Mara here. October is a Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, and dogs make great hiking partners. This month we bring you a series on adopting dogs and how to get them outside. I have a bad habit of bring home stray dogs and it has gotten me into trouble many times. But how can you leave such a sweet dog? And every animal that I have rescued, has been a welcome addition to my life. To kick off this series, Ambassador Sarah tells us about her Millie.

I think I fell in love with Millie the moment I met her.  I had been looking to adopt a dog for a few months and hadn’t met the right one.  I was trying to be patient when I saw a photo posting for three 6 month old terriers at the humane society.

When I went that day to meet the puppies, Millie (whose name was Sprite at the time), was there with her two rambunctious brothers.  We all went to the fenced in area and the brothers played with each other and little Sprite, whose big white ears seemed too big for her little body, came over shyly.  As soon as I saw that face and petted her, I knew she was the one.

A few days later, I picked up my new dog.  She was shaking and afraid of everything. She didn’t know how to walk on leash, she didn’t know how to go up or down a set of stairs, and was afraid of the car.  She didn’t seem to be very well socialized as a puppy.

But she knew how to play fetch, go outside to use the bathroom, and she learned all the rest pretty quickly as she grew in confidence. She’s still afraid of bicycles, skateboards, and people running and she likes to protect the house with her bark and terrier personality.

In the 8 ½ years since I adopted her, Millie (otherwise known as Millie Bean, Miss Millie, Millie Bean McQueen, Milllers, Mills, and Beanie) and I have moved from North Dakota to southern Ohio to Oregon.  We have traveled to hike and ran along beaches in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. We have wandered through cities like Memphis, New Orleans, and Seattle. We have driven from east to west across America. We have camped in multiple places in Oregon. We have gone on a ski lift to a hiking trail, rode a school bus, and went kayaking.

She’s my little adventure pup and she never hesitates to jump in the car to see where we are going next.  To Millie, it doesn’t matter where we go as long as she’s with me.

Millie is good at giving snuggles and keeping me warm when it’s cold and rainy outside.  She has given me far more than I could ever give her. I give her shelter and love and lots of treats, and she gives me joy and makes my shelter feel like a home.

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