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Morris Animal Foundation

The Spirit of an East Tennessee Dog Lives On
By Tina M. Martinez

Betsy’s story is like that of so many East Tennessee dogs. She loved the outdoors. She would often join her owner, Jay Clark, on his duck-hunting adventures and backpacking trips. And although she had battled arthritis for many years, her favorite thing to do was to swim alongside his boat, especially in the Elk River.

But five months ago, Betsy’s life was claimed by cancer, a disease that no family is ever prepared for. This disease is one that touches many of us – that is why Betsy’s forever companions, Stacy and Jay Clark, have teamed up with Morris Animal Foundation and PetSafe to raise awareness about canine cancer. By sharing their story, they hope to help find a cure for this horrible disease.

Betsy had always been full of energy, so when the Clarks received news from their dog sitter that Betsy wasn’t acting like her typical active self, they knew something was wrong. From there, it didn’t take long for x-rays to confirm that Betsy had cancer.

After four rounds of chemotherapy and a tough decision to amputate her leg, it was nothing short of a miracle that Betsy gained back her independence and was back to being her active self. She played with her canine brothers, NEWP and Indy, like nothing had happened. But things took a turn for the worse at the beginning of April. As Betsy’s body started to shut down, the Clarks knew it was time to let her go.

On the day they laid her to rest on a hillside on their property, they lost a part of their hearts. But her spirit is still very much alive, and the Clarks have made it their mission to share their story with other dog lovers and to support canine cancer research.

The Clarks invite you to join them as they take a stand against canine cancer at the PetSafe K9 Cancer Walk on Sunday, September 23, at the Cove at Concord Park. The event will benefit Morris Animal Foundation, the global leader in funding research to help prevent, treat, and cure cancer in dogs. Additional details can be found at

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