It is true what they say: two is better than one, especially when it comes to dogs. Walking into her second year, Colorado State University student Julia Tegethoff’s house makes this abundantly clear, starting right when you walk in the door and two wet dog noses are right there to greet you with open paws.
Tegethoff is a dog mom to two fluffy mutt dog babies: 13-year-old Australian Shepherd-terrier mix Milo and 8-year-old gold shepherd-chow mix Lola. Lola enjoys licking pants and tortilla chips while Milo likes to play fetch and often looks like an otter when he swims. Both dogs hate squirrels and love car rides.
Tegethoff grew up with the doggy duo when living with her parents, but acquired the shedding friends as her own after she moved out of the dorms. When her parents adopted a Great Dane that fought with Milo and was too big to play with Lola, both dogs moved in with Tegethoff.
“They’re a match made in heaven,” Tegethoff said. “They love each other and they play all the time.”
Their doggy celebrity couple name is Milola.
However, things were not always chasing tails and belly rubs. Milo previously came down with an illness that made Tegethoff and her family feel like they were going to lose their furry family member for good.
It started when Milo stopped eating and then developed an eye infection. A few days later he was unable stand. The family decided to take Milo to the CSU Veterinary Hospital. The vets could not figure out what was wrong with him but theorized Milo was possibly suffering from bone cancer or a tick bite. He had a low blood cell count and a fever, something dogs rarely get.
“They were pretty sure he was a goner,” Tegethoff said.
Milo’s family prepared for the worst, but decided to pay for the expensive bone marrow tests. Fortunately the fuzzy patient tested negative for bone cancer. Still not quite knowing what made the dog ill, the vets prescribed him steroids to take for two weeks.
The shoulder Milo’s marrow was drawn from left a large wound that inhibited his ability to walk and the steroids caused him to have some accidents in the house, but within a few days of treatment Milo’s health was finally looking up. He was able to eat some rotisserie chicken. Within a few weeks he was finally himself again, peeing outside and getting excited about walks.
Tegethoff said that after the incident it is as if Milo got a second chance at life and is now living it not only with with her, but also with her boyfriend, her roommates and Lola. She recalls taking a hike in Aspen after Milo was recently cured.
“I looked at him and just thought I never thought he’d be hiking again,” Tegethoff said.
Lola has never had such dog-awful health experiences, but she began her puppy life in an abandoned home in New Mexico. The Poudre Puppy Rescue retrieved Lola, her siblings and mother. The organization set up an adoption event in a gas station parking lot in Fort Collins where Tegethoff and her family found her, deciding to get her amongst her siblings because she had a white spot on her nose.
“Lola was so afraid of people, that’s why Lola and Milo bonded,” Tegethoff said. “Milo took to Lola and kind of showed her how to do everything and Lola was like the angel puppy. She never chewed up anything. She never had an accident in the house.”
Seven years later Tegethoff’s boyfriend, first-year CSU student Collin Orr, had a job a Gulley’s Greenhouse and was hanging out at a coworker’s house when a dog greeted him that looked exactly like Lola. The dog’s name was Bella and was owned by the coworker’s fiance. After strategic questioning by Tegethoff and Orr, the couple found that the dog was in fact Lola’s long-lost sister.
“I have gotten super close with Lola,” Orr said. “It is good for my self-esteem.”
Just like the dogs are a part of Tegethoff’s family, the dogs have adjusted to becoming good roommates that pay rent with tail wags and delicate nose kisses in Tegethoff’s college home with her human roommates.
“You always have two dogs that are happy to see you when you get home,” said second-year student Gabi Cecere, one of Tegethoff’s roommate’s. “It is so cute. They’re always happy. You can have the crappiest day ever and they’ll be happy.”
Although both dogs may be considered on the older side, neither dog appears a day over three. Both are happy, healthy and seem to be more in love than ever. Lola has overcome her fear of people thanks to Milo’s help and Milo continues to act like he has never seen the equivalent of a doggy stretcher.
Collegian reporter Miranda Moses can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @mirandasrad.