Introduction—How a Great Dane is Related to a Canary

Photo Source: Anonymous family's collection

Layla and Mojo

When a Miami, Oklahoma family moved to their current home their female great dane, Layla, was one-and-½. She soon developed what is known as cherry-eye.

Layla’s veterinarian noted she was the first giant breed dog he had ever seen with cherry-eye.  He explained that the condition has to do with the lymph gland which is located under the eye in dogs and is an indication of an overload of toxins or severe allergies.  

The family soon purchased a male Great Dane puppy, Mojo.  He also developed cherry-eye and at a much earlier age which concerned the family and the dog's veterinarian.

Mojo was later diagnosed with lymphoma the week of his third birthday and has since died.

An NEO A&M College instructor who also works for OK Department of Environmental Quality commented to the family, "Your danes are your canaries in the coal mine—just as canaries are more sensitive to gases in the coal mine, your pets are more sensitive to something in your environment and you need to figure out what is causing your pets to become ill."

The black dots on the map to the right are markers for locations in and around Miami for ongoing testing of Tar Creek for contamination. 

After mining deposits played out in the 1970's, the Picher mining area was abandoned and is now a superfund siteSurface water and bed sediments have been noted to be widely contaminated by iron, zinc, and other metals.

There have been many studies conducted regarding the Superfund site and research is ongoing.

Note: The black dot on the map labeled Tar Creek at 22nd Street is three blocks west and two blocks north of Layla's home.

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Source:  Governor Frank Keating's Task Force Report


Source:  Governor Frank Keating's Task Force Report

The main source of baseflow of streams in the area is the Boone Chert of Mississippian age.  It is also the surficial aquifer.

The rock to the left is an example of the cherty dolomite from the Boone Chert that was host rock of most of the mined ores. 

Interesting Fact

This mining district was known as The Hay Capital of the World prior to mining of the area.

Source: Christenson, USGS Report

The objective of our group project is to pinpoint some correlations between the location of mining contamination sources and concentrations of minerals and metals in public wells within the Superfund site by the use of our maps and compiled statistics.

We plan to provide background information regarding the superfund site first and are hopeful you will find the results of our efforts helpful (and at a minimum increase your awareness of this complex dilemma).





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