Although I had never met Milo “dog to dog” I was very familiar with his scent as whenever my mum visited Milo’s mum she would come home with Milo’s smell on her hands plus his doggy hairs on her clothes which I would thoroughly investigate. Milo was a Tibetan Spaniel so he was much smaller than me. Mum always liked patting Milo when she went to visit and sometimes he sat beside her on the lounge or even on her lap and enjoyed being stroked and scratched behind the ears and generally made a fuss of. Sometimes he would lie on her feet under the coffee table and gaze longingly at her with his big brown eyes, hoping to share a biscuit or two.
There were a couple of stories told about Milo’s daring exploits when he was a young pup.
When Milo was a very young puppy his people-family put him in a large wooden playpen (the sort meant to stop people-pups from wandering) to keep him safe when he was home alone, with his bed and toys plus some water and food but after a while Milo grew bored with this. He managed to escape his pen and went to explore the big wide world inside the people-kennel. He sniffed and peed and sniffed and peed some more …every dog knows you must leave p-mails for others to ‘read’; how else would they know who’s been there before them?
Then he started scratching at the strange furry thing on the floor …perhaps it was some sort of creature? For whatever reason known only to Milo, he decided that it was not welcome in his territory and it had to go! As he scratched and chewed at it he realised he could pull pieces off. However, this strange thing wasn’t about to give up easily and it clung tightly to the floor, so little Milo bit harder and pulled with all his might! He pounced and ripped and shredded stringy strips off the creature’s back and after a lengthy and exhausting battle he felt confident he had shown it that he was leader of the pack! Milo was satisfied that he had done a very good thing indeed as he surveyed the carnage around him while patiently awaiting his family’s return.
His family did not initially agree with his decision that this beast (which his family called ‘Carpet’) should go, but Milo was very persistent so eventually they removed every last trace of ‘Carpet’ and replaced it with new things called ‘Cork Tiles’. Cork Tiles were much more pleasant to lie on as they were cool and smooth, plus Milo liked the ‘click, click, click, click’ sound his claws made as he walked over them …a sound that will be sadly missed.
…and then there was the kapok-stuffed donkey!
This huge, scary looking animal that was many times bigger than Milo came home with Milo’s people-brother (it was a prize from some place called a carnival) and was left on the dining table where it just sat and stared menacingly. Milo never did tell anyone exactly how he managed to reach up to this intruder but he made short work of it too. The stuffed donkey was expertly disembowelled by Milo, leaving a snowy frosting of its kapok innards all over everything inside the people-kennel. Milo had valiantly defended his family and made their living space safe once more.
Aside from skirmishes with Carpet and the donkey, Milo was not generally the brave Warrior type.
He had a much gentler nature and preferred a more peaceful existence of snoozing in various favourite places or happily following his people around the house and overseeing whatever they were doing, or going for walks outside …with his activities punctuated by many breakfasts of course! He also loved his toys, of which he had quite a few, kept in his toy box by the back door. He always enjoyed opening his presents on Xmas Day, eager to see what new toy was inside the crunchy wrapping paper.
A duty that he took very seriously and performed extremely well was the task of announcing visitors. My mum told me that whenever she or anyone else rang the doorbell of his home he would hurry to the front door, barking loudly to alert his family of possible danger. Then, once he saw the visitor was allowed inside by his people, he would happily sniff and greet them with tail wagging, then lead the way into the family room where the guests always went and where he loved getting patted, having the occasional cuddle and generally being the centre of attention.
Milo in print…
Back in November 2008 Milo was featured in the pagan emagazine called Axis Mundi that my mum is website manager for (I was in the June 2008 issue). Below is a copy of that short article about Milo which was written by his mum…
Meet Milo, a 12 year old Tibetan Spaniel. Milo, with those big brown eyes and cute little face, is the centre of attention in our household; basically whatever Milo wants he gets. He loves his daily walks, sleeping on the bottom of my bed, his fluffy toys and bossing me around till he gets his favourite snacks.
Milo is definitely a pagan dog; he always takes part in my rituals, helps me cast the circle and takes a prominent position in the centre of the circle.
Milo was born on the 14th March so he is governed by the sign of Pisces but the description of the Pisces dog doesn’t really fit him at all. He is a highly intelligent, sensitive, new age dog who is definitely high maintenance and thinks that everyone loves him …and they usually do. The only aspect that fits with his zodiac sign is that he is forceful and pushy one minute and gentle, retiring and loving the next.
A very sad day…
As the years progressed, like a lot of other older dogs Milo gradually lost his hearing and his eyesight. But his nose still worked just fine so he was able to find his way around his house and had no trouble sniffing out a breakfast when one was offered …he really enjoyed his food! Sadly, in more recent times he started to get a little confused and would occasionally become disoriented, but he still seemed to enjoy his life. Then yesterday he suddenly got very sick and was definitely no longer a happy dog. This morning, when he went to see his vet, it was very clear that his time here had almost come to an end and that the kindest thing to do for him was to set his spirit free.
14th March 1996 – 7th February 2013
Farewell little Milo, may you be happy and free once again.
You are very much loved and missed by all who knew you.