A Tribute to Lulu


Today the world lost a sweet girl and the rainbow bridge has gained a beautiful angel who has made such an impact in the Canine Epilepsy world. Lulu was not only just a part of her family, an ambassador for Canine Epilepsy but she was also the lead shop dog  for her parents grooming boutique; Haute Paws Grooming & Boutique in Nine Mile Falls, Washington.

This morning Rolo must have felt something wrong when we woke up. We had not been on facebook yet or knew about the news of Lulu but  we were laying on the floor in the living room. Rolo snuggled over and put his head on my shoulder and for the first time in the almost 4 years I have had him he licked my cheek!

You can check out her facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/lulusjourney

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I have been following Lulu on facebook for a very long time and love seeing her multiple  daily posts. Since Friday I have been watching her page very closely as she was getting attacked by the Seizure Monster and was rushed to Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

Just know that Rolo and I send our condolences and healing strength to Lulu’s entire family, friends and everyone else whose lives she touched (I know there is ALOT).

(Photo from http://www.facebook.com/lulusjourney)

I wanted to share Lulu’s Story from her Facebook Page:
“In December of 2011, something happened that forever changed my life.  The date was 12/13/11, the first snow of Winter had fallen, and I had settled down for the evening.  Mom and Dad had come home from work late, I had dinner and then wound down to enjoy a new wheat-free dental chew.  It was 9:30pm and I had just started working on it.  Suddenly everything went blank for me.  My parents related what happened: I looked to them like I was choking and couldn’t breathe so they thought I had a piece of my new chew stuck in my throat.  Then mom said, “No! LuLu’s having a seizure!”  It ended up becoming a grand mal seizure that lasted an hour and twenty minutes without stopping.  Mom and Dad said I was screaming, foaming, drooling, convulsing, my eyes were darting in every direction and my tongue went white.  To this day, mom and dad have a very difficult time talking about this because of how scared they were.  My mom and dad sure love me.
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When the grand mal seizure finally ended and I came to, I didn’t recognize my mom or dad.  I was very afraid of everything around me, but I did not know why.  When my mom and dad tried to pick me up, I would run away and hide.  They were sad because it looked like I did not recognize them anymore, but they still told me how much they loved me.  I don’t know what happened, but finally on 12/15/11 I suddenly remembered they were my mom and dad and I knew who they were!  They were so happy and said to me, “Welcome home LuLu!”

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After getting checked out by my vet, I was put on the first of what would become one of my main medications to this day, Phenobarbital.  My seizures would not stop happening so my parents kept working with my vet to try different medications and combinations.  For quite some time, none of it seemed to be helping.  My seizures got so bad over the next year that by January 2013, my mom and dad thought they were going to lose me.  I had too many cluster seizures within a 24 hour period that even my vet was very worried for me.  He suspected that I had a condition that dogs like me can get, Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE), which is swelling of the brain.  Pugs with PDE get lethargic and lack muscle coordination.  Apparently this is what was happening to me.  Our vet was also concerned that I could have Granulomatous Meningeoencephalitis (GME), a disease of the brain and spinal cord.  In either case, the vet and all the research my mom and dad did said the prognosis was very bad.  In my short little life, I don’t remember seeing mom and dad cry so much.  Don’t get me wrong, my dad is tough but his heart is soft when it comes to his babies.

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My vet put me on high doses of Prednisone and another medication called Gabapentin.  I had tried one called Kepra, but it gave me bloody noses, so my mom would not let me have that one anymore.  I was still having seizures, although not as many.  So, my mom and dad have to have liquid Valium handy to help me recover quicker from my seizures.  There are times that I have gone blind for periods, times that I have been unable to stand up or walk, and times I have been unable to even eat food and drink water on my own.   I spend lots of time in my mom and dad’s arms.  I really like that.  It is very comforting for me and makes me feel safe.  I am with my mom and dad 24/7 now and I really like that.  I also really like being able to sleep between my mom and dad, and I fall asleep quickly with my dad’s arm around me.
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Throughout some of my toughest weeks, my little brother Atticus started taking care of me, too.  Even though he’s a lot younger than me, he is much, much bigger than me.  He kind of looks like a bigger version of my older brother Sumo, but mom says he’s a Bullmastiff and not a Pug.  Atticus would check on me all of the time to make sure that I was feeling ok and when I couldn’t walk too well, he would hold my leash in his mouth so I could not wander off too far and maybe get hurt.  While waiting for mom and dad to finish up with their chores at night, my brother Atticus would cuddle up to me to keep me warm and safe.  He’s a great little brother. 

I also want to mention that my older Pug brother and sister, Sumo and Kimee, have been very supportive of me and help keep an eye out for me, too.  Although Kimee gets jealous of me sometimes, she’s a pretty good sister who always has my back.  Being the genius that my dad says he is, my older brother Sumo always tries to put an intellectual spin on things.  Sumo says that it will help me maintain perspective throughout the peaks and valleys that I experience.  Not sure what that means, but if it includes treats, I’m all for it.

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Because some of my meds are immuno suppressants, mom and dad also introduced some natural supplements into my diet.  I have supplements to help my brain heal from seizures, build my immune system, calm my brain activity, and help strengthen my little liver.  I am taking a lot of things, but fortunately they seem to make my food taste even better.  Did I mention that I really, really, really love food?  So this is extra great for me!

All of these meds and supplements together have been a great help.  I even went five whole weeks without having a seizure!  This was a record for me.  Most recently, mom and dad have been taking me in for acupuncture treatments.  I love my doctor and I feel so good during my treatments.  In addition to my acupuncture treatments, I am doing exercises to help strengthen my neck, stomach, and back muscles.  Not sure what that all means, but I get treats for doing it so I love my exercises!

We have no idea why I started having seizures.  None of my Pug relatives have a history of having them.  I guess I’m just special.  At least, that’s what my mom and dad say.  I don’t know what each day will bring or how I will feel, so I just love each moment I have and I am very thankful for my parents, my food, my family, my doctors, and all of my wonderful friends for making me feel so happy and loved. – LuLu”
(Paragraphs from Lulu’s Facebook Page – Note Section http://www.facebook.com/lulusjourney)


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One thought on “A Tribute to Lulu

  1. Robin says:

    Lulu was so brave! Having worked in Special Education for years with Autistic and Down’s Syndrome people, I have seen a lot of seizures. They are terrifying no matter how many times you’ve seen it. I would be so scared if one of my kitties was seizing. Twenty minutes is a horrible seizure! Most last less than 5 minutes. I’m thankful Lulu’s parents didn’t give up on her. Thanks for sharing this story.

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