Give Cancer the Paw and Make a Real Difference

Cancer sucks. And that’s putting it mildly. I challenge you to name one person who hasn’t been affected by this brutal disease. We all know someone: a family member, friend, co-worker. It touches all of us in the most critical way. Tragically, cancer is so insidious, so evil, it doesn’t even leave our pets alone. In fact, just as many furry relatives are forced to deal with the unfair consequences. This is why Peggy’s Pet Place has teamed up with Pooch Smooches for the Give Cancer the Paw  Blog Hop to help prevent this killer and save our four-legged snuggle buddies.

Give Cancer the Paw

Since this is me, I can’t write about even cancer campaigns without a bit of a rant and a major digression. If we’re going to take about such a sensitive subject I reckon I may as well put it all out there.

I hate awareness campaigns. Loathe them, if I am to be completely honest. Every October I shudder as the Breast Cancer troops march out with their “Save the Boobs” slogans and their silly social media tricks. Don’t even get me started on “Movember”. If even half of these people were working to make an actual difference, I would be all in favour. From what I can tell, most of the dudes are just looking for an excuse to look like a porn star for thirty days and most of the women just think it’s fun to wear pink.

The thing is, cancer is ubiquitous. No one escapes. Awareness has been spread. There is no one out there right now, in North America anyway, who is flummoxed by the thought of a self-exam. These drives to “get the word out” are useless at best and offensive at worst.When I think of my grandmother, who did not survive from breast cancer, I shudder to think what she would make of these Facebook campaigns to post the colour of your bra or share a picture of your unencumbered breasts.

If the individuals who were joining in with these memes were also donating to the cause or volunteering their time, I’d be all for it. I’m not a complete prude. I’d even be all in if they were just talking about where they “like it” – if anyone remembers that subtle social media joke – for a good time. Whatever, have at it! It’s the idea that they are posting these things and joining these sexist drives for the sake of raising awareness about cancer. As if nobody knows it exists. Cancer somehow justifies it and makes it above questioning.

Well, it doesn’t. If you want to make cupcakes in the shape of boobs, then make cupcakes in the shape of boobs. But don’t say it’s to spread awareness about breast cancer. Unless you are working to raise money to help people who are suffering, I don’t want to hear it. I will roll my eyes at your mustache and I will spurn your pink jersey. Because I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t gladly hack off her breasts if it meant she got to live.

But here’s the thing. This Give Cancer the Paw campaign? It’s the real deal. It’s is not only about sharing vital information that might help you prevent cancer in your pets and detect it early to make treatment easier, it is also about making an actual difference.

Peggy’s Pet Place is joining in with blogs Dogtipper, All Things Dog Blog, and dog treat company Zukes to take action. On Monday November 18th, they will be offering a giveaway of delicious treats for six winners. Zukes will be donating $5.00 per rafflecopter entry to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund. This is an organization dedicated to helping dog and cat owners with pets who are suffering from cancer. Now that’s walking the walk.

29 thoughts on “Give Cancer the Paw and Make a Real Difference

  1. Thank you for joining our blog hop. You make a good point about awareness campaigns…we are all brutally “aware” of the horror of cancer. But as you say, we also hope our blog hop will be a way to motivate action and also to support each other Hopefully we’ll also be able to help in other practical ways as well.

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    • Absolutely. There is still a lot of education needed about cancer and other diseases. I barely know a third of what I probably should, especially when it comes to my dog. That’s why I think your campaign is so great. It spreads real information and is helping raise support for important causes. Thanks for putting it together!

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  2. you make a lot of sense. We all know cancer is out there. Instead of buying something pink – donate that money to support cancer patients or to find a cure. We know what it is like to be battling the disease – and we know what it is like to have no income – pay for expensive drugs – and live from day to day.
    So thank you for your rant – I agree

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    • Thank you, that means a lot.

      I am just tired of all the lip service, mostly. I don’t like the light-hearted attempts to spread “awareness”, whatever that is supposed to mean, when they don’t actually talk about the real-life consequences. If you are going to help educate hand out pamphlets, put up posters, raise money in support of programs, etc. Don’t make irritating FB status updates about the colour of your bra. It’s just annoying and missing the point.

      Or maybe I am missing the point.

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  3. I agree – that “pink washing” of products and the some of the silly stuff they do to raise “awareness” is annoying. The pink-washing really gets me cuz people probably think they are helping the cause, but they’re not.

    Thanks for joining our hop. If we can help even one person learn something that helps them either prevent or detect cancer early in their pet, it’ll be totally worth it!

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    • Maybe that’s what I need to remember. Most people purchase such things with the best of intentions to make a contribution. Before I get irritated by pink labels and pink pens, I need to remind myself that perhaps many people don’t question whether or not the product is providing actual benefit.

      I couldn’t agree with you more. When it comes to preventing illness and helping early detection, I am all for it.

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  4. Pinkwashing is a pretty well documented long- con. Some of those ‘pink’ products actually contain chemicals that are linked to causing cancer. Not sure I agree about hating Movember though – it is actually pretty cool and isn’t about companies out for a profit. There are a couple of guys doing it at work. I think it’s a good team building thing for them as well. I think a lot of their money is going to Beyond Blue with is an organisation that supports people with depression.

    My partner and I raised $5,000 donated directly to the WA Institude of Medical Research last year. I donate where I can when I can see the organisation it is going to is doing some good work 🙂

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    • I am not against Movember in theory, but it seems to me that many people just grow the facial hair for the sake of growing the facial hair and don’t actually participate in any real action. They say they are doing it “for cancer” or to “raise awareness” but when you question them further, they haven’t raised a cent nor have the participated in any actual educational event. The individuals that do raise money or volunteer their time, such as the men you know, deserve commending. They just appear to be in the minority – or perhaps my world is just very small and I need to alter my perspective.

      Good for you! It isn’t easy to raise money and $5,000 is amazing! Some charities have a hard time coming up with a total like that. It takes a lot of hard work and I am sure they were very appreciative.

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  5. After my Song died of cancer, I set up a Just Giving account for donations and the money goes to the Animal Health Trust who are doing research into canine cancers.

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    • That is such a lovely idea, Sue. I am sure your generous support has gone to helping many other dogs. It’s a beautiful way to honour her memory.

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  6. A brilliant post and I can see exactly where you are coming from. My friend once did a run for cancer – The new York marathon to be exact, so maybe by saying a run I am downplaying it! Anyway the funds he raised he sent to one of the UK cancer charities (I can’t remember which!) and they said thank you very much the thousands of pounds you have sent has been used to redecorate our offices!!! Now my friend is not one to take this lying down and immediately complained and said if they couldn’t use it properly he wanted it back.

    I love how these charities are doing good work, but then have their posh, high maintenance in the middle of London offices and when I did the race for life I was sent some much advertising crap that went straight into the bin – talk about a waste of money!!

    it’s brilliant to hear about a genuine good cause!

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    • That’s fantastic your friend was able to not only compete in a very competitive marathon but use his run was a way to raise money for a cause he cares about. How disheartening to hear that the money did not go where he expected. I suppose it doesn’t hurt to do some research and ask questions, especially if you are doing so much work. It’s only fair to want to know where the money is going.

      There are many amazing organizations out there doing very real work. I often feel terrible for only being able to choose a handful.

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    • Well, I don’t know about that. I am still a little short on sleep. But I am glad I am not alone in feeling this way! So thanks for that. 🙂

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    • Well said! Raising awareness and especially supporting each other are some of the goals of our hop, and several people responded that they learned something new and useful as well. (although I do like cupcakes hehe).

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      • That’s great to hear! As Jackie said, if even just one person learns something that saves a life, then it’s all worthwhile.

        I just like my cupcakes without sexist objectification. 😉

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    • Well, I am not against cupcakes, only cupcakes that come in the guise of “saving the boobs” without any fundraising or education attached to them. Those type of sexist cupcakes I don’t think anyone needs.

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  7. Having lost my mother to cancer in 2010, as well as several dogs over the years, I very much support raising awareness and actual dollars for research, particularly for rarer kinds that don’t get as much funding (like my mom and one of our dogs had).

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    • I am so sorry, Lara, that cancer has hit your family so hard. It is not easy to watch someone you love endure such illness.

      I agree that there are many forms of cancer that do require a lot more awareness. They all deserve our support and thought. Thank you for your comments.

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  8. We believe in direct action here. Why donate through Walmart or another store checkout so that you can support THEIR favorite charity or make them look good. Donate or give money to those directly affected or those that you can help directly. Admittedly even my dad rolls his eyes at Movember. Yes, he’s well aware of getting checked – his doctor brings it up every year.

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    • We all have our causes and I tend to agree with your family. I prefer to use my money to help people directly. That’s why I think the organization Peggy has showcased above is so fantastic. So many people can’t afford treatments for themselves, let alone their pets. It’s a great way to change someone’s life.

      Has your father watched the recent Movember commercials on television? Every time they come on I worry my eyes will roll right out of my head.

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  9. I completely agree.
    If people are just participating in these campaigns because they get to do something fun or silly (or super creepy, in the case of Movember), then it’s missed the point – the campaign has completely failed, actually. The point is to raise money. Or maybe increase prevention/examinations. But it’s not just to grow a moustache or make a boob joke. Same goes for those who walk/run for causes but don’t actually fundraise.
    BUT, if you are fundraising/donating, then I’m all for it.

    I also have a weird annoyance with phrases like “I support breast cancer”, or when the Safeway cashier asks me if I want to donate $2 “to prostate cancer”. You’re missing a very important part of the noun there – research, prevention, patients…. Semantics, I know.

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    • Hey, don’t knock semantics. I don’t actually understand the phrase “it’s just semantics” myself. I mean, well, yeah, it is about word meaning, isn’t that the point? I agree in that the way so many of these campaigns are phrased is eyebrow raising. Cancer has taken enough of my life over the years, it doesn’t need my money too. But I will give my money to help fight it.

      Thanks for backing me up. I worried I was going to look like a jerk. Not that it stopped me, obviously.

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  10. I’m glad that someone — and apparently many of our fellow pet bloggers — feel the same way you and I do! I got one of those FB messages early last month about what color my bra was and just ignored it, like I do all the other like-minded messages. Eventually, I just “left the conversation”. I have better things to do with my time than respond to that stuff. I just hate that more of the money we donate to a lot of these cancer-related charities appears to go to their advertising fees or overhead expenses than to finding an actual cure. I remember my Dad telling me once that he had donated to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Mom’s memory and all he got in the way of acknowledgement was a sh**load of letters asking for MORE money. After about the third one, he trashed them all and never sent them another penny. I have found the same thing to be true of other “charitable” organizations…and I react the same way my Dad did.

    I donate to the Morris Animal Foundation whenever one of my friends has to deal with canine cancer. I’m glad to learn that there are other organizations out there that I can donate to as well. At least I know they ARE working to either find a cure for pet cancers, to raise awareness, or to help someone who is actually dealing with such trauma.

    Bravo to you, Kristine, for your rant! I’m not sure I could have said it as well or any better, with or without sleep.

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