BY TAMARA FOREMAN
A dog bakery started by Tracy teen Abbi Hickman brings more than just happiness to the area’s canine residents, it also offers hope to Abbi’s sister and others who suffer from similar nervous system disorders.
Madee’s dog bakery was founded in 2017 by Abbi Hickman with only $200 and big plans — to help her family pay for the mounting medical bills for her sister Madee. When Madee was 10 she became very ill. In the beginning doctors were unable to find what was causing her symptoms and Madee said she was often told that she was “faking it” because they could not find anything wrong with her. She looked like a normal healthy child on the outside but on the inside her body was in torment.
Madee was eventually flown to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Rochester while she was being treated. While at Mayo Clinic, Madee was given her first diagnosis of POTS — Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome — along with Dysautonomia, Ehlers-Danlos and Mast Cell Activation Disorder. These nervous system, immune and connective tissue disorders often cause Madee to suffer from migraines, brain fog, joint pain, fatigue and more.
Madee now travels to Colorado Children’s Hospital in Aurora once a month for continued care.
Abbi, who is the founder and CEO of Abbi’s Pins for Pets through her local animal shelter, decided to take her love of helping animals and her desire to help her sister in a new direction by starting Madee’s Dog Bakery (You Lick it You Buy it).
Abbi and Madee starting selling the dog treats at local farmers markets.
“At one of their events, a gentleman approached them and told them they should make beer grain dog treats with spent grain, so along came Tipsy Pooch dog treats,” said Sunee Hickman, the girls’ mother.
While in Colorado they found a small family-owned brewery to help with the washed grain. The Hickman family takes the grain from the brewery and delivers it themselves to manufacturer.
The Hickman girls have come along way and have many products that are sold at locations across the West, including the beer grain dog treats, organic dog soap, paw wax and bake-your-own peanut butter doggy cookies. This year they plan to introduce banana dog treats.
Proceeds from the sales of Madee’s dog treats help with medical bills, go towards POTS research and support the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester.
For more information about the dog bakery and Madee’s story go to www.YouLickitYouBuyit.com.