Wilson's Story


Pictured from left to right: Dr Queen, Tom Mangelsen, and Dr. Jane Goodall.

It All Started When…

Dr. Queen met Tom Mangelsen in Gombe, Africa, on invitation from Dr. Jane Goodall to capture images of the chimpanzees so famous from her research over the past 50 years. They had hiked for days without a chimpanzee sighting. You get to know a lot in these sit-and-wait situations. It was then Dr. Queen learned that Tom’s dog, Wilson, had recently been diagnosed with osteosarcoma and was currently being treated by a colleague of hers at Colorado State. The conversation led to MarQueen Emergency & Specialty Group’s own oncologist, Dr. Erica Moore, and her recent discussion of a new and promising therapy in the treatment of osteosarcoma in dogs, which is similar to osteosarcoma in humans. The discussion led into clinical trials and how to better streamline the process with safety and care intact. Is it possible? Why not! We made it a goal to try and facilitate Wilson into this new trial when we all got back home.

That next day the photographer’s dream had arrived as a chimpanzee community appeared along a stream beneath Jane’s Peak. The following morning Tom received a call that Wilson had taken a turn for the worse. He was on the next plane home to Wyoming to spend as much time with Wilson as he could. Three weeks later we learned that Wilson had passed. What is next, is from Tom’s heart . . .


Tom Mangelsen and Wilson

My Best Friend

A yellow lab, Wilson, named after my all-time best friend. Wilson lived up to his namesake. Big-hearted, big soul; gentle and kind. He was always there for me. Wilson followed me everywhere. He instinctively knew when I was going somewhere and lay by the front door so I would have to stumble over him lest I ever leave him behind.

He was nine years old and a big boy at 105 pounds. He lived a good life, roamed free on my seven acres of pond, sagebrush, and aspens. He loved going for rides in the car, and waited patiently for hours while I photographed something, or nothing. He barked at bears in my yard but never at 399 or other bears in the Park. He knew the difference.

Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and the time had come to let his body go and his spirit fly.

There are many dogs in our lives. Mostly we are blessed with each and every one of them. I am of course biased and know there will never be another Wilson in my life. I love him. I always will.

Tom Mangelsen is one the of world’s premiere nature and wildlife photographers. He has traveled all over the world capturing breath-taking images of this beautiful world. To discover the world of Tom Mangelsen, visit his work at www.mangelsen.com.

Wilson’s Wish Comparative Oncology Project

Comparative oncology research, the study of similar cancers in dogs, cats, and humans, may provide not only effective cutting-edge promise for our beloved dogs and cats, but these successful results could provide expedited FDA approvals for human trials.