Millie Ballard: born January 1, 1994, died August 16, 2009. She was our sweetheart, our “Millie Dog”, “Millie Girl”. She lived a long life for a chocolate lab, especially considering all the health issues she had when she was younger. A friend from work said her daughter in Virginia had a litter of lab puppies, and she was driving down to pick up a couple to bring back – did I want one? Michael didn’t know we were getting a dog (his first EVER) until I got the call that they were home and said, “Honey, let’s drive over and pick up our puppy!” She loved Michael immediately, rode home snuggled up next to him inside his coat. Bringing Millie home is Aaron’s first real memory. He was only two. They grew up together, and Millie loved going camping, swimming in whatever body of water presented itself, and running races with me. She was much more competitive than I was! Then at Aaron’s seventh birthday party Millie tore her ACL chasing a cat up the stairs. Jack was born a few weeks later and Millie greeted him at the door and stole the pacifier right out of his mouth! One week later she had orthopedic surgery and I carried her out for potty breaks and did physcial therapy three times a day with her while I was on maternity leave with Jack. Then three weeks later Jack had surgery and things got really complicated! Millie eventually bounced back, but she was never quite as active as before. A few years ago we added Saminda (Sam) to the family. Our two chocolate lab girls got along well, and Sam has kept Millie entertained throughout her last years. Her last few days were peaceful and painfree, and she was surrounded by family and friends when she passed away. She added so much to our lives, and we are glad to have had her with us for so long. We love you, Millie!