Landenberg teenager already making her mark
By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw, Staff Writer
Bob Bowe has owned and operated the Hockessin Kennel -- now the Landenberg Pet Resort -- since 1993, and in any given week throughout the year, the kennel is filled to capacity with a wide variety of dogs.
Throughout her life, 16-year-old Madison Bowe has looked at the Pet Resort -- tucked down in the valley of their property, but still visible from the family home -- as not only her father's livelihood, but practically an extension of her soul.
From the time she was old enough to walk, Madison remembers always having a pet dog, a continuous love affair that now extends to her two Cavalier King Charles pets Piper and Amelia; and her two-year-old Bernese Mountain Labrador mix, Memphis.
"I'm the type of person who has to turn the channel on the television when a sad dog commercial comes on," Madison said.
So it was to no one's great surprise -- least of all her father Bob and mother Karen -- when Madison came up with the idea to bake and sell doggie treats at the Landenberg Pet Resort's tent at this year's Kennett Square Mushroom Festival. Combining her love for cooking with her need to help abandoned dogs, she and Karen baked hundreds of treats over the course of a few days.
At the festival, the treats -- affectionately named "Woofin' Good Biscuits" -- sold like hot cakes, and all proceeds from their sale were presented in a check for $195 to the Chester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"I can't think about a dog that doesn't have a family, so when everything fell into place to have a table set up at the Mushroom Festival, and the opportunity to raise money to help these dogs, I thought it should go to a cause I am passionate about," she said. "I saw it as an opportunity to help these animals and the people who care for them."
In many ways, Madison has come to look at the Landenberg Pet Resort as one of several classrooms of influence in her young life, one that melds perfectly with her experiences at Kennett High School, where she is a junior. In addition to her classes, she is a member of the school's Academic Team and Mock Trial, is a pitcher on the school's softball team, and is also involved in the school's Humanitarian Club. As part of her work with the Humanitarian Club, she has assisted with the B+ Foundation, volunteered at the Kennett Area Senior Center, and donates her time with the KAU Little League, where she held a pitching clinic for youngsters and helped coach one of the 10 U softball teams. Madison also donates time each summer with the Safety Town Program.
"Being at Kennett High School has taught me to be thankful for what I've been given in life, and exposes its students to the larger world," she said. "Because it's a very diverse school, it teaches us the idea that everyone is to be accepted."
After she leaves Kennett High School, Madison would like to extend the work she's doing now, "in order to help others," she said. She would like to pursue neurocognitive science and psychology in college, but is also interested in law. Ideally, her chief interest will be to conduct cognitive research in the field of brain disorders. It's a selfless dedication that runs in the Bowe family: Madison's sister Casey is studying to be a special education teacher while attending East Stroudsburg University, and her 14-year-old brother, Aidan, is already taking an interest in giving back to the community.
"Karen and I have encouraged our children to take advantage of different opportunities presented to them, whether that is through the school system, community service, or potential work experiences. We’ve encouraged them to venture out of their comfort zone, provided them with guidance and supported their decisions," Bob said. "For the most part, each of our children have had rewarding personal experiences as a result of their desire to take chances and get involved." "If there is one thing that motivates Maddie, it's her thinking that she is not doing enough, in anything she does, whether its sports, academics, or community involvement. Maddie has it in herself to accomplish quite a bit in her life."
Whatever Madison Bowe wishes to do in life, "I want to go out in the world and take it by force," she said.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.