About Millie

Only God (and her parents' owners) knows the exact date in February, 2014, when baby Mill Mill and her siblings were born. I saw in an announcement for a local pet shelter that five puppies were available for adoption.  The picture online showed all of the puppies except for one. The last one was lying underneath the others. (That would be Millie.) They were cute and sparked my interest. I contacted the shelter and claimed a long haired female. Thereafter,  the feed exploded with people wanting one of the puppies, so much so, that I thought I'd lost out.
Here's the story on Millie's surrender, as told to me, by the shelter's employee and the pick up.
At the shelter, just before we exited the place. Notice
her coloring.

There was a couple who owned a Shih Tzu and a Maltese, a male and female because... that's how it works. The employee didn't know which was female or male. Unbeknownst to the owners :), the dogs mated and the couple was not prepared for six puppies. As told to me, the couple tried to care for the parents and the six puppies, but it became too much financially and too much work. The owners called the shelter to see if they could surrender five of the six puppies. The shelter said yes. Five of the puppies were surrendered at about six weeks of age and were completely covered in fleas. (I feel like this is too young to be away from their mother, but they didn't ask me.) After the surrender, the shelter treated the puppies for worms and the fleas. They were put up for adoption a week later (I think), but would not go home until they had a their first shots and were spay and neutered at 9+ weeks. They were a little over 9 weeks(they thought) when they were finally adopted out.

I met Millie at seven weeks, but was not allowed to touch her or even breathe on her. I was asked to stand in the doorway and was told the above story and shown at that time the results of her flea infestation. It was bad, folks.

Millie's first night at home. She did really well.
First night. Millie killing her first animal. 
After work on Thursday, April 10, 2014, I picked her up. She was the last of her family to be picked up that day. As I stood at the counter, signing my life away to commitment and saying goodbye to future money, there was a dog in the back literally screaming its barks.  I said aloud, "Well somebody isn't happy." A volunteer said, "That's your puppy and she isn't happy about being left behind. All of the others were picked up already," she said this with judging in her voice. When the volunteer brought her out, I was doubtful that the big mouth I'd heard from a kennel in the back belonged this tiny little puppy (3.5 pounds the Sunday after I got her home). The volunteer kept kissing "Wendy", saying her name over and over and telling me what to do and what not to do with her.  I wasn't sure that the volunteer would actually let me take her home. However, the employee who'd taken my check and had me sign paperwork went over things about "the puppy", and showed me the scabs and scars from the flea infestation and told me that she was healing fine. I picked up the wee Wendy soon to be Millie (and soon to be a changeling) and went home.

On the way home, I discovered her feisty spirit. She was not to be contained in the box I'd brought for a normal puppy to ride home in. I didn't think I would need to transport her in a crate at that point. Wrong! Please note that Millie has never been normal.

This was my life for the first six or so months. I wore a lot 
of pants that summer and my furry boots, too, to protect

my skin. 
Millie was a Tasmanian devil from the first day home and for a few months after that, attacking and biting me and others and drawing blood. She of course attacked all furniture and toys, too. Aggressive chewing was her middle name. It was not an enjoyable time. I really didn't enjoy my wee puppy until she was probably six months old. She needed LOTS of training on how to be nice, but I didn't give up on her, even though I wanted to many times. I'd read that the Shih-Tzu part of Millie is a stubborn breed and not easily potty trained. Millie is/was stubborn, but she was/is as smart as a whip, too smart. She was super easy to potty train and learned "tricks" easily, but more importantly taught me tricks. She still tries to bully me to get her own way.

April 2017. Millie's color changed from what

her colors were originally. Typical of a Shih Tzu

I am told. 
Millie is considered a designer dog, a Mal-shi, and I think she knows this. She has an underbite,like the Shih Tzu, but a longer nose more like a Maltese and has big baby seal eyes--like a baby seal. :) She's super loyal to me, scared of funny things like wind moving her hair, bugs hitting her back or weeds popping her in the butt. She hates taking walks and baths. She doesn't like crows much, but is bilingual and speaks to the outdoor cat, Kiki (now deceased at 19 years old). Millie is stubborn (did I already mention that already?), but so funny, like all the time. Like clown funny. When she finds something that will make me laugh, she does it again and again. She is not much of a snuggler. (Since I first wrote this about snuggling, she now allows me about 10 minutes per day to hold her on my lap.) Millie doesn't bark much either, only when people enter her house. When she barks her normal non-hysterical bark, Millie sounds like a muted Saint Bernard. Most of the time she is quiet.

Until this year, Millie hasn't warmed up to anyone in my family, except my daughter. After my dad passed away in March (2017), Millie has decided the family needs her therapy. She's allowed others to pet her, hold her and will sit in my mother's lap. That's Millie for you, everything on her terms and own timing.

If you haven't read them, a few posts about Millie:

As a therapy dog to my mom
Millie, a giraffe and our conversation 
Millie and Dr. Phil
Random thoughts about Millie and stuff
Millie can't control herself
More Millie Shenanigans 
Millie and Selfies


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