Ahhh! Four years ago today I adopted Millie. That’s crazy to me. In some ways I feel like it hasn’t been that long, but it many others I simply can’t imagine my life without her.
I get a million questions about Millie so I thought I’d address them here!
1. How did you adopt Millie?
the very first photo/selfie of us together!
Senior year of collage my roommate needed to move and we ended up breaking our lease and because no one needed a roomie in the middle of October I ended up living alone. I didn’t mind it, but I also desired companionship and have always been an over-the-top animal lover so I began exploring different pet options.
For a while, I toyed with the idea of a cat or a some sort of rodent. I was still a college student and lived in New York City and had no idea where I’d be living after graduation, so I kept convincing myself a dog was impractical.
But the more I thought about other pet options, the more I yearned for a dog. Cats are fine, but I knew adopting one meant my sister who is extremely allergic could never visit me and I also know I didn’t want to deal with litter boxes or cleaning cages.
Plus, I’ve just always been a dog person. I grew up with them and always took fondly to them.
Millie’s first birthday!
After I stopped my dog-desire denial, I began the obsessive shelter website stalking. I kept looking for ‘the one.’
If you want to know the truth, I didn’t pick out Millie. After a few months of looking and visiting a few dogs that on paper looked perfect and not feeling a ‘click’ or arriving to shelters only to find out the dog I had inquired about had already been adopted, I grew disheartened.
I also had an added complication of being a college student – a status which disqualified me from adopting from many New York City shelters.
I finally did find a rather sketchy looking rescue organization that didn’t seem to check student status. The organization drove bus-fulls of dogs from high-kill shelters in Tennessee up to nyc for fostering and adoption.
I scoped their site and inquired about a boarder collie lab mix puppy (in retrospect, a rather unwise idea).
After filling out form after form I was all set to foster the puppy….until, the night before, I received an email stating that the puppy had been adopted. My heart sank.
The rescue organization proceeded to send me a photo of a dog named “Grace,” (Millie) who was “on death row” and in need of a foster home.
Rather reluctantly, I agreed. But a small dog? I had never wanted one of those, and was convinced that I would never want or own a small dog.
But the photo – I’ll never forget it. Grace was a different dog than Millie is today (not literally, figuratively). There was so much fear and a deep sadness in her eyes. Her stance was guarded, and she looked troubled.
Obviously I couldn’t let the dog be put down, so I agreed to foster her with zero intentions of adopting.
On February 8, 2014, I took the subway to the Upper West Side where the rescue organization had told me they’d be camped out, and Millie was placed in my arms out of a sea of dogs in a van, wearing a too-small Super silly Pom Pom-hooded sweater. I’ll never forget having her put in my arms, and loading her into a carrier to take her back to my apartment.
We road the 1 downtown and got off at Astor place. She took a very long pee.
We walked around the east village. The first place we went was Mud Coffee, where my friend was working. I showed him Millie and he gave me a free iced coffee.
And Her first poop was on second avenue between 10th and 11th, in case you were curious.
We made it back to my east village apartment and the second she set foot in the studio, she made herself at home, going straight for the bed, and rolling on her back, asking for scratches.
It was a crazy day. We got to know each other. I learned rather quickly that she was quite fond of eating, and that the baby gate I purchased was worthless cause she could sail straight over it with an effortless hop.
We walked around Thompson square park and I still remember her tugging – it was clear to me she was unfamiliar with walking on a leash.
I was quickly relieved to realize she was potty trained (bless) and not much of a chewer. Her bark was surprisingly loud, and when she was happy, her whole body showed it.
Slowly, over the next few weeks, we bonded.
But for some dumb reason, I didn’t immediately adopt. I remained foster parent status for nearly two weeks until the adoption agency began pressing me, saying Grace had several inquiries on her adoption profile. I realized the idea of giving her to someone else was unbearable, and I signed the papers, paid a fee, and formerly adopted her.
Shortly thereafter, I named her Millie (which means gentle strength) because Grace just wasn’t a fitting name for her strange and spunky personality (Grace remains her middle name).
And four years later, here we are! Having a dog (and a sassy one at that) isn’t always easy, but it is always worth it.
She has brought me so much join, entertainment, comfort, and love. And taught me so much about responsibility, compassion, putting another’s needs above my own, and importantly, that a preconceived ideation of what you can love is easily shattered when you go beyond surface characteristics or physical attributes.
So that’s my adoption story of Millie, and if you’re still reading, a few other FAQs!
2. What kind of dog is Millie?
Because Millie is a rescue, I’m not exactly sure. When I adopted her, I was told she was a “cheweenie” aka a chihuahua dachshund mix.
But based on her personality, energy level, insane jumping abilities and head shape, I’m almost certain Millie is some sort of Jack Russel dachshund Mix.
She’s got a Jack Russel howl and is extremely agile and energetic. Her long body, stubbornness, strange vocalizations (she groans and sighs a lot) and fondness of burrowing make me also think she’s got quite a bit of dachshund in her.
I’m not saying it’s impossible that she has some chihuahua in there, but for the most part, my best best is jack russel dachshund Mix. And google image has more or less validated this for me (haha!).
Bottom line: whatever she is, she’s perfect to me!
3. How old is Millie?
Millie will be 5 in April! They grow up so fast 😭😭😭😭.
4. Is Millie vegan?
No! Millie is a carnivore. She does love her fruit and veggie snacks though!
The brand of dog food she eats changes (I like to mix it up for her) but it’s always a higher-quality food since the super cheap stuff gives her the squirts.
5. What do you do with her when you travel?
Most of the time I bring Millie along. I carry her onboard with me (for a lovely $95 fee), and she has to stay in a travel case under the seat in front of me. It’s not her favorite, but she goes along with it.
No, I don’t give her anything to put her to sleep. She usually whines during take off and touch down, but naps for a majority of the flight time on most days.
6. Do you think I’m ready for a dog?
Because I’m still at a life stage where not too many of my friends have dogs, I get asked this question a lot. I respond by always saying that’s a question only you can answer that question. To help guide you to your answer, ask yourself:
- Am I willing to arrange my life around another’s bathroom schedule?
- Having a dog means you have to continuously account for the last time your dog has peed, pooped, and eaten. No spontaneous ‘crashing’ at other places, and/or being gone all day and night!
- Do I have $1,000 to spare this year (This obviously varies, but I spent over 1K in Millie’s first year between vet bills, food, and supplies)?
- How much do I travel and if I do what will I do with my dog?
- I travel with Millie, but you gotta have a plan that works for you!
- Most importantly: do I have the time and energy to ensure the dog gets enough attention, exercise, and love?
7. Does Millie have an Instagram?
Why yes, she does. Follow her! @millie_the_nugget
That’s my Milie story! If you have any other questions, leave them below or HMU on Insta!