Lulu the Wonder Dog came to me in 2007. She stole my heart and set me right. She taught me so many lessons. Only some of which I have shared on this blog over the years.
Then just before Christmas she went down. And just like that I found myself in the middle of a custody dispute. She spent a day where she didn’t want to eat and she didn’t want to play. I called the vet and got in that very day, and bloodwork and an exam yielded no explanation. A geriatric dog they said. Lulu and I rebuked the diagnosis as she was sharp and athletic and besides who calls an old gal geriatric to her face? Oh she had a few fatty tumors that dogs of a certain age get but we dealt with it like we deal with that occasional chin hair.
I put my forehead to her forehead and we prayed. I asked God to prolong her life. I asked for wisdom and to send us the right vet who wouldn’t just call her old to her face.
We muddled through Christmas and she would rally and then set back. New Years Eve she kept getting up to clear her throat and I woke up with her several times. So New Years day we were back at the vet. Another vet saw her and diagnosed her. cancer. I refuse to capitalize it. Lymph nodes swollen, thyroid enlarged all indications of cancer. He told me she was still in decent shape. It wasn’t time to make decisions yet but to take her home and make her comfortable. He also warned me that her death would probably not be pretty. Somehow I got us both out to the car before I broke down sobbing so hard I could not catch my breath. Again, I asked the Lord for more time. The custody dispute was in full swing.
The following day she was semi-back to normal. Eating, running around and bossing our two year old golden retriever, Baron around.
Day 2 of the diagnosis, she eats her breakfast and just for fun, goes and eats a part of Baron’s food. And I thank God and think things are good. I go off to run errands and when I come back things are not good at all. I call the vet and we head for an emergency visit. I get the same vet from two days before and he says, “Aw man, I thought for sure we had more time with this sweet girl.”
And just like that it’s over. I lost my custody dispute. I called unfair advantage and at the same time I thanked God for the gift of Lulu The Wonder Dog and told him I guess he needed her more. For those of you who don’t believe there are dogs in heaven don’t bother with rude replies. I read about lions, and lambs, and horses and if heaven is all it is cracked up to be, and I believe that it is, then of course Lulu is there because well, heaven wouldn’t be heaven without her.
So alright Lord, you win this custody dispute but I know your promises are true and I know that I am saved and heaven bound so it’s just a matter of time.
And I know what you are asking. What about Baron? Baron is a complete love. He’s smart in a dog way, he loves to snuggle, he is thief of just about anything, and he has been known to snatch and grab off of the counter when he thinks no one is looking. He’s your typical dog though, but we have bonded more so over the last couple of days of grief. He is moping around the house. He woke me up at least three times the night Lulu didn’t come home. Now each time I walk in the door he comes up and sniffs me to see if I know of her whereabouts and walks away and plops down and sighs. I get it. I miss her too.
My husband said in his loving way to get a grip when I told him I was done with dogs and never wanted another one again. “Listen, you’ll never have another dog like Lulu because there just has never been a dog like Lulu and there can’t be. She’s one of a kind. But you’ll have to think about getting a bonehead dog for Baron because he truly is grieving.”
It’s too soon for me to think about it. Ok he answered. Maybe in five years. Maybe never.
But I never could imagine my life without her and if I was offered the chance to do it all again with her I would say a million times yes.
Oh and the custody dispute? I resolve to deal with it because ultimately Lulu The Wonder Dog was always his and merely entrusted to me for a season. I took ownership because it”s like having kids, we think they’re possessions but they aren’t at all. I feel pretty blessed though that the Lord trusted me with her. I have to be on the top of his list to get that assignment. Or maybe she was at the top and God knew I needed help. After all, I said all the time I didn’t know who rescued who.
In the meantime, it is pretty still and quiet at the Young’s house as we begin to try to adjust. So say a little prayer for us and hug your dogs a little tighter. And if you think about it, give them a little treat in honor of Lulu. Not a dog treat as that is common and she would turn her nose up for sure and would expect your dog, if they had dignity at all, to do the same. Instead give them a big scoop of whipped cream, that would please her to no end. She loved everyone and it would make her happy to know she made someone’s day a little brighter.
8 thoughts on “The Custody Dispute”
Thank you for this poignant post, Susan.
I loved it, even though it was quite emotional for me.
I was fortunate to get to know Lulu a bit this past Summer.
We, too, experienced a similar scenario just a couple of months ago with the passing of our 15 year old Doxie named Roxy. We still have our boys, Jiggs the Husky and Aero the Chiweenie, but even they have not been the same since her passing. They are a part of our family and we love them.
Hugs from our family to yours.
Thank you for sharing your heart. Lulu was indeed a dog of wonder and she was wonderful with everyone she came across. She was loved.
Susan thank you for sharing the details of what happened. I’m so sorry for you I know you loved her so much. You were a great mom to her and she was a sweetheart! That happened so fast I was shocked when I heard the news. LuLu you are StILL the wonder dog!!!
Oh your heart!! I too have an older dog; Queenie is a 17 year old dachshund. This grabbed at my heart and I can empathize with your grief. Your blog welled me up. Lulu the Wonder Dog is one of a kind. I hope your hearts heal sooner than later. I too think my dear pets will go to heaven.💛
Oh your heart! I can truly empathize with your grief. I have a 17 year old senior dog, Queenie and dread when she is called home. Your blog made me tear up. I believe pets go to heaven. I’ve always thought that because the Bible talks of the animals there. It sounds like Lulu the Wonder Dog was one of a kind. I hope your hearts heal soon.
Oh Susan the words just popped off this page and pierced my heart. I can’t imagine your grief but I understand the loss. I do believe you’ll see Lulu the Wonder Dog in heaven just like I’ll see my Roxy Girl. Thank you for sharing your heart. Such a beautiful tribute to your baby girl. ❤
😦 so sorry to hear about Lulu. I lost my favorite 12 year old kitty to cancer (lymphoma) about a year ago, same sort of thing where she didn’t let me know something was wrong until less than a week before we lost her. Losing pets is always tough, but seems like that makes it even sadder.
I know all my dogs are with my Dad and God.