Every Dog Matters – Madeline, Hero #319
Morris Animal Foundation appreciates the commitment made by our study participants, and we want to honor and recognize that commitment. Each month, we’ll share their stories and learn about the families and veterinarians who care for them. This month, meet Madeline, Hero Dog #319.
Dr. Ashley Barnes is both the owner of and veterinarian for her golden retriever, Madeline. As a veterinarian, Ashley learned early on about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. In fact, she had to wait until Madeline was 6 months old after her eager first attempt to enroll her at just 8 weeks.
Ashley has spent her entire life growing up with golden retrievers. Her first dog passed away from lung cancer at 13, her second dog from nasal cancer at 15, and her last dog, Karly, from lymphoma at 14. Although Ashley witnesses the hardships of dogs on a daily basis at work, it was the dogs in her personal life that shaped her enthusiasm for the study.
“I really want to do whatever I can to help prevent this breed from having so much cancer,” said Ashley. “It is such a valuable study not only for the breed, but also the individual dogs.”
Ashley now enjoys the company of her quirky dog, nicknamed Maddie, her cat, Frankie, and their ‘half-sister,’ another golden retriever named Callie, who happens to be Ashley’s parents’ dog.
“Maddie is constantly in motion,” said Ashley, who notes that Maddie is the highest-energy golden retriever she has ever owned. Despite the hustle and bustle of the day, which often includes going to work with her owner, Maddie still wants to play.
“Stair ball,” said Ashley. “It’s when I sit on the couch and throw the ball upstairs – she runs up, gets it, and brings it back.”
The game is often played at night, when Ashley is too tired to run around. Even after exhausting Maddie’s energy, Ashley always wakes up to find her excited pup ready for yet another day of fun.
Thank you, Ashley and Maddie, for your commitment to the study. Every participant in the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, human and dog, matters!