I recently watched a Brit video on why foxes make poor pets. It took me no time at all to realize they were describing Lulu to a T and with her short little legs, she even walks like a fox. She might allow us one pat on her head a day but often that is asking for too much. She’ll take food from our hands but runs away as fast as she can. She does hang out with me –in the morning she lies in front of my office door and groans getting up to move out of my way if I try to leave. I’m pretty sure she is there because I often give her a saucer of milk when I make my coffee. But, lately she’s been sleeping late, so my coffee is long gone before she appears in the doorway.
She’ll eventually go out into the back yard and I watch her from my office window. She loves exploring and digging odd grave-shaped holes. She’s dug a nice saucer-shaped one under the deck near the doghouse -yes, the dog house has a deck! It’s actually a bridge from the pond that was swept away in a flood and dragged over to the dog house. She loves the dog house and loves it when either Quinn or I chase her into it. That’s the limit of her games, chase into dog house, look out smile and wag tail. She doesn’t like dog toys and if it has a squeaker, it gets shredded, if it has filling it gets pulled out.
She convinced our late male-alpha, Mukki, that he was the father of her puppy Quinn. Sorry but no, Mukki was neutered (sorry Mukki) and she was pregnant when we started fostering her. But, she meant well. Sadly, Mukki never could figure out why Quinn wasn’t smart, trainable, a good alpha or intelligent like he was. Mukki was ofter seen staring quizzically at Quinn and sighing a lot. When Mukki passed on to run in the Bifröst on an eternal mushing adventure, Lulu never forgave us. She spent days, months and years glaring at me from a distance. She was the same way when our alpha female, Tala died. I still try to bond but after nearly eight years it’s getting through to me that this may never happen.
She still enjoys a walk but not a very long one anymore. Also, catching her for a walk wears me out! She wants to trust me but just can’t. The rescuers and vets who went in and rescued her with 35 of her nearest and dearest friends told us she was 5 years old, kept in a crate and been bred continuously. Many of the dogs had dead puppies in the crates and more found in a shed. After Quinn turned six weeks, Lulu spent more time with a stuffed squirrel toy in her mouth crying than she did with Quinn. She carried it everywhere crying. It was heartbreaking and this is why Lulu was forgiven for refusing to be trained or sit or give a paw… frankly, my dear –she doesn’t give a damn for our domination games.
So, this is our life, crazy, wild and energetic Quinn and his skittish foxy Mom. I recently did the math using an online dog-age calculator and Lulu is anywhere from 80 to 93 years old.
After losing Mukki and Tala within the last two years, I sadly must acknowledge I am facing the inevitable with Lulu. And a few nights ago I had a dream that felt more than a dream. I was walking around our pool (definitely a dream!) and Lulu was standing at the deep end. She looked at me long and hard and then walked into the water. She slowly sunk and made no effort to swim or save herself. I checked to make sure my iPhone wasn’t in my pocket and I dove in after her… I scooped her up in my arms and cradled her. She was dead. I carried her to the shallow end and just held her. Dream me was catching up on all the snuggle hugs she never let me have. I woke crying. Yes, Lulu is probably 92 and has little time left with us but she’s outlasted the healthier alphas.
My husband thinks the dream is a forewarning but one with a message. She wants to go on her own terms, maybe in her self-dug hole in the yard or under the fan in the screen room. Or maybe it’s all just a dream. I did manage to corner her yesterday and sat with her scratching her head. I could tell she was torn between enjoying it and hating me touching her. Too bad, if she wants a cookie, she needs to pay with an occasional hug.
I would like to have a pool but I’d rather have Lulu a little while longer. I seem to have no choice in either. You might wonder where Lulu got her name. I named her after my great grandmother, Lulu Bastion Teisse Desrosiers. I lived with her for five years, she came here from Tessin in Northern Germany –actually it was Prussia when she left in 1883. I was her little liebchen and she was my Mi’mamma. There was something about Lulu’s fierce loyalty and love for Quinn that made me think Lulu would be the perfect name.