Atlas: Rico, is it true that you are the oldest Berner Mom and Dad ever had?
Atlas: But you are only six.
Rico: Well, yes, but going on 6.5.
Atlas: That’s not very old. What happened to the Berners before you?
Mozzie: Well, I’ve heard about Bogey, and he was only five when he got cancer.
Atlas: Dogs get cancer?
Mozzie: Yes, and many Berners die of it, especially this one kind called histio.
Rico: But Mom’s favorite, Russ, was a Golden, and he also died of cancer, something called hemangiosarcoma. He also had something called a mast cell tumor, another form of cancer.
Atlas: Why does this happen?
Rico: It’s a genetic problem, and it’s especially a problem if breeders aren’t careful.
Mozzie: Elaine, my breeder, was very careful. I’ll be around a long time. You, too, At-yak. Amy is careful to be sure her dogs are healthy.
Atlas: Can they find a cure for this mean hissing cancer and the he-man Joe cancer?
Rico: Do you mean histio and hemangio?
Atlas: Yes, those kinds.
Mozzie: Well, there is research going on to work on that, but it’s expensive.
Atlas: I’d donate my bully bites if it would help.
Rico: That wouldn’t help too much, but Mozzie and Mom are going on a walk to help raise money for research on dog cancers.
Atlas: Are they going to walk to a bank?
Mozzie: No, we are going to walk in the Morris Animal Foundation walk next month.
Rico: How does that help?
Mozzie: Hopefully friends of Mom’s will help by donating to the cause at our website: http://support.morrisanimalfoundation.org/site/TR/Events/General?px=1099104&pg=personal&fr_id=1440.
Atlas: Do people need to be rich to donate?
Mozzie: No. Any amount will help. People just need to donate now rather than getting around to it later.
Atlas: How do we make sure they do that?
Rico: Maybe if they think about the dogs they’ve lost, it will inspire them to want to donate to help the cause.
Atlas: That sounds sad.
Mozzie: It won’t be as sad if they find a cure. That’s why we need donors.
Atlas: Oh, okay. I hope Mom’s friends get with it and donate. Now.
Mozzie: Me, too.