Saturday, February 28, 2009

My Millie

It has been scheduled.....the last moments that I will spend with my dog Millie.....I'm so heartbroken. Here is our story.

One Sunday in March 1998, my then fiance Randy and I got into a fight - over what, I don't know...who knows - what did we have to fight about before children? Back then when we would get into a fight I would go for a drive, I don't do that now because it would require loading up the kids, probably have to stop at McDonald's for a snack, and I would have to listen to them fight over what they wanted to listen to on the not as relaxing as it once was! ha!

Anyway, I went for a drive and ended up at the local humane society. I wandered through the rooms looking at the animals and they were all barking, jumping, and saying "look at me, look at me" - very heartbreaking. I turned a corner in one room and there was this silky white dog with a little bit of black and brown on her face just sitting in the middle of her cage with her head cocked to the side as if she was saying "Hello". My heart melted, I could tell right away that she was a sweet dog and when I read her information she was a year and 3 months, good with kids, other dogs, etc., and was given up because she wouldn't hunt? Well, I didn't need a hunting I took her for a walk, played with her for a bit, and fell in love.

We had a Great Dane at the time and before they would let me adopt her, we had to do a meet and greet with the two dogs. Our Great Dane was not easy to get along with and I worried that she wouldn't get along with this dog, amazingly enough she did. The two of them would grow to be great buddies and would play for hours together.

This dogs name at the shelter was Millie and I just liked it, so I kept it for her. I can't imagine her as anything else but Millie. She is an English Setter mix and has been a wonderful addition to our whole family.

When my grandmother was alive, I would take Millie over there and my grandma would just pet her and love her - Millie is very gentle. In the 11 years we have had her, she's never bared her teeth, growled, or anything along those lines.

My mom, who is not a pet person, loves Millie, and so does my dad. They just think she's the perfect dog. We had to live with them for a few days between selling/buying our first and second homes and I would come home to find Millie down at the lake with my dad - both of them just as happy as could be!

When the children were born, she never bothered their toys or them for that matter. She would quietly sit in the room with me while I fed them, as they got older she would wait under their highchairs knowing that they would eventually drop something for her.

In the past few years, Millie has slowed down, and the past 6 months - her health has been getting worse and worse. This fall she had a seizure in front of my husband and we thought she had died, we changed her food, I even cooked for her for awhile.....but she's had others since then. She is unable to control her bowels anymore, and I know it embarrasses her. She's having difficulty getting up and down the two little steps it takes for her to go outside. And now that she's 12, the veterinarians are telling us, there's not much that can be done for her.

We are trying to prepare the children for this, I read them the Rainbow Bridge story last night and could barely make it through without sobbing. I told them that we are going to write stories about her and draw pictures for her. And we will pick out a memorial for her to put in our yard, maybe a little bench or something to put in the garden where she would shake and whimper every time she saw a bunny or a squirrel.

Little did I know that almost 11 years ago I would meet the sweetest, most lovable dog in the world and that she would save me more than I saved her. I thank God everyday for the blessings in my life, and that includes Millie, and always will.


heresthediehl said...

I'm so sorry - such a rough thing for all of you (and the kids, especially!) to go through.

some friends of ours here had to put their dog to sleep last week, and they made a memory stone with her before she passed away. They got it at Michael's - it's a kit where they put the dog's paw print in the middle, and then there were little buttons to put the kids' pictures with the dog (and they were somehow weatherproof). Might be something to check out?

Cari said...

What a lovely tribute to Millie. Losing a pet certainly is hard. My heart goes out to your family.