Sunday, December 29, 2013

A long winter's nap...

27 December 2013

We finally received the custom herbs this week!  Yay!  

We've had a busy holiday week with traveling and friends and visits.  A brief warm up had us outside enjoying the sunshine before the bitter cold was back.

We are puppy sitting for little terrier Zoey this week too! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

More hugs at Dog Day

19 December 2013

More pictures from the Dog Day event.

Milo helping others

20 December 2013

Milo's before and after photos are helping Red Lake Rosie's Rescue raise $$.   They have a current opportunity for matching funds.

To read the entire post for RLRR  visit it here:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The love sponge

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Milo provided stress relief for Macalester students at our biannual Dog Day.  Due to the cold weather we were indoors for this event.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

More healing

26 November 2013

Milo saw Dr. Choi at the University of MN vet school on Friday because his latest bloodwork showed that his monocytes are again elevated.  She has been prescribing custom blended herbs for him based on blood panels.  Since this step backwards she felt it was time to see him again.  

She is prescribing two different herbs for him this time to help his kidneys and his lungs.  His breathing is still very heavy and he has sporadic bouts of phleghm and coughing.   Hopefully the herbs will get him back on track healthwise.  It was a bit of a disappointment to have him back slide after such a run of hopeful blood tests.  Dr. Choi says that the herbs will help with a broad spectrum of infection - the thought is still that there is dormant infection in his system. 

The other challenge we are working on is that he has had terrible breath and it seems that he may not be chewing his food.  Despite having his teeth cleaned when he had extractions in 2012 he has a great deal of tartar build up on his back teeth.  So... our vet recommends that we try to get him chewing on things.  Unlike Leo he is not toy motivated and is quite picky about chews. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

More Reunion photos

15 November 2013

More photos from our time a few weeks ago with Milo, Karen Good and Polly McMaster from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue.   Blame the photographer for the quality!  

Swooping in for a hug. 

Is that food? 


11 November 2013

Last week Milo had a follow up visit with our vet.  He had finished the latest round of herbs weeks ago and it was overdue for sure.   I'm disappointed to share that his blood work is still not normal and his monocytes are once again elevated.  

15 November

I started this post a few days ago, but found myself loathe to post this news.  But I realize it is important to keep sharing Milo's journey with everyone.  

We have an appointment at the University of Minnesota School of Veterinary Medicine at the end of next week to see Dr. Choi again.  She has only seen him one time early last winter but has been following his blood panel reports.   

We are hoping that this is only a small setback with his recovery.  

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rock N Roll N Reunion

4 November 2013

Milo had a pretty exciting weekend.  On Saturday, we were able to make a journey to downtown Minneapolis to say hello to Karen Good and friends from Red Lake Rosie's Rescue.  These are the folks who saved Milo on the Red Lake Indian Reservation all those many months ago.  The reunion took place in the lobby of a hotel.  It was an honor to meet Karen who works so tirelessly for the animals.  She was in town being honored by MN-SNAP (MN Spay And Neuter Assistance Program).   They had a busy day planned and we were thrilled that they made time to see us.  Karen told me that Milo was one of the most physically broken and sick dogs that she has ever seen, so that made it even more wonderful to be able to share with them his transformation.   He enjoyed the attention! 


Karen and Polly 


Of course we had to take some photos at some local landmarks!   We had plenty of attention from the dudes who hang out downtown and "Lassie" seems to have made quite an impression on them.  

Never thought I'd hang out at First Avenue with a collie!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Customer service

1 November 2013

Milo - a regular at our local pet store - was willing to assist behind the counter this evening.  He seems awfully concerned about product!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Collie day!

20 October 2013

We had a lovely time meeting some collie friends at the dog park yesterday.  It was great collie weather at about 45 degrees and they had a fabulous romp together.

After about 1 1/2 hours of cavorting we were able to gather them for a group photo.

After the group photo....


20 October 2013

I'm both relieved and delighted to report that Milo's hearing has returned!  I had prepared myself for the worst, but realized that because Milo takes so many cues from the other dogs and he is rarely away from me or the other dogs losing his hearing wouldn't be as catastrophic as it might be with other dogs.

So.... great news!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Freshly groomed in the golden hour

19 October 2013

Milo was groomed this week along with the other dogs.  The light was so pretty I had to take some photos.

Milo needs some work on his down-stay! 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tommy can you hear me?

5 October 2013

Milo's hearing is still impaired.

However, there are several things I've realized with this new experience.  They are:

1.  I have trained my dogs to respond to a recall, but I have also incorporated a hand signal - patting my leg so they will approach me without bending over them.  This is a two-fold goal.  One is that I am not putting body pressure on them by leaning over them.  And another is that it is important in herding that the dog be placed exactly where I need them, like on a gate to hold sheep off of me for safety reasons. Nothing like being crushed by hungry sheep desperate to get to their food.  Lots of human knees get taken out if a dog can't hold off the sheep while a gate is being opened.  Placing the dog where you need them to be is of utmost importance.

This hand signal has greatly helped Milo during this time of deafness at least when he is facing me.  I can summon him by patting my leg.

2.  He takes so many cues from the other dogs that it is difficult to say if he is hearing or just paying closer attention to how Sabrina and Leo are reacting to noises and distractions.  He is very reliant upon them - and has been since he arrived here - I just didn't realize how much and how important those bonds have been.

3.  He is very tuned into me.  If we are outside in the yard he is rarely more than a few feet away from me and almost never out of sight of me.  Milo has been like this all along.

I saw Dr. Choi today (the Integrative Medicine Vet from the University of Minnesota).  She provides Oriental Medicine services to humans when she is not working on animals.  I told her about Milo's hearing issues and she gave me some herbs to help the dampness in his ears.    Milo just finished the custom herbs this week for his blood irregularities so it is safe to have him on a new herb.

We are hoping for the best.

Soggy doggie!

5 October 2013

Milo was at the Harvest Howl for the Wildlife Science Center today.  He met many new friends and gently encouraged undivided attention and treats from all who passed by the booth for Minnesota Wisconsin Collie Rescue.   It was a misty rain day so he was a bit damp and soggy, but loved every minute of it!  

Several ladies gave him hugs and kisses so tonight he smells faintly of perfume.    Here he is with several of the charmed ladies.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Evening at the park

1 October 2013

Caught Milo in a ray of sunshine coming through a gap in the trees as the evening light began to fade.

Hate it that it is getting dark so early!   Need to think about getting out the blinky collar lights.

Thursday, September 26, 2013


26 September 2013

Milo hit a bit of a rough patch this week.

Earlier in the week:
He had some yeast like dirt/smell in there so I used Otomax that I had on hand for about a week - standard stuff - in both ears.  His chiropractor is the one who really notice it.  

Since then he's been difficult to wake seems like he can't hear the normal goings on which would cause him to come to dinner or line up to go out the door with the other dogs.  I'm a bit concerned as this seems to have had a sudden onset.  The infection seemed to be located on the side where his original ear infection/abscess was. 

I'd like to have Dr. Ryan take a peek at his inner ear and make sure everything is okay.

Tuesday following vet visit: 

Dr. Ryan Speltz thinks that the Otomax (gentamicin) is the culprit for Milo's deafness.  Here is some info I found: 

From Medi-Vet, (

Each gram of OTOMAX® contains gentamicin sulfate veterinary equivalent to 3 mg gentamicin base; betamethasone valerate, USP equivalent to 1 mg betamethasone; and 10 mg clotrimazole, USP in a mineral oil-based system containing a plasticized hydrocarbon gel. . . .

The use of OTOMAX® has been associated with deafness or partial hearing loss in a small number of sensitive dogs (eg, geriatric). The hearing deficit is usually temporary. If hearing or vestibular dysfunction is noted during the course of treatment, discontinue use of OTOMAX® immediately and flush the ear canal thoroughly with a non-ototoxic solution.
Dr. Speltz did have Milo's ears flushed and called Merck (parent company of Otomax) to notify them of this side effect.  He said he felt it was very important to have them to make an official report.  Ryan said that in his 13 years of practice Milo is the 3rd or 4th dog he's come across to have this condition.   It is possible that his eardrum may have had a tiny perforation which allowed the gentamicin to seep through.  

Milo had gentamicin in the form of Mometamax when he first arrived at Skyline to combat the terrible ear infection he had at that time with no problems.  And... gentamicin is in other meds - not just Otomax and Mometamax.  However, he will never have it again!    Otomax is a very common med for ear infections and I've used it successfully in the other dogs - and cats! 

So... we wait a few weeks and hope that Milo's hearing returns.  

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Grooming - an unusual bath

23 September 2013

Milo seems to enjoy being groomed by the cat.  Ramon (the cat) couldn't be more pleased with the opportunity.  

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Journey of Milo - a video

4 September 2013

A video to tell the story of Milo.

I recommend taking this full screen.  (Click in the lower right hand corner before it begins to play)

The magic of Milo!

3 September 2013

Milo working his magic. He "herded" this little boy all over the park - taking this job quite seriously. The boy would run and then stop - Milo on his heels, then patiently waiting until he moved again. The boy's mother thought it was hysterical and Milo never frightened the boy. Cute!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Many faces of Milo

21 August 2013

A note from Nancy - Milo's biggest fan and one of his benefactors that I had to share:

"I took Milo's collection of photos in frame to the spay/neuter clinic today (in Red Lake) so Karen (RLRR) could see my treasure.   She was so pleased, and had me set the photo in the area where all the medical staff (MN-SNAP) and volunteers take breaks, and the story of Milo was the topic of discussion.   He's a miracle dog and Karen is very proud to see how handsome he has become!
Thank you, Andi.   Hugs for Milo today and always.
Nancy/Bemidji "

Nancy performs many kind works for animals.  Thank YOU Nancy! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013


13 August 2013

Milo stopped in at the local pet store to visit with a couple of his favorite friends. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Training people for dog training success

9 August 2013

This evening we went to one of our favorite dog parks and, as usual, Milo greeted old friends and new - the two legged variety.  He got scratches and pats from all and made sure that no one had an idle hand for too long nudging them into action on giving him love.

After about an hour of walking the trails it was time to head out and get home for some dinner.  However, it was about this time that several new groups of people and dogs entered the park.   Milo was intent on greeting and charming them into getting some love from them too.

So... here is the scene.  I am walking towards the exit gate with Leo and Sabrina.  Milo is about 40 feet away fully focused on his new groups of people.  I call to him and he ignores me because these new people are petting him and falling under his polite, but relentless charm and he is being full on rewarded right where he is so there is no value for him to leave this heavenly situation.

I call to the people to stop petting Milo.  Then I call to him again.  Milo, intent on getting his new people to pet him again moves from person to person nudging their hands.  The well meaning people touch his head, talk to him, pointing to me saying, "Your mom is calling you".  As if  a) he will understand and b) that pointing at me will help - as if he just doesn't speak English so pointing will help.  What they don't know is that they are still rewarding him for not listening because they are giving him attention.  

Subversive that I am, I see this as a training opportunity for human and canine.  I ask the people to ignore Milo - no touching, no eye contact.  Several of them confess to finding this difficult as he is pretty hard to resist, but are nice enough to play this game.  And... voila!  No reward for Milo with the new people and he willingly trots to me for big hugs and great exclamations of what a good boy he is.  Huge, exciting dog party reward ensues!

I thank the people for their help and explain to them how they had been contributing to Milo's "bad" behavior by rewarding him for not listening by giving him attention.

I hope this was a good lesson for both human and canine.  

Another round of herbs

12 August 2013

Milo's most recent batch of custom herbs arrived this week.  They were prescribed by Dr. Choi at the University of Minnesota Veterinary School.  Milo's last blood test was still not quite normal and the herbs were custom blended for his improving condition, so each blend is altered slightly based on his blood tests.
Dr. Choi practices Integrative Medicine - combining traditional Western medicine with Oriental medicine.

The herbs are in powder form that are sprinkled onto Milo's food.  Herbsmith is a Wisconsin company that blends the herbs as prescribed by Dr. Choi and then shipped to our home.

Head is on straight!

4 August 2013

Milo had his third visit with the canine chiropractor on Saturday and was declared to be in "maintenance" mode.

He is now engaging in light play with Leo and will go around the sheep both ways.  

I'm glad he is more comfortable.

Napping after yard work

11 August 2013

Yesterday Milo got a good work out following the riding lawnmower.  If we are outside, he is always right with me.

After a good work out a nap is well deserved.  


Wednesday, August 7, 2013


7 August 2013

Milo and Leo can often be found hanging out together.  That's what pals are for!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Napping in the evening

2 August 2013

On a lovely summer evening it is good to nap in the shade of the garden with a pal.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Milo's new friends

At the park Milo seems to find kids and herd them and their people.  Here he is minding his charges as if they have bacon in their pockets.  Kind of cute.  Love his sashay! 


Away to me!

25 July 2013

Worked Milo briefly on sheep last evening.  We have gained back our "Away to me" or left hand circle around the stock.   Very pleased that we could make Milo more comfortable in his body.

He was happy to be back on sheep!


Friday, July 19, 2013

There's the rub!

18 July 2013

A couple of weeks ago at a herding trial Milo was being petted by a massage therapist (and trialer) who noticed he "melted" onto the ground when his hind end was touched.  She manipulated his neck and felt around and declared that his atlas and coccyx were out of whack.  She showed me that he had much greater range of motion to one side with his neck than the other.  She recommended that I seek a chiropractor for him.   And then it occurred that he has been much less playful and active and does melt into a sit at the lightest touch on his back end - which is understandable in the warmer weather, but it made me think about other behaviors.   Dogs are right or left handed as humans are and "favor" one side when striding and, as I have noticed profoundly, in herding.  Milo favors the "come bye" side or right circle around livestock.  Initially I could work him into an "away to me" or left circle, but recently he has refused an away to me direction even with body blocking.

So we sought out canine chiropractic.  

Since then Milo has had two treatments of canine chiropractic and yesterday a massage.  He was a very good patient and we learned that yes, indeed, he was out of alignment.  As a result of this he was compensating by using his left side more than the right.  His right side - both front and back - has become weaker.   Knowing what we do about his need for chiropractic intervention it makes sense that he would want to turn right and lead with his left foot first.  

The experience was very interesting with the chiropractor.  She used an activator (kind of like a metal shot) which made a loud pop to help with realignment.  She has given us some exercises to help with Milo's weak side.  

I suspect that something may have happened either on the ice and/or playing with Leo that put him out of alignment.  Leo likes it ROUGH! 

Milo seems to be more comfortable now.   I'm sorry I didn't get a photo of him on the table for his massage, but my phone was out in the car and I didn't want to distress him by leaving.   He was a bit unsure at first about being on the table, but had an expression of utter euphoria by the end of his time. 

Sabrina, on the other hand, was all snarls and "smiles", until she was able to relax for the second side.  Poor girl was a knot of muscle spasms and tightness.  

We are still waiting for Milo's latest custom herbs to arrive. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some good news for Milo!

17 June 2013

We received the results from Milo's CBC on Saturday and Dr. Ryan was practically giddy in reporting that Milo's monocytes are finally within the normal range at 8.9%.  But some of his other levels are still off.  His neutrophils are low at 54.4% and his eosinophils are high at 19%.  

Normal monocyte levels are between 3-10%.
Normal neutrophil levels are between 60-77% (a type of white blood cell that helps fight off infections, particularly those caused by bacteria and fungi).
Normal eosinophil levels are between 2-10%   (one of the five major types of disease-fighting white blood cells.)

In June of 2012 Milo's monocyte levels were at 26.9% and were still high when tested in November so he has made a lot of progress since then. 

Dr. Choi at the U of MN is very pleased that the herbs she prescribed have helped, but wants him to have more custom blend herbs to bring all his levels into the normal range.  

I've attached a photo of Milo from Saturday at the Wildlife Science Center taken by Terry Libro - BEFORE the torrential rains.   Oh, and Milo thinks Kitty's turkey treats are so good that he snatched the entire basket off the table and tried to make off with them!  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pupdate on Milo

2 June 2013

Milo is due for a blood test which will tell us where he is with his monocyte and neutrophil levels and this will hopefully tell us what the next step of his treatment will be with the herb mixture from the U of MN.  We will do this blood test in a week or so.

While externally Milo is so much improved, his poor immune system was so compromised that it is truly amazing that he has recovered to the level where he is currently.  He looks like a lion with the giant mane he is now sports.

Milo took a turn on sheep at a location where he has not worked and these sheep saw him and though they were heavy (very willing to stay with handler) for the Aussies who normally work them,  they saw Milo and reacted in a very unsettled manner.  It was if they were saying, "Holy s_ _ _!  What it THAT?!"

The good news for me is that the patient work with Milo's reluctance to come into the garage and through doorways has paid off.  Now the garage is a good place and he trots right into it.  No longer a trap for him.  Yay!  I was worried about having to coax him in while mosquitoes swarmed into the house.

Milo visited his friends at the pet store and, enablers that they are, allowed him to shoplift treats.  He's quick for that!  Naughty!

A definite milestone and exciting news!

Milo's one year anniversary of rescue is coming up on June 3. There will be a special post on the blog ( and Facebook page for Red Lake Rosie's Rescue on that day.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Visit with the past

15 May 2013

Milo met up with a former acquaintance this week.  While another dog had a vet visit, he just came in for a social call.   Heather, a tech at Skyline Veterinary Hospital was in on Milo's first day and had a hand in his shave to the skin and de-ticking ordeal.   Heather has not seen Milo in many months and was thrilled to see his luxurious full coat.

Best buds

11 May 2013

Leo and Milo are best buddies.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

You can ring my bell

5 May 2013

I was awakened at 4:30 am by a ringing bell.

My first collie, as well as being my first "used" collie, arrived with the instruction that she rang a bell when she needed to go out.  And after she proved to me that a bell was the only way she knew how to ask to be let out, we got a parrot bell and hung it on the door.  Subsequently all of the collies at our house learns to ring the bell to go out.

Milo rang the bell because he needed to go out.

Good boy Milo!!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

New friends!

16 April 2013

Milo made a new friend at the park tonight.   She wanted to take him home and cried when she learned she couldn't.  awwwww......

Sunday, April 14, 2013


April 9, 2013  - Sorry - didn't post this on the day of....

1.  Milo began the second round of custom herbs last week.

2.  At the park this evening when it was time to go home all of the collies trotted obediently toward the gate to leave when called, but at the last second Milo decided he couldn't hear me and instead turned tail to go visiting with several people.  Again I had to ask people not pet him while I was encouraging him to leave.  I had to smile because it seems to be the natural instinct for people to get involved in this training exercise.  Of course I need Milo to make that decision on is own, but others want to bring him over to me.  It seems to be quite difficult to ignore Milo's hopeful nudge and demeanor!  

It is kind of wonderful that he is being naughty.  It means he is feeling good!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


The photo says it all.  Milo passed his herding instinct test at the Collie National.  He had a great time and met many new friends who were chanting "Milo!  Milo!  Milo!" during his turn.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


20 March 2013

Very cold start to spring!

The collies at the park this evening were wild and running, running, running.  Having a grand time in the cold and snow.

Milo showed me he is feeling better by being NAUGHTY!  He found a couple who have met him before on many occasions and have seen his transformation over the months of fall/winter and herded them.  As in nibble on the hands, grab pants, coat... nibble nibble nibble.    Then.... when they chuckled at this he JUMPED on the woman!  Naughty collie!  

So.... we have some work to do with learning boundaries.   The people were great when I explained to them that they needed to stop petting him when he did that so as not to reinforce the behavior.

Interesting.  I guess he needs more livestock time!

Still heavy breathing and coughing, but it has improved.   He just finished his herbs, but Dr. Choi thinks - due to the breathing and coughing - that he needs more time and a little bit different herbs.  She feels that this healing from the herbs will take a long time.   Understandable when you consider how very sick he was just months ago.

Friday, March 15, 2013

In like a lamb... out like a goat?

Friday, March 15 - the Ides

Wow.  It has been a long time since we posted.  Work has been insane.

On a very rare and badly need day off both Mao (cat) and Milo decided they needed attention NOW!

Milo has met the sheep on several occasions and was able to work the goats this week.

He will be a part of the Collie Club of America National Specialty herding instinct test at the end of the month.  Leo and Sabrina will be showing at the competition level.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

all work and no play...

15 February 2013

my work schedule has been nutso, so rather than posting here my free time has been devoted to walks and trips to the dog park for the pups.

We finally received the herbs this week.  It is a custom blend powder which is sprinkled on his food twice a day when he eats.  Will be glad to see improvement and hoping it eases the wheezing and coughing induced by excercise.  Fingers crossed!

Another trip to the groomer for him as he somehow must have gotten peed on during a literal pissing contest at the park.  He loved it, of course. The groomers who first met Milo in June when he was bald and receiving his first medicated bath.were pleased with his gorgeous coat.  Who would have imagined how much coat he would grow and how lovely it is!  Very soft too.