Terry Simons, founder of CLEAR

Terry Simons— a veteran, internationally-recognized dog agility trainer who founded the CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness & Research) Foundation—recalls how he initially stepped into the world of agility training. photo-3He mentions some of the dogs that have lived with Simons and his wife over the years—and the safe_image.phpones they lost to lymphoma. In describing two of their dogs passing within a nine-month period, and then another dog named Reveille—with whom Simons had forged a particularly profound bond—being diagnosed with lymphoma, he notes that, reeling from cumulative grief, propelled him along the path of starting CLEAR. He concurs with the observation that as much as the “Research” portion of the CLEAR acronym is enormously important, the “Education” and “Awareness” parts stand as absolutely vital—for example, how readily dogs diagnosed with lymphoma can respond to treatment. These points dovetail with a discussion of the documentary film, “My Friend: Changing The Journey,” both how it came to be and key components of the movie’s format: a number of veterinarians, veterinary oncologists and other experts—as well as folks who’d lost dogs to lymphoma—and case 10631284_585743818214712_8547264414553351415_ostudies of different dogs who’d received a diagnosis of some form of lymphoma, depicting their varying medical treatments, responses by their humans, etc. Simons outlines the possible venues where “My Friend: Changing The Journey” might screening, making it clear that eventually the film will be posted on the CLEAR website to be watched for free. (www.clearcaninecancer.com)

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ALSO: We heard a brief conversation with Daniel Sambu, of Big Life Foundation, a Kenya-based NGO that helps coordinate the Maasai Olympics, an inventive gambit that involves young Maasai warriors to compete in sporting events, as an alternative to their traditional rite-of-passage of killing lions. (https://biglife.org, www.maasaiolympics.com)

COMEDY CORNER: Eddie Izzard’s “Horse Whisperer” (www.eddieizzard.com)

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” John Hiatt’s “My Dog & Me,” instrumentals

 NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: Weather Report’s “Birdland”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

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