Gabriel Millman of Lakewood, Colorado, passed away at Belcaro Animal Hospital in Denver on Wednesday, September 1, 2010, two months shy of his 16th birthday. For several months he had had canine anorexia, ultimately succumbing to kidney disease. His death was helped by his loving mother, Barbara Millman, Dr. Anna Otero, his veterinarian that day, and vet technician Susan Lillevold.
He had little formal education, dropping out of several obedience classes as well as failing a comprehensive pet therapy course conducted by Colorado State University social workers. Although he advanced quickly in the course and mastered several advanced stress tests designed to prepare him for a potentially chaotic and noisy hospital environment, he refused to sit during the final examination.
From that experience, his mother drew the conclusion that he lacked motivation to work. However, after his feline sisters, siblings Nellie and Amanda, were adopted into the family, he specialized in herding, no doubt due to his Shetland Sheepdog heritage. Occasionally he could be found herding Nellie after she had escaped to the family's backyard, standing over her and barking with pride and triumph at his success.
Gabe drew no distinctions between purebreds and mutts. He enjoyed profusely dogs of all sizes and a diversity of odors, and his spirit thrived in the presence of nearly all humans, indifferent to their race, political persuasion or religion. Gabe himself was a practicing Buddhist, and, in fact, sported a Mutthama Gandhi costume in a pet parade some years back.
He is survived and sorely missed by his devoted mother and his sisters. He also leaves behind his uncle, Lawrence Millman, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, a plethora of first cousin Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, as well as numerous human and canine friends. He was predeceased by grandparents Zelma and Daniel Millman of Kansas City, Missouri.