Adopting Millie + Millie FAQs

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.

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I get a million questions about Millie so I thought I’d address them here!

1. How did you adopt Millie?

img_1499the 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.

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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.

img_1497Millie’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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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?

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Millie will be 5 in April! They grow up so fast 😭😭😭😭.

4. Is Millie vegan?

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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?

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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?

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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!

Weekend Update

Hi! I’m going to try posting more life-related posts. I don’t know why but these are the posts I love reading the most from other bloggers. Like, for some reason, I really care about the errands they ran and the lunch they ate. I have no idea if anyone cares about the errands I run or the lunches I eat. Regardless, let’s give this a whirl.

Let’s start with Friday:Screen Shot 2017-05-21 at 10.41.44 PM

Friday I worked later than expected (I offered to stay some extra hours since the school I was at was short-staffed that day). After two weeks of dealing with a bum toe and like 80 trips to the doctor and a surprise (mini/minor) toe surgery, I was so tired Friday night I passed out on the couch with Millie at 9 pm. I don’t even remember what I ate for dinner. I know I ate, but I was so exhausted that entire evening is a blur. I woke up on the couch at like 11, put Millie out to pee, ate some chocolate, brushed my teeth, and immediately went back to sleep. Party. Animal.

Saturday: 

Saturday I was supposed to do a 33-mile bike ride called Tour De MKE, but with rain in the forecast, I didn’t want my toe wrapping to get all soaked and gross and soggy all day. I opted instead to do the NAMI walk for mental health with my aunt and her partner and some of their friends. I ate banana + pb + toast for breakfast and also had some of this cherry almond cake from last week:

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They had free bagels, so I was happy to be there. They also had free fruit, and I was really in the mood for a pear, but a bite in, my was really rotten (like inedible rotten) so I had to toss it. Tear. I didn’t take like any pics there minus this one of the art museum.

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Then it started to rain so we left the walk a wee bit early and I went to my aunt’s house to play with her puppy. You’re welcome for the pics.

Then I went home and hung out with MY pup, Millie for a while. I also made a giant bowl of oatmeal with bananas, blueberries, walnuts, cinnamon, and sunflower seed butter when I got home because I was damn and cold and I find oatmeal to be a comfort food. Also, my GI was a damn mess from being on antibiotics for 20 days. Luckily, I took my last dose with this oatmeal. YAY!IMG_4365

I spent the remainder of the afternoon/evening doing laundry and cleaning. I am truly way too much fun.

Sunday:

Sunday I had a banana with peanut butter toast and some melon for breakfast and went to a barre class in the morning because my toe was feeling up to it and my body has been craving movement since I had to spend a lot of time sitting with my foot up after my toe surgery.

Then, I met one of my best friends from elementary/middle/high school for brunch at Beerline Cafe. There is something about hanging out with your friends from childhood. Like, we always laugh like crazy. It’s so nice to connect with people for decades and never lose a bond, no matter the distance. I cherish time with my childhood friends. And brunch was perfect. We talked for hours. IMG_4375

Beerline is delicious. Like, SO GOOD. I dream about their Ethiopian Sweet Potato Lentil Wrap. It’s spicy and savory and so satisfying and comes with a cool, creamy sauce.

I wanted to get the banana walnut pancake special, but they were out (boo). So I tried the Tempeh Avocado BLT. It was good, but given how good some of their other stuff is, I probably wouldn’t order it again. I’m really all about that wrap. Which is why…

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I ordered one to go. Lol. I was still a little hungry. And that wrap is so damn good. I ended up giving half to my mom. Because the wrap is quite filling, and after half of it after a full sandwich, I was eating more for pleasure than because I was hungry. I recognized it, and shared with my mom, and she LOVED it.  Yay.IMG_4376

More cuddle time with Millie followed, as did a long walk listening to podcasts, catching up on some work for various freelance clients, and then dinner rolled around.

For dinner I made a clean-out-the-fridge salad with organic baby kale, roasted broccoli, some random frozen grilled Cauliflower from Trader Joe’s (which is LIT btw), some veggie balls from Ikea, some roasted frozen squash cubes. I also made a little brown rice on the side. Basically just used up a bunch of odds and ends.IMG_4008

Note: this isn’t the salad I made for dinner, but is filling in for the fact that I took no photos and I felt the post needed one/it’s really a random side salad I made with lunch a few days ago.

We’re low on food, but I’m planning to shop tomorrow, but it’s nice to use be forced to clean out the fridge/freezer sometimes. Then I parked my butt on the couch with Millie, and enjoyed a big bowl of cereal while watching the Kardashians with Millie and plugging away on some work.

I finished my night off with some booch (turnin’ up), a handful of dark chocolate chips, and a few of these random (super yummy) organic coconut chocolate mini bar bites I found on clearance at Target.

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This Week:

And that was my weekend. Have a good week everyone! I have a work, a dentist appointment and a pap smear on my agenda this week, so I’m pretty jazzed. Lol.IMG_4216

I have some more recipes to share soon. 🙂 And don’t forget to tune into my new cooking series, Vegan Bites, on Spoon University’s Instagram stories every Tuesdays! I’m makin’ mac’n’cheese dis week 8-).

 

Making Froyo Cakes + An Influx of Puppy Pics.

I got home a little over a week ago. Since then I’ve somehow ended up working back at Yo Mama, a local froyo shop doing a million different things. Like working in their new “Party Room.” And helping out in the back making froyo cakes and chocolate dipped rice krispies and pretzels and pizzelle cookies. When I’m working with the pastry stuff I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do it because it’s like getting paid to do my hobby. Hours whizz by and I barely look at the clock. When I’m scrubbing cookie dough off the floor or cleaning the bathrooms I feel slightly differently.

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i made dis!

Along with seeing how much work and planning goes into opening and running a food shop,this week I was lucky enough to learn the valuable life skill that is ice cream cake making. Let’s be honest – who doesn’t love ice cream cake?

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There’s the ice cream layers.

And there’s the crust.

And there’s the fudge layer.

And that frozen frosting.

It’s just too good. Such a good combo of crunchy, gooey, and cold and creamy in every bite. It’s like, perfect. And as much as I love fine pastries and cakes, you better believe I go ape-shit when I see a DQ cake.

And now I know the process of how to make them. It’s not necessarily difficult, it just kinda takes a lot of steps. It’s time consuming. Not really a set-it-and-forget-it type thing. Kind of like croissants. Just a lot of steps. Anyways if you want an ice cream cake, I can do dat for ya. Please don’t hesitate to ask 🙂

I also made really really really wonderful whole-wheat blueberry muffins this week. They were not-too-sweet. Perfect for breakfast. I almost have the recipe *perfected* and I think a key was apple sauce and greek yogurt. HOLY FLUFFY! Recipe soon.

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 I posted this pic to my Instagram (@katherinebaker4) and infatuation (#eeeeats) liked it. I felt momentarily cool. Then embarrassed for feeling cool and back-hashing the eeeeats thing. How lame.  All photos in this post were taken with my iPhone. I’ve yet to whip out my DSLR since being home. Not sure why. I think it’s still packed somewhere. I’ll find it. I have the day off today. I’m probably gonna do a lot of baking and cooking and blogging and puppy hanging. I’m pretty jazzed about this.

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Speaking of puppies, I had some good times with Millie this week. We went to a park with my mom (her grandma) and my family dog, Sasha. A good time was had by all. Sasha is nearly 14. She’s a sweetie-pie and melts my heart. I’m very lucky to have such great dogs in my life. Millie is exploring this whole new world that is nature. She still usually chooses to pee and poop on concrete over grass (a true city-pup for sure) but is really enjoying chasing birdies and butterflies and seeing trees and open grassy fields and whatnot. Such adventure! Many wonders!

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Millie and I also went to Panera to dine al-fresco. It was fun. Except some lady outside didn’t like her and had to give us a dirty look and move inside. That’s her problem though b/c Millie’s frickin’ awesome. I feel like you can learn a lot about people by how they treat animals. Very telling.

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I ended up working a lot this past week, and it broke my heart to leave lil nugget home alone so much. According to my mom this is how it feels to be a working parent. Lord help me. I worry myself sick about my pup (even when her grandma is watching her!), I’m not sure how I’ll handle real children. I’ll cross that bridge when we get there. In like, 5ever. Anyways, her grandma watched her yesterday when I worked a long shift. Apparently after I left, she howled and cried and peed on the floor in protest of my leaving. *guilt* Seems I’m working too much for her liking. She’s become quite a spoiled lady. Looks like we’ll be having a mommy-daughter day today. She’s currently curled up in my feet. Not a bad start to the day.

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Other than that this week I’ve just been talking to people and picking their brains about life as I try to figure out my own. Post-grad life is pretty awkward for most people. More on this later. For now, I need a nugget walk and maybe a trip to Alterra (or collectivo or w/e you call it). Happy Monday everyone!