It was such an honor to be asked to participate in My Friend: Changing the Journey, a documentary about canine cancer created by the Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research (CLEAR) Foundation.
I have a personal connection to the topic, as my dog Cardiff battled T-cell lymphoma in 2013 and 2014 (see links to Cardiff’s story on petMD and Pet360 below) and has now been deemed cancer-free.
Our participation in My Friend: Changing the Journey was shot in multiple stages from early spring through summer 2014, and captured many segments of Cardiff’s progression through cancer treatment.
One of my goals as a holistic veterinarian is to reduce the likelihood of my patients will be exposed to man-made and environmental toxins that could be carcinogenic (cancer-causing). Yet, sometimes you can strive to do your best in providing a non-toxic existence for your pet but nature has another plan. Such was the case with Cardiff.
I therefore felt an obligation to share my story both as a pet owner and veterinarian dealing with cancer in his own canine companion upon the request of CLEAR Foundation creator, Terry Simmons, and the film’s director, Stacey-Zipfel Flannery. My hope is that others enduring the trials and tribulations of cancer will know there’s hope out there to beat the disease.
After being part of the production and seeing the preview, I eagerly anticipated my first viewing of the entire documentary. Celebrity clout was provided by the film’s narrator, the talented Paige O’Hara, best known as the incredible voice of Belle from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
The premiere was screened as a fundraiser to benefit CLEAR foundation and was held at the stylish Vertigo Event Venue in Burbank, California (which rubs proverbial elbows with major Los Angeles-based entertainment studios Disney, Dreamworks, NBC Universal, and Warner Bros.).
Cardiff’s oncologist, Veterinary Cancer Group’s Dr. Mary Davis, was featured and discussed some of the specifics of Cardiff’s lymphoma and cancer treatment in dogs. Additionally, New York-based Dr. Sue Ettinger (who’s also the co-host of The Pet Cancer Vet on Tracie Hotchner’s Radio Pet Lady Network) and San Diego’s Dr. Greg Ogilvie lent expert perspective on their experiences diagnosing and treating cancer in pets.
The evening was posted by the lovely and generally pet-passionate Laura Nativo. If you’re not aware, Nativo is a certified professional dog trainer (CPDT-KA), pet lifestyle expert, and regular contributor to Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family. She’s also a client, hiking partner, and dear friend of mine.
Event sponsors included:
- (Big Dogs)
- Testarossa Winery
- My dog Nose it
- Functional Nutriments- makers of Apocaps, which Cardiff took every day during his cancer treatment
- (Mighty Dogs)
- The Honest Kitchen
- Ugg Australia
- Veterinary Medical Center
- Hammer Toyota
- Frank Bruynbroek Compawssion
- Janet Brown & Tarek Taher
- Leslie & Peter Will
- (Hot Dogs)
- K9 Gym
- Into the Sunset
- Just Food For Dogs
- California Animal Rehabilitation
- East Valley Vet Clinic
- Rubber on the Run
- Tito’s Handmade Vodka
- Holistic Veterinary Center
- NTI Global
My Friend: Changing the Journey is slated for screening submission at various film festivals in 2015, so hopefully you will be able to catch a viewing of it sometime soon either in the theater near you or on-demand.
Thank you for reading this article. Your questions and comments are completely welcome (I’ll respond). Please feel free to communicate with me through Twitter (@PatrickMahaney) and follow my adventures in veterinary medicine by liking Patrick Mahaney: Veterinarian Acupuncture Pain Management for Your Pets on Facebook.
Copyright of this article (2014) is owned by Dr Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist. Republishing any portion of this article must first be authorized by Dr Patrick Mahaney. Requests for republishing must be approved by Dr Patrick Mahaney and received in written format.
This article originally appeared on Dr. Mahaney’s Pet-Lebrity News column on Pet360 as Premiere Screening of "My Friend: Changing the Journey.