Archive for the ‘Fund Raisers’ Category

National Canine Cancer Foundation to fund a new innovative Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) Research Project

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

I have some new exciting news. As you all know we are always trying to find an new edge in the battle against canine cancer. And Hemangiosarcoma (HSA) is one of those cancers we would like to get a better handle on since it seems to end up being diagnosed too late to save the dog. In fact, we are so keen on finding out how to deal with HSA that we have actually initiated our own research project on HSA with G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. This is very exciting for the NCCF because this type of research on HSA has never been tried. Let me tell you how it all came about by first talking about a dog name Batman.

Batman was the first dog to undergo a breakthrough experimental treatment for brain cancer, led by doctors, G. Elizabeth Pluhar, D.V.M., Ph.D., and John Ohlfest, Ph.D. They developed a combination treatment plan for dogs with glioma, a very aggressive and relatively common form of brain cancer. First they removed the tumor surgically. Then, in some cases, they use local gene therapy to attract immune cells to destroy remaining tumor cells, and finally they created a personalized anti-cancer vaccine made from the dog’s own cancer cells to prevent tumor recurrence.

I personally love the thought of taking a cancer that was killing a dog and turning it into a personalized vaccine to kill the cancer!

Dr. Pluhar, a surgeon at the Veterinary Medical Center, and Dr. Ohlfest, head of the neurosurgery gene therapy program at the Masonic Cancer Center, gave Batman his initial treatment in August 2008. Batman led a normal life unaffected by his tumor until his death from cardiac failure in February 2010, there was no tumor recurrence. According to the Dean of the College, Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, “the far-reaching implications of this promising new treatment are almost difficult to fathom; not only could these treatments lead to a cure for brain and other systemic cancers in dogs, but because dogs and humans share many physiological traits, dogs could also be the missing link in the cure for brain cancer in humans.”

Then something interesting happened. Almost one year ago, Davis Hawn’s then 8-year-old yellow lab, Booster, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his nasal sinus. Booster was given three weeks to live. Hawn did not want to accept the death sentence and began searching the country for a cure. His search led him to doctors in Florida who removed Booster’s tumor and gave him chemo. An online search then led him to Dr. Elizabeth Pluhar from the University of Minnesota’s canine brain tumor clinical program. Davis asked her to help his dog, but Dr. Pluhar had never made a vaccine for this type of cancer before. But Davis was not going to take no for an answer so she did agree to try. She shipped the vaccine off and ten months later Booster is cancer free.

Then after Davis contacted the NCCF to tell us about how well the vaccine works, we contacted Dr. Pluhar to ask if she would be willing to try the same research that was successful with brain cancer and skin cancer, and use the same protocol to try dealing with splenic HSA. The NCCF’s thinking is that with all these other cancers, the similarities were that the cancer had to be removed and a vaccine needed to be created from the cancer cells. With splenic HSA, one of the more common forms of HSA, the spleen is typically removed so we felt that Dr. Pluhar’s research could possibly work. With that in mind, we asked her if she could try and apply her protocol on splenic HSA. After doing some initial research she agreed to do the study based on reaching certain goals before going on to the next level.

First, she needs to insure that we can culture the cancer cells in the lab,

Second, she needs to insure that the tumor vaccines stimulate immune cells to attack tumor cells. If she can achieve these two steps she can go on to treat the HSA cancer. We could not be happier and are guardedly optimistic over this research project.

The cost for this project will be $55,500. I hope you are all as excited as we are about this research and will help fund the project. If you want to help with funding this new innovative NCCF’s initiated project please CLICK HERE or got to this link

http://wearethecure.org/giving/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=70

Thank you

Gary D. Nice
President and Founder
National Canine Cancer Foundation

Runners take on canine cancer

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

For many families, a pet’s health is the utmost importance, and dealing with a disease like canine cancer can be difficult. On Sunday the mission to find a cure brought Vermonters together in South Burlington.

“Her name is Dezi – she just turned eight four days ago,” said Rich Armstrong, Dezi’s owner.

The golden retriever mix was diagnosed with cancer six months ago. She lost her front leg but never lost her loving personality. “She was wagging her tail within a few hours of surgery and she’s just really been an inspiration. She’s a really brave dog,” Armstrong said.

Dezi is just one of countless dogs who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer. It’s a disease the Chase Away K9 Cancer 5k hopes to help families overcome. “I wanted to do something to kind of help the cause and make my own mark and do something for the Vermont community,” said Debbie Safran, one of the event’s organizers.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says nearly 50 percent of pets over the age of 10 will develop some type of cancer. It’s the leading cause of non-accidental death in dogs. Organizers of Sunday’s 5k hope to raise around 7-thousand dollars. “Every dollar that we raise will eventually make it’s way to a grant that will hopefully find a treatment — better yet a cure for canine cancer,” Safran said.

It’s a disease that dog owners like Diane Popke see everyday in her line of work at the Animal Hospital of Hinesburg. “We came out here to support all the dogs, all the parents, see the success stories, see the happy endings that we were are part of — their success story,” she said.

This is the walk’s 4th year and it’s a day where dog owners are able to see that there is life for their pets even after a battle with cancer. “For a lot of people its hard to wrap their head around — ‘Gosh my dog with three legs. I don’t know that she can handle that.’ But you give these guys a chance, they can do amazing things,” Armstrong said.

If you didn’t make it to Dorset Park for the fundraiser, you can still check out the Chase Away 5K Facebook page and make a donation to help fight canine cancer.

Story reposted from:
http://www.wcax.com/story/26767447/runners-take-on-canine-cancer

Written by: Melissa Howell

Nonprofit helps Durham family pay for dog cancer treatment

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

When Benedict, a 9-year-old Lab/shepherd mix, stopped eating a few weeks ago, his owners feared something was wrong. They were right. Benedict had cancer, and time was of the essence.

So Joseph Haefling, whose family adopted Benedict in 2006 after seeing his Pet of the Week picture in The Herald-Sun, took him for chemotherapy treatment to Triangle Veterinary Referral Hospital on Morreene Road.

In addition to the stress of having to deal with their sick pet, the financial burden presented a problem for the Haeflings. But while searching the Internet, Haefling stumbled onto a nonprofit called the Magic Bullet Fund, a nationwide nonprofit that helps families who can’t afford to pay for their dogs’ cancer treatment.

That was about five weeks ago, and the fund is now picking up the cost for Benedict’s chemo, which will be several thousand dollars for 26 hospital visits.

The fund was founded in 2005 by New York resident Laurie Kaplan in honor of her dog Bullet, a cancer survivor.
Haefling, 80, said Benedict’s treatments appear to be working.

“The vet said it’s a good thing we came in that day, or he’d probably be gone the next day,” Haefling said. “They gave him a blood transfusion and IVs to get nourishment in him, and started the chemotherapy right away.”

Now, Benedict has resumed barking at home to announce he’s ready for his next meal — just like old times.
Life with Benedict started out somewhat rocky, however.

“At first, he was a little on the wild side,” Haefling said. “Once we got him home from the shelter (in 2006), we went through things like him chewing on the furniture, tearing out a door screen and knocking over a bowl of beans from a counter,” he said. “But by just talking nice to him, he changed pretty rapidly. He seemed to appreciate that.”

It didn’t take long for Benedict to become a beloved member of the family. “We got attached to him right away,” Haefling said. “He’s real good now. My oldest son walks him, and all the neighbors are crazy about him.”

Haefling’s son, Dennis, said Benedict is his best friend.

“I’m happy that the treatment is working,” Dennis said. “I stay with him all the time, day and night.” Haefling said the Magic Bullet Fund has lifted much of the burden off his family. “We’re just thankful that they’re around,” he said. “We really appreciate their help.”

News reposted from:
http://www.heraldsun.com/news/localnews/x1154807491/Nonprofit-helps-Durham-family-pay-for-dog-s-cancer-treatment

Written by: Keith Upchurch

Paws for a Cause: Event set to benefit canine cancer

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014

“My Best Friend’s Training” in LaMoille will be hosting their first ever Paws for a Cause fundraiser event this Saturday, Sept. 27.

This event is calling on all area dog owners to join in on a fun-filled afternoon with their furry friend, while at the same time supporting a great cause.

Jen Rhodes, owner of My Best Friend’s Training, has put together a number of activities for dogs to partake in – everything from a best kisser contest, to highest jumper, best costume, fastest dog, best catcher and more.

Jen Rhodes (right), owner of My Best Friend's Training, stands with her dog, Tosha. My Best Friend's Training will host a Paws for a Cause fundraiser event Saturday, Sept. 27. All monies raised will benefit the National Canine Cancer Foundation. Also pictured is Rhodes' daughter, Amanda Mancilla, with Kacy. (BCR photo/Goldie Currie)

There will be trophies and treats for the winners of each category.

The event is free and open to the public. For those who don’t have a furry friend but are interested in seeing the fun, Rhodes invites everyone to come watch the fun.

Rhodes explained the money raised at Saturday’s event will benefit the National Canine Cancer Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit corporation dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health issue in dogs by funding grants which are directly related to cancer research. These grants work to save dogs’ lives by finding cures, better treatments and accurate, cost-effective diagnostic methods in dealing with canine cancer.

“People don’t realize there is a foundation for dogs that will actually help you financially beat the disease or help the dog through the disease,” Rhodes said. “It’s for the cure. It’s for them to figure out what’s causing these different cancers. There are so many different cancers in canines.”

Rhodes said this is a topic that hits home for her, as she raises Rottweilers who are more prone to cancer. Just last year, Rhodes lost her 2-year-old Rottweiler to cancer.

“That was it for me. I was at the point where I knew we have to do something,” she said. “People don’t know this foundation is there to help them, and we’re looking to raise more awareness for it.”

Rhodes is looking forward to a great turnout on Saturday. The event begins at 2 p.m. and will be held at the location of My Best Friend’s Training at 28593 2650 North Avenue, LaMoille. There will be door prizes, a 50/50 drawing, activities for children, refreshments and a bake sale. For more information about the event search for My Best Friend’s Training on Facebook.

News reposted from:
http://www.bcrnews.com/2014/09/22/paws-for-a-cause/ap1hnnb/

Written by: Goldie Currie

Team Its For The Dogs Continues to Take a Stand Against Canine Cancer!

Friday, September 19th, 2014

In 2008 Debra Roseman decided she needed a new hobby and on Thanksgiving Day she set out and hit the pavement for her first run. Several months later, and many miles later, her husband found an event online called “The Bruiser Memorial 5k” being held in October 2009. Knowing his wife’s love for dogs, he suggested she go to the race which benefited canine cancer research.

Deb did sign up for the race that day and having known friends who lost their dogs to cancer she even took a shot at fundraising for the event.  It was only a few weeks out so she was short on time, but was able to raise several thousand dollars.

Soon thereafter, several other friends of Deb lost their dogs to cancer.  One was Frank Heffelfinger.  He decided to join Deb at the Bruiser race in 2010 and from there blossomed a friendship between Deb and Frank that will be forever cemented through the love of dogs.  Deb and Frank fundraised separately and again raised several thousands of dollars.  At the end of the race the wheels began to turn… what could be done as a TEAM?  And so Team It’s For the Dogs was formed.  With the announcement of the team, new members wanted to be a part of this special journey.  The members changed a little throughout the new few years, but all members except two (Deb and Terry Travis) had shared a common bond.  All had lost at least one dog to cancer.

For 2011 the team hit the ground running and held agility fun runs, raffles, wrist band sales, and 50/50s to raise funds.  The support of the dog community was amazing and the drive of the team increased.  They dreamed BIG and drove HARD and fundraised BIG.  The team idea proved to be a huge success and it was decided they would continue to keep the hope alive.

2012 was to be a different year for Deb.  Early in January after feeding her 4 dogs breakfast, one collapsed at her feet.  Hannah was rushed to the ER but there was nothing that could be done for her.  Heart based hemangiosarcoma had claimed her life.  The loss of Hannah drove Deb to drive harder and to drive her team harder than ever.  The raffles became bigger.  The agility runs became more numerous.  Everything became bigger and better.  Unfortunately Deb’s experience with cancer was not to stop there.  In April 2013 she had to give her Elkhound the gift of no more suffering.  He had been diagnosed with nasal cancer a few months prior.    In addition to what had already been done in years past, Deb added an obedience match and an online auction to the mix of fundraising opportunities.  Driven now more than ever by the loss of two of her own beloved canine companions.

Over the years that Deb and Frank ran the race individually, combined with the three years of team fundraising, Team It’s For The Dogs has raised over $50,000 for canine cancer research.  Even though the Bruiser Memorial was retired, they made the decision to continue fighting as a team.  With the hope that someday that helpless feeling of a cancer diagnosis would be no more.  That HOPE for LIFE will prevail…

See the highlights from their very first event on their own. Which won’t be their last!

For the past three years, Team It’s For The Dogs has participated in The Bruiser Memorial 5k to raise funds for canine cancer research.  In conjunction with running the race and traditional fundraising, the team has run several types of events to raise money including memorial agility runs, raffles, online auctions, 50/50s and obedience matches.

While looking for even more ways to raise money for this cause that is so near and dear to all of our hearts, Paul Mount of PMCC Services LLC approached us with the idea of holding a UKI fundraising agility trial.   Given “The Bruiser” had retired after 5 very successful years leaving us without a “base” event, we decided to GO FOR IT!

In order to “go for it” however, we needed to keep expenses as low as possible.  We were very delighted to learn that Darryl Warren would DONATE his judging services and that K9Jym in Colmar, PA would DONATE the use of their facility to us!  Additionally, Paul also would be donating back a large portion of the entry fees.

We didn’t stop there though!  We looked for more ways we could raise funds at the trial and along with having a wonderful spread of amazing raffle prizes donated by ourselves and our various dog loving friends, we also offered “mulligan runs”.  If you wanted to run a course again for practice you could pay $5 at the gate and get training time in the ring.

Now that all of that was set, we all anxiously awaited for the big day, August 23, 2014.

The day arrived and it could not have been more perfect.  The trial was a big success and the raffle and mulligan runs were very well received.   After all was said and done, along with a few flat donations including a rather large personal donation from the trial secretary, we sat down and crunched the numbers and learned that we raised $3,100!  This money is being donated to the National Canine Cancer Foundation with a request it be used to help fund their Hemangiosarcoma Research Project.

Huge thank you to EVERYONE involved in this inaugural event… The exhibitors, the volunteers, our secretary Paul, Debb and Roy of K9Jym, and our judge Darryl.   We are looking forward to next year already!

A Little Scare and Some Big Plans

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

My friend Porter is fighting stage 3 Mast Cell Cancer. He is really a champ, this is his 8th week on Palladia, and the lymph nodes have all shrunk to normal size and he is his normal peppy self.

Porter and I at work

Quite a big change from thinking we had 2-4 weeks left with him. We hike a lot, and at least according to some people, we hike too much (don’t get me started).  It is something that we have done together since he was a pup…

Baby Porter taking a break on top of Moxie Bald Mountain

…and someday (in like 100 years) when he is gone I will walk those same trails and think of him and maybe smile through the tears.

He woke up having trouble walking one morning 2 weeks ago, and together we made it down the stairs. I noticed it was his right front leg that he was having issues with.

It was so hard seeing him so confused and in pain, and being able to do nothing to help him.

When you are dealing with a complex medical condition such as cancer, you think everything that happens is because of the cancer. This isn’t necessarily so, but still, when the problem your buddy is having is on the same side of the cancer – the place you know it is likely to spread – you can’t help but worry.

What bothered me was that we hadn’t hiked or done anything to speak of for almost 2 weeks. If he hurt himself hiking, it would have shown up before then – which is exactly what freaked me out.

So we went to the vet, did x-rays, and determined that it was thankfully not cancer causing the problem, it was something else, likely a soft tissue injury or some sort.

I felt like we dodged a bullet. Since our vet wasn’t sure what exactly was causing his pain, she prescribed rest, pain medicine, and an anti inflammatory.

Within 2 days, he was back to himself. I kept him rested for another week or so, going on a few easy walks along the river/Wyman Lake.

Kennebec River near Wyman Lake

Kennebec River near Wyman Lake

Yesterday we went back up to Moxie Bald Mountain (and forgot our camera, but trust me, it is a freaking cool place).

Porter and I had big plans to do this epic back packing trip this fall to help increase awareness about canine cancer and to raise money for the National Canine Cancer Foundation, who funds grants to cancer researchers to help find better cures, treatments, and to find more accurate, cost effective ways to diagnose canine cancer.

Well, in light of Porter’s mystery injury, we amended our plans.

We now have a trip planned that is a little less epic, but still very cool! We are going to hike from Rt. 27 in Stratton/Eustis, across the Bigelow Range, and then home to Caratunk – 37 miles.

We are still going to work to raise money to help fund canine cancer research, in hopes it will help others facing the same issues as we are (click HERE to donate).

We are saving the epic trip for next year – we are going to celebrate him beating the odds. I can’t wait!

Thanks for reading!

Mandy & Porter

Story reposted from:
http://caratunkgirl.com/2014/08/17/a-little-scare-and-some-big-plans/

Written by: caratunkgirl

Dover couple fighting to save Bruiser the dog

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

Carl Hofmann found Bruiser in a York County SPCA kennel about seven years ago while he was killing time between work appointments.

Carl and Danielle Hofmann's pit bull Bruiser has lymphoma and requires chemotherapy.

He didn’t go in expecting to adopt a dog. But there was Bruiser, a skinny puppy, “all legs” and playful.

Hofmann reached through the metal bars to scratch Bruiser between the eyes.

“When I stopped petting him, he started crying,” Hofmann said. “And he wouldn’t stop crying.”

That was it. Carl went to the front desk and asked to adopt Bruiser.

Today, Bruiser is a laidback, affectionate pooch who sleeps with his parents in bed each night. He’s a big fan of food and visits from other canine friends and young children.

“He’s just a happy dog,” Hofmann said.

A few weeks ago, Hofmann’s wife, Danielle Hofmann, said she was rubbing Bruiser’s neck when she felt two golfball-sized lumps. Just a few days earlier, Danielle said, she’s sure there weren’t any lumps.

Carl and Danielle Hofmann play with their pit bull Bruiser at their Dover Township home Wednesday, July 30, 2014. The dog has lymphoma and requires chemotherapy. The two are being helped financially by the Magic Bullet Fund which solicits money for treatment of cancer-victim dogs. (Bill Kalina)

In July, a veterinarian diagnosed Bruiser with lymphoma.

“I thought a piece of my heart had been ripped out,” Danielle Hofmann said.

Lymphoma moves fast, the doctors said. But, if treated early enough, Bruiser could survive and live a healthy post-treatment life.

Carl Hofmann said he immediately began searching for treatment options. He discovered canine oncologists aren’t exactly easy to find.

“I was calling 30, 40 vets a day,” he said. “You hear cancer, the first thing you think is death. And losing him would kill me.”

Finally, they located an oncologist in Maryland who could treat Bruiser.

Bruiser had his first round of chemotherapy July 22 and his second round July 29. He’ll continue treatments once a week until November, with a few weeks off to rest.

Treatment is not cheap. Bruiser’s chemotherapy will cost about $3,000.

But the Hofmanns, who live in Dover, said they’re willing to do whatever it takes to save Bruiser. They’ve spent about $1,600 so far.

“I’ve cleared out my 401K,” Carl Hofmann said.

The couple, both 34, said they’ve been through their fair share of hard times – from job losses to medical issues.

But nothing compares to the pain of possibly losing Bruiser.

The Hofmanns began searching for help, and they found the Magic Bullet Fund – a nonprofit that provides fundraising assistance to families with dogs diagnosed with cancer.

The group donated $750 to kick off the online campaign, which ends Aug. 28.

So far, Bruiser seems to be doing well. He’s a bit more lethargic than usual, but he’s eating and using his outdoor bathroom.

Bruiser’s lost a little weight, but that’s normal. Besides, his parents said, Bruiser could stand to lose a few pounds.

Better yet, veterinarians believe Bruiser is responding well to the chemotherapy.

“I believe in miracles again,” Danielle said.

The couple said they worried whether their pleas for help would fall on deaf ears because Bruiser is a pit bull.

“They get such a bad rap,” Danielle said. “But he’s nothing but love.”

So far, the pit-bull stigma doesn’t seem to have mattered. Family members, friends and complete strangers have donated money to help the Hofmanns pay Bruiser’s medical bills.

News organizations responded quickly to a press release about Bruiser’s plight, something Danielle said she found hard to believe.

“I feel loved,” she said. “When it comes to animals and dogs, people just come out of nowhere.”

To help the Hofmanns, visit www.themagicbulletfund.org. Donations are tax-deductible.

Story reposted from:
http://www.yorkdispatch.com/ci_26272841/dover-couple-fighting-save-bruiser-dog

Written by: Erin James (The York Dispatch)

A Pet Owners Efforts For Her Rescue Dog

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Annie, a rescue dog, could not have known her life was in danger, but owner Alison Cole did. Ms Cole, of Woodbury, works at The Taunton Press.

(Photo: Alison Cole)

She noticed something was wrong the week before July 4, “just a little red bump; I didn’t think much of it.” Ms Cole left Annie, an 11-year-old, 75-pound hound mix, with her parents when she went away for the holiday weekend and upon returning, she noticed the bump “was swollen and infected.” After a quick trip to the vet, she learned that Annie did not have an infection.

“They said no, it’s a tumor,” Ms Cole said. Annie had bone cancer.

Ms Cole became worried about Annie, “the first dog I have owned on my own.” At the thought of a tumor, she began to worry about her close companion.

“It’s me and her — inseparable. I rush home from work to take her for a long walk, and you always see me with her, hanging out the back window of the car,” said Ms Cole. But July has been a “whirlwind” of highs and lows, she said, as Annie, an otherwise a happy dog, began to feel sick.

“She was unfazed for a while until the past week [July 20–26]. She grew lethargic and I could see that she knew something was wrong, she wasn’t herself,” Ms Cole said. Regarding surgery, she said, “I knew it had to be done quickly.”

The aggressive form of bone cancer had to be removed.

On July 24, Annie was coming out of surgery at Newtown Veterinary Services on Church Hill Road. T Chad Andrews, DVM, performed the surgery, assisted by Christopher Potanas, DVM.

“The surgeons said she is doing amazingly well.”

Her surgery “was better than expected from what I hear from surgeons … with this type of bone cancer, normally what you can see is just the tip of the iceberg, but the vet was impressed because what you see on her, nothing was hidden under the surface.”

She was able to raise funds to cover the sudden expenses for a roughly $6,000 operation, but will need as much as $4,000 more to pay for needed chemotherapy treatments.

Regarding the initial expense, and those to come, Ms Cole said, “I couldn’t afford it on my own.”

She started a fundraising page, Fundly.com/save-annie, to help pay for the costs of Annie’s treatment. In about a week, between July 16 and 23, Ms Cole had raised $4,800 of her $6,000 goal, and was able to book the surgery.

“I had to go through with it, I could see tumors growing,” she said. “[Annie] couldn’t eat and was very uncomfortable.”

Now Ms Cole is aiming to raise enough for the chemo, she said. By July 25, Ms Cole faced expenses for follow-up care. The tumor is gone, she said, “but mutated cells could still come out. I would hate to have done this for nothing. Ideally I would love to do chemo for her.” She now needs to reach an overall $10,000.

“I have promised that if I go above and beyond my fundraising goal I would donate it to DAWS. They’re a great community, they all helped me save my dog when I couldn’t save her,” she said.

Story reposted from:
http://newtownbee.com/news/news/2014/08/02/saving-annie-pet-owner-s-efforts-her-rescue-dog/221403

Written by: Kendra Bobowick

The dead dog that changed color twice

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

“Though dead, Jack is still on duty and solicits a continuance of your contributions in support of his good work for the Orphans.” So reads the plaque in London Jack’s glass display case at the Bluebell Railway museum.

(London Jack after being restored to his original color)

From the Victorian era until after World War Two, charity collection dogs were a popular sight in British train stations. They continued their charitable calling even after death.

Once famous for patrolling London’s Waterloo station, he was one of a group of celebrity dogs who made thousands of pounds for charity from the mid-Victorian era until the 1950s.

He and others like Brighton Bob, Bruce of Swindon, Chelmsford Brenda, Wimbledon Nell and Oldham’s Rebel mixed with commuters, sometimes boarding trains on their own to encourage more giving by passengers. They barked, “shook hands” and performed tricks for money, their exploits frequently reported in the national and regional press.

“They were cuter than human beings and people responded to that,” says Jan Bondeson, author of Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities.” There were very many postcards printed of them.

(London Jack before his restoration)

“If the dogs were docile enough, they were allowed to walk around the stations on their own. But some were tethered in case they walked in front of a train.”

This was not the only risk they faced. In 1896, a gang of criminals picked up Tim, an Irish terrier who worked at London’s Paddington station, and held him upside down over a suitcase, shaking him to free up the coins from his collection box. When released, he bit one of his assailants on the calf.

Some dogs were less than honest themselves. Initially they collected coins in their mouths and gave them in, but secure boxes had to be tied to them after a journalist for a Christian magazine discovered in the 1860s that Brighton Bob was using some of his money to buy biscuits at a bakery.

The dogs, usually looked after and trained by railway staff, proved popular and lucrative. For this reason there was a whole line of London Jacks. The first, who came into service in 1894, disappeared in 1899, but was later found in a house in Soho, where he was being held by criminals, after a boy heard barking and informed the police.

He retired, died and was stuffed and put on display in a cabinet with a slot for coins at the front. “From his glass case at Waterloo station, he still appeals to the passengers who pass by,” reported the Sphere newspaper in 1901. His son took over and was said to stop and look at his late father whenever he passed by.

The fifth Jack – the one now on display at the Bluebell Railway Museum in East Sussex – was born in 1917 and started collecting in 1923. He made more than £4,000 to help maintain an orphanage for railwaymen’s children in working, Surrey.

He wore, and still wears, a large collection of medals on his back, a silver one awarded for every £100 raised and a gold one for every £500.

In 1924 he was photographed with Jackie Coogan, the child star of Charlie Chaplin’s hit comedy film The Kid, as he passed through Waterloo. The event caused a shortage of luggage porters, who rushed to view the meeting of celebrities.

By 1930, Jack’s eyesight was going and he retired. The press showed him demonstrating to his successor how to board a train safely with a collection box.

He died the next year. He too was stuffed and mounted in a cabinet. But strangely at some stage during his journey from Waterloo to the Bluebell Railway, which bought him in 1967, he changed color.

For many years he was regarded as a golden, rather than a black, retriever. “He was in a case for a number of years and must have become bleached by the light over time,” says Colin Tyson, who edits the Bluebell Railway’s quarterly newsletter.

Jack went for a restoration five years ago and was dyed black once more after the taxidermist discovered that, judging by his roots, he was not a natural blond. He returned to the Bluebell Railway, where he still collects. For a while his takings went on funding his own renovation costs. Now these are paid off, he collects for Working Homes, on the site of the old orphanage, which cares for retired railway staff.

“People go to a museum like ours expecting to see preserved locomotives and carriages, not preserved dogs,” says Tyson. “But Jack is very popular, especially with the kids. Maybe they expect him to raise a paw when they put a coin in.” He doesn’t.

Station Jim

  • According to the station inscription at Slough, Jim arrived when he was three months old. He was described as a “ball of wool that could be carried around in an overcoat pocket”
  • He collected for the Great Western Railways Orphans’ Fund, but because of ill health, managed to collect only £40
  • He once boarded a train and travelled alone to Leamington. Another time, he turned up at Paddington Station
  • He could sit up and beg, bow or stand on his hind legs. A dropped, lighted match would be “extinguished with a growl”

Most of the stuffed former station dogs have disappeared or are in private ownership. The most prominent of those still on display is Station Jim, who died aged just two in 1896.

Jim was part of what Bondeson calls the “golden age” of station dogs. By the time Britain’s railways were nationalised in 1948, numbers had dwindled. An Airedale terrier called Laddie, who worked at Waterloo until 1956, is thought to have been the last to work the platforms. Stuffed animals were also gradually removed.

(The original London Jack collected at Waterloo Station between 1894 and 1900)

“Under the more corporate British Rail, they didn’t want things like dead dogs in stations,” says Tyson. “But animals like London Jack and Station Jim are a proud part of our railway heritage. They helped a lot of people.”

Article reposted from:
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28420246

Written by: By Justin Parkinson (BBC News Magazine)

Gullivers Run : Run Against Canine Cancer with the NCCF!

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The National Canine Cancer Foundation is very proud to offer passionate owners the opportunity to remember and honor the dogs that have touched your heart. Through the Foundations work, in this case specifically www.RunAgainstCanineCancer.org, we are committed to providing dog lovers a voice in fighting back against canine cancer! 2013 was the Inaugural Gulliver’s Run, a tribute to John and Lisa’s beloved Vizsla running partner Gulliver.   Many are very dedicated and passionate following the death or diagnosis of their beloved dog, but it takes a team to put together and host a charitable event that gives others a voice to their story.  Because of these stories continually being told, awareness grows and research moves forward.  This is one story, of a dog that so touched a family that they have dedicated their efforts to his remembrance.  It was a pleasure to work with John and his team in 2013 and we are looking forward to an even bigger and better event in 2014 – Together, We Are The Cure.

- Chris Pike
VP of Marketing and Events National Canine Cancer Foundation

As many of you already know, Gulliver left us in November of 2012, after a 13-month race against canine lymphoma. He was a runner and a remarkable companion. Gulliver kept on running through all of the chemo and other treatments that were part of his battle. He stopped running only 2 days before he crossed the last finish line.

Gulliver’s loss devastated us, but he never gave up, so how could we? We founded “Gulliver’s Run” in January of 2013, went on to file for and receive status as a 501(c) 3, non-profit, public charity, became partnered with the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and held our first “Gulliver’s Run” 5k Trail Race in November , almost a year to the day that Gulliver left us. We were able to send a check for $5,000.00 to the NCCF as a result of our first year’s effort.

Gulliver’s legacy and his trail run continue. Our 2nd annual “Gulliver’s Run” will be held again this year on Sunday, November 2nd, at beautiful Pinchot State Park. It is held on the same trails that Gulliver ran on almost daily. It is comforting to think that his noble spirit still runs free there beside us!

Our work is far from over! Sadly, there are countless other dogs and their human families who are facing the same battles and challenges that my wife and I did when we helped Gulliver fight against canine lymphoma. Please join us in this battle against canine cancer by being a part of “Gulliver’s Run” in 2014. If you can’t be with us in person (and with your canine pal) on November 2nd then please consider a donation. All funds raised go directly to fighting canine cancer. All that any dog truly expects from us is our companionship. Such selfless friends deserve our help in finding a cure for this terrible disease.

Together—We are the cure!
John & Lisa Heycock, on behalf of “Gulliver’s Run”

Join online:
http://runagainstcaninecancer.org/gulliver/register/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_18&products_id=72

Download  printable registration form:
http://www.houndsandharriers.com/GulliversRun.pdf

Photo courtesy: NaterPix