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Morris Animal Foundation appreciates the commitment made by our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study veterinarians, and we want to honor and recognize that commitment by introducing a few of our study veterinarians. This month, meet Dr. Stephanie Ensley of Sugar Creek Animal Hospital, Bentonville, Arkansas.

Dr. Stephanie Ensley is a study veterinarian for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study and dedicated supporter of Morris Animal Foundation. Since getting involved in the study in February 2012, Dr. Ensley has been essential in fostering enthusiasm and hope in the golden retriever community.

This October, Dr. Ensley partnered up with several study participant families in her area to host the first ever Northwest Arkansas Gathering of the Gold.

“The idea for this gathering grew out of discussion on the long drive back from the 3,000 celebration in Colorado last year,” said Dr. Ensley. “We did not have any big gathering in our area, so why not give it a go?”

The weekend-long event boasted an assortment of fun-filled activities including an Oktoberfest-style picnic lunch, Yappy Hour, a BBQ dinner, and a golden retriever parade in downtown Bentonville. When asked what her favorite part of the weekend was, Dr. Ensley responded, “so hard to say.” Wherever they went, “the 28 goldens made a spectacular statement.”

The parade in particular stood out as a memorable moment, for it was the idea of joining the parade that inspired Dr. Ensley to organize the event as a whole. “I thought this would be a good way to show off the study in a public venue and include people who either wanted to be in the study but could not or just wanted to have some fun,” said Dr. Ensley.

Not only did several supporters show up, but some people at the parade even made donations when they found out why the crowd of golden retrievers was there. Although not intended as a fundraising event, Dr. Ensley and the Northwest Arkansas Gathering of The Gold raised just over $200 for the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, and they had a lot of fun in the process.

Thank you, Dr. Ensley, for your commitment to the study. Every veterinarian in the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study matters!