If anyone loves their dog–I mean truly loves their dog–they probably think it’s the greatest dog in the world. I have definitely felt that way about Lulu. She came into my life at a time when I needed her most. Scruffy, feisty, Lulu is a fighter. I adopted her from a yorkie rescue in February 2009. She was the oldest dog up for adoption at that time and after a relatively lengthy application and interview process, she was mine. Cam and I drove to Harrisburg, PA and met her for the first time. She was the perfect dog for me–she was sweet, quirky and high maintenance in all the right ways. She would attack a squeaky tennis ball like it was her job. She was always happy to go along wherever I would take her. She has been places few dogs go–she would sleep inside a canvas bag and I would take her everywhere I could. She’s seen plenty of NYC Cabs, Macy’s at Herald Square, subway cars, cafes, hotels, you name it and Lulu has probably been there.
Over the past year, she has begun to show her age. While we don’t know exactly what that age is, our best guess is that she’s somewhere around 13, which in dog years is pretty far along. This week she had an incident that precipitated a visit to the vet. While there, they found some problems more serious than we had anticipated. Without going into too much gruesome detail, I can say that her problems are chronic, her heath deteriorating and her death is probably quite near.
This is agonizing for me. The doctor assures us that she is not in any pain–just some discomfort that we are able to treat. We are trying our best to keep her as comfortable as possible but she doesn’t even seem like the same dog. It is possible that she will recover, but it will probably take a few weeks to know for sure.
Lulu is the first dog that has ever just been mine. She is not a family dog. She is MY dog. We bonded immediately and she has rarely been anywhere but by my side whether it’s a quiet evening at home or in a Honda hauling our belongings halfway across the country to begin a new chapter in our lives. Lulu is more than just a dog to me. She is a companion. She symbolizes the very essence of strong will, courage, independence and the ability to overcome adversity. She went through a life of being passed around between people who didn’t want her to finally settling into a home where she couldn’t be wanted more.
When the inevitable comes and Lulu is freed from this life I believe that she will pass on knowing that I rescued her, but more than anything I hope she realizes how, in her own way, she rescued me.