Location: Kansas City, MO
Type: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog / Border Collie mix
I lost my husband and my beloved adopted red Doberman, Zoe, within two months of one another in 2007. We also have a now elderly miniature dachshund, Louie, who is 14 years old. He has grieved these losses, and has aged considerably since his “daddy” and Zoe left us. I finally decided to find and adopt an adult female miniature dachshund to keep Louie company, thinking this might help him out of his depression. I went to one of the local shelters (the best one in the KC area!) specifically to meet a particular female dachshund. Unfortunately, as sometimes happens, the chemistry was just not right.
However, while I was there I had this feeling of being stared at. I looked to my side, and there was this dog, staring at me but not moving at all. Our eyes locked, the hair stood up on my arms, and I got that same feeling I had the instant I met my Doberman 11 years earlier. I did not move to touch the dog; he did not move toward me. I did not say a word to him; he spoke to me with his eyes: “Hi. I remember you!” I left the shelter, but I could not get him out of my mind. I made the decision to trust my instincts, just as I had with Zoe, and a few days later I phoned the shelter and simply said, “I want to adopt Milo.” I knew nothing about him. I just somehow knew this was the right companion for me in my older years. It has turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Milo had had a lot of obedience training. He was “calm/submissive” but not shy and afraid. He obeys many commands, and within three hours of having him home with me I had taught him to “high five.” He is so very intelligent, and loves to learn. As I have learned more about his mixed breeds, I now understand why he follows me from room to room and has to be lying at my side at all times. It’s a GSMD/Border Collie thing. And then there is the “Milo stare.” I feel as though he can see into my soul. He communicates everything with those eyes. He calmly stares and waits to do whatever I want him to do. He is the perfect canine companion for a woman of my age, and I feel so fortunate to have found him . . . or rather . . . that he found me. I went searching for a small, short-haired, female dog who wouldn’t shed a lot. I now have a large-and-still-growing, longer-haired, neutered male, who only sheds twice a year–the first six months and the second six months!! But it is all worth it. He wears a tag on his collar: “I rescued a human.” That says it all!
As anyone can see who looks at Milo’s photos, he is very photogenic. He will “pose” for a picture. All he needs to hear is “Milo, are you handsome?” and he pricks up his ears, cocks his head a little to one side and stares directly into the camera lens. My vet and other dog experts I know have all suggested that Milo would be a perfect therapy dog. Milo has given me a new lease on life . . . a new purpose. His becoming a therapy dog will not only be a healing experience for all those we visit, but this is also such a healing experience for me.
My grieving the loss of my husband and my Doberman has taken a new turn. Because of Milo, I have begun to celebrate their lives and dwell less on my own loss. Unfortunately, I don’t have much biographical information about Milo. I do know, and it is obvious, that he has always lived in a home. At the shelter he was not kenneled, he hung around the office. The shelter people told me they got him from a soldier who had been deployed to Iraq and could not keep Milo. Bless that soldier wherever he or she may be, and rest assured that your Milo is so very loved, well-cared for, and appreciated every day.
Milo the Model – I’ll pose for you!!