Millie came to us on a gorgeous January day, just eight short months ago. She had been brought to our local animal shelter because her owner died. When we got Millie she was still in shock. We wondered if she would ever eat, bark, run, or play with our other dogs. In time, Millie did three of those.
After a few weeks, Millie was not only eating, but posturing to steal the others’ food and snacks because she always finished first. We learned to put her bowl down last, which gave Jojo, Peanut and Polly a head start. In the last week of her life, Millie wasn’t eating anything but hand-fed meatballs, and the final day not even those, so we knew the end was near.
At first, Millie didn’t bark either. Then she barked vociferously, often as part of the pack but always in the wee hours of the morning. I couldn’t get the leashes on fast enough for her at 5:30 am for their morning business trip. BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK BARK = Hurry up hurry up hurry up I gotta go! The past few mornings without Millie have been eerily quiet and we miss her in the absence of sound.
When Millie became a part of our family she tipped the scales at a marathon weight 26.2 pounds, which was probably about 6.3 pounds overweight. One day early on I was out in the yard with Millie (sans leash) and our neighbor asked if I was afraid Millie would “run off”. As if on cue, Millie went from standing to sitting and I replied, “Considering I have never seen her run, no.” She could not go on long walks with the rest of the crew so we would take Millie for 10-15 minutes at a time. But in a few short months she was huffing and puffing alongside her fellow canines on our hour+ journeys. Millie did drop those 6.3 pounds which meant an impressive reduction to a sleek 75% of her original weight, and we did see her run (on-leash).
The one thing Millie never did was play with our other dogs, no matter how hard Polly tried to get her going. She did not believe in overexertion and was more of a couch companion, our couch pugtato. She slept on the couch in the living room or on the porch (both in Oxford and in Wolfeboro) and padded back to one of our kids’ beds at night time. Everyone loved Millie, especially our kids’ friends, and could stroke her velvet coat for hours. It is highly likely that whoever invented the pillow pet grew up with pugs.
Though the vets ran numerous tests in the last week of her life, they could never find out exactly what was causing Millie to decline so rapidly. They suspect it was auto-immune. After a blood transfusion, they were able to stabilize her and we enjoyed having her home for the weekend before she died on Sunday afternoon, 10/1/17.
Good dog, Millie. We are sad you are gone but happy that you were a part of our lives even though it was unbearably short (for us). We will see you at the Rainbow Bridge, unless you have already crossed over with your first master.