Speaking earlier this month, Keith and Meghan said Meghan said her family felt “settled” in Montecito and wanted to bring another dog into her life. They spoke about the family’s other two rescue dogs (Guy, also a beagle, and Pula, a black labrador retriever) and the flock of chickens that Meghan rescued from a slaughterhouse. In the first conversation, Keith said she knew Meghan was “the real deal” and was “super excited” about the possibility of her adopting from her organization.
“I’ve been doing this for so long that I have a strict process for foster parents and adopters,” Keith said. “I work for free [my] also the intestine. When I meet people, I just know. This will either succeed or not.”
Her gut instinct proved to be correct when the Duke and Duchess visited LA on Aug. 11 “low-key and casual” to meet Mia, Keith said.
“I fell in love with them when they came here,” she said.
There was an immediate bond between Mia and the Sussexes, she said, and within seconds of walking in, the Duchess passed one of Keith’s potential adoptive “tests” by sitting on the floor to greet the dog .
“Mia just ran to them, which she’s never done before — she’s quite depressed, she’s traumatized — and Meghan immediately went to her on the floor and gave her love,” Keith said.
As Harry sat down on a couch, she added, “Mia ran right up to him, put her paws on his knee and looked him in the eye.” Keith said Harry did his research and she and volunteer Malina Shirley, driving Mia and her puppies from the East Coast to California, peppered with questions.
“He asked about the bump on her chin, whether she needed a biopsy, her likes, her dislikes,” Keith said. “It was really heartwarming, it was everything you could ask for [a potential adopter] to ask and so on.”
Shirley told BuzzFeed News that as soon as Harry and Meghan entered the house, she knew it was “special” and “meant to be like this”. “Mamma Mia was so super excited, just so happy.”
The Sussexes spent some time alone with Mia in the garden, Keith said, and when Meghan returned indoors she was carrying the dog in her arms. “That was it,” Keith said.
After the adoption was complete, the couple was about to leave with Mia when Harry stopped because the dog was sniffing around in the backyard by the building where the rescue dogs are kept.
“He said, ‘We can’t go yet, there’s something [in there] that she wants, does she have a favorite toy or something?'” Keith said. “He was so adamant that Mamma Mia [wanted] something in the back building,” Shirley added.
They all entered the building and Mia immediately went to a container full of dog toys. “I knocked over the toy box and she buried her little nose in it,” Shirley said. She rummaged around until she found a toy fox that Shirley had given her on her overland trip to California. “She went outside and was so proud of herself,” she said.
Harry was happy, said Keith. “He said, ‘I knew, I knew she wanted something in that room. Now we can go home because she has her toys.’
“It was so sensitive and intuitive,” she said. “It was at that point that I knew she was going to have the best home.”