Acquired: Breeder (hobby breeder)
California, United States
Posted October 16, 2014
Milly was so tiny when we first got her, she fit across one of my legs on the ride home. She looked like a rolly-polly teddy bear for the first year of her life. She wasn't exactly the runt of her litter, or the largest pup in the box; she was right in the middle.
The first training we did with Milly was housebreaking her. She figured it out fast enough that we only had to deal with a couple of accidents in the house during her entire puppyhood. Milly was highly intelligent and took to any training very quickly. She was also very submissive, meaning that her training went smoothly and didn't require a lot of reprimanding. We used a choke collar at first, but it became quite obvious that it wasn't needed after just the first day.
My family ran a child care facility, and Milly was the mascot. She adored the kids, and would often try to herd them in the yard. She was even-tempered, and withstood much "abuse" from the toddlers, including tail (what little nub she had, she'd been cropped as a tiny pup) pulling and ear chewing. Milly never once snapped or growled at any of the kids, she knew her limits and would simply walk away if they got too enthusiastic.
As a mid-sized breed, Milly was fairly easy to manage. She had her own little idiosyncrasies, like her fear of large bodies of water and her inability to greet someone new without piddling on the floor in excitement, but overall she was an excellent breed combination to own, especially in a high-traffic house like ours. She knew her schedule, she knew her commands, and she followed both to the closest she was able.
By the time Milly passed away, she knew sit, stay, wait, heel, come, bed, outside, go, no, okay (her favorite), and the ever popular snap of the fingers with a point. This dog would even go potty on command, early in the morning, when no one wanted to stand at a sliding glass door for longer than necessary.
Her health was always good, she rarely needed the vet for anything not related to an injury. Her injuries most often involved a beesting on the face. She was curious about the critters in the area, and we spent one week in the summer de-skunking her because she kept getting curious about the smelly thing in the patch of wild mint. She had no joint problems, no respiratory issues, and she truly never really got sick. What took her in the end was a seizure after a brain embolism popped. Nothing anyone could have planned for, and nothing that could have been prevented.
The combination of Boxer and Aussie as breeds worked out perfectly for us. She was mild, playful, intelligent, and well-behaved. Generally speaking, a very easy-going dog.