Now Milly sees her brain injury as a blessing, as she was studying to be an accountant and said without the injury she hates to think what kind of work she might be doing!
Today Happy Yappers dog biscuits are sold all around Australia in stores, online and exported to several countries including the UK.
Harrod’s in London even stock Happy Yappers!
From her website, here’s Milly’s inspirational story:
14 years ago now, I was a front seat passenger in a car that ran off the road and hit a rather large tree. I was resuscitated and intubated at the scene and airlifted to hospital. One of my many injuries and the most life altering was a brain injury.
My life changed dramatically, instantly. Overnight I went from being a gregarious 21 year-old student with a social life that would stagger any Hollywood Starlet, to being too afraid to cross the road on my own. After going through a year of rehabilitation, left with permanent injuries and dealing with debilitating depression, I had to try and figure out what my new role in society was to be.
I was unable to return to study as I now had trouble learning and retaining new information, reading had now become harder, I would get migraines that would last days, the list goes on.
For the next five years after experiencing the Criminal court where the driver was charged, I had to endure the grueling system that many road trauma victims experience the fight to seek compensation.
Eventually after all the legalities were over with, we bought a puppy to keep me company, a female Golden Cocker Spaniel and I named her Riley.
It was amazing the difference she made to my life. She gave me back my confidence & self worth not to mention enjoyment – from going to puppy school, dog obedience classes, meeting other dog owners. I began to socialise, but I had Riley as the focus, not me or my disability.
I also found that I felt more comfortable when I was out walking with her, as opposed to walking by myself. I was concentrating on her sitting at the road before crossing and her safety.
Another positive spin off from Riley entering my life was creating my own business, Happy Yappers – biscuits for your pooch! I wanted to make dog biscuits for her at home and with the help of my brilliant and supportive partner, Tony, who is a chef, we created a recipe.
The local pet shop owner, Scruff started to sell our biscuits. I will never forget him giving me $15 payment for my first order! For the first time in years I was actually paid for something that I had done – it had nothing to do with my disability, Social Security and the TAC. This feeling was amazing – it was worth one million dollars!
Today Happy Yappers are sold all around Australia in selected stores, online & we export to several countries including the UK. Harrod’s in London even stock Happy Yappers!
So from beginning the business to four years on, I have achieved things that I never thought that I could.
And I owe it all to Riley.
Happy Yappers is a tribute to her and you will find her logo on every packet. Sadly she is no longer with us and I miss her every day. We had to put her to sleep when she was only 3 years old due to Cancer. She had Chemo and we tried everything we could to keep her alive & happy.
But the house is alive with the shenanigans of two more Golden Cocker Spaniels, Ruby & Charlotte.
Happy Yappers is dedicated to all those little Angels on Earth with four legs that give us so much joy.