Dear Ian, Di and John

I had been meaning to write for ages to let you know how our fabulous Milli was getting on, but now sadly I have to let you know that we lost her two weeks ago.

She was first diagnosed with a mammary tumour in autumn 2013, about a year after we adopted her - it was successfully removed then, but after another operation in June of this year, which at first appeared to be successful and from which she bounced back brilliantly, it seems the cancer caught up with her.

Although she was up and down in the last few weeks, not keen to go for walks and even once or twice not eating all her food (and her a spaniel!), Milli remained the daft, quirky dog we knew and loved right to the end. She still tried to dance for her dinner, or at least caper for it (even when we tried to stop her, thinking she was suffering from arthritis), and she would always thank us by bringing us a 'puppy' - any soft toy she adopted, many of which were soon headless, earless or tailless, as she clearly wasn't the world's best mum! She also loved to use them for tug of war - and, never being one to play 'fetch', she also delighted in persuading us to chase her to try to grab them. Although having reached the ripe age of 12, when one might have expected her to act more maturely, she was still mistaken for a puppy herself until those last few months.

   

Milli was a fantastic addition to our family and will be very much missed, despite her less pleasant habits such as eating whatever took her fancy - rotting compost and other animals' poo being two of her favourites given half a chance. And at Christmas especially we'll miss the opportunities for new anecdotes, such as the time she ate two Advent calendars (cardboard, foil, chocolate, just not the plastic); a whole bag of silver chocolate coins, yes, including the foil; a packet of Oreos and two packets of Penguins in one night (how she managed to reach things pushed back on the work surfaces we'll never know - unless the cat joined in, which we know happened at least once with some sausages....). We can only assume milk chocolate isn't always poisonous to all dogs as she never seemed to suffer ill-effects - just producing some very sparkly deposits on subsequent walks.

Thank you for pairing us up with her back in August 2012. From the moment she bounded out to us looking for treats (notwithstanding the fact that she needed to lose 3.5kg!), she was an absolute joy for us - you couldn't have found us a better friend. I just wish that we could have had the pleasure of her company more than those four brief years.

With all best wishes (until perhaps we come to visit you again...)

Carol, Alistair, Maya and Grace


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