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September 1, 2022 – The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study team recently said goodbye to Dr. Cat Cowan, our Study pathology resident at Colorado State University and Foundation friend.

When Dr. Cowan decided to pursue a career in veterinary pathology, the residency at Colorado State University and the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime. The Study, she said, gave her a unique learning environment unlike other pathology residency programs.

“Being part of the Study has given me much more case experience,” said Dr. Cowan. “Seeing the additional cases, especially the cancer cases, has helped me hone my pathology skills.”

One aspect of the Study that made a big impression on Dr. Cowan was the dedication of the participant owners and veterinarians.

“I’m impressed by the dedication of the clinicians and owners in the Study,” said Dr. Cowan. “The lack of attrition, combined with the willingness of these amazing people to provide samples, even when a hero passes, is contributing to the Study’s success.”

Dr. Cowan began her residency just as COVID-19 began spreading across the country. Despite the challenges posed by pandemic, she was able to complete her residency in June 2022.

A life-long lover of animals and self-professed science geek, Dr. Cowan knew early on she wanted to do something to help animals. She was fascinated by the ecosystems where animals were born, lived their lives and died.

“I spent my summers living with my dad on an island off the upper peninsula of Michigan,” said Dr. Cowan. “I ran around barefoot, played in the river, caught snakes, frogs and other creatures and played in the garden. It made me appreciate wildlife and ecosystems and solidified my interest in animals, but in the context of interactions and environment.”

Dr. Cowan is now focusing her attention on finishing paperwork and looking for employment. She’ll miss working with the Foundation’s Study team, whom she describes as “fantastic” and our team will miss her positive attitude! We wish Dr. Cowan well and say thanks for her many contributions to the Study’s success!