A few days ago I was walking my dog Millie when a young boy from the neighbourhood said “Miss, I like your dog.”  I said, “Her name is Millie and she is a rescued dog”; smartly, he said “She doesn’t look like a street dog.”  The boy was right, Millie, a small breed, no longer looks like a rescued dog. I got to thinking about how the average person thinks of street dogs; in our minds they are common breeds that all look pretty much the same: skinny, mangy, the females with breasts hanging to the ground from producing too many babies and the males aggressive with plenty scars and ears hanging from dog fights; all sad looking and most with fear in their eyes.

I told the little boy how I came to rescue Millie; here is Millie’s story.  About 4 years ago, a man was jogging early one morning when he saw a boy take a dog on a chain leash over the seawall. The boy removed the leash and started to run away; the terrified dog ran behind the boy who then picked up rocks and started pelting her. The dog looked confused but continued running after the young man. Concerned with what he was seeing, the Good Samaritan jumped off the wall running and caught up with the young man and the dog. He asked him what he was doing; the boy said he was straying the dog because she was destructive, she barked too much and his grandmother was fed up and told him to stray her by the seawall. The man then took the chain leash from the young man, attached it to the dog and took her to his home. He was living in an apartment and when his landlady saw the traumatised, sad looking creature she said she wanted her.

Millie’s saviour went to the law office where he worked and told his boss, the late Gregory Gaskin what had happened. Gregory immediately called his wife, animal lover, Noreen Gaskin, and told her the story. Noreen then spoke with the man and went to see the dog.  She found a very stressed out little dog tied to a gate in the sun and a landlady who didn’t know how to care for an animal. The poor dog had a lot of fluffy hair but little meat underneath and weighed only 12 lbs; her breasts were hanging and she looked as though she had just had a litter of puppies.

Noreen immediately took the dog to a vet’s clinic, where she stayed for several days to recover from her trauma. When she was ready to be released, Noreen called and asked me to find someone to adopt Millie and to keep her at my place in the meantime. I agreed and when Noreen brought her over I could see Millie’s sad story just looking into her eyes. Every movement seemed to cause her stress; pick up a broom, close a door, drop a book, speak in a loud voice, everything frightened her. When she was in the yard and heard a noise she would run behind a tree, dig a hole and try to hide. I talked to a couple of persons who were interested in taking Millie but after three days I loved her too much to let her leave. My other three dogs welcomed her into the family and that’s how I got Millie. Today, Millie is confident and full of love; she protects our home better than a Pit Bull and never misses anything. While she is still nervous around unknown males, she has blossomed into a lovely dog who gets along with all of my other rescue dogs and is now the leader of the pack.

Please remember that millions of street dogs have to be killed worldwide each year for a lack of good homes. You too can rescue a street dog and have your own Millie. Please rescue a dog from our streets or the GSPCA.  Please spay and neuter your pets to prevent over population.

Yours faithfully,
Syeada Manbodh

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