Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.

As the owner and medical director of Mont Clare Animal Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Richard Green, DVM has worked with thousands of animals during his career. But once in a while, one steals his heart like Maddie, his 12-year-old Golden Retriever, did.

Dr. Green and Maddie have been inseparable since he adopted her as a puppy. Maddie had developed parvo and was returned to her breeder, one of Dr. Green’s clients. Maddie stayed with Dr. Green while he treated her. By the time Maddie was well, Dr. Green had fallen in love with her. “She is just the sweetest thing. They’re all sweet, but we bonded,” he says. The breeder agreed to let the vet keep Maddie as his own.

Before Maddie would be an official member of the household, however, Dr. Green had to convince his wife, Willie, that another dog was a good idea. The family already had a Bernese Mountain Dog, Bud, whom they doted on.

So Dr. Green devised a plan. He first introduced Maddie to the couple’s then 6-year-old son, Clinton, and let him play with the Golden Retriever pup. Once Dr. Green had his son’s buy-in, he knew Willie wouldn’t be able to resist. He was right, so Maddie stayed.

From that moment on, Maddie went with Dr. Green everywhere, including work each day. “She’d even go with me to lunch,” he says.

Dog on the Course

An enthusiastic golfer, Dr. Green would bring Maddie with him when he played. The vet says the private club he belongs to has a course dog, so members weren’t averse to Maddie’s presence. In fact, on the rare occasion they would run into other golfers, “they’d call to her and she’d go over and say hi,” he says. “Everyone knows her!” The vet says Maddie loved chasing him all around the course while he played 18 holes. “She’d run … and I’d ride in the cart.”  

Sadly, Maddie and Dr. Green haven’t been golfing together for a while. Two years ago, she developed lymphosarcoma. Dr. Green helped Maddie through two rounds of treatment, and the Golden is now in remission. “She’s perfect, great!” Dr. Green says.

“Her back legs are wobbly, so I have to help her up and down the stairs. What used to take me 30 seconds now takes me a few minutes,” Dr. Green says. But he doesn’t mind. He’s happy to do what it takes to keep his beloved Maddie by his side.

What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.