Many of you will remember senior canine duo Coco and Millie. They were reluctantly surrendered to Lort Smith in August 2019. Coco the silky terrier is a little fire cracker, while Millie the kelpie is a more reserved lady. Having received so much attention, we wanted to provide you with an update.
As with most senior animals, they have a few (manageable) health issues. Most notably, Millie was diagnosed with glaucoma.
Initially we had hoped to adopt these girls out as a co-dependent pair. Millie would rely on Coco to be her eyes and always let Coco walk in front. Coco, full of enthusiasm, was more than happy to be leader of their pack. Sadly, they received very little adoption interest as a duo. We were reluctant to separate them as they had lived their whole lives together and Millie became anxious without her little sidekick.
It’s fair to say they grew inpatient in the shelter. Coco began getting too bossy with Millie and would act out, especially when it was dinner time.
The kennels team discussed their case thoroughly and spoke with the previous owners to gather more intel. We strongly believed, that the incidents were due to high stress levels within the shelter and that this would subside once in a home environment, so we placed them in our foster to adopt program.
An amazing family came forward and were fully briefed on the girls’ medical and behavioural issues. They knew what to monitor and look out for, and even had a plan in place to separate them physically if no one was going to be home.
A week into the trial the foster carers advised that Coco was having episodes of lashing out at Millie, causing injuries to both dogs. After long discussions with the foster carers and our team, the difficult decision was made to separate the girls for their own safety.
Everyone was devastated, we did everything in our power to keep them together. Millie stayed on in the home and Coco returned to the shelter.
When Coco came back, she was doted upon by all, everyone felt for her and Millie. She would spend time in the admin offices keeping the staff company during their workday. It was then that we noticed she was showing some odd behaviours. Snapping at flies that weren’t there, walking in constant circles, hyper-alert etc.
After a veterinary examination it was decided to carry out a CT scan to see if there was anything sinister going on, or if it was something to do with Coco missing Millie. Fortunately the CT scan was all clear and we found another foster carer for Coco. Within days of being in a home environment, her strange behaviours subsided and she became a happy little girl again. Coco was placed up for adoption and it didn’t take long until she found her new family.
We are thrilled to share that Coco is now living with a lovely young couple who state she has settled in extremely well, she has adjusted to a new routine and has shown no signs of her odd behaviours.
Millie was eventually adopted by her foster family and has become more confident and relaxed. She loves sleeping on the couch, laying in the sun, following her carers around the house and going for leisurely walks along the beach.
They may not have ended up together, but they did end up very happy, safe and loved.