Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Puppy Up! Walk in Newtown A Success

Bob and I attended the Puppy Up! walk in Newtown, Connecticut Sunday, March 21 with two of our pups, Mosey and Rainy. Although Bob originally thought driving from New Jersey to Connecticut to walk the dogs seemed a bit crazy, it was well worth the trip!

The walk was held at Fairfield Hills, a beautiful setting with tons of walking trails through fields and wooded areas. Jodi and Scott did an amazing job putting this all together, and with only 2 weeks to plan!
The morning started with some time to meet and greet Luke and the boys and it was fantastic to see them all again. Another highlight was getting to meet all the other dog lovers and their pups but especially our new friends, Kerry and Robbin Sneddon and their pups Ranger and Chief, fellow New Jerseyans who we "met" online following Luke's journey but who we finally met in person for the first time Sunday. And it was nice meeting Barbara from National Great Pyrenees Rescue, a cause near and dear to my heart. Too bad we can't foster Pyrs - we tried that and just can't give them up!
The walk around the grounds was amazing! So many people and wonderful dogs all came together to enjoy the day and to support Luke and his cause! The parade of dogs coming up the sidewalks and through the fields and woods was quite a sight and everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoy the day. Animal Planet was there filming Luke and the event and those poor guys got more of a workout than anyone - they were constantly running ahead to get their shots as the walk progressed!
After the walk, there was more time to relax and meet with our fellow dog lovers, then over to the local library where Luke did a presentation about his walk, what started it all, things he's seen and people he's met along the way, and what the plan is after the walk is over and the start of 2 million dogs. Jodi had an awesome cake made which even included a 3-D likenesses of Luke, Murphy and Hudson, seemed a shame to eat it and destroy that artwork!

It was a wonderful day - so when and where is the next Puppy Up walk?

Beth Britton

Many thanks to Robbin Sneddon (pictured above with Luke), and Cathy and Christopher Neves for the use of their photographs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Murphy Miles

What are Murphy Miles? Here's the scoop ...

Murphy had to be sidelined a few times during the walk. Once at the beginning, even before they were out of Texas, we had a big cancer scare and thought Murph might have osteo in his leg. After many many tests, tears and weeks of waiting it turned out to be a hairline fracture so he was put on home-rest with friends Lori and Silas for almost a month and didn’t walk with Luke and Hudson until they arrived in Memphis and met Mommy Ginger.

There was also the time when Murphy indulged in something he shouldn’t have and as a result had some stomach problems and had to be sidelined again.

And then there was that time he and Hudson were roughhousing and he bunged-up (a medical term) his shoulder, so once again he was left behind to heal. So Murphy has lost about 500 miles while on the injured list.

Luke had a brainstorm some time ago about asking other people and their dogs to help make up these lost Murphy miles. What we’re asking you to do is log miles for Murphy. Send me a photo of your dog(s) and you (if you like) and I’ll post the photo with the miles you log for Murphy. Send me updates of miles, and each time you log some more miles for Murphy I'll put them up right here on the blog. We'll have a running total and see how many miles we can get for Murphy before he reaches Boston.

Send me a photo of your pup(s) and your miles to erich@2dogs2000miles.org or sturmie1@gmail.com. I'll let you know when they go up on the blog. As you log more miles, send me the new miles and I'll add them to the ones already posted.

Simple, really.

Oh, and Murphy says, “Thank you!”

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jax Has Been Found!

Long-time friend and supporter of Luke and The Boys, Lorri Hare, reported that her Golden Retriever was missing. His name and info went up all over -- blogs, Facebook, Twitter. After several days of being missing, Jax has been found, safe, and has come home to his family! Thanks to all who cross-posted his information. Welcome Home, Jax!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2 Dogs 2000 Miles 2 Years

As they make their way through Bridgeport, CT., it’s been 2 years today, March 16 (2008) that Hudson, Murphy, and Luke set out on foot from Austin, Texas with their packs, good walking shoes (and booties), and the goal of sharing their story and telling people about the growing epidemic of canine cancer.

In their 2 years and over 2000 miles on the road, they’ve encountered recluse spiders, misquotes with the appetites of velociraptors, tainted Twinkies, evil-eyed squirrels, bottle throwing truckers, dangerous storms, irate Church ladies, personal injuries, and a host of other obstacles. Luke, more than once, has been taken for homeless and occasionally taken for dead. One person even called the police to report his body being picked over by “two white varmints” feasting on his carcass. Despite it all, they have made a remarkable network of friends, supporters and allies from around the country and followers from all over the world. The Boys just recently made it to Connecticut, their 14th state, crossing choppy seas on a ferry to a welcoming host family on the other side. They’ve been lucky to have many host families and sponsors who have kept them warm and dry and safe when conditions have gotten severe. A friend calls this “Trail Magic” and she’s right.

Over the miles Luke has had the opportunity to talk with hundreds of people about their experiences with cancer – in their animals and other loved ones. He’s spoken with veterinarians, shelter and rescue groups, breeders, nutritionists, holistic practitioners, and individuals about their theories and speculations, and in that time his vision had broadened and his perspective widened. While his focus remains on educating people about the escalating crisis of canine cancer, his growing understanding of the immensity of the problem has also brought him to the realization that the potential for true collaboration between animals and humans may lie in the emerging science of comparative oncology.

As The Boys make their way to Boston it’s clear that this is just the beginning of Luke’s lifelong dedication – not only to finding what took his beloved Malcolm from him but how he can bring others together in the true spirit of people genuinely cooperating for the good of everyone so that there is less suffering and loss.

Congratulations, Boys! You’re almost home. No doubt Hudson and Murphy will breathe a sigh of relief and then want to go out shopping for a nice king sized bed to share with their Papi. No more tents for a while. But you can bet that Boston is only the beginning for these three and the thousands of others who have come together because one man had the courage and resolve to Puppy Up! and make a difference.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Puppy Up! Walk in Connecticut

Hudson, Murphy, and Luke are currently making their way through Connecticut. Come meet the trio and walk with them in Newtown, CT on March 21st at 11:00 AM at Fairfield Hills on Trades Lane. After the walk there will be a Meet and Greet at 2:00 at the CH Booth Library, located at 25 Main Street in Newtown, CT. For questions and RSVP’s please contact Jodi at jodibialik@gmail.com If you plan to bring your dog, please remember that the town requires that dogs be leashed.

Special thanks to Monica Roberto for the wonderful flier (above) she created for the event!

Ticks and Lyme Disease

You might recall the hell Luke went through last year as he and The Boys were walking through Ohio. They were crawling with ticks and Luke was afraid they would have to take time off the road because the problem was so serious.

The Boys are now in Connecticut, a state (as is much of the Eastern Seaboard) heavily infested with the ticks that carry Lyme disease, and Luke is rightly concerned that they’ll experience a similar situation as in Ohio.

It is a popular misconception that Lyme disease was discovered in the late 1970's in Lyme, Connecticut. However, medical literature is rich with more than a century of writing about the condition, although most of it has been published only in Europe. The first record of a condition associated with Lyme disease dates back to 1883 in Breslau, Germany.

In 1976, the first US case of clustering of this disease was reported by researchers at the Naval Submarine Medical in Southwestern Connecticut. In 1977, physician Allen Steere et al described the first clustering of the disease misdiagnosed as juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. They named this condition 'Lyme arthritis.’ This clustering paved the way for further research into the disease.

Because of the severity of the problem The Boys were experiencing last year, they were put in touch with Vectra 3D, manufactured by Summit VetPharm, and their tick problem was solved. Luke writes, I don't know if any of you visited Ohio last summer but by all accounts it was the worst tick season on record. It was so bad that we almost quit the walk - I picked a total of 120 ticks off of Murphy in two days and to make matters worse they brought them into the tent. All night long I was picking them off of me. I couldn't sleep and quite literally was going mad. A vet turned us onto Vectra 3D and we haven't had a single tick since. Summit Vet Pharm saved the walk.

Vectra 3D offers “6-way protection, repels and kills fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, sand flies and mites. It kills 4 species of ticks, 3 species of mosquitoes, and all stages of fleas. And it repels and kills ticks that may cause Lyme Disease Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and a host of other diseases. Vectra is only available from licensed veterinarians” and is NOT to be applied to cats, although VetPharm does carry a similar product for cats.

For additional information, contact VetPharm at 1-800-999-0297 or surf to their web page. Read the entire label before each use, follow directions exactly, and use only on dogs or puppies over 7 weeks old. It is not to be used on animals with compromised immune systems, and check with your vet before you use it on your geriatric dog. “Do not use this product on debilitated, aged, medicated, pregnant or nursing animals, or animals known to be sensitive to pesticide products without first consulting a veterinarian.”

Vectra 3D contains the following: Dinotefuran (4.9%), Pyriproxyfen (0.44%), Permethrin (36.08%), and other ingredients (58.53%). For further information on their products at their site.

Here’s a bit more information for those of you who are interested in the science and medicine of Lyme disease.

Parasites that transmit disease are called vectors. When an infected vector, such as a tick or mosquito, bites your pet, it could make your pet very sick. Many of us in the South are more familiar with Heartworm (spread by mosquitoes) than the folks in the North and East who may have more experience with Lyme disease, but both are examples of diseases spread by vectors.

VetPharm has an excellent chart on their website showing vector borne diseases in dogs.

As you probably know, Canine Lyme disease is transmitted by deer ticks (or related ticks). What you may not know is in areas where the disease is common, up to 75% of dogs will test positive for exposure. The good news is is that it is believed that only 5-10% of these positive dogs will ever show clinical signs of disease. However, Lyme disease is present in all 48 of the mainland United States. 85% of cases in humans and dogs are found in the eastern coastal states, from Massachusetts to Virginia, 10% of cases are seen in the Upper Midwest states and 4% are in Northern California. All other states combined make up the last 1%.

These deer (and related) ticks, feed on humans, small mice, deer, and other animals that they are able to latch onto. After latching on, the deer tick takes a blood meal and in doing so passes on the Lyme disease causing spirochetes to the animal's blood stream. The tick must remain attached for as much as 2-3 days in order to take a complete meal, and is able to transmit the spirochetes during this time. These ticks exhibit a 2 year life cycle, making certain seasons most common for new Lyme infections.

As with other diseases, Lyme disease can affect individual pets differently. Some animals may display no symptoms. Other animals may develop fever, loss of appetite, painful joints, lethargy, and vomiting. If left untreated, the spirochete may damage the eyes, heart, kidneys, and nervous system. Lyme disease has been diagnosed in humans, dogs, cats, horses, goats, and cattle. Other species may also be at risk.

Protecting Your Pet

This link has some great suggestions for protecting your pets from Lyme disease, but here are the highlights:

(1) When necessary, apply tick-killing chemicals to your animals in order to protect them from disease spreading ticks. Precautions should be taken when applying insecticides as some animals may be sensitive to the chemicals. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

(2) Take precautions to guard against ticks when entering tick habitat, such as grassy, shrubby, wooded, or beach grass areas. Cut/mow grassy areas regularly to reduce tick habitation.

(3) Conduct frequent Tick-Checks! Examine animals closely in order to detect embedded ticks.

(4) Remove attached ticks properly and promptly to reduce the chance of transmission of the LD bacterium. Place fine point tweezers around the tick's mouthparts (the place where the tick is attached) and gently pull upwards until the tick detaches. Do not use your bare fingers! Disinfect the bite site and tweezers after removal. Wash your hands.

(5) Have your animal(s) examined as soon as possible if you notice any symptoms of disease; the sooner a disease is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat.

As with all chemicals and pesticides, decide what’s best for your particular pet and situation.

While Luke was hesitant to apply any chemicals to Hudson and Murphy, he had to weigh the risks from disease against the use of chemicals. And because all three Boys were literally covered in ticks on a daily basis, Luke chose to use Vectra 3D, a product that worked when no other product did.

It’s an educated decision we all have to make, especially as we find ourselves finally approaching Spring and fun outside with our animals. Do the research, consult with your vet and friends, and decide what options are best for you.

Here’s to a wonderful and healthy Spring and Summer! Puppy up!

Please Note: Per the FTC Final Guides Governing Endorsements and Testimonials, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Summit VetPharm is a donor of Vectra 3D for Hudson and Murphy. The experiences with the product expressed here are those of Luke Robinson. Please consult your own veterinarian before using this or any product on or for your animal(s).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Boston News!

Registration for the Boston Puppy Up! Gala Is Now Live!

Luke, Hudson, and Murphy are less than 300 miles from their Boston goal and we’re planning quite a wonderful weekend when they arrive June 18, 2010.

The Boston Planning Committee has been in high gear, working out all the details for The Boys’ arrival in Boston. You can keep up with the events as they unfold by surfing over to our website but here is a basic rundown of what we have planned (all times are EDT):

Friday June 18th
· Event: Reception
· Time: 6-10 PM
· Location: TBA

Saturday June 19th
· Event: Memorial Service and Final Mile
· Time: 9:30 - 11 AM
· Location: Back Bay Fen (subject to park approval)

Prior to sharing the final mile into Boston, friends and supporters of Luke, Hudson, and Murphy from around the country will gather for a brief Memorial Service, June 19th, 2010 9:30 AM EDT. Conducted by a Spiritual Leader from the Boston area, the service will last about 30 minutes. Following the service a moment of silence will be observed so that we might remember all our loved ones touched by cancer. The final mile into Boston, led by Luke, Hudson, and Murphy, will then begin after the Memorial Service, and will end at the Boston Common (subject to park approval).

Saturday June 19th
· Event: Puppy Up! Festival
· Time: 11 AM - 3 PM
· Location: Boston Common (subject to park approval)

Grab your favorite pooch and come party it up on the Boston Common with Luke, Hudson and Murphy while enjoying vendors, animal welfare booths, music, contests and much more.

Saturday June 19th
· Event: Puppy Up! Party, Live & Silent Auctions, Cocktails, Seated Dinner, and Entertainment
· Time: 6 - 11PM
· Location: Fairmont Copley Hotel

Join Luke as he trades his hiking boots for dancing shoes at our Puppy Up! Party. Then enjoy dinner and our live and silent auctions. The funds raised from these events will be used to launch the next phase of 2 Dogs 2000 Miles, which is 2 Million Dogs “Cancer. Touches. Everyone.” Comparative Oncology: A New Hope in Cancer Research.

Sunday June 20th
· Event: Comparative Oncology Summit
· Time: 9 AM - 1 PM
· Location: Fairmont Copley Hotel

And now you can now register at the 2 Million Dogs website to join us in Boston for The Puppy Up! Gala at the Fairmont Copley Hotel; 138 St. James Avenue; Boston, MA 02116 (617) 267-5300

PLUS, The Fairmont Copley is offering a discount rate if you mention 2 Dogs 2000 Miles and book your room before May 18th, 2010. There is a one-time $25.00 pet fee, which is very reasonable. And, you may have more than 1 pet per room for the one-time charge. There is no size limit to dogs, so those of you with big dogs are welcome too. The Fairmont Copley is VERY dog friendly. They even have their own resident Canine Ambassador, Catie Copley.

This is going to be such a fantastic weekend full of all sorts of exciting and wonderful things! So surf on over to the registration page and get your name in. We have a limited number of spots for the Gala on Saturday evening, so please register ASAP!

If you have any questions, please email erich@2dogs2000miles.org.