Monday, May 25, 2009

The Story of Lulu

Lulu has been at the shelter since the beginning of January. She is my best girl. I keep hoping the right forever-home will come along so Lulu will get the loving she dearly deserves. So far, she has not been lucky in that regard, although with every new day there is hope.

Lulu is a strong, confident dog, who walks down the kennel gauntlet ignoring all the barking dogs around her. Outside, she is intensely interested in all that is going on around her. Unfortunately, she has a high prey drive, which makes her a girl you need to keep a close eye on when out and about. She can get along with other dogs her size, though-- she met my Monkey and they did very well together walking in tandem with another walker.

We've also discovered the play area is one of the most fun places to be together. She will run and fetch the tennis ball for as many times as I throw it for her-- this girl never tires! When I do, we stop and she drinks some water and comes over to me for some loving, which I am happy to give her. Belly rubs are the best, according to Lulu.

I first saw Lulu late one Sunday afternoon driving home from the shelter. She was running through traffic on Dwight, just off San Pablo. Another car and I followed her and tried to catch her, but she kept running. At one point, she ran into a backyard. We knew she was in there somewhere. We blocked what we thought were all the exits and before you know it, she scooted out of there so fast!! We got back into our cars and continued to follow her (stupid move-- if you want to catch a dog, you don't chase it-- basic rule #1 for dog tracking). I called the shelter and ACO Melvin told me ACO Karen was out in the field and that he'd let her know where Lulu and I were. Melvin put Karen and I in contact with one another and it turns out she had been tracking Lulu all day, having first seen her early in the morning of that day. I continued to follow Lulu, but got stopped at a traffic light on Shattuck, and she disappeared into the traffic.

The following Saturday, I walked in the shelter just as a call came in about a pregnant pit bull giving birth. Karen was running out on the call and I hopped in the cab of the truck, for this was a job that was going to require several sets of hands. It turns out that the initial call was a miscommunication from the caller who had received the transmission over a hand-radio (the neighborhood was conducting a disaster preparedness exercise), and that it was actually for a blue-nosed pittie with cropped ears and a white "collar" running-at-large on Ashby and Adeline. It was Lulu! She had survived the whole week, staying under the radar, managing to preserve her strength, even in the bitter cold of January. After a lengthy pursuit, Karen was able to catch Lulu with her Snappy Snare. This girl could finally relax and stop running.

Her feet were bruised and her legs had some scabs, but she was otherwise in good health. We gave her a kennel with afternoon sun, some food, a Kuranda, and a blanket. She leaned up closely against Karen who went to sit with her in the kennel, as though breathing a sigh of relief and gratitude.

I love Lulu for her independent streak, for her utter confidence, for her willingness to make herself just a little bit vulnerable when I hold her and give her hugs. Eliciting a kiss from Lulu is not easy, and when she bestows one on my cheek, I feel very fortunate, as though I have passed the test of being trustworthy and allowing her to have her dignity. Over time, she has come to respect me, too. She no longer pulls me down the park pathways, but responds to my lead instead. We have taught each other much these past four months-- she has helped me to become a better, more patient handler, and I have let her know that the world can be a good place, where people will love you and treat you well, show you tenderness and keep you safe.


Loraine said...

Beautiful write up on Lulu, Pam! Her street travels landed her in the right place - Lulu will find her forever home, in the meantime what a lucky girl to have you as her number one fan :>)

mtwashington said...

Great story, Pam! Thanks for writing it all up and caring about Lulu.

I walked her recently, and it was a pleasure. She's a special dog.


A. dianda said...

Good Luck, Lulu. I hope you find a good home.
I have 2 similar breed dogs of my own, the puppy is a real-life "Marley & me", or I would be happy to open my home to her. She looks like a sweetheart.
My two dogs are what I thought to be the ideal dogs, for me. Play and love is all they seem to need.
Lulu, I wish I had the type of home,it would take to bring you home.