Milly was our first foster. Today’s post Puppy Tales: How Love Changed My Life is her story, yet her love also changed my life.
After volunteering for Labs4Rescue for about a year we decided to commit to bringing another lab into our home, this time by becoming a foster family. We decided on the cutest little black lab Matilda aka Milly.
I picked her up in Rocky Hill Connecticut on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. When I pulled into the parking lot that was serving as a transport area the dogs were already there, they had arrived early!
The second she hit the pavement, she pulled free of her collar and started running away! The lot was so close to the highway, I really did have terror in my heart. Every able-bodied human that was not holding a dog started running after her trying to get a grip on her. It was chaos!! Men, women and children darting all over the place, Milly out maneuvering everyone of us. Finally, a young man literally tackled her just before she escaped the parking lot. I was shaking so badly you can’t begin to imagine.
A major lesson was learned that day – always check the size of pups collar to make sure it fits properly! I also learned how you can use a leash as a collar, a handy little trick that has come in handy more than once since…
45 minutes later we arrived home. She said a quick hello to Al, gave Blu the obligatory sniff and without further ado dashed upstairs, found a bed, and ignored us for the rest of the day.
The following week was an interesting one. Milly continued to ignore all of us and I worried about her every minute of the day. Was she happy with us? Did she like Blu? Did she hate blue? Would she ever come over to me willingly for a tickle behind the ears?
We learned a second lesson that week: it often takes a rescue dog a week or so to get over the trauma of the transport and settle in. Milly slowly came out of her shell and I do mean slowly. She was fiercely independent. It was obvious to us that she had been alone in the “wild” for a while before she was found.
She did everything on her own terms: she patrolled our property so diligently that she created paths that weren’t there before; she was the mighty hunter who scared away every last mole that had been tunneling under our land for ages; and she only excepted attention when she wanted it, for example, when she wanted to be pet she would nudge our hand and present her hind quarter for a pat! To be honest with you, it took almost a year before she trusted us enough to raise her little leg for even a hint of a belly rub.
When I started writing this post about Milly I went back to the emails that were exchanged between the coordinator and myself. They were kind of fun to read again so I decided to place them in another post. If you decide to read them you’ll notice we keep talking about Matilda. That is our Milly, she just didn’t look like a Matilda to me so we shortened it to Milly. The name seems to suit her don’t you think?