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LYNDA MACDONALD WITH her two black labrador retriever dogs, BEAR AND KENZIE

Lynda MacDonald with Bear and Kenzie pictured above

My first experience at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University dates back to 2008 when my black Labrador retriever, Troon, developed a growth on her toe that wasn’t healing. Our veterinarian referred us to a surgical specialist at the Henry and Lois Foster Hospital for Small Animals at Cummings School. When Troon went in for the pre-op appointment, Dr. Robert McCarthy found additional growths in her lungs and determined that she had melanoma. He, and the entire Cummings School staff, were absolutely wonderful and compassionate throughout our experience. When I didn’t think anything more could be done because the growths were inoperable, they offered me a way to extend Troon’s life that gave her quality time. Troon, my loyal companion, received an experimental treatment in the form of a vaccine that had the potential of being used in humans, giving her and us 18 more months together which I’ll take any day.

We are grateful that we haven’t had to bring our other three black Labs to Foster Hospital, but should the need arise it will be the first place we go.

Giving to Cummings School year after year as a Loyal Companion makes me feel good. It is clear that as an academic veterinary medical center, the staff at Foster Hospital have access to treatments that are not readily available elsewhere and the veterinary students are able to learn about them. I am happy to help if there is a way I can contribute to advancing treatments that will ultimately benefit countless other animals and their human families.

—Lynda MacDonald, Loyal Companion Society member since 2008