Friday, December 20, 2013

CircusOz acrobat Stevee Mills talks about her dog Lenni

Circus Oz performer Stevee Mills with Lenni.

SAT was fortunate enough to e-chat with Circus Oz acrobat Stevee Mills. Not only is she a beautiful, talented acrobat, she's also an animal lover and proud owner of a rescue dog called Lenni.

Mills may have one of the most enviable jobs in the world, but if she hadn't run away with the Circus she would be working with animals. And she takes a photo of her dog on tour. We couldn't resist an interview (oh, and if you'd like to see her in action, Circus Oz is performing Cranked Up in January for the last time in Australia before heading to Boston and Montreal. Check here for more info).

What do you do?

I am a circus performer. I have been an acrobat with Circus Oz for the past three years.

How did you get to become a circus performer?

I did gymnastics and diving as a kid, and after working in the animal industry for a couple of years, I decided to do a Bachelor of Circus Arts at the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA) in Melbourne.

What is your favourite act that you get to perform?

I love performing flying trapeze. It’s a really fun group act that I get to perform with most of the ensemble.

Can you tell us a bit about how you came to meet Lenni?

I went to The Lost Dogs Home looking to adopt. When I saw her I knew I had to take her home.

What necessitated her amputation?

When we adopted her, we were told that she had been found wandering the streets with a badly broken hind leg. They amputated it only two weeks before we took her home.

How did Lenni adapt to that?

I don’t think she even realises that it’s gone! She still plays and runs and jumps as much as any other dog.

Do you have any tips for those who live with companion animals that lose a limb?

I give Lenni glucosamine powder with her dinner every night to strengthen her joints, and sometimes I have to take her for shorter walks if she seems tired or worn out.

How do you and Lenny spend time together?

Lenni loves coming with me to visit friends. She’s great with other dogs and loves kids. Every morning when my boyfriend leaves for work, she sneaks into bed with me for a cuddle.

Are there challenges being a pet owner who tours the country (and the world) a lot?

Luckily I have a partner who can be with her when I’m tour with Circus Oz. And she loves staying with her ‘grandparents’. I always feel a bit guilty when I have to leave Lenni for Circus Oz tours, but she forgives me for leaving her as soon as I walk through the door!

How has Lenni changed you as a person?

Well I’m definitely more protective of Lenni than previous dogs that I’ve had. I don’t need to be, because she’s very independent. But I can’t help it!