Backup Pack

Milo was born in November of 1998. He was a Jack Russell and named after the dog of the same breed in The Mask, a movie I produced. Milo was a real member of our family and there are many stories to tell about him, but my favorite is this:

I live on a lake. About two years ago (when Milo started showing signs of the severe arthritis that was to torture him) our floating dock broke loose and came banging up against our deck. I hired a company to come and re-anchor it. They asked to use my boat and I agreed, but within minutes they had wrapped the rope they were towing the dock with around my propellor.

(Side note: Milo was terrified of water. When Milo was about 3 months old, he fell into our pond during one of our coldest winters. It was in the twenties and ice was forming on the lake behind our house. Karie had taken him outside and while she had her back turned, he figured out how to get through the gate on our side yard — he was extremely smart and could open doors from the beginning. She noticed that he was gone and after a few minutes of frantic search, found him going down in the cold pond on the side of our house. She rescued him just in time. We spent about an hour warming him up with a hair dryer. As I mentioned, from that day on, he was very nervous around water.)

So, back to my story. I worked in the house while they were unwrapping the rope from my boat's prop. I checked several times over the next hour and they didn't seem to be making any progress. I finally got fed up with them. I put on a pair of swimming trunks, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, went down to the dock, and dove into the water. I swam out to the boat and told them to get out of the way. I dove down beneath the boat and cut the rope away in two dives of about two minutes each. When I came up the second time, Milo saw me come up. He was standing on the porch up above the dock. As soon as he saw me he started barking and ran straight down the steps and dove into the water. When I say he went full speed, that's exactly what I mean. He swam out to me and "pulled me to shore" . . . I loved that little guy.

Milo passed away this last Sunday, August 19th, 2012.

—Mike Richardson