Thirteen years ago today a little Beagle boy was born in a kennel where Laboratory Beagles were bred. The eldest of eight puppies in his litter, puppy CVBAJJ, went a few weeks later to be a part of a dog food trial, testing the use of DHA as a food supplement for puppies to determine its effect on trainability and bonding. From what I’ve heard, Milo excelled and was at the top of his class, which certainly seems likely to me, given his problem-solving ability and his fabulous bond to me and love for everyone he meets.
Whenever I tell people Milo started life as a laboratory dog, they express great sympathy for him and outrage at the cruelty he must have endured, but Milo tells a different story. To be sure, he was under-exposed to the world when Sarah Wilson, my dog training mentor, first got him from rescue. He didn’t know what the green stuff coming out of the ground was, nor what the incredibly high, blue ceiling was, and he found new places overwhelming. But, he was healthy and clearly had been well-treated, looking to people for affection and security, and through Sarah’s skillful guidance became confident and happy to be out in the world (that story will be the subject of another post soon). And, though I often underestimate him because he is so silly and funny, he is an incredibly intelligent dog and a great problem-solver.
I found this information that I think could have come from the trials Milo was a part of:
…it is becoming increasingly evident that nutrition can also significantly impact the achievement of genetic potential in the puppy in ways not previously appreciated. Such is the case with increased puppy trainability with appropriate dietary concentrations of DHA. The benefits of improved trainability can have long-lasting effects by strengthening the owner-companion animal bond and thus increasing the likelihood of a puppy’s successful integration of the puppy into various environments, work or households. (from http://www.breedingbetterdogs.com/article/nutrition-and-dha)
I think it’s really cool that my little Milo has contributed to strengthening the owner-companion bond and increased the likelihood of puppies being successfully integrated into homes!
And now, though Milo is thirteen and his face and whole body are getting whiter all the time, he is wonderfully healthy and active, and in many ways still acts like a puppy, flipping his head and ears around and tossing toys high in the air. Outside he gets the zoomies and flies around the yard, never getting out of breath. He’s still an awesome tracking companion, and now we’re learning to do Nosework together, which we especially enjoy when the weather isn’t conducive to tracking. At home Milo is my constant companion, sleeping near me wherever I am in the house, moving with me if I go to a different room, and snuggling on my lap whenever he can.
Happy Birthday, Milo Bean! You truly are a delight!
Some photos from the past year