Bringing home Milou, our new adopted dog

So after all of Mike Howie's teasing about how he'd get his laptop before I got my dog, we ended up bringing Milou home a week early.

(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.

Comments

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Mike Howie wrote on August 01, 2011 at 9:08 am
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Ok, your dog is cuter than my laptop. Congrats!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 10:08 am
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Whoa, did I just win!? (And thanks! I think so too.)

LLP0867 wrote on August 01, 2011 at 10:08 am

Hands down (or should I say Paws down) You won!!!! Congratulations and Thank you. I work at a vet part time and I am very happy you went with a shelter dog!!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 10:08 am
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Thank you!

Gail Rost wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am

So you and Milou from Peru will find so much to do in CU! Have fun!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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Rob wants his middle name to be Peru so he can call the dog PeruLou! The rhyming thing IS really funny.

screwtech02 wrote on August 01, 2011 at 10:08 am

You oughta get "bonus" points for a shelter dog from another country!! That is way cool!!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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That is an excellent point. Hear that, Mike?

Mike Howie wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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Well, my laptop is sitting on my desk right now. Can you do that with your dog?

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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If it were allowed, I would have him under my desk right now. Think that might be frowned upon in the newsroom, though.

Mike Howie wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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So that's a no?

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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It's a no, as long as his cute little face as my desktop background doesn't count...

elippitz wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am

I'm so happy for you, Meg! Now, can you help me work on my husband so we can adopt a shelter dog too? I told him Milou's story and it looked like the ice melted a bit on his heart.

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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Yes! Let me teach Milou some manners before he meets your hubby, though. I want him to make the best impression possible.

Hey, Illinois Doberman Rescue still has the doberman rescued from Peru - she has three legs and is the sweetest thing. I met her when I went up to visit Milou... Pam said not one person has shown interest in her. http://bit.ly/mS2lCO

carolthilmony wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am

Your dad said, "Leave it to Meg to get a dog from another CONTINENT!"

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 am
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Hah! But I did make sure that I was adopting him because he's a good fit for us, not just because I love his story...

algon wrote on August 01, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Meg, I think this qualifies as Dad commenting on your blog!

algon wrote on August 01, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Awwww my nephew dog!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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He can't wait to meet you.

sscott wrote on August 01, 2011 at 12:08 pm

What a pretty face! He looks like he will be lots of fun. We recently adopted our Australian Cattle dog from a rescue shelter in Joliet. We have had so much fun with her. Such an energetic, fun-loving dog. Makes you wonder why someone could ever give up a dog let alone hurt one. Best of luck with your new addition.

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 01, 2011 at 1:08 pm
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Thanks! Good luck with your new dog, too! She sounds like one lucky pup!

UrbanaBanana wrote on August 01, 2011 at 11:08 pm

What a wonderful story! Meg, you and Rob have the biggest hearts, and Pam sounds like an angel on earth. May many blessings come to you all of you and Milou too!

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 02, 2011 at 7:08 am
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Thank you! Pam IS an angel!

Reader2 wrote on August 02, 2011 at 7:08 am

Well done and congrats to you all! Hope Milou likes his new milieu. I wonder if he prefers commands in French or Spanish...

Judging by the pictures, if his mouth is permanently awry from broken jaw and missing teeth, I'd think canned food would be easier on him than hard dry stuff. Also, I hope you know, due to the unwritten law that dogs and owners must look alike, you may now need to develop a very crooked smile. (Tongue lolling and drooling, optional.)

What fantastic work from Illinois Doberman Rescue. And thank you, Meg, for not only choosing a pal who's had such a rough time, but also promoting poor three-legged Kessia. (Wouldn't it be even greater if, after Milou settles down and settles in, you find you need ANOTHER good Peruvian perro?!)

Best of luck and enjoy your lives together. (Assuming Milou becomes both lap-dog and top-dog in your house, he'll qualify as a rare "Peruvian lap-top-dog" -- which I believe trumps all other laptop genres!)

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 02, 2011 at 8:08 am
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Hah, I'll have to work on my crooked smile. And I would LOVE a Doberman, especially a Peruvian one, but we just don't have room. I once brought the Dobe I dogsit over, and he filled up a huge chunk of our living room! I would love it if someone from around here adopted Kessia. Then she and Milou could continue to be friends.

And your French-Spanish comment reminds me of the movie "Anchorman." Have you seen it? There's a cute line in which Will Farrell tells his yappy dog, "Baxter, you know I don't speak Spanish."

And I like your thinking on trumping laptop genres!

Reader2 wrote on August 02, 2011 at 10:08 am

Nope, didn't see "Anchorman."
And Jay Leno might not approve, but to show Milou's from Peru, perhaps he needs one of those little bowler hats with bright shawls (although maybe just ladies wear that, so no, no cross-dressing either). But this winter, a little pooch-poncho and alpaca Machu Picchu earflaps (a chullo) might work!

(Traditionally, a chullo is hand-knit by the father to give to a child, so Rob better get started!) ;o)

http://www.inside-peru.com/traditional-peruvian-clothing.html

Meg Dickinson wrote on August 02, 2011 at 10:08 am
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Rob better knit me one while he's at it. Those are adorable!