Never Give Up, Canine Edition


It was my youngest son’s birthday weekend and my mom was in town to be part of the festivities. We were cleaning up empty cake plates and shredded wrapping paper when my mom’s cell phone rang.

She’s on the board of the animal welfare society in her small town. Someone called to alert her that a dog had been found limping down the street, apparently shot in the leg, and had been dropped off at a local vet. The vet didn’t think the leg could be saved and plans were to euthanize the pup on Monday.

She was extremely disturbed after hanging up. Her plan was to call the veterinarian first thing Monday morning to stop the euthanasia and get the whole story.

In talking with the vet she learned the dog was not only perfectly healthy, neutered, and friendly, but also heartworm negative. “Heartworm negative?” my mom screeched. “There’s no reason to ever put a heartworm negative animal down. Can you save the leg?” He thought he could after all. “Do the surgery,” she said. “I’ll pay for it.”

About two months later I was visiting my mom for the weekend. I walked to the guest room to set my suitcase down and was greeted by a black and white dog with ridiculous Shrek ears and a bandaged front leg. *cue thunderbolt*

I was in love.

You don’t understand, I’m not really a dog person. That’s not to say I don’t love dogs. I do. But I’ve always thought of myself as more of a cat person.

But this dog. Something about this dog. I mean, he was mine. That’s all there was to it.


You complete me.

They had named him Gunner (because he’d been shot). Aside from the fact I thought that was kind of sad, I wasn’t crazy about that moniker. But that’s okay, cuz I knew the one that belonged to him the minute I saw his little face. MILO.


Don’t think for a second I took Milo home that weekend. No-o-o-o. I still had to get it past my husband. My very stubborn husband who was adamant we couldn’t have another dog. But we women are smart. And resourceful. That was Memorial Day weekend.

Milo was home with us by Labor Day.

Rescue stories are not always positive. After all, they potentially come with baggage. You really have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Well, lemme tell you. We were one of the lucky ones. He’s perfect.

No, really.


He’s kind of a cat-dog. He’s not a barker. I can get on my bike and he’ll just follow me anywhere. You’d never know he almost lost his leg, he’ll run for hours. We can leave the front door wide open – he won’t bolt. The kids can roll all over him, yank on him, dress him up. I shudder to think what could have been his fate had it been someone else on the other end of the phone that day.

He has a kind, gentle soul. He’s….he’s…

Well. He’s Milo.

How about you? Do you have a pet? I’d love to hear about your furry best friend!  


  1. Aw, what a sweet dog. An awesome thing your mom does, and how nice of her to let you have such a perfect dog.
    Our rescue dogs have been nothing but wonderful with people.


    1. I’m glad your rescues have been good ones, too! I know sometimes they can come with issues, but they’re always worth it – every person/animal deserves a second/third/fourth chance!
      Thanks for reading Christine!


    1. Oh, I love me some kitties! I don’t know if you’ve been reading my blog very long, but a while back when I posted about the Sisterhood Bloggers Award, I revealed at one time I had 8 cats! It all started with a pregnant stray…..I’m so weak….haha! But I took care of every one of them their whole lives. They’re all gone now. Miss them sometimes. A lot actually.


  2. Aw! He seems super sweet, I can’t believe his sad history. I have a 5 year old female Rhodesian Ridgeback– I got her as a puppy because the breed is supposed to be ferocious and smart. She is… more like entitled and special. But she’s wonderful and has definitely kept me going through some crazy times. Dogs are the best.


    1. Cool, my cousin has one of those and he’s a really cool dog! It’s amazing how supportive and comforting animals can be by just being there, isn’t it? They’re awesome. Thanks for reading, Aussa.


  3. What a cutie pie! And Milo is the perfect name for him. Thank goodness for your mom! What a great lady, and you too. Dogs are awesome! No matter what they are always there for you. Milo has a great home.


  4. I love this!! to bits ‘n pieces! The way you knew he was yours is how I felt when I met our cat Jackson… I just knew and I knew his name would be Jackson, just like that! …and…I considered myself more a dog person. Jackson is no longer with us (I wrote a whole post about him) but, he will always be, in my mind, the best cat ever.

    I would love to meet Milo…he sounds awesome!


    1. Thank you for sharing Jackson with me! I bet he was an amazing kitty! I love me some kitties….sigh. They’re so cool. Sorry for your loss. 😦

      Yes, Milo was meant to be with me…with us. It was a Universal force for sure. 🙂

      Thanks for reading Kari!


  5. Oh, this warms my heart!

    You know that I’m obsessed with my dogs, you’ve seen my blog. I was never a dog person before we decided to get a puppy, and now I don’t know if I could handle any stretch of time without a dog. They are so sweet and love so unconditionally! I’m so happy you guys saved that guy. Whoever lost him can rest their hearts to know he’s in a good place!


  6. Yes, I know you love your beautiful doggies – whose breed I know but I’m not even gonna attempt to spell. 🙂 We knew someone with one of those and they are COOL dogs! Energetic and smart.

    I always wonder what happened to Milo before he was found. Was he lost and wondering on farm land and someone shot at him? Did his owners do it? Was it an accident? So strange. It doesn’t appear he was abused so we sort of go with first theory. Just glad he was found by loving, compassionate people!


  7. We have two rescue dogs – Trevor and Fiona. (Obviously, we watch a lot of BBC America!) Dogs make life so much better. And now that I have a blog, I relish the thought of posting pics of them in their halloween outfits!


  8. Looks like he found himself a great new mom and family! He’s a cute dog and sounds like a perfect companion. Kudos to you for taking the chance on Milo. You have a great heart.


  9. That is the sweetest story ever! I am glad that Milo has found a family. I too have a saved pup named Manson. He was found abandoned in an old car, left to die in a field as a pup. He’s kind of a stinker, but we still love him.


  10. I so love this story! What a sweet face Milo has. I can see how you would fall in love with him. My kids wanted a pup so we decided on a chocolate lab and I not only talked him into it, I made my husband go pick one out from a friend who had a litter. He said he walked in and just stood still. None of the pups would come to him, save one. A sweet little eight week old pup. Her name is Chloe and she is now five years old and she is our sixth child! And guess who just may love her most? Yep, the husband.


    1. haha! Isn’t that always how it happens? My husband adores Milo, too, even though he fought the idea of a second dog so hard! He even takes Milo running all the time, and even takes him along when he goes mountain biking! We don’t have two dogs anymore – the other dog we had a the time was our “first baby”, also a chocolate lab! A male named Haden. He was 12 when we got Milo, and finally had to be put down a year later. He was AWESOME! Labs are amazing!


  11. What an incredibly beautiful story, Beth!! Oh my gosh this made my day and I have the warmest, biggest grin on my face. I’m so glad you were resourceful and brought him into your home. Dogs are the most unconditional loving souls on this earth in my opinion. They ask that you take care of their basic needs (food, water, shelter, health checkups and love) and they will return an adoration and loyalty to you a thousand fold. Loved, loved this story and I love Milo too! He’s absolutely so cute!! The best part in your amazing post, “You complete me…” 🙂


  12. Milo and our dog Poppy could be cousins. Truly. She’s a three year old border collie/??? cross who we adopted from the local shelter at 10 weeks. Hates to get in trouble and will come on a dime when called. Just a lovely girl. She’s the third dog to bless (well sometimes curse…. let’s be honest) our family.Our first born was Fergus – the black lab who took one look at just born daughter Meredith and asked “What is it and how long is it staying?” and the second was Oscar – golden retriever – who out Marleyed that gem of Marley and Me fame. Poppy is our first mixed breed and we couldn’t be luckier.
    Looks like you more than lucked out too!


  13. Kudos for rescuing Mil0! All of my pets have been rescue animals. Our Australian Shepherd Speckles was sooooo perfect. Someone had trained her well, and we were lucky enough to call her our for 10 years until cancer took her too early from us. We’ve now had Zoey for about 2.5 years. She’s a totally different ball of wax. She’s come a long way, but will never be “normal.” As far as we can tell, she was probably beaten pretty severely, so she will never make up to other people besides my husband and I. At least we have a quiet household where she can relax and not be anxious all the time. I don’t usually leave links in comments, but here’s my good-bye letter to Speckles: A good dog is worth so much.


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