Nov. 7 has been named National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day, and it's a day to educate and create awareness of canine lymphoma. Only when we are armed with knowledge can we make quality decisions on behalf of our best friend.

This is the first year for the National Holiday, which was submitted by Terry Simons, a well-respected and popular dog agility trainer and competitor who lost his best friend Reveille to lymphoma in 2011, according to National Day Calendar. While Simons had been lucky enough to share his life with several amazing dogs, Reveille was his "heart and soul" and he was devastated at losing his dog.

Motivated by the need to educate himself and also to limit anyone else going through the agony he did when losing Reveille, Simons has started CLEAR (Canine Lymphoma Education Awareness and Research), a 501(C)3 non-profit dedicated to increasing the awareness and understanding of canine lymphoma through clinical research, as well as arming dog owners with the knowledge of prevention and treatment of this devastating disease, Clear Canine Cancer noted

One of the most common neoplasms (tumors) in canines is lymphoma, or lymphosarcoma, which usually originates in the lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow, according to We Are the Cure. But it can be present in any tissue in the body and accounts for 7 to 24 percent of all canine neoplasia and 83 percent of all canine hematopoietic malignancies. Lymphoma is generally seen in aging dogs from middle aged to older.

Certain breeds have a higher incidence of the breed, including Boxers, Bull Mastiffs, Basset Hounds, St. Bernards, Scottish Terriers, Airedales and Bulldogs. Spayed females have a much better prognosis than their unaltered doggy friends.

Symptoms include, but are certainly not limited to, lack of appetite, weakness, lethargy and weight loss, according to Pet MD. Know your dog and habits. Early awareness is key to treatment and healing.

Arm yourself with up-to-date information on this deadly disease to ensure your canine friend is around for a very long time.