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December 27, 2018 If you were to ask Allan Goldberg if any of the six golden retrievers he and his wife, Joyce, have ever owned stood out more than the others, he couldn’t tell you. All six, in their own place and time, held a very special place in their hearts.

“We’re very passionate about our goldens and they give us so much more than we give them,” said Allan. “Each one, in different ways, put a smile on my face.”

There was Sabra, who started them on their “golden retriever odyssey,” and Fergie, the regal princess. Hope wore a perpetual smile on her face and loved swimming, while her partner, Diana, hated water, but always ended up equally soaked after Hope shook off next to her.

Then there was Rusty, a dog the Goldbergs rescued, who had to be taught that he didn’t have to spend his nights in the cold garage, as he did in his previous home. Though Allan admits Rusty was not very bright, or “b-r-i-g-h-t,” as he still spells to this day so Rusty can’t hear, he says the pup had a brilliant heart. Once, when Joyce fell after a dizzy spell, due to Meniere’s disease, she was comforted by the sound and feeling of Rusty’s hot breath by her face, as he refused to leave her side until she recovered.  Catch, their current golden, is the consummate mother, smitten with her 12 “babies,” that are really plush toys.

Ask Allan what more he would have wanted for the five dogs he lost too young, four definitively to cancer, and his answer is simple.

“More good, quality time. You want them all to have long, healthy lives, but when it comes to an end, selfishly, it’s never enough,” said Allan. “As the saying goes, ‘The day you set your eyes on them, you know one day they’re going to break your heart,’ and they always do. As long as they live it’s never enough.”

Still, more time with a loved one is a wonderful goal. That’s why the Goldbergs became Morris Animal Foundation donors and enrolled Catch in the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The project is the largest, most comprehensive canine health study in the United States, and follows more than 3,000 golden retrievers throughout their lives to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.

“There is such a proclivity for goldens to get cancer. If this detailed and thoughtfully laid out study can draw some important, meaningful conclusions, we thought we very much want Catch to be part of that endeavor,” said Allan.

With help from animal lovers like you, we can all give dogs like Joyce and Allan’s, and animals all over the world, more time.

Make a gift to Morris Animal Foundation today to advance animal health through science. Right now, all gifts are eligible to be MATCHED, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 until December 31, thanks to a group of generous donors. YOU can help give dogs longer, healthier lives, so that we can all have more moments, more memories and more years with our beloved canine companions.

“Don’t even think twice. Just do it,” said Allan. “Morris Animal Foundation is a great, great organization that has a history of doing important work. If a donation can help give us even one more day of nuzzling and cuddling with our pets, then it’s worth it.”