OUR LOVELY GIRL HAS GONE TO RAINBOW BRIDGE  (6.4.2017)

Kate contacted us with some very sad news “We would like to let everyone know
that Milly went to Rainbow Bridge last Thursday 6th April.

She was almost 14 years and was just very tired. Milly went peacefully at home.
She has left a massive hole in our lives. 
We have enjoyed sharing the last 8 years with Milly.
She leaves behind her adopted half brother, Floyd.

A few days on, Kate remembers: ”We can't believe how attached she became
to Andrew considering she was so frightened of men when she arrived. She certainly
came a long way and she was happy and contented with us but I will never
forget the time she managed to run away on the very first evening and she wouldn't
come back to Andrew because she was so scared.

Dear Pat and myself went out later but couldn't find her and IRR contacted the
microchip people to rush her new address through for us. Then she appeared, at last,
in the dark through a hole in the hedge that we didn't know was there.

Andrew and myself are quite lost without Milly and she has left a big hole in our lives.
Floyd is settling down to being an only dog and is nearly 14yrs himself. We still visit Pat
every weekend and Floyd enjoys meeting the gang, although he doesn't come on
the walk, just has the treats!!

I will be collecting her ashes tomorrow, Thursday, and we will go to her favourite
stream to say goodbye. 

Run free Milly ……… go with all our love Kate, Andrew and Floyd”



Marlin (now Milly) is 6 years old, has a lovely personality but has no experience
with children or cats, however her owner doesn't seem to think there would be a
problem because of her nature.  She's quite shy, has always run in the fields rather
than being walked on a lead and she has never lived in the house.  She has had 4 litters,
her last 5mths ago. She was fostered with Simon in the Midlands.


Simon said: "I finally met Milly on Sunday afternoon at Lyn’s house on the outskirts of Bristol; her arrival was delayed owing to bad weather preventing any ferries from crossing the Irish Channel. When I arrived I found a very sorry looking Milly, she was very thin, very timid and quite nervous. However, after a few minutes of petting Lyn’s other dogs she soon came round and accepted some fuss from me and my daughter Emily.

On meeting the family it was very apparent that Milly was an insecure and nervous girl as she refused to leave Emily’s side but once she’d met everybody including Freddie, our nutty Golden Retriever who was overjoyed at the prospect of another playmate, she finally came inside and investigated the house. Although any loud or sudden noise would have her scurrying for cover and even our little Shih Tzu, Candy caused her a fright when she decided to say hello to her, I’m pleased to say that 48 hours after arriving she isn’t as skittish but she can still be startled by a sudden noise.

Although, Milly is supposedly not house trained, we’ve only had one accident in the house and that was on the first evening and was really my fault as I didn’t pay any heed to her frantic pacing. Since then we have had no accidents and first thing she does each morning is trot outside for her morning constitutional.

Out walking with her is a real pleasure and she quite happily trots along either by my side or takes all of the flex lead and walks 15 foot in front of me and I stress the walks part. She does pull but not significantly and I would have no fear in allowing somebody frail to walk her. Also, I’ve also yet to see her take any interest in the local wildlife or the dogs although she has been startled by joggers when they approach from behind her.

Milly is proving to have a healthy appetite. We’re feeding her twice a day together with plenty of healthy treats throughout the day, as she desperately needs to gain some weight. The strange thing is that she will not take food from the hand (although she will take it off Julie) it has to be placed on the floor before she’ll take it. Also, she does not show any signs of food aggression so both Candy and Freddie could steal her food if we allowed it.

We’ve noticed that all tops of her teeth are missing leading me to believe that she has been gnawing on something hard but we have seen no similar behaviour while she’s been in our care. Another thing that leads me to believe that she has suffered from stress is the hair loss under her neck and that her fur is currently coming out in vast quantities, you can pull handfuls out at a time. This may all be related to parting with her babies.

She’s been fantastic with all the children and is very fond of their attention. Although, sometimes she can become nervous when the children become too boisterous but that said she just slink off to the safety of my desk and settles underneath it next to the computer when things get too much for her. She’s happy to be petted by Thomas my two year old and seems quite unfazed by his inquisitive nature.

Milly is lovely dog that obviously hasn’t had the emotional care and attention that she deserves and so now requires patience and lots of TLC. I’m quite sure that with a loving and understanding owner she would become a very loyal and affectionate friend and would reward anyone who would lavish her with affection."


Milly is slowly coming out of her shell and last night she even went up to Freddie and had a sniff and gave him a wag of her tail, however, she will tell Candy and Freddie off if they get too close when it's not on her terms. She also is starting to trust us and will actively come and seek affection from us which is a good sign. She can still be very nervous and any loud noise or sudden movement can have her bolting. She doesn't like other dogs when we're out walking which she shows by hiding behind me but at least she's not aggressive !!!  We'll just keep giving her lots of reassurance and TLC and the Loss and Fear remedies.

She will not climb the stairs or jump on the furniture but she will happily jump in the boot of the car although then  she will not get out again.

She has now been spayed and she has come through the operation OK with no complications. She weighs 26.5 kg so is a bit underweight but she will soon gain a few pounds in this house!!!!


Milly has gone to live with Kate and Andrew in Dorset where she will get plenty of TLC and will have the companionship of Dawn (adopted from us in 2007).

Kate reported "Milly travelled really well in the back seat of the car with Dawn and is now sleeping next to Andrew's chair"


Kate says "Milly and Dawn had a good night - not a word from either of them all night!  And, no 'messages' this morning, either.  Milly is so much like Dawn in temperament, it's amazing.  They are getting on just fine."

"We went out for a walk this morning (and again just now) and Milly seems to know the way back already."

"Milly has a healthy appetite and (eventually) took a biscuit from Andrew. I am using the flower essences and these should help both girls to settle after such a traumatic change."


Milly has had to get used to a lot and I can't quite believe that she's been with Dawn and us for 4 weeks already.

We think it must have all been very daunting for Milly, travelling on a ferry, getting used to staying at Simon's house and then having to change again, travelling all the way to Dorset.  We were able to spend a lot of time with Milly when we first brought her home but it came as no surprise, when we started to get back into our old routine, that Milly might feel a bit upset and confused.

I had to leave early for work on the first "normal" Monday after she arrived and Andrew came back at lunch time and again in the evening and I didn't so the 2nd time Andrew came back, Milly must have wondered where I was and managed to find an escape route to go off looking for me and then she wouldn't come back.

A very worried Andrew rang me and I got home as soon as I possibly could to start looking for Milly.  It was an extremely worrying time for all of us.  Andrew had seen Milly a couple of times but she kept running away from him (a scary man thing) and I had no luck when I went out to look as soon as I got home either.  My friend, Pat, came and fetched me in her van and brought one of her Golden girls in the hope that Milly might come to another Goldie but we had no luck either.

It was ice cold, and dark and Milly was out all alone in an area she didn't know.  Just as Pat had dropped me home and I was feeling about as low as I could, as I came into the garden, I saw a flash of white in front of me.  Milly had come home - I can't tell you how relieved I was.  She was cold, wet and frightened but otherwise, unharmed.

The other 'stress' activity we've had with Milly is chewing cushions and a footstall.  She just gets upset when we leave her.  It was a worry each time we came home as we didn't know what we might find.  We have started Milly on some herbal tablets from Dorwest Herbs (Scullcap and Valerian) which are used to treat nervousness in dogs and these have helped her to stop worrying when we're out.  Milly has hardly chewed anything since being on these and has now accepted that sometimes we go out without her.

As soon as we had the chance, we checked the garden thoroughly for escape routes and reinforced the suspect areas but it's only this week that we've had the courage to let her in the garden with us, off the lead and, so far, she's stuck to us like glue!

Walking Milly is great fun - she likes to be 'chief scout' and goes as far as she can on the extendable lead.  She likes to have a good look round, up and down banks, checking out all the holes and one day, she found a rabbit - which I asked her to drop - she did and it hopped off.

Milly had a lump on her ear and a bad ear infection when she came to us so we visited our vet who gave her a steroid injection and some eardrops to reduce the swelling.  We were advised to clean her ears daily to remove the debris.  She's very patient when we do this and the lump had reduced enough on our second vet visit to avoid having to drain it.  The vet has suggested that we finish the drops and cleaning fluid and come back to see him after that.  Milly doesn't scratch her ears much these days - so I think the ear infection must have cleared.  The vet said that she was still a bit thin (only just 26kg) and needed a little more weight.  There's not much wrong with her appetite so that shouldn't take too long.

The Saturday before Christmas, we all went over to Weymouth to help decorate the house for Christmas and the dogs were very good and didn't worry at all, even when Andrew went outside.

We've had a few visitors, both human and canine, and Milly usually growls and barks at them but she soon stops when we ignore her.  I think that she's enjoying her life so much that she doesn't want anyone to spoil it for her.  We will keep an eye on this behaviour, of course.

Milly is a very lovable dog, she likes to talk to you when she first sees you in the morning and when we've been out.  She's really coming out of herself and this last week has rolled over for a tummy rub.

UPDATE 8.4.10

Kate said: " Well, Milly has been with us for 4 months now and has settled in really well with us.  Dawn (our other IRR dog) and Milly are inseparable and have never had a disagreement in that time.

 We couldn't have found a nice, gentler dog than Milly, she is full of fun and is eager to meet everyone on her walks.  Dogs are also high on her likes list, Harvey (a small hairy type?) has won her affection and makes her day if she sees him.

 Now that the warmer weather is coming, we are spending more time in the garden and on the allotment.  Milly will settle down with us whilst we are working, keeping an eye on us in case something interesting happens. 

We went on holiday in February and both dogs enjoyed their time with us.  Milly especially likes being in the car and is intrigued by every turn of event that she sees.

 We are looking forward to taking Milly and Dawn to the Reunion in September and meeting everyone there." 

UPDATE 19.5.10

Milly and Dawn are still getting along just fine and I'm pleased to report that Milly has walked several times, off the lead, with Pats' 5 goldies in the field just up the lane.  She stayed next to myself, Pat and Dawn at first but lately has been running with the boys, tail in the air and having a great time.  It's lovely to see her enjoying herself.   

Quite often me and Milly will take a third walk later in the day (just the 2 of us!) down to the beach and back but I won't take her off whilst there are sheep and lambs about - she's showing quite a lot of interest.
She's really come out of herself and has a lovely personality and as I said previously, quite happy to stay around us on the allotment whilst we're working but also likes to spend time with Dawn indoors.
We're going off for a week at the farm at the end of June and we're all looking forward to that. 

UPDATE 13.6.2010

It's been an absolutely gorgeous weekend weather wise and we've had a great time with Milly. 

 We spent most of Saturday outdoors and Milly lay with us - I wanted to take a picture of her asleep on the grass but by the time I got back with the camera, she'd moved. 

On Saturday evening, I went out for a walk towards the beach and met Pat with her 5 Goldies - and they were all running around together - it's wonderful to let Milly off the lead and let her be a dog!  There are lots of reed beds along the path and the dogs played around them.  We cut back across a field and Milly had a really good run (building up muscles, I hope!).  Milly found the muddiest ditch imaginable on the way back and nestled down in it and changed colour and had to have a bath when she got home.  I confess this is not the first time she's found the ditch and it makes me laugh to see the state of her but she really, really enjoyed herself!  And I don't mind giving her a bath and I think she enjoys the attention - especially the rub down afterwards.

A friend and myself went to a Country Fayre today and it was a very warm day and we had to lay in the shade to let Milly cool down. I'm a right Mum and had bowl, water, doggy biscuits, wet wipes and plenty of carrier bags.  Milly got a new jazzy collar today and I also bought some nibbly treats for her and a huge biscuit bone.  She met lots of doggy friends and had a great day out.

 We're all really looking forward to our holiday in a couple of weeks time and I hope to have more photo's and Milly news then.

UPDATE 25.11.2010

Kate says "We had a great holiday. We stayed in a B&B (1st time for all of us). When we booked, we explained about Milly and the landlady said that she'd put us in a downstairs room. When we got there, they'd forgotten about Milly and we had to stay in an upstairs room the 1st night. Milly went up the stairs like she'd been doing them all her life (she's only been upstairs twice at home and doesn 't normally bother). Anyway, we were in a nice room downstairs after that and Milly was so good, the landlady said she didn't even know she was there - we consider ourselves very lucky with Milly.

There weren't many places for walks but we managed. We found a large grassed area (village green?) and that did us.

Andrew's elderly aunty (she's 88 and still lives in her own house but has helpers) loves Milly and Milly made a huge fuss the first time we went round there. In the village where she lives, there is a large recreation ground where everyone walks their dogs and I was able to let Milly off and she had a good run round and met some new friends.

We're very lucky that Milly travels so well and she loves being with us all day.

Milly is quite content as an only dog - she sees lots of friends when we're out and plays with friends then. She's really bonded with us and gets loads of cuddles and fusses from us and my Mum when she visits.

Her best thing is the way she talks to us when we come in - she tells us all about it and it really is her best feature - apart from those lovely eyes and that killer of a smile."


2010 Irish Retriever Rescue