One of the world’s most captivating canines has become the poster dog for Colorado State University’s national "Paws for a Cause" campaign.
Thanks to a donation by New York artist William Wegman, the image of his world-famous Weimaraner, Fay Ray, will grace the pages of national magazines in a public service ad designed to raise awareness of cancer in companion animals and to help raise funds for Colorado State’s renowned Animal Cancer Center.
The image, titled "ABC," was shot in 1994 and features Fay Ray with three alphabet blocks atop her velvety gray head. The photograph appears in Wegman’s biography of his dog, Fay Ray (1999, Hyperion Books). The ad begins appearing in national magazines this month.
Fay Ray was Wegman’s companion and muse for ten years, until her death in 1995 from leukemia. Years earlier, Fay’s predecessor, Man Ray, also succumbed to cancer. Fay’s image has appeared in art exhibits, on magazine pages and television screens around the world. Her puppies, Battina, Chundo and Crooky, have followed in her pawprints, working with Wegman on numerous artistic ventures.
Wegman explained his feelings about contributing Fay’s photo to the campaign: "In 1995, just six months after my son Atlas was born, I lost Fay Ray to cancer. Her demise was swift. I was devastated but not surprised. Cancer had also taken my first dog, Man Ray.
Last year our veterinarian told me about the wonderful and amazing work of Dr. Withrow and his team at the Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State. I wanted to participate somehow. When I contacted them, I was encouraged to lend an image in support of their work, which I did gladly and with my whole heart. In Fay’s ABC primer photo, the letters now read ‘Animals Battling Cancer;’ her head is up and her spirit blesses me and my loved ones. There is hope. Good luck, Dr. Withrow."
Since November 1999, the Animal Cancer Center has been engaged in a national awareness and fundraising campaign, "Paws For a Cause," to raise $11 million for a new wing, new equipment, more programs and personnel. Groundbreaking is scheduled for June, 2001.
The Animal Cancer Center at Colorado State has the world’s greatest wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding cancer in animals. Each year, the ACC handles 7,000 appointments and 1,500 new cancer patients. A variety of treatments, therapies and surgical techniques developed by the team of oncologists at the ACC have served to save or improve the lives of both animal and human cancer patients.
Partnering with the Animal Cancer Center, and sharing space in the new wing, is the Argus Center. In addition to serving the public with support and counseling services, the Argus Center also educates veterinary students in methods of client communication, crisis intervention, grief counseling and other non-medical techniques.
The Animal Cancer Center and The Argus Center are part of the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. Information about symptoms, treatments and other therapies are available on the website at www.cancercure.colostate.edu; or by calling
The "Paws" campaign Web site can be found on Petopia.com, a leading internet site offering pet-related information from grooming, nutrition and health care to community forums and expert advice.