Introducing Milly

Full Name

Milly Bray

Prior Names

Milly Bray-Smith  – before we were married

Milly Smith  – when I was pretending to be a strong independent woman for about 5 seconds

Amelia – her actual name when we adopted her from the RSPCA.   I had put this out of my mind to be honest.  We very rapidly morphed it from Amelia, to Melia, to Meelie, to Milly.  But when I overthink it I feel bad


Millybear/Milly the Bear/Millbear – in the early days this was she.   And many of our very dear friends still use this address.  In fact so did I.  On the day we lost her… “oh Millbear you are in a muddle”…

Boo/Booboo/Boobear – generally anything beginning with B.. apparently this is standard for those that we love

Poppet or Poptart – Matt’s names for her.  For many months to begin with Matt and I used to have this repetitive dialogue..

Me: Do you love her?

Matt: She’s cute

Me: Yea but do you love her?

Matt: She’s cute

Me: Yea, she’s cute. But do you love her…. etc etc.

You know how this plays out!!  I can’t remember how long it took, but at some point he started just. saying. YES.   I knew it, however, because I often used to catch him talking to her when he didn’t realise I could hear.  And it was ADORABLE.

Banana – over the last 6months or so I’ve been calling her Banana.  As in “oopsie Banana, be careful” if she slipped or tripped.  Old age was catching up with her, but she still thought she was a pup and would try and stand on her hind legs with her paws on your tum.

Cupcake – my absolute FAVE.  This was what my CUTE CUTE dad used to call her.  I’ve always known my dad was a softie but with Milly he was SOMETHING ELSE [insert cute eye covering monkey emoji. At least twice]




Mid-thigh-ish –  tall enough to rest her head perfectly on your lap when sitting at the dining table, but not tall enough to steal things off the table.  Not that she EVER would (see future blog!)


Winter ~20kgs

Summer ~18kg – not that she was consciously training for a bikini bod.  But if I was it undoubtedly meant our walks were longer, or faster, or both.


Nearly 15ish (see below)



31/03/2003 – Guesstimated 😦  Adopting a rescue meant that we were never sure when her actual birthday was.  But we celebrated 31st March every year.





Black with a white bib, although getting greyer and greyer around the muzzie and paws as she got older.

Eye Colour

Cloudy – Milly’s eyes used to be brown but she started to develop cataracts a few years ago, and her eyes took on a bit of a cloudy blue hue.  In some respects a slight deterioration of her sight was helpful – it meant I had a strong chance of spotting another dog before she did – but I swear it was selective… she could still spot a squirrel in trees 30 metres away from the kitchen doors.



Mixed – Lab x Collie was what her RSPCA form said… but perhaps she was even more of a mix.  We’ll never know I guess.  Not that it mattered one bit.  Milly was perfect.

Unique markings

Two moles – neither you could spot immediately, but on close inspection she had one on her back that resulted in a little greasy patch or fur as she got older (greasy mole in human = gross.  greasy mole in canine = cute), and a second on her side that was invisible expect for the fact that a couple of hairs grew out of it and were especially long.  I hope she won’t be embarrassed by my sharing…. frankly hairy moles are a watchout for all aging ladies.  Obviously she was groomed well.  Regular dry shampoo and essential hair trimming (Note to self).

Black spot on tongue – when I first saw this I completely PANICKED.  All sorts of things went through my head.  But apparently it’s just a no worry nothing.

Scattering of white hairs on the very tip of her tail – used to think it was from swishing against wet paint, but in 8 years it never grew out so it can’t have been!

Place of birth

Somewhere in Ireland – this is all we know of her history pre-RSPCA.  To be fair that is probably all we would want to know.  But thank god for the EU.

Favourite food

I might have to revisit this later on, but she was partial to an ice-cream.  It was the only thing she ever used to dribble over…



Unknown – one of the HARDEST things I found was never knowing if Milly had been a mummy or not.  It never troubled her I am sure, but it troubles me.

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