(Howie's laptop actually did come first, not that I'm keeping track.) The dog and I are still getting used to each other, but I am already hopelessly in love with him.
He's good natured, loving and his foster mom says he's smart as a whip. He also has an amazing history. Milou (say Me-lou, it's French.) is from Peru. The country.
Now, I know there are plenty of wonderful local dogs at the Champaign County Humane Society and other local shelters. When we started looking for a dog, we kept those in mind. They are great organizations to adopt from – my sweet nephew dog, Grover, came from CCHS.
But a friend adopted her sweet senior Doberman, Beau, from the Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus and she suggested that I check out their Plus dogs (non-Dobermans).
So I looked at the rescue's website, and there was Milou, a 25-pound retriever mix who got along with other dogs and cats. The rescue's founder, Pam, arranged for him to be shipped back to the U.S. After she discovered him in a shelter where she was volunteering. He had been hit by a bus, had a broken jaw and was down to 8 pounds because he couldn't eat or drink.
Pam nursed him and another Doberman she brought back (Kessia, who had to have her leg amputated after it had been broken multiple times) back to health. She started in Peru by feeding Milou with a syringe filled with water and crushed up food.
She'd been fostering them since they arrived in the U.S. in late 2010. I met all kinds of other dogs with inspiring stories while I was visiting Milou, including poor Foley, whose intoxicated owner tried to cut a cyst off his ear. So many sweet dogs have had such hard lives.
I love Milou's incredible story, but more than that, I love his spunky personality and his enthusiasm for everything around him. I am so incredibly excited to take him to home companion class at the Dog Training Club of Champaign-Urbana, play fetch with him in the backyard and snuggle with him on the couch. I was really hoping for a cat-friendly, small retriever mix and he is that to a T (although who knows what sorts of breeds he's composed of - Pam says he has a Spaniel-type coat, and the black streaks on his ears remind me of a long-haired Dachshund. He does look like a tiny Golden Retriever, though).
He is going to be my new best friend, and I am so excited for him to settle in and get used to Rob, Sassy and me. I know after my sister adopted Grover, after a bit, we couldn't imagine life without him. I can't wait to get to the same point with Milou.
Photos: Cell phone photo of Milou in my backseat yesterday. I sat back there with him while Rob was gracious enough to chauffeur us around. The other is from Illinois Doberman Rescue Plus founder and president Pam Abare-Newton, who rescued Milou. He's pictured with the shelter manager, who spoke English, Spanish and French and named Milou. You can tell how skinny he is - his head is all sunken in. Not anymore - he's getting healthy meals (he eats dry food!) and plenty of treats.