My girl Millie was unbelievably affectionate and intelligent, when we walked through the door after being out for a while, she would bounce around as if she had springs in her paws, jumping up very high so I could catch her and almost nurse her like a baby. The only thing wrong with that was she couldn’t hold her bladder very well, so she would dribble a little. I found this out to my cost during a trick we discovered she could perform.
As I said, she would follow me everywhere, at one point even sitting outside the toilet door. It’s important that you know Millie could jump like a gazelle, I’m not exaggerating when I say she could leap to around 6 foot. I’m nearly 6-4 and she got into the habit of jumping on my back and clinging on as I walked around the house. One day I took it one step further and decided to walk upstairs with her on my back just to see if she’d stay there or jump off. She stayed there, hugging my back like a furry backpack, up and down the stairs we’d go with her tongue brushing my ear accompanied by her excited panting and yes, you guessed it, she dribbled a little bit. Yes, Millie had quite a character and actually pushed in between me and my wife so she could snuggle up for the night. However, she grew pretty big during her 1st year so she was relegated to the bottom of the bed and eventually her own bed by the side of ours.
She was a bundle of loving fun for years, loved playing with children and making a cheeky nuisance of herself. In 2016 she came on an adventure with me, my wife, my son and my eldest grandson for a trek over a beautiful, rural part of the Peak District. She stuck by my Grandson as he found rocks to climb over and caves to explore. The terribly smelly thing was Millie had a knack of finding Fox droppings and gleefully rolling in it. She smelt the car out all the way back home, panting away, happy as a dog in Fox shit!! So the first port of call for her was a nice clean bath, which she wasn’t fond of. It was during her bath that we noticed a lump on one of her breasts. It was to late at night to take her to the vet and she didn’t appear to be bothered by it when we touched it so we resolved to take her to the vet the first thing in the morning.
In the morning it had visibly grown in size, so off to the vet we sped. The vet said the dreaded C word and gave us options. The option we chose was for the vet to attempt to take it away through surgery. we went around the family because it was very expensive but we didn’t care, we just wanted her well. She was in the vets for 3 days, didn’t eat anything they offered her and reluctantly left her cage to relieve herself. When she saw myself and my wife walk through the door to pick her up, the happiness was tangible in her face and in her tail, which rattled an indiscriminately fast tune on the cage bars. When we arrived home with her she pulled to get into the house and gently laid on the settee. She was home.
The sad thing was that despite the suffering she went through after the operation, we couldn’t beat that bloody disease. We tried helplessly to put some of her old vitality back into her but we could see she had no fight left in her.
On the day she left us we held her together whilst the light left her eyes.
We couldn’t drive away from the vets surgery for quite a while until I could drive safely.
It still makes me feel empty when I think of that day but I also smile and remember what she gave to us as one of the family.
Still love her. Still miss her.