Realizing a ‘dream’ — literally

Madison’s Stretcher Pack is the result of a dream by its creator Trish Bartholomew.

A few weeks after her dog Madison had become ill during a snowstorm that left them unable to leave their home, Trish had a dream — as in when she was sound asleep — where a portable stretcher began to fold and unfold repeatedly before her eyes.

The idea for Madison’s Stretcher Pack was born.

Trish Bartholomew sewing a Madison’s Stretcher Pack in Sperryville. Courtesy photo

After 10 years of hard work she now has U.S. and Canadian patents in hand for the stretcher she designed and crafted. And now the well-established Rappahannock Realtor is opening a working shop in Sperryville where she will produce and sell the stretchers.

An avid hiker, Trish had met many people and their pets on the trails. If anything happened to their animals while in a remote location, how would they be able to transport them to safety?

The Madison’s Stretcher pack was the answer, she decided. It’s great to have around the home as well.

Madison’s Stretcher Pack weighs just three pounds, and when folded it’s smaller than a purse. When unfolded and put to use it can carry an animal that weighs up to 185 pounds. The stretcher is made of 1000d Cordura fabric and 12 ounce duck canvas and it and can be carried by its loop handles, or else poles or walking sticks can be inserted through the loops for a more rigid stretcher.

According to Trish, Madison’s Stretcher Pack is for those “unforeseen accidents” that can happen to our furry friends on the trail and at home. Unfortunately, accidents and illnesses do crop up and without proper equipment it can be difficult to get pets to safety and to the vet.

“I am very excited to be able to open a shop in Sperryville, which would not be possible without the grace of God, and the love and support of family and friends,” she says. “The shop will give me the opportunity to show animal lovers how the stretcher works firsthand. My goal is to help people help the animals they love.”

The Sperryville shop’s opening date will be tomorrow, Friday, May 4th, and it will be open Fridays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The address is 4 Water Street, in the same building as Wild Roots Apothecary.

Trish will be making the stretchers on site, as well as paracord dog collars.

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John McCaslin is the editor of the Rappahannock News. Email him at