterinary oncology with his interests in cancer research through the development and leadership of the Comparative Oncology Program, within the National Cancer Institutes Center for Cancer Research. This program aims to improve outcomes for cancer patients through the integration of pet animals with cancer into the study of cancer biology and treatment. Dr. Khanna is the Chair of the Biology Subcommittee of the Children's Oncology Group, a founding member of the Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium, and President elect of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine - Oncology.

Must-See Video on The Walk on DC – Luke has put together an excellent video promo (you can view it here on the blog or on YouTube) and we encourage you to send the link far and wide. You can find it here: Please send it to your dog clubs, vets, rescue groups, friends, family, colleagues – anyone who has companion pets. Remember, it says Canine Caucus but this walk on DC is about cancer in all companion animals. The more people aware and involved, the better our chances of making a positive impact on legislators. Many Congress people have pets but few understand the issues of cancer in animals, much less the importance of comparative oncological studies. Please help spread the word.

Meet-up time. It will take time for people and their dogs to congregate, so we're meeting at 10AM EDT and will begin the walk at 11AM. This will give us plenty of time to walk, visit, network, and then listen to speakers.

Where does the walk actually go? The walk will begin at 11 AM EDT and begin at the The LBJ Memorial Grove which is in the same area as the Columbia Island Marina at 1 George Washington Memorial Parkway. This area can only be accessed by going SOUTH on George Washington Memorial Parkway. Once participants turn in to the parking area for the Marina they should turn right in the parking lot and will see us.

We suggest that anyone driving Google the marina’s address, which is 1 George Washington Memorial Parkway, or enter it in to their GPS for the exact location and directions.

If people are going to take the Metro they should take the Blue Line and get off at the Pentagon stop. There is a pathway through the parking lot at the Pentagon to the LBJ Memorial Grove.

How long is the walk? The walking distance is now approximately 2.5 miles. Anyone who does not think they can walk the distance to the Old Folk Life Festival Site at Constitution and 15th and then back to where they parked should just meet us at the Old Folk Life Festival Site. There is a huge blue concessions tent at the Old Folk Life Festival Site. We will be set up behind the tent.

When deciding whether you or your dog are able to walk the distance please take into consideration that you may have to park some distance away from the beginning of the walk.

Are pets allowed at the Walk? Yes! Canine companions are welcome. But please note the following guidelines:

For their own safety, pets other than dogs are not allowed.
All dogs must have current rabies vaccinations. **
Dogs must wear an identification tag and be kept on a leash (6 feet or shorter) at all times. **
No retractable leashes.
Participating dogs must be friendly and of good temperament.
Puppies less than six months must have two rounds of the parvo-distemper vaccination.
The Walk is approximately 2 miles long. Walkers and their dogs should be in suitable physical condition.
Clean up after your dog. Please bring pet waste bags.
Do not leave pets in parked cars at any time.

** In addition to a standard identification tag (which should be labeled with your name, home address, and phone number), your pet's collar should include a travel tag with information on where you are staying while away from home. Should your pet become lost, this will allow you to be contacted locally. Also carry a photo of your pet.

** Health certifications are required for airline travel. Please note: If you are bringing a dog who is undergoing cancer treatment, or, upon the advice of your veterinarian is not receiving vaccinations, please consult your veterinarian, the airline, and/or the hotel for the necessary documentation you will need.

For more information on traveling with your dog, visit

What should I bring to the Walk? We suggest that you bring:
Pet waste bags
Water for yourself and your dog.
Appropriate attire for the weather.

What about Parking? General parking is available along Ohio Dr. between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Limited handicapped parking is available at the Lincoln and FDR Memorials. If you are not bringing a dog, or if you are bringing a small dog (20 lbs or less)*, we strongly encourage you to take the Metro as parking is very limited in DC. [*The Metro permits small animals to be carried free of charge, provided they are securely enclosed in a pet carrier sufficiently small enough (20 lbs. or less) to be carried without danger or offense to other passengers.] The Arlington Cemetery Metro Stop appears to be the closest stop to Lady Bird Johnson Park.

You will need to walk across the Arlington Memorial Bridge to Lady Bird Johnson Park if you park close to the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.

Do you have Hotel Information? The Hotel Monaco in Washington DC is offering a discount to those attending the First Canine Cancer Caucus. In order to receive the discount you must mention 2 Dogs 2000 Miles when making your reservations. The Hotel Monaco allows dogs. The Hotel Monaco is located at 700 F St NW Washington, DC 20004 (202) 628-7177. To receive the discount, reservations need to be made by Sept. 4, 2009.

The Hotel George is somewhat near The Hotel Monaco and a little less expensive. It also allows dogs. It's located at 15 E Street NW, Washington DC 20001 (202) 347-4200.

When making reservations at any hotel, please be sure to tell them you will be bringing your dog(s).

Also you can check out Pet Friendly Hotels in Alexandria by following this link.

General Information: Dogs are allowed at the National Mall, which consists of open space and green parks. Many of the memorials are located in and around the National Mall. Your dog can visit the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials with one caveat. According to the National Park Service, which maintains the memorials, well-behaved dogs are allowed on leash except in the covered chambers where the statues are located.

Registration: Because we cannot register people at the Lady Bird Johnson Park, but merely have you check in, we're asking you to register with us now if you're planning on attending The First Annual Canine Cancer Caucus. Register through Here are the things we would like to know:

1. Your name
2. Your dog's name
3. If you'll be bringing your dog(s) and how many
4. Your email address

Optional information:
Whether you have or have had a dog with cancer
What type of cancer the dog had/has and the age he/she was diagnosed.

We ask you to provide this information so we know who will be coming so we can plan ahead.

If you'd like a PDF or DOC file of the press release for your organizations, local newspapers, shelters, rescues, and vet clinics, please email Ginger at and she will be happy to send it to you. Please spread the word!

Luke has also designed and made available special shirts for people AND dogs through Café Press. We hope everyone attending (and even those who will only be able to attend in spirit) will wear one of these shirts to show solidarity and support. Besides, they're really cool:
Shirts for people
Shirts for dogs

Friday, September 11, 2009

Luke and Rusty

Here is Rusty, one of the everythingandthedog family, with his newest and bestest friend, Luke. Rusty is trying to convince Luke that he could fit into Luke's back-pack and join him on this final leg of their journey.

It might be true that he would fit (and at 17 pounds, he doesn't weigh very much), but Rusty probably wouldn't like the life of a camper. According to Rusty's family, he's pretty spoiled and likes his own little bed at night with all of his very special blankies arranged just so.

Our friend Bob the Bloginating Pit Bull puts it this way: "Whereas we have had a wonderful time with Mr. Luke staying in our home this week, I think that he will need to leave the Rusty-Man behind when he leaves. Rusty has his Puppy Up T-Shirt, as you can see, and he'll make sure he continues to spread the word about Luke, Hudson, Murphy and the wonderful work that they are doing.

Tomorrow (Saturday, September 12th) is the big Dog Swim at Ida Lee and the Charity Dog Wash at Bark n' Bubbles in Ashburn, VA., so there are still lots of great events to attend so that you can meet Luke and da'Boys. I'll be at the events tomorrow in my own Puppy Up shirt, but Rusty will need to stay here. I would just be too sad for words if he snuck off with Mr. Luke.

Love and Licks,


Thanks to everyone at everythingandthe dog for making The Boys' stay a memorable one!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Do Pyrenese Dream of Porcelian Pigs?

With apologies to Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Caption This

I came across this curious sight outside of Williamsport MD and put it up on Twitter and Facebook for people to caption. The responses were so hilarious I wanted our beloved Bloginator to post them. Alas, he's on holiday, the loafer...

  • Jimmy Buffett method of bird dog training
  • The State Bird of Madison City Wisconsin!
  • They saw Murphysarus & Hudzilla coming and they are playing dead to survive!
  • Daily hunting limit -- Florida version
  • The Party is over :-(
  • Where old flamingos go to die...
  • Flamingo graveyard eh?
  • Rage against the lawn ornaments!
  • Ethnic cleansing!
  • West Nile Virus strikes massive flamingo population

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm Too Sexy For My Fur ...

One of Murphy's beauty secrets -- mud baths.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Canaries in Our Coal Mines (From HaloPets)

I was recently forwarded this OP published on Halo Pets' Blog. Very insightful and informative and it echoes a lot of what I'm hearing and learning on the road.

Dogs and cats may be the proverbial canaries in the coal mine
by Dr. Donna Spector

High levels of industrial chemicals are showing up in American pets. A fairly recent study performed by the Environmental Working Group ( has documented that pets were positive for 48 of the 70 chemicals tested. On average, dogs had 40% higher and cats had 96% higher levels of these chemicals than were found in people. These chemicals are known carcinogens or toxic to the reproductive, endocrine, or neurologic systems.

This study did not prove that these chemicals were causing illness in pets, however, these chemicals have been linked to serious human health problems. The numbers are even more alarming given that pets have much higher cancer rates and endocrine disorders than people.

This study documents that dogs and cats are exposed to a complex mixture of industrial chemicals. Since pets breathe in, ingest or absorb the same chemicals that are in our environment, exposures that pose risks for pets pose risks for human health as well. This is a wake-up call that stronger safety standards for industrial chemicals are needed to protect ALL members of American families.

Help decrease your pet's exposure to chemicals:
  • Bathe your pet more frequently (with a natural herbal oil grooming product) to remove chemicals that may be airborne and deposit on their fur. Avoid grooming products with ingredients such as "paraben", "-eth", and "fragrance" as these are chemicals which can be absorbed through the skin.
  • Wipe down your pets coat, feet and legs every time they come in from outdoors. This will decrease their chance of ingesting chemicals during their normal daily grooming.
  • Remove your shoes at the door to avoid tracking in harmful chemicals. Dust and vacuum (with a HEPA-filter system) frequently to remove dirt and dust which has been documented to be contaminated with fire-retardant chemicals, heavy metals and pesticides.
  • Wash your pet's bedding frequently and select bedding that is not treated with flame-retardant chemicals.
  • Avoid stain-proofing furniture, carpets and car upholstery. The chemicals used in stain-proofing contain high levels of dangerous perfluorochemicals.
  • When cleaning surfaces that pets walk or sleep on, rinse off or remove any cleaners to avoid skin absorption.
  • Minimize usage of lawn or garden chemicals and pesticides.
  • Avoid the use of Teflon (non-stick) cooking pans as the fumes contain toxic and dangerous chemicals
  • Avoid drinking water contaminants by removing them with a reverse osmosis filter system.
  • Avoid plastic containers or chew toys. Plastic products may contain chemicals (called phthalates) which raise the risk for cancer. Replace plastic toys with fabric or natural materials. Food and water bowls should be made of glass, steel or ceramic.
  • Choose a natural pet food to limit your pet's exposure to synthetic dyes, colorings, preservatives and other potentially harmful additives.
  • Many cat owners feed strictly fish diets and I would recommend alternating between fish and other meats as a cat's protein source to avoid potentially dangerous mercury exposure.

Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, ,is a renowned, board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist who has practiced at the Animal Medical Center in New York City and other leading institutions. She is an active member of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Spector has written and lectured extensively on topics including nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney failure and respiratory disease. She is widely recognized for her role as consulting veterinarian to HALO, Purely for Pets, her TV appearances with Ellen DeGeneres and her widely-quoted pet health advice in print and on radio. She currently works in Chicago, performing independent internal medicine consultations for dogs and cats.