Movie Star Lives the Good Life on a North Dakota Farm – Agweek
When I travel for interviews and cover agricultural events, two of the most common questions asked by people I meet are “How is Ellen?” quickly followed with “How’s Rosebud?”
I am happy to report that my daughter and her golden retriever are healthy and happy. Ellen, who was 5 and in kindergarten when she was diagnosed with leukemia in 2008, is now a 19-year-old sophomore majoring in early childhood education. Rosebud, a pup who had starred in the movie “Santa Buddies,” which Ellen saw filming near Vancouver, B.C., as her wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota Experience, turned 14 years old in early August and enjoying the life of a North Dakota farm dog.
Like many dogs, Rosebud loves rolling in stuff – the stinkier the better – along gravel roads, dashing around the garden to check out what veggies she can grab, and grabbing food that Casey and Nova, our other two golden retrievers, shoot at the kitchen counter when we’re not looking.
Rosebud, according to the American Kennel Club, at age 14 would be 88 in human years and beat the odds on her life expectancy, which is 10 to 12 years. She, like her owner, was diagnosed with cancer and, like her owner, faced it with spirit and a positive attitude and survived it.
Ellen and Rosebud, in addition to going about their daily lives, continue to advocate for children with cancer or other life-threatening health conditions, through their volunteer work with Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota.
Over the years, the two have made television appearances, participated in fundraisers and attended schools on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Dakota. Elsewhere, Ellen has hosted fundraisers, hosted a virtual benefit, and done newspaper interviews about her wish, all with guest appearances from Rosebud.
Rosebud, a mix of a spitfire who defended her toys from her puppy brothers the morning Ellen met her on the set of Santa Buddies and then nestled in her lap during the afternoon, has the same personality. than an elderly person she had in her youth.
Rosebud’s white muzzle and occasional stiffness are a reminder that she’s stood up over the years, but she still spins in dizzying circles when she sees her dish of food, gallops up to Ellen when she calls her name, and won’t back down. not if one of our other dogs tries to steal a treat.
Best of all, she remains a loyal and loving companion to Ellen, wagging her tail and barking when she sees Ellen walking down the aisle after a run, and snuggling up to her on the couch when Ellen is reading or watching TV.
Fourteen years ago, when Santa Buddies producer Anna McRoberts gave Rosebud to Ellen, my prayer was that they would both live long and healthy lives. Our family is blessed that Ellen is on the right track to do so and Rosebud has already done so.
I think one of the reasons Ellen and Rosebud thrived was because they grew up on a farm doing what the kids and dogs on it do: run, play, and get dirty. While not allowing them – at least when we knew it – to do anything dangerous, we didn’t try to bubble wrap them to keep them safe, but instead encouraged them to do things normal for children and dogs.
I’m realistic enough to know that at her age, Rosebud’s health could deteriorate rapidly and her days on earth are limited. But rather than worrying and dreading that day, I cherish every moment that she and Ellen spend time together and keep them happy enjoying each other’s company deep in my heart where she will always live.
In the meantime, life on the farm is the good life for both of them.
Ann Bailey lives on a farm near Larimore, ND that has been in her family since 1911. You can reach her at 218-779-8093 or [email protected]