My little dog Lulu is a model of courage as she continues to deal with the ravages of time. Friends knowing her history say she looks fantastic but Lulu and I know what’s going on and how difficult it is for her. Although, with her deafness and senility – her experience of life is way beyond my empirical knowledge.
Lulu has been a little different from the beginning. A majority of wild, ferrel dogs never become manageable, often not allowing human touch for a lifetime. But Lulu was friendly from the time of her capture from under a deserted trailer. She was filled with palpable buck shot fired into her belly by the man who vowed to kill her if she wasn’t removed immediately.
Lulu has been at my side in reality and in my dreams since 2002, appearing in so many dreams that her nickname is Traveler and what a traveler she has been. In dream-time she is present when danger has us escaping in the middle of the night, fleeing from an unseen terror. We’re racing toward the train terminal across an intersection where we must not be seen and Lulu is barking all the way…..unfortunately.
I never had to worry about her running off when hiking and camping across the southwest even when we were in a serious wind tunnel in Utah. I let her out of the car to check out the scene and she jumped back in when she was certain we were not in danger.
Back in 2013 she was seriously ill with an irritable bowel that kept her in reoccurring pain. We had tests and the imaging showed an area of the gut that was extremely irritated and beyond. She took all kinds of medicine which helped for a while and then back to extreme discomfort.
So in June, 2013 I made an appointment to have her euthanized; I couldn’t bear to see her suffering continue. Sitting in the waiting room with Lulu on my lap and tears running down my face a woman come over and introduced herself as a Buddhist nun and asked if she could say a little prayer for Lulu. Of course I said yes. She whispered the prayer and it worked.
We were called into the examination room where the Dr. appeared with the fatal serum in the long needle. I said “I sure do hate to put her down when I don’t even know for sure what is wrong with her.” My wonderful and brilliant vet stopped in mid-step and said “Let me run a few more tests and see if we can find our.” Which she did, including phoning an out of town vet who suggested trying a new medication, it worked and she is still here.
At 15 she has some serious problems which are to be expected with all us elderly folks. In dog time she is over 100, is a little spaced out and does a lot of pacing around the house, sometimes for hours She can’t seem to find the puppy pads but we deal with it. To look at her one might think her gait is painful – but not so. She walks funny but can also run and play with her little sisters and hop about in the forest like a jack rabbit. And she loves to eat even tho she has lost many teeth – boy can she woof it down.
We continue short hikes in the forest with her two sisters. Can’t go far but we trudge on so she can get needed enjoyable recreation. Because of total deafness she’s on an extendable lease; otherwise she wanders off into the gloaming.She can be counted on to walk into thick brush even when the path is clearly in front of her, making me think her vision is impaired.
She has been so devoted to me all her life in every way and now I will do everything I can to make life possible for her. I think she’s hanging on because she doesn’t want to desert me. She doesn’t understand all the ramifications of the processes we, she and I, are involved in but I will try my very best not to let her down. I hope she can die at home in her sleep but until then we have a lot of living to do.