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March 26, 2019 – For Julie Cuenod and her husband, Marc, summer road trips to Colorado Springs, Colorado, are always a doggone adventure. Packed in a car with their two golden retrievers, Ellie and Tate, the couple sets out on a 1,000-mile journey to a retreat full of mountain scenery and relaxation.

It’s become an annual tradition that began almost 10 years ago with Teddie, their first golden retriever. Teddie joined the trek every year up until she passed away at 12 years old from hemangiosarcoma, one of the most common types of cancer in golden retrievers.

“After we found out Teddie had cancer, I ended up finding more about how goldens were really having more cancer,” said Julie. “At the time, we didn’t realize that it was actually a blessing for her to reach 12.”

Through her research, Julie also discovered the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, one of the largest and most comprehensive canine health studies in the country. Gathering information on more than 3,000 golden retrievers throughout their lives, the Study hopes to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.

After losing Teddie, Julie and Marc’s love of golden retrievers led them to welcoming Ellie and Tate into their family. And, with Teddie in mind, they decided to enroll the two in the Study with the hope of contributing to the research that could help all dogs have healthier, longer lives. For the couple, Teddie was more than a beloved pet and vacation companion, she was an inspiration.

“It’s all for the golden cause and we just want to help,” said Julie. “The Study is already making great strides which is really neat to see; and even though I don’t want to think of myself as a crazy dog lady, I guess I am!”