The Super Bowl is on Sunday, a must-see for everyone in the country, football fans or not. Besides the game itself, there’s plenty of fun stuff to look forward to, including the commercials.
Airing as part of the year’s most-watched TV event, the ads are famously expensive—they’re mostly from major companies and brands who hire big celebrities to help stand out.
But one commercial set to air in Sunday’s game and sure to get everyone talking is something very different: it’s a tribute to the researchers and medical professionals who saved a dog’s life.
Scout is a 7-year-old golden retriever owned by David MacNeil, the founder and CEO of WeatherTech. Scout serves as the company’s “unofficial mascot,” and gained fame when he starred in WeatherTech’s Super Bowl spot last year:
But last summer, things took a tragic turn. Scout collapsed, and an ultrasound revealed a tumor on the dog’s heart. He was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, a cancer of the blood vessel walls… and only given a month to live.
MacNeil was devastated. He had already lost three of his dogs to cancer, and now he was faced with losing Scout… but he wasn’t ready to give up.
“There he was in this little room, standing in the corner… and he’s wagging his tail at me. I’m like, ‘I’m not putting that dog down. There’s just absolutely no way,” MacNeil told NBC News.
He brought Scout to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, who believed the dog could recover with the right treatment.
“Specialists with the emergency and critical care and oncology teams stabilized Scout’s condition and arrived at a cutting-edge treatment plan,” a release by the University of Wisconsin explained.
In July, Scout began receiving chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the university. He was being cared for by the top people in the field: the UW oncologists are “world-renowned for advancing clinical treatments for dogs and cats with cancer.”
The treatments proved to be miraculous: Scout’s heart tumor shrank, and today is practically non-existent.
“Scout is kind of the perfect patient in that he’s tolerated multiple modes of therapy very well, his primary tumor has responded beautifully to treatment, and we’ve been able to maintain his quality of life at a very high level,” said David Vail, professor of comparative oncology at the School of Veterinary Medicine.
“At the end of the day, Scout’s quality of life is his family’s most important concern, as it is ours.”
Scout has made a miraculous recovery, especially considering the near death sentence he received months ago.
MacNeil was so grateful to the university for saving his pet’s life that he thanked them in the biggest possible way: with a Super Bowl ad!
The 30-second spot titled “Lucky Dog” will air in the second quarter of Sunday’s game.
The ad is narrated by Scout, who tells viewers he’s a “lucky dog” who overcame his 1% chance of survival thanks to the Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine’s treatments. The ad ends with the dog encouraging people to donate to the veterinary school so they can continue their fight against canine cancer.
“We wanted to use the biggest stage possible to highlight Scout’s story and these incredible breakthroughs, which are not just limited to helping dogs and pets,” MacNeil said.
Tumors in dogs are very similar to those found humans, so medical breakthroughs by the veterinarians could end up helping to save human lives, in addition to keeping our pets around longer.
Scout really is a “lucky dog”! We can’t wait to see him reach millions of viewers on Sunday, hopefully bringing more attention and donations to this great program.
What an incredible way to thank these veterinarians! Share this inspiring story!