Long live memories of my Milo!

May 13, 2012

Carmel Beach 2010: My birthday picnic.

Oh Milo, how I will dearly miss you. My very first post on this blog was about you, being a carefree dog, letting your ears flap in the wind as we finished our adventures in the midwest and embarked on a new adventure in California.

2002: Rather unexpectedly I had the chance to bring you into my life, and I’m so glad I did. I picked you up as the snow began to fall, and the next morning, eager to explore your new surroundings, you took me skiing in my sneakers across the ice and snow behind the first KC apartment we shared. We had fun, but you maintained your distance for a while, always sleeping in the living room. Then Raju joined us, and after a very short trial period to decide he was an okay addition, you adopted us as your pack and started sleeping with us in the bedroom. You were such a good dog, hanging out leash free in the backyard (well, except those few times you decided to take off after a cat or a rabbit or just to show me you could).

The young pup in 2002: He was hard to get a photo of back then - always on the move!


Run, run, run!!!


Enjoying our first backyard.

You’d hunker down and run as fast as you could, chasing after whichever squeaky toy or ball we were playing with at the time (and I still have your first one!). Then would come the time when you decided fetch was over. You let us know by running after the ball as we threw it long, but then you’d just make a big arc, leave the ball where it was, and come back happy as a lark. That was fun!

Then there was the fateful day I came home from work only to discover you’d shown the burglars where every last good piece of electronics was in the house. The sliding glass door was wide open and you were hanging out wagging your tail. I was speechless. Needless to say, we found a new home lickety split.

Away went the ground floor apartment, but now you had a perch to hang out on, watching the crazy guy that walked his ferret on the leash among other things. There was the day you decided to do the ventriloquist bark so you wouldn’t get in trouble, barking under your breath at that crazy ferret. This was where we really fell in love – Raju or I would come home, and you would be waiting at the door, jumping up in the air and twirling in circles, so happy to see us. We’d run through the house, probably tormenting our downstairs neighbor, but damn it was fun.

the Merriam perch


Sitting on the porch in Merriam.


Enjoying the sunshine in Merriam. I forgot how his ear used to stick straight up, so funny!


Suburban doggy, soaking up the evening sun.


Stretch! (He learned downward dog from me 🙂 )

This is where you decided you were unsure of my yoga practice. As I would move into Lion, you’d get antsy. When I decided to take up chanting, you had enough. I felt something tap me on the chest, only to open my eyes to you, sitting in front of me, knocking me in the chest with your paw. Use your inner voice for that! is what I believe you were trying to tell me.

We took our first road trips to Tennessee from here. You weren’t fond of the air there, or the dachshunds. So you stuck close to me, sleeping next to my suitcase when I was out, and ecstatically jumping into the car with me every time I packed up. In Pigeon Forge, you went so far as to sit in the back seat of the Paseo for 30 or 40 minutes until it was time to leave. Eventually you figured out I wasn’t going to leave you anywhere, and you chilled out.

Fresh Missouri Air!!

2004: Which was a good thing, because in 2004 we packed everything in the house up to move to California. This time you were ready for the road trip, excited. When we came over Donner’s Pass into California, you inhaled all the scents and we could tell you liked the place (unlike Tennessee, where you just wanted to snort the air right back out of your nose). Sunshine on your head through the open sunroof, remnants of snow around us on the mountain. You frolicked through our empty apartment, enjoying the ability to go from living room to bedroom to porch and back to living room in a loop, undeterred by any furniture. We camped out on the floor until the furniture arrived, much to your chagrin. We had a lot of fun times in this apartment, our launching off point for trips to Carmel, walks on Los Gatos trail, and occasionally even wine country. I’m glad you loved it so much here, and went with us nearly everywhere that we went.

Killing squirrels! Loved the squirrel tree, loved pulling out the squeakers, but best - pulling off the tags!


Yet another fun thing to kill!


Old Man and the Sea: I titled this Old Man and the Sea in 2005. Little did I know what a long and happy life Milo would lead for another 7 years, with many more trips to overlook the Pacific Ocean.


Enjoying the good life in Carmel: At Hog's Breath.



You were quite the pup around town. So well behaved, everyone at the wine bar loved you. You would move from table to table, getting a few pats, more than a few nibbles of cheese, and in general spreading your brand of cheer and good will. At Rock Bottom you’d sit, waiting patiently for us to give you some nibbles of whatever goodies we had that day. Then there was the day we hit Cold Stone Creamery before going home. I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to give a dog ice cream, let alone cake batter ice cream laced with carmel and cookie dough, but you loved it, and the ensuing doggie high you had was a blast to watch as you spun in circles, getting out all the energy. I’m glad we made it back home before your sugar crash (and mine!).

Cuddling with Mom: One of the rare times Milo ever jumped into the bed (or onto any furniture, really). Raju had been gone for 2 1/2 weeks, and he decided it was time to take the alpha male sleeping spot.


On his beloved alpaca rug


Trying to add a snowman to his kill list (or at least maimed list).


Pure love, 2006: Happy to see his peeps after their week-long vacation.


Conehead! The ridiculously-sized cone the silly emergency vet put on Milo. He banged into everything, which was startling to him, comedic to us. We cut it down as soon as we got home, though, despite the comedy.


Milo's Smile: Despite the cone around his head, and the constant squeezing on his ear to get fluids out of it, he still had a smile on his face. Such a sweet, sweet dog.


Cutest pic ever! One of my favorite Milo pics. This one after he got his cone off.

2007: Big changes to the pack, but not sure if you quite caught on. Raju and I got married, and as a result, you got to spend a month with Pappy and Atom. I’m not certain you were happy when we came back home after the super-long walks, bacon and egg breakfasts, and general love you got during that month. But you adjusted to our walks, back on the leash, and only the occasional filet or burger. Life continued to be a pretty steady party of Los Gatos trail and Carmel, until…

Lord of the Manor: Surveying his new kingdom.


Camouflage! Much happier now that he blends and can pounce on his unsuspecting prey.

2009: We bought Milo’s Manor. One floor, so you didn’t have to go up and down stairs when you got older. A backyard to run in. You checked it out, didn’t turn your nose up to it, but wasn’t quite sure what all the fuss was about. “Where’s my walk on the Los Gatos trail?” you asked. Walks resumed, but not before you tore your ACL completely running in the yard with me one day. What a yelp you made! It scared the hell out of me.

Bad day, bad weekend. After his surgery in 2009. Too much frolicking in the yard led to a torn ACL, and not much was the same after that.

There was the surgery that we still don’t know if you should have had. At this point you taught me what it was like to feel completely helpless. I didn’t know why you were crying through the night. Were there not enough drugs? Too many drugs? Pain? We slept on the floor together, cuddled up, until you went to sleep. You finally caved and started sleeping on a bed after this incident. And while your limp slowed you down a bit, it never cramped your style. The reason I know so many of my neighbors is because of you. Because they all wanted to come say hello to my gorgeous bear, pet his soft ears, ask how he was doing today. And for the longest time you were doing so well.

Photoshoot! The cool smile.


Photoshoot! Oh yeah.


Photoshoot! Wait, what? Are you serious?


Photoshoot! Uhhh...


One of my all time fave photos of my Milo. Serious and handsome.


Tennessee pride!


New rug from grandpa... Much thanks, because these floors are really slick!


Ringing out 2009! With his stogie - a beef-flavored stogie.


Milo shows off his dapper coat


Skunked! While not at all funny at the time, it's definitely a moment Raju and I joke about regularly now. Milo was never too amused when we brought it up though.


Carmel Beach 2010


In the convertible at Carmel Country Inn. By this time he acclimated to the drop top, not jumping into my lap like he did on the first convertible ride.


Summer 2010: Hanging out in the garden.


Checking out new construction.


New garden box construction, plus a fountain. Score! More places I shouldn't drink from but totally will!


Happy on the Patio - 2010


Milo Contemplates the Buddha. He was a pretty zen pup.


Hopped up on arthritis meds. When he first started having major troubles walking. A few painkillers, some doggy tylenol, and rest, and he was almost as good as new!


Bedroom 2011: One of my two favorite places to lay in this house.


Finish your yoga, woman! Milo waiting somewhat patiently for me to finish up yoga so we could go on our walk.


Contortionist puppy paw!


Bodiless Milo!


Ringing out 2011! He's like the New Year's Baby.


Warm Winter Nights: A night in early 2012 that was warm enough for some porch time.


Dining Alfresco, 2012


Earlier this year: Hanging out in the living room. He always manages to hang his butt off the towel he should be sitting on.


Walking across the patio


Checking out the backyard - 2012


Smooshy face sleepy puppy. We have lots of these.


Worn out smooshy face. So tired!


Another smooshy face sleepy puppy. He was just so darn cute when he slept. You couldn't help but take a pic.


More cute smooshy face! Let's see how close I can snuggle my paws in.


Sonoma, March 2012: Enjoying all the space to loop around the first floor of the Sonoma house, and the glass doors to look out of/into.


Just a few weeks ago. Hanging out in the backyard. He had an upswing and was walking around peg-legged, but walking around none-the-less.


More hanging in the yard.


Smelling the roses. He was happy I was taking his picture.


Are you trying to trick me? Milo paced back and forth for many minutes, trying to decide if the usual fence was up or not. I finally walked through to show him it wasn't there, and we went on our walk.


May 10: I didn't realize I'd taken these photos as we hung out on the back porch Thursday night.


May 10: My last photo of Milo.

While it’s really hard to say good bye to my baby, my friend, a dog who has taught me so much, it’s even harder to grapple with the fact that I had a hand in sending him into whatever the next great adventure is. I suppose I also had a hand in keeping him in good health, keeping him alive for the past few years, as his ability to walk declined, and his arthritis pain increased. But that’s little consolation for having to make a decision that Saturday was his last day on earth, his last day with his pack. I’m never going to know 100% that it was the right decision; I’m going to continue to spill a lot of tears when I think of him. If I’d known it was your last day, I wouldn’t have tortured you with a bath. I would have fed you filet, white rice, and Chinese broccoli, instead of American cheese and beggin strips. I would have wrapped you up in the alpaca rug you loved so much, that I should have let you lay on for the past year.

I love you, and I know you’re in a wonderful place. Thank you for making every day the past 10+ years wonderful for me, for us, for being a part of and making us a family.

Me and my pup! Another picnic my bday weekend in Carmel, 2010. It was a fun day with Milo.


Over the Shoulder


Walking back to the car, leaving our picnic in the woods in Carmel.


I love you guys!! (Earlier this year, hanging with us on the porch.)

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