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Indy Leaps into the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study

Indy is a quintessential Golden Retriever. At nearly three years of age, this bundle of energy participates in dock dog diving competitions – he is titled in the Senior Division which jumps 15’ – 19’, he is already a United Kennel Club champion & International Champion and has his Canine Good Citizen and Therapy Dogs International certifications. Soon, Indy will start competing in obedience.

Morris Animal Foundation welcomed Indy as the 123rd dog into the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study late last year, where he adds a new role to his list: A helper in saving dogs from cancer.

The genetic, environmental and nutritional information collected from Indy and the other dogs in the study will help scientists determine how to prevent and treat cancer and other canine diseases.

That bold goal is just what Indy’s owner Kim Lindenmeyer of Phoenix, Arizona, wanted to support when she enrolled Indy in the project.

“Having had Goldens all of my life and losing all of them to some sort of cancer I wanted to help,” says Kim, who first heard about the project when Indy was just shy of his first birthday.

A particularly devastating loss was that of Jake on New Year’s Day 2011. Jake, also a therapy dog, died within four weeks of his diagnosis, and to this day Kim isn’t certain what type of cancer he had. She only knows that it was a sarcoma that spread very quickly to his lymph nodes and rendered him unable to walk or even wag his tail.

Since all of Kim’s dogs prior to Indy had been rescues, she decided to get a puppy.

“Indy is my fresh start and clean slate. He is the love of my life and his sister Aspen loves him, too,” she says. “I wanted to make a difference in the breed and figured that with Indy, I get to have a do-over. I hope that by participating in the study and by providing some diversity that we can make a difference.”

On August 30, Morris Animal Foundation celebrates the first anniversary of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. We’re still recruiting dogs in our efforts to reach 3,000 participants by the end of year two.

If you have a purebred Golden Retriever under the age of 2, please join us as If you know someone else who has a dog that may qualify, please help us spread the word.

What we discover with the help of Indy and dogs like him will create a brighter, healthier future for all dogs. Learn more today.

Categories: Animal health, Canine cancer , Canine health
August 26, 2013