Hello Milka fans and friends,
Milka’s mom speaking here…
No pictures to distract in this post… just words.
In the last few days I’ve read about so many nice dogs and cats, most of them Danes, most of them friends, crossing the bridge or being seriously ill… and the pain and sorrow it’s brought to their families. It makes you sad and makes you think…
Then, in Dane Yard, someone started a thread about telling our Danes’ stories… What a great idea! Amidst so much sadness and pain, this could make these days a little brighter.
I’ve learned some really beautiful stories about rescues, about choices and decisions, about love and comradeship that I couldn’t keep some tears from falling down my face. And I started putting my girl’s story out of my chest… It’s not one of those beautiful, striking stories. It has some sad tones to it, but it’s just the simple story of how I got my girl and how we’ve been together for the past year.
So, here it goes…
She’s my first, and only, dog. I’ve always been more of a cat person. But I guess the 30’s brought me something new… the need for the fellowship only a dog can give you (make no mistake, my Russian Blue, Sasha, is the sweetest kitty I’ve seen and doesn’t leave my side, but it’s not quite the same, I don’t know how to explain it, but I guess you get what I mean)… more or less by the time I fell in love with Danes…
Lots of reading… lots of research… learned about the short life expectancy and the health problems they’re prone to… revolved about it… and decided I wasn’t going to deprive myself of the joy and love I could get and give thinking about the pain that would come. Pain is always part of your life. It’s the only granted thing, I guess. You’re always losing people you love or worrying about them. So, I realised I could live with it.
And I realised I could live with the compromise a dog meant, too. No more sleeping into the morning, the walks in the cold, when you just don’t feel like it or when you’re sick, the training…
And then I started googling for breeders. Harls were my love (though now, one year later I don’t know if I’d be so particular about the colour… love them all). Got a few (not so many options here in Portugal). Found one late November 2010, made the deal and went to get my Harl girl Dec. 5th.
There were 2 girls there. One with almost no markings, Petra, and another one with two coloured eyes and heavy markings, “Spots” the breeder named her. I’d already had the two coloured eyes chosen, but when I got there indecision hit me. The other girl, Petra, was so beautiful and so seductive… Besides, Spots was clearly older… around 4 months. I was expecting a 2 months baby. But something kept me inclined to Spots anyway. Had I had the means, I’d not hesitate a second and bring both of them.
Well, the thing is, I went with a friend and Petra and him fell in love instantly. I can hardly put it into words. She wouldn’t leave him and would just sit, cock her head to one side and look at him like “take me with you”. She would nibble his jeans and play with him… and he just couldn’t stay away from her magnetism. And he made a heart decision right there and that’s how we ended up with 2 Dane girls in the car on our way home.
Having our own business made it easier and I always take my girl with me to the office. It’s her second home. I named her Milka, as you probably guessed by now. Choosing the name was a funny thing. You see, I wanted a boy because, after spaying my kitty Sasha (everything went well, but it hit me hard) I decided I didn’t want to have another girl, cat or dog, going through that again. And I already had a name for him: Boris.
But then people talked me into having a girl… they were sweeter, less prone to run away… etc. Well… a girl it is then. But now I’m getting a girl and I don’t have a name… Ok… family, friends, everybody… I need a name… Any suggestions?
Many came up: Luna de Plata (lovely and almost got that), Minnie (lol), godess names… heroin names… And then my friend Sté Martins suggested: “Well, she’s like a small cow… Milka.” And I thought… Well, this could work. Sounds great… It’s funny… Besides, I’m a chocolate addicted. So, Milka it is!
Now we had Milka and Petra (my friend decided to keep the breeder’s name, it was sweet) both together in the office during the day and each to her home at night. Well, you can imagine how it was having 2 danes together. Crazy all the time! Lots of fun, lots of despair!
And in the office, everybody was their uncle or aunt. 🙂
Milka was growing more attached to me everyday. She hadn’t been like Petra with that love at first sight thing. I wasn’t chosen.
But that didn’t keep her from coming to love me unconditionally. She is with me day and night. If I go shopping, she comes with, stays in the car (the car is a second or third home to her… she loves it). Comes with me almost everywhere. She’s my buddy.
When I have meetings outside the office and she stays there, she keeps crying until I return. That’s my special girl.
Coming back to Petra, unfortunately, we came to realise she was deaf. My friend was devastated. For a lot of understandable reasons I won’t discuss here because they’re very private and not mine to share, he returned her to the breeder. It was a very difficult period for everyone. I thought about keeping her, but I just couldn’t. I live in an apartment with a 80 years old aunt and no backyard. One Dane is manageable. 2 Danes, one of them deaf, is a whole different story. We tried hard to get her a home among family, friends, friends’ friends, but it’s not easy to home a dog this size, specially deaf. So I hope she got a good home and a good family. She was a really special girl.
So, for the past year, my whole life has changed… My habits have changed, even the way I relate to others has changed. I’m a lot more condescending and everything comes more to perspective since I got Milka.
She’s been a healthy girl, except for some skin related issues, nothing serious. Yet, my heart just shrinks to the size of a bean whenever she vomits or even she falls. I know sooner or later she’s going to break my heart. I haven’t stopped to think how I’m going to cope with that. I don’t want to. When the time comes, it’ll be what it has to be. For now, I just focus on making her as happy and safe as I can and on the smile she keeps on my face all day along.
Wow… This was a bit longer than I expected… I guess I don’t run out of words when I talk about my baby. I actually have some tears falling down my face… and I look at her, sleeping like an angel in front of me and just want to hug and cuddle with her!
So, this is my Milka’s story… Hope it goes on for many years.
M. Carmo Leal