Pet Talk: Aaron and his rescue dog Milly

Pet Talk: Aaron and his rescue dog Milly

Posted by Pet Direct on 1st Jul 2021

When it came to getting a dog for his family, Pet Direct CEO Aaron decided to adopt an older dog named Milly. Aaron's experience in the pet industry, owning dogs and with Milly have made him a bit of an expert when it comes to tips on ensuring a good adoption process. He shares Milly's story and his best advice with us.

Can you tell us a bit about your dog Milly?

Milly is an 11 year old Staffy/Whippet cross, she started her life out at the SPCA and ended up with a family that were moving out of town, we adopted her from that family 6 years ago. 18 months ago she developed a limp so we took her to the vet and an X-ray found that she had a 10cm plate in her leg and the screws had come loose. So we think she might have been hit by a car at a young age.


What made you decide to get a rescue dog and how old was she when you got her?

We love puppies but with three young kids we simply didn't have the time that a puppy needs, and we liked the idea of helping an older dog that needed a home. She was 5 when we got her. The people we adopted her from came and visited our house to make sure that she would be well looked after. A similar approach that a lot of rescue agencies have, i think this is great to ensure that dogs get set up to succeed in a new environment.

How did you find the adoption process? Any tips for someone thinking about adopting?

We were quite experienced with dogs, so had a two quite long visits with Milly and her existing owners, firstly my wife and I spent some time with her, then we introduced Milly to our kids. They played with her, ran around being kids and Milly was really relaxed, so we thought she would be a great addition to the family. My main tip is take the time, make sure you are getting a dog for the right reasons, that you are all set up to bring the puppy home, and really think through things like existing pets, the time and space you have and also that every dog is different, so don't be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to a trainer or behaviourist.

What were some of the challenges you faced after bringing Milly home? How did you overcome these?

While Milly was great with kids, she wasn't great with other dogs, so we got a trainer to come and help us work with Milly to be better with other dogs. The best thing we ever did, she now lives with two other dogs on our property without any issues or stress. Her cousin Luka (a bull terrier puppy) lives on the property and is her shadow for most of the day, she loves spending time with the other dogs. She can still be a bit weary about meeting new dogs, so we are cautious when she meets new dogs to introduce them slowly, and also to have her Chuckit ball on hand to distract her if she starts to get stressed.

What products do you think are 'must haves' when it comes to bringing a new dog/puppy home?

It's really important that you have everything you can to set up a safe space for the new addition. Beds, crates, toys, collars, leads and some clean up products just in case there are any accidents when the dog or puppy arrives home. It's also really important that you have a good plan to bring the dog home, lots of treats to reward good behaviour as it's pretty stressful for them so take your time to introduce them to their new home.

How did you decide on the perfect food for Milly? What did you choose?

We kept Milly on the food that her previous owners were feeding to start with. We didn't want too many changes all at once, after about 4 weeks we started to feed her a premium food called Acana, we wanted a good quality natural food. We are lucky as I work in the industry so have heaps of inside knowledge. I would always say a premium food that is complete in balanced is a great place to start.

Does Milly have a favourite toy?

Milly is obsessed with tennis balls, so the Chuckit! Ultra Ball is the only ball that takes her ages to destroy, i think she loses more than she destroys to be honest, but Milly loves chewing the tennis ball for hours on end. She even sleeps with the ball!

It's a sunny weekend, what are you doing with Milly?

Definitely a walk with the family, she loves her walks. She also loves coming to work with me. I took her in one day when there was no one else there and I heard her barking, and went to investigate, and she was standing at the base of some of the warehouse racking looking up, and sure enough she had found the Chuckit! balls well above her head, and she thought they were hers.

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