Millie – The Dog Nobody Wanted

Millie is the dog that nobody wanted; her owner had a 2-year-old child; a 4-year-old child; and was pregnant. For Christmas of 1999, they got a border collie puppy, beautiful chestnut color. When I first saw her, she was a 16-month-old big, gallumping puppy who had run a path raw around the yard in her owner’s back yard. They GAVE her to us–along with her crate, her ball, her tie-out stake (which I threw away). My other dog, who had been with us since he was 8 weeks old and was now three years old, went and crawled under the dashboard to get away from her. She was AWFUL. No manners at all. She pulled drapes off the sliding glass doors–twice. She stole food from the table. My cat lived behind the dresser for three months. (“Is she good with cats?” “Oh, yes, she’s fine.” They really did want her to go). Everyone thought she was beautiful; everyone was appalled at her behavior. Nobody wanted her! But, she was so sweet. I worked with her–taught her that “Millie, come!” did not mean, “turn and run as fast as you can.” She learned to sit to be petted. She works a room like a politician–going from one person to another to get a pat on the head.

Millie is now ten years old, and she is certified as a therapy dog and a service dog. She is a service dog for me, as I had a bad foot injury as a result of aftercare of plain old bunion surgery. Tomorrow she has a surgery of her own to remove a mass from her abdomen. It tested benign, and I pray the tests are right. I know that I have fewer years left with her than I have had already, but I pray that there are many more ahead. She is my heart. The dog nobody wanted is now the dog about whom everyone says, “I wish MY dog behaved like that.” Literally, people stop their cars, get out, and ask how we get our dogs to behave so well.

There are no bad dogs, I know. But, Millie is my heart–and I love her. Because she knows you can lose a home, I believe she appreciates the home she found. Everyone should be so fortunate as to have a dog like Millie at least once in their life.

— Jana from Raleigh, NC