For those of us with companion animals, a cancer diagnosis from a veterinarian is as devastating as any we ever receive. And with this disease touching one in every three dogs in the United States — killing half of them — chances are good that a dog you love will be affected.
Photographer Nunthany Johnson received such news about her beloved Bichon Frise, Max, in March of 2009. Johnson and her family opted to treat Max’s cancer with surgery and chemotherapy, but hemangiosarcoma (H.S.A) is a particularly deadly type affecting the blood vessels. In June of that same year, Max passed away.
Max’s memory, however, lives on through Smile for a Cure, an organization created in his honor. The Smile for a Cure program pairs the National Canine Cancer Foundation (NCCF) and pet photographers nationwide with the goal of raising awareness and funds in the fight against canine cancer.
Want to contribute to the cause? Visit the Smile for a Cure website. There you can find participating photographers in your area and set up a photography session for you and your dog or cat. Photographers donate their time and sitting fees to the NCCF — and you walk away with a collection of professional portraits of your pet.
Johnson’s hope is that this program will benefit both companion animals and the people who love them by helping dogs live longer, healthier, cancer-free lives. “When someone you love has cancer, whether animal or human, it can be devastating.” Johnson says.
Gary Nice, President and CEO of the NCCF adds, “By booking a session, you can make a tremendous difference in the lives of dogs as well as humans, making this all the more important. The National Institute of Health has gone on record to declare that much of the research on canine cancer applies to human cancer as well.”
Here at DogTime, we’re proud to be part of such a worthy cause.