When we started recruiting dogs for our Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study – the largest and longest research effort ever undertaken to improve the health of dogs – we were just a little bit worried. We had a goal of enrolling 3,000 dogs to make sure the study was scientifically strong. But would that many Golden Retriever owners be willing to sign up for a study that required a commitment of, quite literally, their dog’s lifetime?
Well, we shouldn’t have worried. It turns out—and, really, we knew it all along—Golden Retriever pet parents are a special breed! Like so many other dog owners, they love their dogs and want to do whatever they can to help their dogs and all dogs live long, healthy, happy lives. So, with a little bit of a drumroll, we’d like to welcome the 3,000th dog to the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Meet Chloe.
Chloe lives in Riverside, Illinois, with her mom, Meredith Walters, who was pretty excited to learn of her Golden’s special status. Like so many other families who enrolled their dog in this groundbreaking study, Meredith has experienced the heartache of losing a dog to cancer. Her Golden Retriever Amber was very popular in her hometown and even had a bit part in the film “The Lake House.” While undergoing treatment for hyperadrenocorticism, commonly known as Cushing’s disease, Amber was diagnosed with liver cancer. The combination of these two diseases led to Amber’s death at the age of 13.
“My hope is that this study will uncover data that will lead to information on why Golden Retrievers in particular are susceptible to cancer. I was lucky to have Amber for so long but it breaks my heart when my friends lose their pups too soon,” Meredith said. She discovered the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study through her friends and social media, and credits Foundation-friend “ParkerPup” for encouraging her to learn about the study. “After looking into things a bit more, I knew that by enrolling Chloe I could honor Amber’s memory in a tangible way—to help discover the potential causes behind the incredibly large number of Golden Retrievers diagnosed with cancer each year.”
Like most enrollees, Meredith was impressed by the length and detail of the questionnaire she needed to fill out to secure Chloe’s spot in the study. As she said, “You can’t have a study without information!” Meredith and Chloe’s veterinary partner is Dr. Susan Dowd of Arbor Animal Hospital who, including Chloe, has three Golden Retrievers from her clinic enrolled in the study.
Join us as we welcome Chloe, all our 3,000 dog heroes, their owners and veterinarians to the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study family!