Saturday, November 05, 2005

Remembering Milla

This weekend in Finland is dedicated to those who have gone before us. We take candles to cemeteries to pay respects to the dearly loved ones.

Today we also want to spend some time remembering Milla, a yellow Labrador who was buried earlier this fall. She was very happy, incredibly wise and exceptionally loyal dog. We have plenty of fond memories of her.

Milla and Miina (the black Labrador) came to live with us when the girls were small - all five of them grew together. Milla was a great companion from the very beginning, if you don't count the chewed books and the barbies hidden in the garden. She was a keen swimmer and tireless ball catcher.

Yet when I asked the girls what they best remember Milla of, the answer was the morning walk-alongs. The girls have to walk the little road up to the main road to get to the school bus and particularly during the winter time in the mornings it is very dark. Milla used to accompany each one of them up to the main road and then come back home. She made sure the girls felt safe.

My husband, the eager bird hunter, have stated more than once this hunting season, if only Milla had been there...

To my mind comes at once two things. It was Milla's daily chores to bring me to the kitchen hers and Miina's bowls to be fulled up. First that meant two trips from the feeding place to the kitchen. One day she figured out that she can bring both bowls by dropping the other one on top of the other and after that it was only one trip!

The other is when we went for a walk to a pond that is not far from us. The pond is full of water lilies in the summer and once Milla realized I tried to pick them, she jumped into the water and started pulling the flowers and bringing them to me.

I'm sure Miina would have many great stories when they two went to their secret trips. Milla and Miina shared a true friendship, they led a harmonious life without quarreling. Milla used to lick Miina's eyes every morning.
A little more than a year ago Tina came to our house. From the very start she has been spoiled rotten by all of us. None of us, except Milla, could set her any rules. Growing up without limits can spoil one completely, luckily we had Milla for the first critical year. When Tina's life got too rowdy, I would say to Milla, please, do something. And she calmed down the little trouble maker.

But there is this one person in this building who might not miss all that much. Yes, Kille. Milla and Kille lived peacefully side by side inside the house, but outside... no training, no reasoning, nothing could stop Milla from chasing Kille outside. Luckily there were lots of hiding places out in the yard plus many trees to climb to so the chase always ended up in a civilized way.

Yes Kille, I'll tell this one final thing about Milla before I close. Milla used to lie next to my feet while I knitted. I could ALWAYS bury my cold toes under her belly. Now that she is gone, all the woollen socks in my possession don't seem to be enough, so it is the reason, why it is socks on the needles again...


  1. We have also lost some beloved Labrador retrievers over the years, and yours sounds like a real gem. My own is now 14 and a half years old, and I know I will be saying good bye soon. What lovely memories you have of your Milla.

  2. What a wonderful tribute to a little friend. I'm always struck by how much the animals in our lives enrich us - its very special bond.

  3. Renée from Wisconsin19:55

    Such a wonderful story about Milla. We, too, live out in the country with lots of silly animals and pet personalities. What precious memories your children will always have of going up the road to school accompanied by your ever faithful dog. Your new socks will never warm your toes like lovely Milla.

  4. I am so sorry you have lost Milla. My dogs have always been my best friends. I too have good memories of the two I have lost. I still have Missy, a beautiful red-gold mutt. She is a dear, like your Milla was. Thank you for sharing your memories of Milla.

  5. What a wonderful tribute to Milla. Thanks for sharing. My Java also has the habit of lying on my feet while I am knitting. I just left her a few hours ago and, after reading about Milla, want to rush home and take her to the park.

  6. What a lovely post. I came over from the Warm Hands page to see your mittens (which are beautiful!) and really enjoyed your stories about Milla.

    I also wanted to let you know that I really like the socks you are working on. The cuff patttern is wonderful - did you get the pattern in a book somewhere?

  7. That's a beautiful sock, and a beautiful story. What a smart dog she was!