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March 29, 2018 Danielle Walraven happily describes her pack of Italian greyhounds as Velcro dogs – they love to be on her lap, on the couch, snuggling in bed, getting under her feet, and basically being as close to her as possible. Her love of these miniature versions of greyhounds, and the health problems they can face, is what brought her to Morris Animal Foundation.

She got her first Italian greyhound in 2002, Cricket, then Mousie, then Bunny; then she got involved in fostering and fundraising for an “Iggie” (short for Italian greyhound) rescue. Cappi was her first foster dog who she wound up adopting (also called a foster fail). Zoey was her second foster, who she also adopted after Danielle’s husband, Kurt, decided they couldn’t let her go.

It was through Mousie that Danielle became a donor to Morris Animal Foundation. He was diagnosed with a deadly cancer on a Tuesday and gone six days later at the age of 11. Danielle was stunned. She didn’t know that much about hemangiosarcoma, but that was the devastating cancer that took Mousie from his family so quickly.

Danielle wanted to do something with her grief. She had started Cappi’s Jammies (a pajama company for small dogs) a few years earlier to make well-fitting jammies for dogs that needed a little extra warmth in cold weather. After Mousie’s death, she created a special memorial jammie, the LOVE U Mouse Jammie, with all profits benefiting Morris Animal Foundation to help fund hemangiosarcoma research. And the need for research is great, not only for hemangiosarcoma, but for all cancers affecting animals.

“I was baffled as to how something like this cancer could come out of nowhere,” said Danielle. “In my Facebook group, I mentioned that I wanted to donate money to a group doing research on this disease, and someone mentioned Morris Animal Foundation. I went to the site, did a little research, and out of that came the LOVE U Mouse Jammie.

“I couldn’t save Mousie from this terrible disease, but I could help stop it from taking the lives of other dogs.”