If you asked child star Madison Davenport if she believes in fate she would most likely reveal a wide grin and nod her head with an affectionate smile. The truth is that her dog, a Labrador Retriever who she tenderly calls “my Maggie,” found the Davenports one magical day – a day that would change Madison’s life forever. “When we lived in Texas we found her on our front porch and she had mange all over her back and she didn’t have any hair,” Davenport said looking into her canine sister’s eyes. Now, as fate would have it, their relationship has grown so strong that Maggie has become something of a protector for Davenport. “Maggie is there whenever I’m scared she’s like my little guardian – she just makes me feel a whole lot better.”
Davenport, who stars in the family summer hit, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl, is a genuine Labrador fanatic. Not only would she classify herself as a Lab, but she said if her Oscar-nominated costar Abigail Breslin was a dog, she too would be a fetching Fetriever. “Abigail Breslin would definitely be a Labrador because she’s really nice and she’s very sweet and Labradors are very faithful and she’s just like that. Oh, and she’s very laid back too.” And while there were no Labradors on set, Davenport did get her animal fix working with a Basset Hound who was adorable, but had a bit of a coordination problem. “She had really short little legs and really long ears and she would step on her ears and couldn’t move. She’d just stand there and look for help!”
If Davenport was in charge of casting for Kit Kittredge, there would have been a few changes in the film to accommodate her relationship with Maggie. “I would have definitely cast [Maggie] as Kit…that’s just me. I mean look at her, her ears could definitely be a bob cut.” On second reflection, Davenport decided to keep canine actors in canine roles. “I think I’d make there be, instead of a Basset Hound, I’d make there be a Labrador because Maggie would be the perfect partner. It would work perfectly, well, if she had short little legs … maybe.”
When Davenport is not working (she just recently finished filming for ER’s final season) she makes time to train Maggie. Davenport has taught Maggie to sit, shake and rollover, but perhaps Maggie’s best trick is giving Davenport comfort when she needs it the most. “The other night I watched a scary movie, so I was freaked out so I said ‘Maggie come here I need you!’” And as a true friend would, Maggie came to Davenport’s rescue like the day she appeared on the Davenport’s doorstep in Texas years ago.