A] Personal Details
1] Your Name?
“My kennel name is Rougledon’s Lady Amelia, which instantly got shortened to Milly.
“When I came to live in my forever home – they already had a dog (!) named Jackson Brown – so I immediately became known as Milly Brown. Then Moo, Schmoo, Schmoodle, Noodle, Miltch, Moochalada Chickolada, Bean, Schke-bean, and more often than not, Milly the Mooch.”
“I’m British. But I’m sure you must have figured that out from my rather posh accent.”
2] Your 2 Leggeds Names?
“She’s called MPJ, short for ‘My Pet Jani’ – I’ve never heard 2-legged before – Thanks! I’m going to borrow that.”
“Like many other much-loved humans, they believed that they owned their dogs, instead of realising that their pets owned them. Pongo and Missis found this touching and amusing and let their pets think it was true.”
Dodie Smith, author of 101 Dalmations
3] What K9 Breed are you?
“I’m a Norwich Terrier, but it drives me bonkers that everyone over here in North America says NorWich. You don’t pronounce the W!
I’m a Nor-ich. SILENT ‘w’
And if you say it with an East Anglian farmer’s accent it comes out sounding like ‘Naarch”
4] How Old Are You?
“I just had my 10th birthday last week. I was a bit bummed though, NO CAKE (as in a peanut butter doggie cake with yogurt icing like my friend Debbie makes) cause MPJ says that I’m overweight after staying with my Granny Jess (known as ‘GJ’) while she was away (MPJ was gone for a month – DO NOT even begin to go there – I thought she was never coming back, my sniffer button (nose) was well out of joint, it’s no wonder I was comfort eating).”
MPJ says that too many treats has turned me into a Pork Pie.
GJ got in trouble for spoiling me. Now don’t go telling her, but GJ really is a huge sucker for the big round beggar eyes – it was a feast of a month!
My newest nickname is ‘Fatty-Bom-Batty’.
My friend Wayne calls me ‘Pork Chop’
I’m now on a bikini diet cause MPJ says that a minimum of 2 1/2 pounds has to come off.
5] Do you run your household?
“What a silly question.”
“Oh, and by the way, the booster seat on the front passenger’s side of the car is known as ‘The Princess Milly Throne’. I freakin hate it when she calls me that. I am far too dignified to cope with that level of sarcasm!”
6] Do you live inside or outside the house?
“Don’t be daft. I would never tolerate the idea of an outdoor kennel, my place is on my very own special blanket on the top of MPJ’s bed and we snuggle up together every night. Outside would be far too cold and lonely.”
“I do respect the rules that dogs never go on the linen, so I’m never inside the bed. Fair enough, I can live with that.”
“There was only one exception to that Never-In-The-Bed rule:”
“But let’s be very clear, I am a fully paid up member of the Couch-Dogs-Rule Society. Couches were made for snuggling.”
7] Where about in the world do you live?
“Now that’s an interesting question. Where do we live?”
“I was born in Norfolk England, then moved to Oxford, then moved to London.
I was very happy living in England, we lived in a village just outside Oxford, on the banks of the River Thames. We had the most splendid walks there, especially when we would go along the towpath. England is VERY beautiful, especially where we lived, right on the edge of the Cotswolds.”
“And our London home was right on the edge of Hampstead Heath – my backyard was 1100 acres of forest, with rolling hills, old quarries for climbing and scrambling in, and ponds that people swim in”
“It was K9 Heaven. I would meet up with loads of mates from all over the neighbourhood and we would run around with complete abandon. No one ever went on lead (unless they were badly behaved).”
“It was squirrel hunting Nirvana.”
“THEN, in March 2017 MPJ put everything in storage and we came to North America to have A Very Big Adventure.”
“Well that was a big surprise, let me tell you. Unexpected is an understatement.
“Here’s a picture of the day I was put into the scary crate to go in the terrifying hold of the ghastly areoplane to make the horrid nasty awful endless journey to get to Vancouver.”
“11 hours of pure hell. But it was worth it. I could not be without MPJ, and now we are Nomads, and we are travelling! Turns out I really like travelling.”
“We did a road trip all the way to Los Angeles down old Highway 1, and then came back up the I-5. We were gone for 5 months, and we got to live in Venice Beach. I LOVE Venice Beach!!”
“We had some hair-raising moments on the drive down, but overall it was really fun, and we learned that I am a really good traveller. It was a test run to see if doing a Charity Drive from coast to coast and back again to all 48 continental states would be something I would enjoy. It’s called ‘The Mooch Across America’. Bring it on! We’re going to have an RV, and MPJ is already referring to it as The Mooch-Mobile!”
B] Exercise/Play Time/Adventuring
8] How often do you take your 2 leggeds for a walk?
“Lucky for me, my 2-legged is well up for walking!”
“We’re based in North Vancouver while we do all the paperwork for the Charity Drive.
MPJ is Canadian, and has spent the last 30 years living in the UK. We are temporarily perched here on the North Shore mountains where she grew up – and we’re close to GJ.
The walks here are FABULOUS!!!!
We’re on a mountain. Literally.
“So it’s honest to goodness rainforest, canyons, creeks, woodlands filled with squirrels (Yay!) and we are only 15 minutes drive to the beach!”
9] Do you vary the walks or trek the same route every day?
“As above, it’s a pick and choose as to what sort of mood we are in, and whether or not it’s raining. Either it’s a hike on a mountain trail, or an easy stride on a seawall. Vancouver has lots of seawall! They call it Raincouver for a reason. And we’re walking in a genuine rainforest”
“Now that the spring is fully sprung and the summer weather has begun, it’s a wonderland of green. And it’s so fragrant! The smell of the cedars and the fir trees is like breathing in the sap of life.
“Can’t say I’m overly fond of the skunk cabbage though. It stinks. It only took one time to figure out I do not want to go into that again.
“This is me after chasing through a skunk cabbage bog!!”
“Ooops doesn’t even really come close to the reality of the skunk cabbage bog!!
10] Do your 2 leggeds allow you to talk to other K9’s on your walks or do they huff and puff behind you and urge you to hurry along?
“Are you kidding me? MPJ is one of the most social people you could hope to meet. And she really loves meeting other K9’s. It’s usually me who has to pull her along, stop chatting already!”
11] Are you allowed to do ‘stuff’ on your walks freely?
“So the weirdest thing about coming to North America after living in England, is this thing about dogs having to be on lead all the time. Errr, I mean leash. MPJ trained Jackson to walk off lead, and to move on voice command, so of course when I came to live with them that’s how I was taught too.
“In our house you are only ever put on lead if you’ve done something wrong. So being over here I’ve had to re-learn that being put on lead is not because I’ve been bad, it’s because of by-law enforcement. Sheesh, talk about curbing a girl’s fun.
“Luckily MPJ lets me mostly run without it, but where we live there are cougars and coyotes and small dogs get snatched all the time, It’s spring, so they’ve all come down the mountain looking for tasty treats to feed their cubs!”
“No way Jose are they getting a Norwich Burger – If MPJ says on lead, I’m happy to comply!!”
12] Have your 2 leggeds ever embarrassed you? If so how?
“Ohh please, I am in a constant state of embarrassment, MPJ is cringe-worthy maximus. She loves to chat with people, and they mostly stop to say that they think I’m so cute, so here we go again, she tells them all about our Charity Drive. The good thing is that I get lots of pets (and who doesn’t like a little attention) but man it irks me when they think she’s the one who thought up the idea for the Mooch Across America. I’m not just a pretty face you know, I’m the brains behind the whole operation.”
13] Do your 2 leggeds expect you to fetch the ball/toy every time during soft/hard play?
“I repeat, ohh please. Fetching is so not my thing. I’m a ratter! My deal is that I like to chase. Lucky for me, MPJ gets this distinction and she has never insisted on trying to teach me to fetch!”
“And Luckily, she is ace at thinking up chase games, and our best fun is when she gets a toy under the duvet and I get to really grab and tussle with her. She saves old slippers, and my other fave game is when she gets down on all fours with the slippers on her hands and I can really get my teeth into having a proper chase tussle. Shhh, don’t tell her (it would go to her already big head), but she’s pretty good at terrier games!”
* Do you have favourite toys and if so what are they?
“OK, if I tell you this, you have to promise not to laugh. It’s kind of embarrassing, but my very favourite is a cat toy. Do Not Laugh. We live with a cat at the moment, and she has this wand thing with a long string and a very rat-like thingy on the end with a long tail.
“I LOVE chasing this. It wiggles and jumps and has such a life-like quality. My DNA sings when we play with it!”
“Then there’s my mini-kong squeaky tennis balls. Heaven. They sound like squirrels when they get caught. I can play with those for hours!”
14] Are you loved every day?
“Are you kidding? I bathe in the constancy of how much she loves me.”
“So not MPJ. She is not a fusser. Didn’t fuss over her kids, and she certainly does not fuss over her animals. BUT, she abjectly CARES for us. Only the best food, good quality walks, and she is all about companionship. We are the best of mates, but there’s no fussing in that.”
“Oh My Gosh Yes. I reckon I have more sweet spots than most creatures, and she knows exactly how to find them. Well, actually, it’s me who knows just how to show her where they are, she starts scrtiching and I do the wiggle to get her fingers exactly where I want them!”
“Duh. I’m a couch dog. Sometimes she picks me up and holds me so tight that we meld into each other. I have this special little Norwich noise, and when she gives me the Love-Squeeze I make this little throat rumble to tell her I feel the same.”
And the best bit of the day is when we are all done and head to bed. I love this moment. She sleeps under and I sleep on top of the duvet, but we are always connected. I sleep in the curve of constant touch. This makes me very happy!”
“In all honesty, I could do with a little more play, but I respect that MPJ has to spend a lot of time on the computer, there’s so much to organise, so I get massive playtime when I go to visit GJ. It’s good to have a grandmother, they have way more time.”
Made to feel special?
“Everyone is special and, far as I can see, most 2-leggeds seem to love their 4-leggeds as much as mine does.”
“MPJ does this thing she calls ‘hot potatoes’, where she puts her mouth against my head or neck, and she blows this hot breath of pure love against my skin. She calls them Mooch Kisses. Hell Ya. I feel special!”
15] Do your 2 leggeds take you away on holidays with them?
“As mentioned! We are a duo. Where she goes, I go. I grew up going on all the family holidays. Our favourite place is a wonderful beach on the West Coast of Wales, in Pembrokeshire.”
“Scroll down to see the best beach in the whole world:”
16] Do you get to pick where you go if they do?
“No contest. We love going on adventures, and we follow our sniffer buttons where they lead us. I don’t need to choose, cause I know that MPJ chooses places she knows I’ll especially like. And she knows that I’m up for anything, going into a new environment is a chance to explore. We terriers love to explore!”
17] Are you given treats? Too few or just right? What are your favourites?
“Well, as mentioned, there is this temporary blip in my weight management regime.
UhHmm, seems I am packing an overload at the moment, so the treats are on major restriction. But saying that, MPJ and GJ are now getting me these delicious little morsels called ’Skinny Minis’. I approve. They are soft, and just the right little melt-in-the-mouth moment of reward.”
“And we’ve discovered that I love grated carrot. Who knew? I like the sweetness.
And I love berries! Blackberries are my favourite, and raspberries, and these West Coast salmon berries that grow in the woods. Double bonus going on forest walks when they are in season.”
18] Are you fed a nutritional diet?
“Hell ya. MPJ is all about the nutritious diet. Feeds herself and her human loved ones with top drawer quality whole foods, so same for us doggies. She makes my wet food for me, rice and chicken with carrot and kale.”
“I have a special formula kibble for sensitive skin – but that’s a LONG story. Suffice it to say she searched high and low to find me the top-quality kibble that is just right for me.”
19] Is your food moist or dry or both or even the raw meat diet?
“I started out on a raw diet, for a couple of years, but then Jax developed ulcerative colitis because of his separation anxiety, and so MPJ had to work really hard to find the right balance for him. That’s when we switched to rice and chicken.”
“Kibbles in the morning, wet food at 5pm sharp”
“If MPJ is concentrating on her computer I have to bark at her to remind her it’s 5pm. She’s always amazed that my internal clock is so spot on!”
20] Do you enjoy it or is it boring?
“Well, if I think it’s boring, you would never know. I love mealtime, it makes me happy and I have a super healthy appetite.”
21] Do you eat it every day, or sometimes refuse to?
22] Are you allowed to sample your 2 leggeds food?
“MPJ has a zero tolerance policy about begging. This is NEVER allowed. If I do get people food, it’s only ever in my dog bowl, and only after the people have finished eating.”
“Saying that, when we are out and about, I do sometimes get a morsel of whatever she’s eating, but same rule, only after she’s done, and it gets put on the ground, never from the hand.”
“If I get a treat from the hand it’s a reward because I’ve done something well. She keeps feeding and rewarding as separate things.”
“MPJ has a background as an animal trainer and she is a stickler for manners.”
23] Do you eat your food when you are expected to, or when you wish to?
“My kibbles are portioned for eat-on-demand, She puts exactly the same amount in my bowl every morning, and if I’m hungry I scoff the lot, and if I’m not, then I can graze on it all morning.”
“My evening meal always gets polished off with relish. I figure MPJ has my digestion completely sussed. Even with all the travel, everything is completely regular (if you know what I mean, not to be indelicate), so we both feel I’m on the perfect balance of portion and schedule.”
D] Your Personal K9 Stuff
24] Do you have a favourite piece of 2 legged clothing and if so, do they know?
“I don’t have a particular fave, but I do know that whenever MPJ washes my bed blanket or my car blanket, she will then wear it around her shoulders for the rest of the day so that when it goes back on the bed or car seat it smells of her. She uses non-fragrance laundry soap, so I always feel that my blankets smell of home. When I had to go on the super-scary flight from hell, she put a t-shirt in the crate that she had slept in for 3 weeks and not washed. The whole time I was in the crate I knew that she was somehow with me.”
25] Go on be a Devil – tell us what it is ….?
“It was Jackson who had the clothes fetish, not me. I’m a creature with a very independent nature so ‘things’ don’t matter so much to me. Jax, on the other hand, had a thing for chewing MPJ’s clothes. That only started when his doggie dementia kicked in, and boy did it bug MPJ to lose so many of her favourite clothes.”
26] Do you deliberately play up at times, just to annoy or worry the 2 leggeds?
“The only thing that ever worried MPJ about me was when moved to a new flat in London that was up on the 4th floor. There were 2 things”
“This is about the time when Jax started to really go downhill. He was 16, with doggie dementia and anxiety disorder and he was going deaf and blind.”
“It was a really hard time. I was trying to adjust to being so high off the ground, I didn’t like not having a back door that opened into a garden, and Jax was so stressed with his dementia that it gave me a really bad bout of depression.”
“MPJ was super worried, Jax being permanently anxious and me lost in a deep blue funk. She figures my depression was because I was working so hard to absorb some of Jackson’s stress away from him.”
“But that wasn’t playing up. This was a serious time of our old guy becoming really ancient, and very hard to care for. MPJ had to split between bringing me out of funk with lots of playtime, and trying to manage Jackson’s confusion and anxiety. It was our flatmate Katherine who figured out that if she lifted me up to look out the window and actually see the ground that it made me feel much better.”
“Jax lived to be 17. I was so sad when he was ill. When he finally did pass on it was such a relief to know that he was out his confusion, and I actually began to feel much happier.
“Since then MPJ and I have been completely inseparable. So, no. I would never play up and put her through the trouble and worry we had over our Old Man.”
27] Do you have a bed?
“Yes! One of the things I really like about MPJ is her willingness to make sure that we have everything we need. She knows that there are moments when I need to be completely in my own space. I have a soft velvety bed with sturdy soft sides, and I can always find the exact personal-space I need in there.”
“The only problem is Forest the cat. She loves my bed, so often as not she’s curled up there, so I have to go and curl up in her bed instead. It’s OK, but I like mine better. Cat fragrance is no way as nice as dog fragrance.”
28] If so, do you sleep in your bed, or their bed, or the couch or all three and more?
“During the day, I pick and choose as my whim may dictate. Ohh the joys of being a dog! But every night without fail I choose to sleep on MPJ’s bed. Best place ever!”
29] How much alone time or ‘just you’ time do you have?
“Well, as I’ve been talking about, MPJ pretty much lets me show her which mood I’m in and then facilitates that. I’d say I get pretty much a perfect balance.”
“The only thing that’s not ideal is when MPJ has to go away to places she can’t take me. I love staying with GJ, but I do spend the whole time worrying about when MPJ is going to come back.”
“I like that I can always find my me-time when MPJ is in the room with me.”
30] Do your 2 leggeds make you dress up?
* For which holiday or festivity is this applicable?
“So, this is a bit of a bug bear for MPJ. She’s not all that keen about the whole costume thing.”
“The compromise is that she’ll put either sunglasses or headbands on me, and only just long enough to snap a picture. We do deely-bopper headbands for holiday occasions.”
“The exception was when we were doing the Vancouver Sun Run 10K. We were raising money for SPCA and for Children’s Hospital. We worked with the SPCA to create a costume they could approve of – they have a very strict policy that animals should not be dressed up.”
“The Children’s Hospital fundraising theme this year is ‘Be A Superhero’, so MPJ let me choose. I totally plumped for ‘Wonder-Dog’ of course! And I told MPJ that she had to do Wonder Woman so we could match. My wonder-cape is specially designed to SPCA standards.”
* Pose for pictures?
“I am no way as into attention as my dear 2-legged, so I will usually turn my head away if the camera is pointing at me. But she is persistent and, it must be said, delights in trying to catch me looking at the camera.”
“My profile pic is our all time favourite. It still makes us both laugh when we see it.
I figure I have the best bumper sticker on the continent!”
31] Do you actually enjoy it or simply tolerate it because it appears to please them?
“I totally tolerate the photo thing, cause I know that she’s managing to capture my quirky personality. Some things you just gotta do. There are tonnes of funny images throughout my website…
32] Do you have a friendly vet?
“Oh man, do we ever miss our Vets in London. They nursed us through those last 2 years of Old-Man trials and tribulations and we LOVED going there. The whole team took such good care of us. They really helped support me out of that time of depression.”
“Since travelling, we ended up seeing a wonderful Vet in Sebastopol CA, so we stopped in with them on the way down AND on the way back up. While we’re stopped over here in Vancouver we’ve registered with Dr Danny. He’s rather Jolly.”
“We chose to register there because that’s where my tribe goes. This is MPJ’s best friend. They’ve known each other since they were 12 years old; they met on the very first day of Grade 8.”
“Wanda’s shirt says ‘Yes, I do really need all these dogs’. (MPJ bought it for her)
Meet my gang: Belle, Stanley, Sushi, Me and Wilson; and in the other pic you can see Indie too. She’s a Boston Terrier puppy and is very annoyingly bouncy and exuberant.”
33] What would be your perfect day?
“My perfect day is exploring. I have to say how much I enjoyed the road trip down the West Coast, and I’m really looking forward to getting back on the road. This time we’ll be in our house on wheels, me in my Princess Milly Throne, my blanket on the 2-legged bed, my velvety doggie-bed under the kitchen table: listening to podcasts as the miles roll by, finding beaches to chase seagulls, finding woods to hunt for squirrels, making new friends, discovering new places.”
“I like being a nomad. It suits us.”
In spite of everything … the manipulations and the training you must subject them to – are they happy that you are there to mentor for them?
“I have to say that training MPJ has been a breeze. She’s pretty receptive and listens to my cues. We have a mutual respect, and I guess we are such a good team because we want to please each other.”
“She’s the best 2-legged I ever trained. Well, the only 2-legged, but hey, who’s counting. On a scale of 1 to 10, I reckon I’m a 12 at human-training.”
Finally, in your own words tell us something about both you and your 2 leggeds that the questions haven’t touched on or asked about – something unique …
“Wow, that’s hard to answer, I’m a pretty open book.”
“I figure your questionnaire pretty much delved into what makes me tick. Ever since we entered into this social media world I feel that there’s loads about me to be found in the website www.moochalada.com and on my IG / FB / Twitter @moochalada .”
“I guess the thing I would say is that doing the Mooch Across America is the most important thing we can hope to do, and that from when I first had this idea I have to say it has snowballed into being something I really really WANT to do.”
“Animals rule the internet. Of Course.”
“I’m so glad that we get to do something that will help to contribute to communities all across the land, and that my time here can be spent doing something that really makes a difference. In my next life I want to come back as a race car driver. (Enzo is one of my heros)”
“But don’t let my high ideals fool you. Most of all, it’s all about chasing squirrels!!”
Grab your popcorn folks, this is an excellent tail!
My special thanks to Milly and ‘MPJ’ aka Jani for pawticipating in our K9 questionnaire – and sharing all the adventures, l for one will be following them all with enthusiasm.
Oh how l can relate to ratty skills Milly, l too long to be let loose on those pesky blighters, but l have done my job too well, the most l see in my garden these days is a winged critter by the name of “Pesky Percy! He refuses to face me my way and insists on flying off into the sunset sniggering! Sniggering! You Milly, will understand that sentiment from me. I also love squirrels, they are not that keen on me and for some reason refuse to understand l only wish to ”play” with them? Quite baffling really.
You have an enviable lifestyle Milly and Jani, and are now living the life of the roaming nomads, but as one, you are one mind and that makes the trekking all the more fun!
Way to go Milly, Power to the Bark!
Be sure to follow Milly and MPJ on any of the following platforms!
IG / FB / Twitter:
Hope you enjoyed reading … Tootle Pip from Doodlepip!
“If you are interested in pawticipaing please email me at email@example.com and l will email you back with the questionnaire.”
Looking pawards to hearing from many, many more!