Millie en route!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Remember Millie? I posted about her at the end of August 2009 in the hopes of having her adopted. Animal rescuers in Chile asked me if I would bring her to the US and although I agreed, Millie has been waiting in Puerto Montt for adoption since April 2009.

Millie’s mother survived the volcanic eruption in Chaitén on May 2, 2008, and Millie and her siblings were born in a town evacuated of people. At about four months old, she was captured and moved to Puerto Montt during the filming of Lost Dogs. The photo (left) was taken just hours before I had to leave Puerto Montt after a two-month shoot in Chile. Millie never made the list of seven dogs I later escorted back to the US, but it seems her fate is to end up here after all…

After the evacuation and while in captivity at the veterinary school in Puerto Montt, Millie was attacked by another dog (aggression the result of being chained to a tree for several years). Tragically, the attack caused Millie to lose her left eye. I am told that no one in Chile wants her for this reason. Now, almost a year after her evacuation from Chaitén, Millie is on her way to the US.

Her new home is on the Oregon coast with Rick and Janet Champ. Janet is the copywriter/writer for Lost Dogs, and Millie’s adoption is the result of a chance encounter during the couple’s recent trip to Chile. While visiting Valparaiso, Rick and Janet were targeted by a starving puppy that ran up to them, howling and crying incessantly. They tried everything to bring the dog home, but a veterinarian dashed their hopes – the puppy was too young to be permitted on an international flight. With limited time, they could find no one willing to foster and had to go through the ordeal of leaving the orphaned stray where they had found her.

Janet returned to Oregon with the howling puppy imprinted on her mind and heart. Determined to do something, she found the Lost Dogs web site and is now an invaluable addition to the production team. As for Millie, this is her victory.

Millie was scheduled to fly from Puerto Montt to Santiago one day before the earthquake struck on February 27, 2010. More delays, and at times I thought she would never make it. Now, we are hours away from her scheduled departure from Santiago to Los Angeles, and on to Portland. Into the open arms of Janet and Rick.

Thank you to everyone who is making her journey possible, and all those willing to help get her here safely – Macarena Zanelli, Juan Carlos Cuitino, Carolina Ahumada, Michael Hale, Therese Mercer, Carol Linacre, Jenny Cruickshank, Janet Champ, Rick Champ, Nik, Pilots ‘n Paws, LAN airlines…

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