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‘Grey’ Group Pays Tribute to Aging Dogs, Raises Funds for Cancer Research

By Allison Tonini

In 1993, Lori Haberman-Wilson and her husband, Chris, said goodbye to their beloved dog, Giovanni, a lovable mixed breed who had osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, a disease that has claimed the lives of thousands of canine companions. Looking back, Lori says although it wasn’t a happy event in her life, it was undoubtedly one of the important ones.

In remembrance, Lori and Chris’s veterinarian made a donation to Morris Animal Foundation in Giovanni’s name. In addition to the memorial card, Lori and her husband started receiving Morris Animal Foundation newsletters, which updated them on recent animal health studies and breakthroughs. As Lori learned more about Morris Animal Foundation, she joined in the Foundation's commitment to helping animals enjoy longer, healthier lives.

Over the years, the couple has remembered deceased pets with donations to Morris Animal Foundation. Additionally, Lori donated some of the profits from M&M Designs, her custom dog collar and apparel company. When the Foundation announced the start of a Canine Cancer Campaign, Lori approached two others who had lost their dogs to cancer. With a cause so close to their hearts, they set out to make a difference.

The group of three started GREYlong, a nonprofit organization that is committed to improving the health of all dog breeds. The name is a nod to the changing coat color of aging dogs and alludes to a hope for longer and healthier lives for companion animals. Since starting in 2006, GREYlong has grown to 12 fundraising participants from all over the country. The organization collectively raises money through annual fundraising events, the sale of donated gifts on eBay, profits from M&M Designs and the sale of items, from jewelry to dog snoods, that are handmade by hardworking volunteers. GREYlong donates all of the money it raises to Morris Animal Foundation’s canine cancer research studies.

Last month, GREYlong had their fourth annual Gallivantasia event, which specifically brings together owners of Greyhounds. The event was a success and raised $1,108. GREYlong supports the health of all breeds, but Lori has a soft spot for Greyhounds.

GREYlong is dedicated to funding studies that are focused on preventing, treating and ultimately finding a cure for canine cancer. Staying true to their mission, GREYlong has donated more than $32,000 to Morris Animal Foundation, mainly focusing on studies investigating the types of cancers that have directly affected the GREYlong community. GREYlong is currently supporting three Morris Animal Foundation studies: one on lymphoma and two on osteosarcoma.

Although many nonprofit organizations focus on adoption efforts, GREYlong volunteers work to cover the next step, pet longevity.

“When you have lost a pet to cancer, you become a different person,” Lori says. “You see the whole picture—the importance of adoption and caring for your pets, with the hope that they will live long and healthy lives.”

Like many, Lori hopes to see a cure for canine cancer in her lifetime.

“If love were enough, we would have a cure,” Lori says.

We thank GREYlong for their ongoing support and commitment to funding science that will make a difference in the lives of dogs. GREYlong is one of many groups that have found unique ways to support Morris Animal Foundation. Learn more about other opportunities at

Posted by MAFon September 28, 2011.

Categories: Cure cancer, Dog health


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