Milo is a ten year old beagle, who likes cuddling on the sofa and food. He spends his days sleeping, picking up crumbs under the highchair and running in the fields. Milo was the reason for my interest in dog training. Initially he was my parents’ dog, whom they brought to Russia from Finland. He was a cute, but very stubborn puppy.
He was stealing and chewing on shoes, wires, books and even a laptop. He would guard things he stole. He would growl and bite when we attempted to clean his ears. He would get into a tight space or a corner and refuse to come out, again growling and biting. Something had to be done, so my parents hired a dog trainer. Or a “dog trainer”, actually. As we found out later, she was more than unprofessional.
She told them to hang Milo on a choking chain to “punish” him and to spray water on him when he was guarding things and tight corners. Unfortunately, neither I nor my parents knew much about dog training at the moment. We trusted this “trainer”. Obviously, her methods only made things worse. Milo became unmanageable.
Milo was my parents’ dog until the age of 8 months, when my younger sister developed allergy and I moved in with my fiance. We decided to take Milo since we wanted to get a dog anyway.
Milo became our dog in January 2007, when our long journey towards trust, love, friendship and good behaviour has begun.
Later that year all three of us moved to California, where Milo spent countless hours enjoying the beach (he wasn’t keen on water) and where I received my dog training certification. During our time in America, Milo had to endure his fair share of long-haul flights, welcome two puppies into our home (one sadly passed away at 11 months and the other dog now lives with my parents in Russia) and to act as a guinea pig while I studied dog training.
Finally, on the first day of 2012, we arrived in England, fell in love with the country and decided to settle here for good. Shortly after I founded “Milo’s Dog Training”, where Milo sometimes helps out. I can say for sure that Milo hasn’t been as happy anywhere else as he in Fleet, where he has access to so many open spaces with smells of wild animals and plenty of fox poo.
In September 2015 we welcomed the arrival of our daughter Sonya. She loves Milo so much that we had to set up a play pen around his bed to give him a chance to rest.
Unfortunately, age has taken its toll on Milo. His life-long skin condition (caused by unspecified allergy) is getting worse. He is not as active as he was and sometimes limps after too much running. He was also diagnosed with canine dementia last year. It is under control at the moment, but over time it is likely to get worse.
So Milo is a happy dog leading a full life despite the challenges!