Calgary dogs that have been diagnosed with cancer were gifted toys on Wednesday.
Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation, a Calgary non-profit that supports families facing pet cancer, delivered 300 KONG toys to the city’s two veterinary oncology hospitals: the VCA Canada Western Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Centre and the VCA Canada Calgary Animal Referral and Emergency (VCA Canada CARE) Centre.
Veterinarians said that while owners focus on their pet’s treatment, the animal gets to let loose and play.
“The thing that’s different between animals and humans is that animals don’t know that they get cancer,” said Dr. Alissa Gunderson. “They get the diagnosis, and everything seems to change because, obviously, the owners are very upset and it gets very emotional for them, but the dogs are just dogs — that’s one of the great things about dogs.”
It’s a good reminder to owners that, after a diagnosis, nothing has changed from the dog’s perspective, she said.
Toy money was collected at Pet Planet stores across Canada in October and destined for Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation.
“I think the toys are a great idea because it kind of keeps in mind that as much as we want to address treating them, we also have to keep in mind that they also want to do dog things, which is play with their toys and eat their food and chase the squirrels,” Gunderson said.
“I think this will really help to keep a good perspective as they’re going through the very emotionally trying time of treating their animals.”