The Ballad of a Three Legged Dog

How a homeless dog came into our life and what happened next

7 min readNov 11, 2021


‘Milo, you bastard!’ is a familiar refrain heard on a daily basis, ringing through our house. It has also become an inadvertent soundtrack to our neighbours day to day life.

How did it happen? How did we get here? Well, as all things, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Our other dog, Moth was about nine months old when we decided it was time to increase our canine family and give her a life long companion.

We decided to rescue a dog and we had a fairly clear idea of the type of dog we wanted. One with a large friendly face, good jowls, and large and energetic enough to withstand the rough and tumble of living with a Rottweiler.

We scanned through many photos on line of lovely dogs, all in need of a home. Many were very close to what we wanted – but not quite. Although neither of us could articulate the reason. It was more of a vague feeling rather than a clearly reasoned judgement.

It was Laura who found him. In amongst a rogues gallery of inmates at the famous Battersea dogs home in London. She showed me his mug shot looking out proudly from her iPad.

‘That’s him,’ I agreed.

It was only when we read the brief description we discovered that one of his hind legs had been amputated. It made little difference. Although this apparent vulnerability made us feel more protective towards him. Of course, when we got to know him we discovered that Milo was having known of this vulnerability nonsense. Most days his tripod status doesn’t even register with me. Milo is Milo: Milo the bastard.

Of course, he has been honoured with many other titles since coming to us, including: ‘Sweet Prince Milo, The Blessed Fourteenth Earl of Peanut,’ as well as ‘Pongo,’ ‘Longborn,’ and ‘McFee.’ Don’t ask why. Another ‘good idea at the time’ thing. But he came to us as Milo and, notwithstanding his honourary titles, Milo he has remained.




Recently retired and completed MA in creative writing. Trying for the writer’s life with no more excuses about the day job. Named top writer in music.