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At A Glance
Millie, a 9 year old golden, came to our home in Rochester, MN filled with energy. Since arriving she and I have had numerous occasions to talk on our walks together. Between our discussions and my observations I’ve come to realize a few things about Millie. The first is that she cannot even conceive of anyone, dog or human, using the restroom in the house. She has made it clear that one goes to the bathroom outside, even if that requires whining at the door or a small woof if things are urgent. In other words, Millie is completely housebroken and has had run of the house for over a week with no accidents, even when left home during the work day. She whines when she needs to go out, and woofs if it is urgent.
I’ve also learned that Millie has a small addiction to bread, yes bread (possibly any food except potato chips). While making sandwiches the other day each time I turned to get another ingredient the bread would disappear from the counter top. Since it was just me and a quite pleased with herself Millie in the kitchen I had to confront her on what had happened. She admitted that while she likes food of all kinds, she loves bread. We’ve decided that all foods should be put well out of reach if left unattended.
A related, as to yet unfulfilled, addiction involves squirrels, rabbits and other small animals that run. Millie is strong on lead, so we moved her to a gentle leader, which turned out to be a good thing when we encountered our first squirrel. Millie was adamant that she be allowed to chase the squirrel. It seems she has decided that it is her job to protect us from all small creatures (cats included) on our walks. She has done an excellent job, as we have yet to be attacked by any rabbits or chipmunks. This has lead me to believe that Millie is not trustworthy around cats since she has a strong desire to chase them, even if there is a window between her and the cat.
Just last night Millie and I had a chance to talk things over since we took an extra long walk. We discussed grey hair and how people react to it and age. She clearly does not realize that she is 9 years old; she is convinced that she is still 4 and acts with the same amount of energy and grace as a 4 year old. Both of us have just a little gray showing which we decided makes us look more distinguished. Millie is glad to be up to date on all shots, which means she can avoid the vet for awhile.
One last note, Millie loves people but is still independent. She wants to be in the room with her people and is willing to follow them anywhere. She likes to be petted, but won’t force the issue. She sleeps with our 9 year old son all night and thinks that other dogs are neat to sniff but not nearly as interesting as people.