Maddie was a beloved Miniature Schnauzer whose unconditional love, devotion, loyalty and spirit inspired her guardians to start a charitable foundation, Maddie's Fund®, in her name. Dave and Cheryl Duffield fell head-over-heels for Maddie when she was only ten days old. "We held her in our arms, and loved her immediately," says Dave. "Maddie melted our hearts from the first second we saw her," adds Cheryl, "with her sweet ways, her stubbornness, her independence, her intelligence, her spirit, and her devotion."
Dave, Cheryl and Maddie shared ten memorable and happy years together. Dave remembers one particularly good day during the formation of his company, PeopleSoft. Playing with Maddie, he picked her up and made the following promise: "If we ever make some money, I promise we will give it back to you and your kind so others can be as happy as we are today."
Dave and Cheryl are fulfilling their promise to Maddie. They have endowed Maddie's Fund with more than $300 million and have spent $118 million through FY 2011-12 to save dog and cat lives. In their lifetime, Dave and Cheryl have given more of their personal wealth to the animal welfare cause than any other individuals. And although they don't want to make a big fuss over their unprecedented contribution, they do want to honor their cherished companion and the special bond they shared with her.
Animal lovers can understand this sentiment. More and more of us view our companion animals as family, giving them the same care and tenderness we provide our two-legged family members. Our pets enrich our lives with their unconditional devotion to us. They enhance our lives with their stability, love and companionship. The rewards of animal companionship are immeasurable. Maddie inspired Dave and Cheryl to give generously to help save homeless pets in desperate need of love and care. Thanks to the dog with the indomitable spirit, shelter pets are afforded new opportunities to find compassionate homes in which they, too, may share in the joy, love and companionship that Dave and Cheryl enjoyed with Maddie.
On behalf of all sheltered dogs and cats, we give thanks to Maddie, whose spirit lives on through the lives her memorable gift has touched.
More information about Maddie, and Maddie's Fund, can be found at the Maddie's Fund website.