Live Like Maddie 2023

A fundraising event for Dumb Friends League

Event Information

8:00am Saturday, October 07, 2023

Welcome to Live Like Maddie 2023! 

Live Like Maddie 2022 was a resounding success! We set the goal of raising $10,000 for the Denver Dumb Friends League and we just missed $13,000. Over 50 people and their dogs attended the event in August, 2022 and spent a beautiful summer morning celebrating all of our dogs, past and present, and honoring the memory of Maddie. Numerous local businesses, including my clinic, Animal Dental Care and Oral Surgery, served as sponsors for the event. More than anything, so many individuals made personal donations that allowed us to make such a huge impact.

Denver Dumb Friends League spends at least $500 on each dog that comes through their shelter and is placed in their forever home. That means that our first Live Like Maddie charity hike saved at least 25 dogs! Our goal for Live Like Maddie 2023 will be $15,000 and will save 30 dogs or more!  

In 2014 we adopted our once in a lifetime dog, Maddie Maeve, from The Dumb Friends League in Denver, Colorado. Maddie was abandoned after she was hit by a car and then rescued by The Dumb Friends League. She had terrible injuries. Left untreated she would have surely died, but The Dumb Friends League veterinary team performed emergency surgery and nursed her back to health.

I’m a veterinary dentist and I had a friend, Casey, who was a veterinarian on The Dumb Friends League staff at the time Maddie was rescued. He knew my family was looking to adopt another dog. We had recently let go of our much-loved German Shorthair Pointer, Grace, who had severe liver disease. Casey introduced us to Maddie, and we all fell in love with her the moment we met.

We could say we rescued Maddie, but in so many ways she rescued us. She fell into our family life from day #1. She simply loved being with us and taught us so many lessons of life. Maddie loved yesterday, was totally excited about today and did not give tomorrow a worry. She greeted me at the side of the bed each morning with a wet nose to my face and her ever-wagging tail going full speed. She loved each day with us like it was the greatest day ever. I want to live like Maddie.

Maddie loved to go hiking with us in the mountains of Colorado. She knew the sound of my backpack being zipped shut and that it was her signal to get ready to head for the hills. She summited 7 Colorado 14ers and countless other peaks and made friends on every mountaintop. I want to live like Maddie.

Maddie went to work with me almost every day at my veterinary clinic. She greeted my staff each morning like they were long lost and much-loved friends she hadn’t seen for years. Maddie went almost everywhere with my family. When planning vacations my children would first ask, “Can Maddie come with us?” She was such an endearing dog and made friends everywhere she went. Shouldn’t we all want to live like Maddie?

We let go of our Maddie on August 25, 2020, when she became suddenly ill from a tumor that was growing on the base of her heart. We were utterly crushed, but we knew that each day we had with Maddie was a precious gift. I mourned her deeply over the following year and beyond. On the one-year anniversary of her death I knew I wanted to do something to commemorate our once in a lifetime dog and give back to the amazing Dumb Friends League. I decided to organize an annual charity hike with all donations going to The Dumb Friends League in Denver and Live Like Maddie was born.

Live Like Maddie 2023! is not just about our wonderful dog. It’s about all of our dogs, past and present, that take up residence in our hearts and make us better humans. It’s about all of the dogs that have helped us get through the roughest of times and have made the good times even better. Live Like Maddie 2023! is about the dogs and cats and the people of The Dumb Friends League who have rescued so many pets and placed them in their forever homes.

Please join us for Live Like Maddie 2023! on Saturday, October 7 at 8 a.m. at the Fox Run Regional Park in Colorado Springs. Also, please consider making a donation. It will help other dogs and people to have the chance to Live Like Maddie!

All my best,


Patrick Vall 

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