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August 1, 2018 What role does your dog play in your life? Is she the active type whose cold, wet nose rouses you from your cozy bed to go for a run? Or maybe he’s the security system that barks just as crazily at would-be burglars as he does at the woman walking with her grandchildren (“I’ve got my eye on you!”). Or maybe she’s the one creature on Earth who gets you ready to leap, wag and wrestle when you’re happy and is ready with a furry snuggle in times of sorrow. Dogs do so much for us and they deserve their day in the sun.

And, they have it! National Dog Day is, well, for most dog owners, every day. But, since its founding in 2004, it’s been observed on August 26 to encourage dog ownership of all breeds, mixed and pure, and to remind us that all dogs deserve to live a long and healthy life.

At Morris Animal Foundation, we celebrate the day to remember all the reasons we love dogs and to make the world a better place for them. Leading up to and on National Dog Day, from August 1-26, we ask you to help in those efforts and make a gift in support of our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which will benefit dogs around the world.

Each year, more than 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer, and cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 2. While cancer care has advanced in the last three decades, the disease still takes the lives of too many dogs too early, and veterinarians and dog owners are too often faced with difficult choices.

One such owner is an anonymous Morris Animal Foundation donor, who lost her beloved golden retriever, Cody, to cancer. She was overcome with grief, but decided one way she could honor him was to help make sure other dogs can live, longer healthier lives. She knows the incredible potential of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and, for the second year in a row, will generously match all gifts made to it, dollar for dollar, up to $50,000, now through National Dog Day on August 26.

The study, which began in 2012, is the most extensive investigation ever undertaken in veterinary medicine. The $32 million study gathers information on 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. Its primary goal is to reveal potential risk factors that may lead to the development of four types of cancers common in golden retrievers – hemangiosarcoma, mast cell tumors, and lymphoma and osteosarcoma, two cancers which are dramatically similar to the same cancers in humans.

Please consider making a gift today. Your support will help researchers find solutions for serious health issues facing our dogs, including better health screens, diagnostics and treatments for canine diseases. This month, remember what role your dog plays in your life and how it would be different if they weren’t there. That grandmother may be able to walk past your house in peace, but you’d lose out on those wet kisses and the loyal companionship of your best friend.