27 November 2007: She is born on a farm in the Malmesbury District to two Great Danes.
6 January 2008: After getting to know her a little bit we name her Mia. Later to become Mia Moo as she had the habit of making a mooing sound – like a cow.
Early Training and Milestones:
Soon after Mia comes home with us she loses her bite inhibition and chases the kids around the house, biting their heels. It takes concerted work to get her bite inhibition back. This happens when a puppy leaves their litter before 8 weeks.
January to March 2008: We start going to puppy socialisation. I learn how to be a good human to my puppy. Mia isn’t very interested in learning – her attention span is around 15 minutes. The rest of the time she wants to play and interact with other pups. The trainer separates Mia and her human from a labrador pup and her human to prevent the playing during class situation and basically causing a ruckus.
Mia and her favourite puppy playmate regularly puts their entire backsides in the drinking bowl at puppy class, basically treating it like a pool. It is summer after all.
Mia does all the agility exercises but refuses to go through the tunnel – she is taller than all the pups and can basically see above the tunnel.
End of February: we pass puppy socialisation classes. Even though she would never run through the tunnel in training – she does so during the “exam” and gets applause from everyone and lots of praise and treats after.
March 2008: Mia goes camping at Beaverlac where everyone thinks she’s a labrador. She hates it when I go into the water to swim. At one of the mountain pools I carry her in and she swims out. She is not happy with me.
April to June 2008: We continue to attend Pet Dog 1 classes. Even though she is still not the best student, she listens and her recall is 100%.
November 2008: As a birthday gift for Mia we acquire another puppy to keep her company. We bring home Ziggy, a 7 week old mix Great Dane puppy, and Mia does not like it but tolerates him. He is 7 weeks, and hides from her under the furniture when she intimidates him.
December 2008 to March 2009: Ziggy grows on Mia. She starts to get the hang of having dog company. In January 2009 We start taking longer walks now that Mia is over one years old. Ziggy accompanies us on the shorter walks.
April 2009: Ziggy runs into Mia and we hear a crack. He fractures a bone and cannot accompany Mia on any more walks for a few weeks. He complains bitterly.
December 2009: We learn that Mia is pregnant. She goes back on puppy food for the duration of her pregnancy.
20 February 2010: Mia gives birth to a litter of 8 pups – and equal number of male and female pups.Two weeks after she develops mastitis and stops feeding the pups. We spend a lot of money buying goat and other alternatives to sustain the pups. At four weeks they go on a weaning food. They make it through and flourish.
May 2010 to April 2014: She co-parents Lulu-Belle and Boetie Boy well with Ziggy who passes away from a rare tick-bite.
May 2014 to July 2019: Lily comes back to live with us. We first lose Boetie Boy to cancer and then 14 months afterwards, Lily also passes from the same cancer. A few months after Lily’s passing Miles comes into our lives cheering up Mia and Lulu Belle (Mia’s last remaining offspring). Lulu Belle now has company on walks since Mia Moo refuses to walk since Lily’s passing.
Mia goes on holidays and takes only short walks around where we live.
6 August 2019: Mia, Miles and I go on her last holiday to Suurbraak. The weeks leading up to our time away I was afraid of losing her and asked her to hang in there for our last holiday.
7 August 2019: Mia goes lame in her hind legs the evening. She can’t get up.
8 August 2019: Mia is finally able to get up. I get her into the car and to the vet in Swellendam. The vet sees her in the car so she doesn’t have to stress about getting in and out of the car. She gets an injection for pain despite doing her best to scare the vet away. We return to our holiday abode and she is walking and full of beans again. She overeats, starts retching afterwards and refuses to come into the house. She sleeps in the car.
9 August 2019: Mia circles the cottage restlessly for about an hour around 4am in the morning. It is icy cold. Eventually she comes into the house. Miles and I lie on either side of her on the mattress. She breathes her last breath around 7am. We are unbearably sad but grateful to have accompanied her on her journey across the rainbow bridge. We bring her home later that morning to lay her to rest in the garden.
Mia is survived by her pack Lulu-Belle and best buddy Miles, her human Hilda and the rest of her human tribe whom she loved.