Where is Millie?

April 20, 2022

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Let’s start from the beginning

Almost two years ago, we brought home Sailor, our first chocolate lab. She was an absolute perfect fit for our family, but tragedy struck just a few days after Christmas and we lost our sweet puppy when she was just 6 months old. We’ve never mourned over an animal like we did over Sailor. It felt like we had lost a family member. We still think about her and talk about her often.

Fast Forward about 6 months

Our favorite people at Beaver Creek Kennels told us they would have another litter soon. We were ecstatic and nervous. Are we ready for this yet? Should we stick with a chocolate lab or would it be best to choose a black or yellow lab? We decided we were ready and in June 2021, we picked up our newest chocolate lab, Millie.

We got home with Millie and we were so excited

Millie was always more mischievous and energetic than Sailor. I remember battling her over socks and shoes almost daily. That sneaky girl could be as quiet as a mouse and before you knew it, she was chowing down on a pair of socks. We ended up spending quite the fortune on her sneaky eating habits at the Vets office. We realized very quickly she had to be treated with much more care and observation than Sailor. None of this a problem, puppies are usually like that. We just had to make sure she was in the kennel if we were busy and not able to watch her or when we were away from home. Looking back, we wonder if getting two chocolate labs made us compare the two of them more than we should have.

It wasn’t until we went on our first couple of RV trips that we started worrying that we may have a problem.

As some of you know, my husband now travels all over the US as part of his career. We purchased a motorhome last summer so that our family could travel with him when able. When we got Millie, we went out and purchased all the things necessary to travel with a dog. Not a problem, we couldn’t wait to travel with our girl. Until it was a problem. Millie couldn’t travel. She would get physically sick and (what I assumed to be) so anxious that she wouldn’t eat or drink the entire time we were away from home. She wasn’t herself. She would just lie around and we would spend the entire trip worrying about her and if she was ok.

What are we going to do?

We had already planned an entire summer of traveling with our family in our new motorhome with a dog that doesn’t travel well. I never even considered that could be an issue to arise. For our next few trips, we would take her to stay at Beaver Creek Kennels while we were away, but we couldn’t do this for our summer trip. Thats an entire summer. As a matter of fact, we started to feel like our girl was in a kennel so much of her life and it didn’t feel fair. Millie is an energetic working dog. She needed to keep busy. Keeping her kenneled so much just felt like a cruel existence for her.

Mark and I went back and forth over this for weeks

After speaking with Kelsey from Beaver Creek, we decided Millie and our family were not the match we were hoping for. We love Millie and this was an incredibly hard decision to make, but we trust Kelsey and she was in agreeance that Millie would be better suited with a family in a different stage of life.

On March 9th, Millie was matched with a family that was a perfect fit for her.

For awhile, it was hard not to feel like terrible people, like we had just given away our dog. Until Kelsey told us that this would be the best decision not only for us, but also for Millie. Millie hit it off immediately with their son. We still get photos and updates of Millie and it makes our heart happy to know that she is loved and in a wonderful home. This wasn’t a decision we made lightly and it was hard on us and our kids, but there hasn’t been a moment we’ve felt we made the wrong decision.

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  1. Lauren Elayne says:

    What a difficult decision to make! It sounds like you did what was best for everyone and Millie will be much more comfortable. I’m so glad you could find her a loving home. Don’t feel too badly! We had to do the same and thankfully found a perfect home for our girl too.

  2. Pat Jarrett says:

    Things happen. I was just gifted a day from a friend. We love her and really enjoy having her not that my friend didn’t love her it was just not the right time for her to have a pet due to family situations.

  3. Donna Turner says:

    Oh my, that is a tough spot to be in.
    But in the long run she is better off.

  4. Dondee says:

    What a difficult decision, I can’t imagine. I’m so happy you found a perfect match for her!! Your puppy will find you! It’s funny we just adopted a little mutt. I say she’s not the puppy we wanted, but she’s the puppy we needed! God knew!

    • C says:

      So glad you shared this. I dont think people pause to consider that “giving away” a dog VS the need to place a dog in a family that fits their needs is drastically different and frequently necessary. Everything happens for a reason. Happy life Millie! One day the right pup will join your family.

  5. Jennifer says:

    I feel your pain and we went through this not long ago with our Labradoodle. He needed intense training and a family with no kids and obviously someone who didn’t work. We tried our very best for the year we had him! I had dogs my whole life and never had any issues like I did until I got this dog. I knew he had a whole life ahead of him and he deserved to be happy and my family needed the let go of this year long stress we had been holding onto. We loved him but really knew he needed more. You made the best decision.

  6. Denise says:

    This story just breaks my heart. 💔

  7. April says:

    We had a dog once that after a few years I knew we should have found another home. I knew it wasn’t going to work from day 1. But my heart just couldn’t make my brain do what needed to be done. It was horrible. Lesson learned that if I ever get another dog and it isn’t working out find then a new home! It’s ok too. Way to go! I know it wasn’t easy but all parties are happy.

  8. Julie says:

    So happy shes in a loving home! Sometimes the right decisions are the hardest. Someday the right puppy will join your family😊

  9. Becky Jacobs says:

    I’m so sorry. But you did the right thing. Better for you and Millie. So glad she found her forever home.

  10. Melanie says:

    I’m sure this was not an easy decision but you did what was right for both your family and Millie. 💕💕

  11. Diane says:

    I’m so glad Ms Millie has been matched with a family!!! I certainly understand your frustration and how hard it was on you and your family!! Just happy knowing she is ok and happy!!!

  12. I’m so happy Millie is with her forever family. I have been wondering what happened to her. Thank you for sharing❤️

  13. Linda says:

    I am wondering the same with our new puppy Beau he is a mini Aussie we have his two year old brother and he was totally different. You made the best of a loving dog but Millie may not of blended with you’all

  14. Michelle Bogardus says:

    This breaks my heart because I can’t imagine how to let go. I know that Sailor was such a bond in your family and that its been so hard to overcome and this sweet gal was a pistol lol. I’m glad she is with a family that can be attentive to all her needs. Labs are amazing animals who love deeply. I hope one day you can have a chance to try again. Ty for letting us know.

  15. Cindi Mullinax says:

    I’m so sorry y’all had to do this. I am sure y’all prayed over it. It’s tough on kids but obviously it was the best decision for Mills.

  16. Renee says:

    So hard but you guys set such a good example for your kiddos in doing the right thing instead of the easy thing. You will find a good traveling puppy when y’all are ready. Thanks for always sharing . Just love your post , many blessing for you and your sweet family.

  17. Aislinn says:

    You 10,000% did the right thing and should try your hardest to not feel guilty or weird about it in any way. Sometimes pets are just meant to be with someone else. It definitely doesn’t mean you didn’t love her or want her. You put her interests first, doing what would give her the best, happiest life! ❤️

  18. Bye bye from this follower says:

    So if you had a difficult child, would you get rid of them too? Such an awful thing to do to a dog
    Who most likely has a broken heart and some skittishness of trusting others because they don’t understand why their family gave them away. Don’t get any more animals if you can’t devote the time and energy to them!

    • Brittany Smith says:

      Children and pets are nowhere near the same. Millie is incredibly happy, on a farm with her new family. She actually took right up with her new family because a lot of thought went into finding a good match for her and for the family she was going to. Millie is much better off there than sick and scared, forced to travel in an RV or stay behind in a boarding kennel. I think rehoming pets needs to be more normalized, if anything. There are instances where rehoming a pet is a better option than keeping them in an environment they are not thriving in.

  19. Lynda says:

    My heart goes out to all of you. You made a difficult yet extremely selfless decision, and although you will miss her she seems happy and at peace in her new home. Just as Millie will always hold a place in your heart, she will feel the same about her first loving family.💕

  20. Barbara Stewart says:

    I know this was so hard for your family. My family had to make the same decision about 12 years ago. Some people will never understand this so please scroll past their comments. I hope your family finds the right fit when and if the time comes as my family did.

  21. Tricia says:

    Sometimes the hardest decisions are what is best….. Millie is loved and in a good home…. you did the right thing for her…… very sorry that your family had to go through that though

  22. Claudia says:

    Thank you for your response . I have 2 chocolate lab grand dogs . They have very different personalities . So I thoroughly understand your dilemma. I’m glad everything worked out for both your families.

  23. Donna and Cali girl says:

    I’m so sorry, but I definitely understand. My nephew decided to get an English springer spaniel, he works shift work. I was like what are you thinking, so who has to keep her, ME! I wasn’t ready for a puppy, especially a stage 5 clinger. I tried to kennel trainer her and failed and have also been in contact with Kelsey for help. I feel like I have failed this poor puppy, but she is so loved, to the point she sleeps with me and all my furniture is covered, and she goes to puppy daycare. Anyway, bless y’all and I know it was a hard decision. Love Donna and the Cali girl 🐾

  24. We had an rv years ago and when we went on trips our dog did the same not eat much but he was back to normal when we got home. I think dogs are like kids they like repetition. Hope you have a good trip this summer!

  25. Susie Jeter says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of Millie. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy decision for you & your family but it sounds like you made the right decision for Millie. This was an unselfish act of love. ❤️

  26. Sabiene says:

    Aww sorry to hear but you made the right decision. It is so hard to have a puppy and be as busy as you guys are.

    • Kathy P says:

      BINGO! If the time can’t be devoted, don’t get a pet…it’s not fair to them. I wish more people realized that.
      I’m glad Millie is thriving and getting the attention she deserves.

  27. Michele says:

    Awe! I’ve wondered about her too- so glad you posted about this! Glad she has the perfect home!

  28. Diane says:

    I just saw this post.. I was wondering where she was but didn’t want to ask if something bad had happened to her.
    You did the right thing for everyone.. she’s loved & that’s what matters.
    I know it must have been gut wrenching to make that decision.

  29. Crystal says:

    So, so glad she has found her place ❤️ I know it wasn’t easy, but glad you found her a family!

    • Brittany Smith says:

      We get updated often and Millie is thriving and doing so well. It makes it a lot easier on us.

  30. Melissa says:

    Oh thank you for sharing this with us. You know most of us support your family and this was the best thing for Millie and y’all. We had to do this with our black lab Duke. He was a sweet baby but loves to use my son as a chew toy and would break out of his crate all the time. He even ate through the bathroom door. Yes he did. Anyway just wanted to say y’all are amazing dog parents and will be blessed with another baby when it’s your time.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Can I just say what a comfort to find somebody who truly understands what theyre talking about on the net. You certainly understand how to bring a problem to light and make it important. A lot more people really need to look at this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely possess the gift.

    • Brittany Smith says:

      You are incredibly kind and I appreciate your comment so much. I have been very lucky to have found such a kind community in this space. I am so thankful.

  32. Dawn says:

    I’m sure it was such a hard decision , but it sounds like you made the best decision for Millie. You loved her enough to let her go. Thinking of you all. Thank you for letting us know.

  33. Joan says:

    Because y’all love her and I think that’s what mattered. Very wise.

  34. Colette Froeschle says:

    What an amazing gift you gave Millie! The love of two families.
    Keeping her and knowing that she wasn’t living her best life would have been selfish and cruel.
    Finding her a happy forever home teaches your kids that thinking of others first is always the best choice!
    Thank you for sharing her story with us. 💜🐾💜

  35. Gayle says:

    Thank you for loving Millie enough to set her free to love another family who could give her the home she needed. ♥️

  36. Rachel says:

    I was in a similar situation last year. I got married to my husband, we moved houses (where we lived with our first dog at “grandmas” with her three dogs) and we were so worried about her being alone. The second week we moved we got a golden retriever puppy. It was too much of a change too fast. We tried for around 4 months, and the new puppy grew fast and had so much energy and never realized how much bigger she was than our first girl. She wanted to play rough and didn’t know how to play easy. She grew scared of our new dog and completely retreated into a dog that hid and was scared all the time. They never got along, and we both worked full time and the new dog needed so much more than we could offer her no matter how much exercise we tried to give her. We found a new home for her with 2 golden retrievers and grandparents with even more golden retrievers. Giving her up was the hardest thing we ever did but once she met her new brothers she knew they were family and didn’t look back at us. We still get pictures and updates and she is living her best life. It was so hard and the guilt was insane.

  37. Laura Arthur says:

    My son had a beautiful Siberian husky. She melted me. Her name is Laya. After about two years he had to make the heartbreaking decision to rehome her due to he wasn’t home enough during the day to give her the attention she needed. She literally destroyed his couch, flooring, blankets, everything you can think of but I don’t think it was her fault. She was lonely and a puppy! But…..she is with a family who has other dogs and property where she can roam around. She’s happier even though we all cried like babies the day she left. You did the right thing!!! Sometimes it’s not about our feelings….but more about the animals feelings.
    She was so beautiful and we miss her but knowing she is happy makes all the difference.
    Oh she didn’t live with us she lived with my son but we loved her too!

  38. Michelle says:

    God bless you for doing what is right for that sweet dog.

  39. Lisa G. says:

    Thank you for sharing such a private part of your family’s life. I’ve been in a similar situation and those decisions are so hard and you question yourself relentlessly. It took me a long time to forgive myself and realize I too did the best thing for the situation. Hugs to you all.