Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Posted January 8, 2015
We took Millie in as a stray. She was taken into the local police station where my mum works after being found in a box by the side of the road and my mum brought her home to me :) We were unsure what exact breed she was but pretty certain she is mostly Springer Spaniel with some English Cocker Spaniel in there.
As with any mixed breed this dog has been a complete mixed bag. She has always had a problem with food which I assume comes from her time as a stray. She is completely obsessed with getting as much food as possible into her mouth and has been since the first day I got her. I knew there was a problem as soon as I took her into the garden and she started madly eating wrappers out of the bin despite being fed twice. She has to be watched when she eats to make sure she doesn't eat to fast and you can never leave any food in her reach or it's gone before you can blink! As she gets older its especially even more important to watch her as she gains weight really easily.
As a puppy she was always hyper and would run around in circles for hours each evening and never tired on walks. One of her favourite games was to chase a torch light around the floor; all of this is apparently quite typical for a spaniel breed. As she's gotten older she doesn't have as much energy but she still does all this occasionally and rolls around like a maniac when she gets excited.
Millie is a tough lass and has never been sick or needed to go to the vets other than routinely, in that sense she is a true mutt! Once every few months she needs to have her fur cut professionally because its gets to crazy to handle alone! Being a mixed breed she's inherited a bunch of random traits and has legs that are a bit too short for her body so her fur grows down to the ground quite quickly.
She is not a lover of cats or small animals, her hunting instinct is too strong and anything smaller than her is fair game in her mind! Millie is a really lovely girl, not overly affectionate as she has to come to you if she wants attention and she gets very grumpy if you bother her when she doesn't, especially if she's sleeping! She has been vocally aggressive towards people who have invaded her personal space or grabbed her before and I assume this too is some left over fear from her time on the streets. She has never hurt anyone and I don't think she would, in my opinion she just had a rough start and needs her space, she knows the boundaries though.
When considering a mixed dog it's very important to consider the breed traits of all it's mix as the dog could it inherit any random mix of these and it's impossible to predict which until they mature. Also when taking in a stray or rescue dog it is important to understand they might have issues from mistreatment or neglect and it's vital to be understanding. We don't know what happened to Millie before she came to us but it's clear from her behaviour and the way she was found that something wasn't right. When she first got here she was absolutely terrified of brooms and people moving their feet around her and would cower and hide, we strongly suspect she was beaten and kicked and it took a lot of love and work to stop her from being so scared. Of course some the issues (i.e like the food and space issues) will last a lifetime, it's important to be prepared these kind of dogs might not ever be completely 'normal'. But that's okay because despite all her quirks and flaws, I wouldn't change Mildred for the world :D