No one knows exactly what happened to Millie on that day in late March of 2020. At least not for sure, that is. When her original owner came home, she found the small goldendoodle puppy at the bottom of the staircase in pain and acting strangely. Millie, her muzzle swollen, also had burn wounds in her mouth and near her eyes. Her owner took her to urgent care, where veterinarians suspected she was electrocuted after chewing on wires and cords. Feeling unable to manage the costs and responsibilities of Millie’s medical care, her owner ultimately decided to relinquish her to the Dumb Friends League.

Shortly after Millie came to us, our Shelter Veterinary Services (SVS) team performed a physical exam and radiographs to assess the cause and extent of her many injuries. Although she could stand, Millie was lethargic, aching, and wobbly on her feet. League veterinarians determined she was suffering from multiple fractures in her ribs, pelvis, and femoral neck bone near her left hip joint. To alleviate the pain in her hip, Millie underwent a Femoral Head Osectomy (FHO) surgery (and spay, since she was still intact).

Following the procedure, Millie recovered in the foster home of Judy, one of our caring veterinary technicians. Judy knew that her neighbor, Jennifer, was interested in adopting again after she and her family lost their beloved American English bulldog in 2016. When Jennifer met Millie, she immediately fell in love with her sweetness, positive spirit, and funny personality. “She seemed so lively, despite everything she had been through,” said Jennifer. “It really tugged at our hearts.” So much so that the family adopted Millie just one month later.

Today, you would never know the pain Millie endured during her earliest days. The girl who faced so much adversity as a puppy is now playing with Jennifer’s 9-year-old daughter, savoring pup cups from Starbucks, and lovingly invading the personal space of everyone she meets. “Millie will sit next to a person and put her face in their face … she’s just so excited to [see] new people.” In addition to making her laugh, Millie inspires Jennifer with her resilience. It makes Jennifer want to give her the best life, the life she has always deserved. “Millie is just amazing … she does so much for us, and we want to give back to her [in return].”

Millie’s story is just one of the many heartwarming stories in our latest issue of Pet Tales, the League’s triannual publication for animal welfare advocates like you. Do you want happy tales like Millie’s delivered straight to your inbox? Click here to sign up to receive Pet Tales electronically three times a year.