Rescued Golden Retriever Becomes Trusted Friend

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Photo courtesy Ginnie Baker
Millie the Golden Retriever loved playing with her tennis ball and was the best companion one could ask for.

Millie, my beloved Golden Retriever, has been my constant companion for almost 11 years.

Today I say “Goodbye,” and it is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

In past years, I had volunteered in several rescue groups for Goldens. One day, I received a call that there was a puppy in rescue right here in Bellville.

She entered my life as a 9-month-old waif. This little girl, only a puppy herself, had a litter of pups at the age of 6 months. They had just been weaned, and the puppies were kept, but she was not.

Millie arrived, a skinny little thing with her tail wagging, as she presented me with her favorite toy – a rubber baseball that was so big she could hardly hold it in her tiny mouth.

Our bond was instantaneous and lasting. We went to the store with Millie in the back seat of the SUV and loaded up on pooch food, puppy biscuits, and all the good stuff I knew she would want.

That was the beginning of a nearly 11-year loving relationship.

Millie quickly became a big part of my life. My son, Gregg, is physically disabled and lives in a facility in southern Ohio. From the beginning, Millie traveled with us to visit Gregg.

She had an inborn sense that he was someone special. She was so gentle and loving with him, putting her head in his lap and looking up at him with her big brown eyes.

After a few visits, Millie knew her way to Gregg’s room, and would stop along the way to say “Hi” to the other kids, giving them a nose rub or lick, her tail wagging all the time. The kids would respond to her immediately.

Millie came into my life at a time when I needed her as much as she needed me. I had just been downsized from my corporate job and was feeling a little adrift.

From that first day, she was by my side, making me feel that someone needed me and wanted to be with me.

She loved to play with her tennis ball, something that seems to be born in every Golden. She carried it around and put it at my feet, waiting for me to toss it so she could proudly bring it, again and again.

In summer, she enjoyed her “kiddy” pool filled with water. She would throw her tennis ball in the pool, then jump in and get it, her head going completely underwater, then jump out, shake herself off, and throw the ball right back in the pool. What fun!

It was tough watching age creep up on Millie, and today, I say goodbye to my loving companion.

Goodbye Millie girl…

Bellville, Ohio

Read more pet stories in Pet Stories: Remembering Favorite Four-Legged Friends.