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by Nathan 20. April 2010 19:32 filmed hours of footage this past weekend at the Harrisburg Kennel Club.

Check out all the different breeds we photographed for the site.  You may see your dog there.

 If you won best of breed wants to talk to you - Please contact us






Can the cure for cancer be found in the canine?

by Nathan 20. April 2010 11:50
Picture a border collie herding sheep, enacting its natural impulse. Might the trait bred into the dog for centuries provide a clue to the cause of human addiction?

Or, imagine a hunting dog that points out its master’s prey. Could a genetic study of the animal unleash insights into the human mind?

A new Center for Canine Health and Performance at Van Andel Institute is using dog DNA to learn more about human diseases. The Grand Rapids lab and its research partners have announced a 2-year, $4.3 million federal grant to expand the scope of the study that may prove dogs are both man’s best friend and his physician’s.

“Everything you can do in human genetics, you can do in dog genetics,” said Mark Neff, director of the center created in partnership with the Van Andel-affiliated Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen, in Phoenix. “The two mutually inform one another and mutually benefit one another. Translating between is seamless.

“By studying the DNA of canines, we expect to more quickly discover the genomic causes of disease and more quickly find ways to better treat dogs and people.”

Because dog breeds have less genetic diversity than humans, who are relative mutts, it is easier to identify particular genes that cause certain diseases, Neff said. Finding cancer-causing canine genes in dogs may help pinpoint causes of human cancers and develop new treatment drugs.

For example, Van Andel researchers since 2008, as part of a Canine Hereditary Cancer Consortium, have been studying hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessels, in Clumber spaniels. Though common in some dog breeds, the disease is rare in humans and has no effective treatment.

“A patient who draws that card, there’s no solution for that. There’s not a large enough sample size (for effective research),” Neff said. “But you can learn about the human cancer, which is rare, by studying the dog cancer, which is common.

“All you need is that DNA sample to make that connection.”

While mice live at Van Andel, there are no dogs on site. DNA comes from saliva — typically a cheek swab or cup of drool — or blood and tumor samples donated voluntarily by veterinarians, breeders and dog owners from around the country.

Researchers are analyzing the canine DNA, and the findings could apply to human diagnostics and treatment. But, to throw the dog a bone, they also could indicate if a dog carries a defective, cancer-causing gene.

“The canines are not just a through-put for the end product” of human study, said Roe Froman, a longtime local veterinarian who joined VAI last fall as a senior veterinary research scientist. “We’re not just using the dogs to help the people. We’re also using the dogs to help other dogs.

“The more we can help to develop earlier diagnostics and better treatment protocols, those are huge benefits to the dog people.”

The faster samples can be accumulated, the faster research can progress, said Froman, president of the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation. The owner of any dog with cancer can call Froman at 234-5556 to learn about donating canine DNA.

With the grant, which is supplemented by $500,000 each from PetSmart and Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the consortium of several organizations including the National Cancer Institute, University of Pennsylvania and Michigan State University will study other cancers that originate in connective tissues such as bone, cartilage and fat: osteosarcoma, oral melanoma, malignant histiocytosis and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Researchers will look at as many as 20 dog breeds using some of the same tools deployed in human study, then work with pharmaceutical companies to develop treatments.

“We can use the exact same technology for canines,” said Jeffrey Trent, president and research director for VAI and TGen. “This is an important way to leverage biology to help people and at the same time help our canine friends.”

Eventually, the program also aims to study neurological and behavioral disorders as well as other conditions that may relate to human conditions. For example, studying dogs that suffer hearing loss may put researchers on a fast-track to finding keys to deafness in the muddled human genome.

Unwittingly, a dog’s fine-tuned gene pool may breed a cure for human disease.

“(Dog breeders) are the Mendels and Darwins of today,” Neff said. “My job is to go out and learn from them.”


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All Breed dog show in Charlotte Hosting by Piedmont Kennel Club

by Nathan 15. April 2010 10:32


The connection between Human and Canine.

by Nathan 14. April 2010 13:49

The connection between Human and Canine.

 After having a dog that stood by Jennifer Arnolds side during one of the worst times in her life she decided to spend her life breeding, Training and providing service dogs for people with special needs or disabilities.  Jennifer has gone through feeling alone, vulnerable, and scared so she knows how disabled people feel.  She has written a book called “Through a Dog’s Eyes” that will be coming out this December – PBS has done a full documentary based on the book about the bond between service canine and the people they help. 

Jennifer Arnold was a young daughter of an eye surgeon who enjoyed life with her parents.  The doctors diagnosed Jennifer with multiple sclerosis and soon found herself in a wheel chair.  Her father the eye surgeon tried to get Jennifer a service dog, but she was put far down on the list to receive one.  So Jennifer and her parents decided to start a training school for service dogs.   Jennifer’s dad was going to fund the endeavor by putting off his retirement for a few yrs.  Not more than three weeks later He was killed by a drunken motorcycle driver.   But Jennifer and her mom didn’t give up hope on their dream of the service dog training school.  They pulled together funds for the school which took about 10 rears.  They finally incorporated in Dec 31 of 1991 and started training their first dog in march of 1992.  Canine assistance is one of the largest canine service dog training centers in the country.


Chocolate Labrador retriever Puppy Service Training - Tragedy to Triumph

by Nathan 13. April 2010 19:55

Chocolate Labrador retriever Puppy Service Training - Tragedy to Triumph

There have been a lot of inmates that pass through the Saint Francis Service Dogs Prison Pups Program, but no inmates have been touched by the program as much as John Bumgarner.

 John, an inmate who is serving time for numerous larceny and breaking and entering convictions has found joy in this program.  John is one of the original puppy trainers when the Service Dog Prison Pups Program started in 2002. 

John as rose to become a leader in the puppy training program, and you will find his cell stocked full with literature on puppy raising, and dog training.  John’s has said working with puppies has brought him back in touch with being human again. 

Bumgarners only request while being in the program was to raise a chocolate Labrador puppy, and in 2007 his wish became true when a chocolate Lab puppy was donated by a breeder to Saint Francis.  The chocolate Labrador retriever was named Summer Rose in honor of John’s daughter who had been killed in an accident while her dad was serving time.  John was so very happy for his new puppy and thanks the donating Labrador Breeder over and over.  No one had any idea that his time of happiness was soon going to end due to his death at age 42 of a heart attack.

John was revered at the prison by his fellow puppy training inmates and guards alike.  The inmates rallied around Summer Rose and would give the chocolate lab every opportunity they could to become a service dog if the life of a service dog was in Summer Rose.

We are happy to announce that on April 8 2010, Summer Rose – the living tribute Chocolate Labrador retriever puppy has passed her service certification test and has become a real blessing to Frank Pividal of Roanoke Va.


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