Milo: JC’s four legged friend & cuddliest staff member


Meghan Kerr, Perspectives Editor

Among the many students and teachers who roam the John Carroll hallways everyday, there is a four-legged friend: Milo, JC’s official therapy dog.

Milo is a two-and-a-half year old dog, rescued by St. Joseph’s Program teacher Mr. Jeremy Mellady when Milo was four months old.

Mr. Mellady revealed that Milo was rescued from Georgia. “They [The rescue center] were overrun with rescues during the COVID period, and he was shipped to Alexandria, Virginia where I picked him up.”

When Mr. Mellady originally looked at Milo’s litter, Milo was the only dog left. He shared, “A lot of people didn’t want him” because he “had some vision loss.”

Before he was born, Milo developed a condition called “persistent pupillary membranes.” Due to this condition, was completely blind in his left eye.

Mr. Mellady explained that the condition occurred during the formation of Milo’s pupil.

He said, “The way our eye forms, there are protein fibers throughout it that make it up and then, as the eye develops they’re supposed to disappear in the area that becomes our pupil. . . In this case, the fibers did not disappear completely. It kind of made it impossible for the rest of the structures in the front of his eye to develop.”

After Milo turned one, Mr. Mellady had his left eye removed.

However, despite his disability, Milo has made a large impact on the JC community, especially the St. Joseph’s Program.

Mr. Mellady said that after Milo was rescued, he was sent to “a boot camp for four weeks.” At the camp, he learned how to interact with humans and with dogs in a variety of different situations.

Mr. Mellady also shared that the camp helped Milo “learn to be very calm and not always follow his impulses.”

At this boot camp, Milo became a therapy dog. Today, he accompanies Mr. Mellady to school everyday. He revealed that Milo is “kind of stationed in 322.” He shared that Milo will come into the St. Joseph Room for most of the classes that he teaches.

Throughout the day, many people stop by 322 to say hi to Milo. According to Mr. Mellady Milo is “here for when people need comfort, when people need stress relief, when people need even just to focus and reset for a few minutes.”

Aside from cheering up the various JC students and faculty, Milo also has a major role in aiding those in the St. Joseph’s Program.

Mr. Mellady revealed that many of the students in the St. Joseph’s Program suffer with anxiety.

Having Milo present allows for “anxiety relief.” Mr. Mellady said that being in the “presence of a dog, but particularly interacting with the dog and petting the dog, can really calm the nervous system.”

Many individuals in the program also have issues focusing on schoolwork or lessons.

Mr. Mellady said that Milo acts as a reset button for students with focusing issues. He said that playing “with Milo for a few minutes gives them the opportunity to almost reset and then after, they could get 20-30 minutes of focused working.”

While Milo has a big job at JC, he also loves to spend his time doing the same things most canines love doing. Mr. Mellady said that Milo loves going on walks outside, and he likes playing with a stick outside or chasing a ball.

Even though Milo can’t talk, Mr. Mellady shared that Milo would love for Santa to bring him “a toy that he can chew on for Christmas.”

Along with that, he revealed that, if Milo could talk, he would “ask for food” from the student body.

Next time you need a focus break or an emotional reset, stop by room 322 for JC’s favorite canine.