Top Ten Tuesday...my tribute to Millie in photos

On Sunday evening I said goodbye to my best friend, Millie.  She was eleven and one of the best golden retrievers ever.  I have so many happy memories of her.  Seems impossible that she is gone.  In true Millie style we had no idea she was sick, until just hours before putting her to sleep. Today I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday and thought doing a post on her may help the healing.  Having dealt with a lot of loss in my life, I know that hugs help.  Also getting past the awful feeling of loss includes remembering the best things about our loved ones. 

Here is my favorite chair.  I decorated an entire floor of my house around the color and feel of this chair.  It quickly became Millie's when she got big enough to get on it.  I vividly can remember coming in the door and seeing her curled up in it.

This is Millie doing the bump.  As you can tell from the state of my green wall (from my Chestnut Hill days), she liked to do it a lot.  We called it doing the bump, because if you sang that song, it looked like she was really dancing to the tune.  Most people know that Millie helped me get through the loss of my parents.  This was one of the ways.  If I began crying, she would either come to me for a cuddle or grab a toy and assume the "bump" position.  It always made me laugh and got me focused on the present.
Just silly!
Us lounging...best cuddling dog ever.  She wasn't little, about 80 pounds, but she never stopped thinking she was puppy size.  Seriously if I had tried to put her in a purse (or large piece of luggage) she would have happily been carried around.
This is the pose Millie would take when she was in the back of the car. A rearview glance in the mirror, usually showed this position.  It was even funnier when it was flanked by two car seats.  Wish I had that photo too.
Loved to swim, absolutely loved it.  If there was water, she was in it.  On many of our hikes and treks, I wouldn't realize there was a body of water near, until she began pulling in the direction of a swim. 
Cuddling and scratching her face simultaneously.  This was a signature Millie move that I adored.  Even when she was a tiny puppy, she would push her head into any space (think bent elbow) for a self done nose rub. 
Millie played with the kids so nicely. Not one child toy was ever consumed or chewed by my mil, mils (her nickname).   From letting them "ride" her, to getting her hair done and always playing the role of the animal in our pretend play.  What a great dog!
Stick eating....ever since Millie was a puppy she could devour sticks.  It kept our yard looking pretty nice, I must say!  There is a funny story about Millie at about 5 months.  We were at my moms and she had a full day of stick eating.  My mom was having friends over, so I left for some time.  As my mom told it "the ladies were all enjoying some tea" (all sounds very proper).   Millie came into the middle of their group, so as not be left out, and threw up a pile of sticks that my mom said resembled a bonfire.  Of course the ladies and my mom were horrified.  When I heard the story it made me laugh, especially the exaggeration.
Always part of the action.  This picture shows Millie helping us look for hidden easter eggs in the yard.  There are similar pictures of her amid piles of wrapping paper on Christmas, mingling at any of our parties with the guests and sneaking her way into lots of family shots.  This will be how I will always remember her life with my kids.  She was part of everything.
She liked to sit right by the kids when they were in this stage, the sitting up but not moving yet stage.  Once they started to crawl and walk she knew to move away rather than get stepped on.

A few years ago, we started shaving Millie to cut down on the hair clean up and allergies here.  My daughter is allergic to cats and dogs, but by the grace of God Chelsea had no problems with Millie.  She always looked so cute, fluffy and cuddly after a haircut.
A big part of Millie's story was how easy going she was.  In this picture we're heading to Sand bridge VA for a vacation at dog friendly beach.  She was chilling in the back with her paws crossed most of the trip. More recently she went with us to the Poconos all the time.  Her favorite past time there was to sit on the deck and watch for animals.


Heather O'Mara Photography said...

This is the sweetest blog write up on the best member of your household. She was truly a lovely dog and bestest friend!

Heather O'Mara Photography said...

You know, I do mean, best 4 legged member. Sorry Chris, Gav and Chelsea...

Barbara said...

Such a nice tribute to your beautiful dog! What a great collection of pictures and memories. Mmade me tear up, because I totally felt the love you all gave her and that she gave your family. Thank you for sharing...