The Story of Milo the Pirate
Back in 2002 I was looking for a very tiny chihuahua to adopt as part of our family.  I answered an ad and was told that a local rescue group had gotten a 2 lb chihuahua out of the shelter and were having difficulty placing him because he was a bit "snappy".  I was not concerned and was eager to meet him.  I arrived at the vet clinic where he was being boarded and filled out all the necessary paperwork and they took my empty carrier in the back.  When they came out, the carrier was rattling and shaking with the fear of the dog inside and when i looked, it was not a 2 lb chihuahua but a 7 or 8 lb mix.  Im sure my disappointment showed, but the dog was so terrified I didnt have the heart to say no.  As we were leaving the receptionist called out, "Ma'am you cant touch that dog at all."  So i drove off feeling very apprehensive and disappointed with my terrified new friend.  I looked over and said hello and he snarled.  I got back to work and everyone was eager to meet the tiny guy and could not understand why I accepted this snarling little dog who was not what I was looking for.  I put him in a large cage with the carrier and he huddled inside.  He would come out and accept tasty treats from my hand, but if i tried putting my hand out without food I was met with growl and teeth bared.  After 5 days I was losing hope and wondering what I was going to do with this guy. Suddenly he started barking!!  I went in and it apperared he wanted to come out, so I opened the cage and he stepped out.  I decided to brave putting a leash on and we walked outside.  Suddenly I decided this was it, he was my dog and he was going to love me, and i scooped him up under one arm.  He seemed to accept it. I took him home that night, where he promptly bit my husband.  Everyday he seemed more comfortable with us and us with him.  
Milo loved my husband and I with all his heart, but he never took to anyone else.  He would let people do things for him that he liked such as throw a ball, but then he would bite if they attempted anything more. He was quite a character with some quirky little ways, but we loved him all the more for it.  In 2014, he was diagnosed with a tumor in the wall of his stomach, and we lost him in 2015.  Milo was such a special little man, whose love meant all the more to us because we had to win it, he did not give it readily like so many dogs.  I cant imagine what happened to him so early in life to make him so untrusting of people.   We will miss our little man forever.  When I had the opportunity this year to start my own non-profit, I thought it a great way to honor him.  RIP MILO you are forever in our hearts.-Melissa and Chris Leister
Milo 2002-2015
Melissa Leister
Founder of Friends of Milo Foundation
Melissa Leister  has been involved in rescuing animals since 1990 when she discovered her love of veterinary medicine.   She soon discovered that she was most drawn to the animals that required the most care such as the older or disabled.  Melissa is a licensed veterinary technician that has spent the last 4 years working exclusively with cancer patients, administering chemotherapy to dogs and cats in a Los Angeles specialty hospital.  Friends of Milo is a dream come true for her to be able to continue helping the seniors and needy dogs and cats in our community.