I want to thank each and every Angel out there... I am sharing a note that I sent to a few people recently who have sent me beautiful notes and do understand that I will continue to do good things in Lulu's honor....my sentiments are below:
"I am completely beyond saddened by all of this... But I will only look for the goodness that she brought to me, my family, and hopefully to everyone who has come to love her like yourself. The past several months have changed my life going forward... forever ...and I have a purpose to help others like Lulu to also give them another chance. Lulu had a very special higher purpose which I believe was to enlighten all of us to the plight that animals that are abused and neglected endure, often silently. I have tried, all along the way, to continuously communicate to everyone her story and updates. When I started this it was because I looked into her eyes and saw that she just desperately wanted love and a good loving home. She came into my life on the one year anniversary of my Dad's passing, my Dad gave me my love and passion for animals.... I have lived in this small town my whole life and people here know my efforts firsthand to help her have hope for a chance at a new life !
My one true desire and goal was to give her a chance at a second life, and for the 3 months she was with me it was a true labor of love that gave her peace and pleasure...and I saw a dog that was truly happy...that wagged her tail for the first time in a very long time.... I have never had a dog bond with me so quickly and so deeply...and I have had at least 2 dogs in my home (all rescues) my entire life and I am 55 yeasrs old. We administered her medications round the clock and fed her religiously on time 3 times a day, with prescription food, finely scrambled hamburg and organic chicken broth - She loved it !!! She learned to play with toys, something she never had before !!! She went for rides in the car and to the beach for a walk, something she never had done before as she was chained outside her whole life beforehand I have since learned. She had a soft orthopedic bed that she curled up on every night and it helped her sleep well despite her being so thin..She learned to play with other dogs, instead of being fearful of them, my dog Shiloh and my daughter's dog Bear, slept with her all curled up together.
So many worse things could have happened to her in her last few months...she could have been let loose on the streets rather than being abandoned at the daycare... she could have been put down immediately and never known the simple pleasures that we were able to share with her. I wanted to give her years of love, attention, and play...we all gave her a second chance... but that was in God's hands..
Please let Lulu's spirit move you to stay true to who you are, a kind soul, who made wonderful gesture that made a huge difference. There are so many souls out there like Lulu that I see on the news who didn't have any chance at all because they didn't find people like you and me before they passed...
I got a wonderful email yesterday on Easter morning from a couple who had made a donation...they expressed their condolences and said that following Lulu's journey had shown them that they need to try to do something more.... they were going to look at all of their local shelters and adopt another dog, perhaps a senior dog that often gets overlooked as eveyone wants puppies.
I got an email from on Kelli Stack, a young woman who was a Silver Medalist Winner on the US Women's Olympic Hockey Team in Sochi this year... she just brought a dog home from Sochi that was simply to be shot because the dogs there run wild and Sochi felt they were a nuisance.. Lulu also touched her heart, and she feels she wants to also do more.
If you wish to stay in touch as I work over time to continue to honor her memory please look for Lulu Danvers MA on FaceBook.
For anyone out there who wants to understand what parents of 4 legged children go through with Megaesophagus please go to this open support on Facebook... you will quickly see that it is an insidious disease, but with other complications such as physical abuse and other secondary complications that result from ME... its an uphill climb...
I have had many, many dogs in my life, all of them have always been rescues, and the heart wrenching loss that comes when they are called to the Rainbow Bridge always leaves each of us with a sense of loss, grief, and emptiness....and yet Lulu has not been like any other dog I have ever known... She fit in completely, without hesitation, and folded into our hearts and our home in such a deep way, in a very short time period. The words "thank you" do not begin to describe how very deeply I feel .... I have been completely overwhelmed in such a wonderful way by all of the notes, emails, kindness, sharing, and donations from everyone who Lulu has touched with her heart and soul... I was truly the luckiest one to have had the opportunity to care for her... but we all adopted her in our hearts... and the love and connection I am feeling from everyone has been tremendous and healing. I know that Lulu would want me to do for others who, like her, have been left behind...to give them the love that they so deserve, help them heal, be comfortable, and find a warm, safe home. That is my wish, and I know she'll be right there with me in spirit.
Words do not come easy to me, especially right now... I am at a complete loss for words... still very much in shock... but I know that I need to share and hopefully find some reasoning and comfort for Lulu behind today.. Lulu has passed onto the rainbow bridge, and we (myself, my son, my daughter, my fiance, my all of friends and neighbors.... who know that my dogs are a direct reflection of me, and my life is their life.... I am devastated with her passing... The surgery tired to remove a significant blockage but found that her trachea was filled with food from the vomiting...the lungs showed a significant develop of aggressive pneumonia that she would not likely survive...beyond that was her trachea ...that was ulcerated from ongoing previous issues, and the blockage had exasperated the damage to the point of rupture....so if they continued with the necessary suction that to clear the trachea it would have ruptured and if they stopped it would have ruptured upon feeding and she would have drowned in her own feeding and saliva.... She will be cremated and her ashes will be on my fireplace above her favorite spot, where she will always be now indoors, warm and loved... I will finalize things with Angell Memorial and any monies at all will be put towards dogs who, have like Lulu, been left behind... The compassion that every single Angel has shown her and my family here has changed our lives beyond belief, and forever. I will be dedicating my efforts to helping dogs that have been abandoned, to find loving homes, and hopefully to find the love and tail wagging that we shared with her these past several months. If anyone wants to message me.. please do... I am dry for tears right now as I have cried myself out... but know that my Dad has already looked for her at the rainbow bridge...my Dad brought her to me on the one year anniversary of his passing... and I trust him still to care for our family.
This was sent to me from Alex - Angell Memorial (Emergency Critical Care) She was resting before surgery prep...
Before Surgery Prep Today ...
Surgery will be late this afternoon...I will let you all know as soon as I hear from the Vet
Update... Lulu has developed aspiration pneumonia from the violent vomiting, xrays today confirm that and her breathing is now labored so she is on oxygen to give relief.. she must have surgery to try to remove the blockage from the kibble as it is not passing on its own at all. They will try to suction it out and move any left downward to her stomach.. this is her best chance I am told. If all goes well she will be there for a few days to avoid complications. I have to give her this one more chance.. I will be adjusting Lulu's goal to cover what I have been given as the costs for this. Ive not asked directly for alot and have been blessed to have bonded with her and given her love... please if you can donate now I leave the rest in God's hands as she'll be at Angell Memorial through Easter. ..thank you all for your love and support with Lulu... may God grant us this one wish..
I have not slept needless to say, and am still waiting to hear of any changes in her status... they are keeping her to monitor her very closely, and hoping that with fluids via IV that she the blockage loosens and passes on its own, albeit slowly... they are very hesitant to perform another surgery as she is strong of heart and soul but her body is fragile .. I wanted to post a personal video to say "thank you" again for every single ounce of support you all have given Lulu, but every time I tried to record a message I cried too much.. please..just know that Lulu and all of you have changed and enriched my family forever by this experience. I will post again as soon as I have more details...
Couldnt wait. Had to go into Angell Memorial. Xrays show kibble has created a blockage... they admitted her and are keeping her... used last of funds ... please say prayers. . Ill let you know tomorrow what they say.
...I know its one day at a time... butc we've come so far... I want to ask for just hope and prayers. Lulu got into some kibble at daycare... we've been throwing up for about 2 hours.. its a wait and see how the night goes... vet in the am...
Lulu wants to wish everyone a Happy Easter and hopes that the Easter Bunny is good to all !!!
Things are still progressing, eating well, no regurgitation, breathing is so much easier for her...especially allows her to play with the other dogs and walk a bit longer distances :)
We will be taking her in to weigh her Saturday and I am hoping to post a good, solid weight gain so please check back !
Thank you ALL for EVERYTHING !!!! (can't say that enough)
Happy Easter :)
You can find Lulu on Facebook to see her updates. Look for her as "Lulu Danvers MA" :)
Happy Sunday ! Lulu is not only discovering the fun of Deer and Elk Antlers...but she's not being protective of them with her buddies :) Still no regurgitation !!!
It's such a sense of relief to be able to share good things...past few days have been good :) Lulu is eating good and is taking to her new food very well, her personality continues to emerge ! We are all definitely seeing a dog who is more relaxed, more happy, and actually wags her tail and plays with the other dogs ... Miracles do happen, thanks to each and every one of you :)
I can't say it enough...from the donations...to the emails.. to the warm thoughts, kind words, and most of all prayers from every "Angel" that I've met through this... THANK YOU !
Here's a picture of Lulu this morning, before she went to Spoiled Rotten to visit her friends :)
I dont ever lose sight of the good days, and yesterday was a really good day :) Lulu spent some time with Shiloh at Spoiled Rotten Doggie Daycare, those girls love her to pieces and she was pampered very well! She seems to be taking to her new dog food recommended by the Vet, so the plan is to simply focus on gaining weight over the next few weeks. Thank you all for caring and checking in !!!!!
I am so glad yesterday is over ! Lulu was completely spaced out and unsteady on her feet from whatever sedative was given to her for the X-rays... She was acting so strange, they said the side effects would not last long, but they did!! We almost drove back into Boston last night as she was so spaced out that I didn't dare feed her as I was worried her swallowing was out of sorts and we can't afford another aspiration pneumonia. This morning it has finally worn off and she is more herself...
Update: The good news is the lungs look good...and off all but one of the meds :) but she has not gained weight yet...still at about 47lbs... the plan going forward is to increase her calories but watch the fat...switching gears now to a new wet food, and needing to put weight on quickly.. without irritating the newly healing esophagus... so we take it one day at a time. The Dr wants to see her in one month and scope her esophagus to check the healing...today she is completely out of sorts from the sedative from the xrays ...DAMN !
I want to share a simple, but cute picture... Lulu is always the first one up and waiting at the top of the stairs for a walk ....so nice to see her get up more easily and want to get out for a walk...and wag her tail at everyone ! Wish us luck tomorrow :)
Wish Lulu "good health" and let's get some weight put on her ! We head into Angell Memorial for a post-op check up and staples to be removed on Sunday am...so far...so good !
Waiting for supper :)
Each day seems a little stronger :) She took an interest in a squirrel on our morning walk, couldn't even begin to let her think about chasing it...BUT it was a good sign to see that her interest is starting to come around in things going on around her ! I hope every one of her "Angels" out there knows and takes to heart how each and every one of you has made this possible...
Who wants to go for a walk ?
Update for Wednesday:
Lulu is sticking to the Dr's orders :) Resting comfortably on her orthopedic comfy bed, eating well with a good appetite, taking her meds (even though she doesn't want to), took her for a ride in the car today as the sun was out and it was warm enough to have the windows open :) ... If she continues the same steady , we go into Angell on Sunday to have incision staples removed, and x-rays to re-check her lungs... and determine next round of meds :) so..... tails are starting to wag a little more !
Lulu says "big doggie kisses" to everyone who has sent prayers, healing thoughts, donations, and kept the spirit for her to heal alive...
In life I've learned that it's not just the initial reaction to help that gets anyone through adversity.. it's the ability to hang in there, for the longer haul, take the unexpected setbacks, and still stay on course, and have faith... I will again say that I have met the most amazing Angels on this journey with her...
Today is Lulu's birthday :) and she is holding steady !
We are learning how to juggle administering all of the meds, and keeping her comfortable. I took the week off from work to stay home with her and keep a close eye on her.. Here is a picture of her waiting patiently for her birthday breakfast.
Update: The Dr. called and said we could take her home last night, so into Boston we went and picked her up just after 8pm.. The Dr. felt that where her lungs are not showing any air leakage for more than 24 hrs...that we can give her the same care at home as in the hospital now. We left with more than 7 different meds that need to be administered 3 times daily...some are antibiotics, some are pain meds, and some are to calm down the irritations and ulcers in her esophagus.. We are in a wait and see mode for the next 7 to 10 days, hoping that all your prayers continue to help her healing..
She's doing so much better ! I do believe in miracles... Everyone here is a part of this miracle...
YAY!!!!! Good news today...she's shows signs of improvement!!! They are going to wean her off the oxygen, and initial draws show no leakage of her lungs today. We are being cautious and will keep the line in her chest to monitor it for another 24 hours or so, then they may clamp it off for a day, to be CERTAIN that the lungs have sealed off and healed before removing the line completely. Our collective prayers are working and she is starting to act more like a dog who wants to get up and explore :) I will keep you all posted as I get more updates !!!
I just learned that one of our Olympic Silver Medalists, Kelli Stack, shared Lulu's story on Twitter !!! Thank you, from my soul, to Laurie Pimental for sharing it with Kelli to share her story...Kelli is a dog lover and brought home one of the puppies from Sochi to save another soul...I am both humbled & speechless at the kindness of EVERYONE I have met here... I know Lulu has a greater purpose to be fulfilled, we are just the collective angels that will make sure she gets there :)
Just got this picture from CCU... She ate for the first time !!! I am soooo hopeful that going slow will be her guarantee to heal up her lungs !
She ate for the first time !!!!!
Just spent an hour at Angell Memorial..met Dr. Brim who is in charge of Lulu in CCU... he was so compassionate and gave me more hope ! They got her to eat and will prepare the food I brought them and feed her as ive been doing by holding the dish at my knee level. She will get my shirt and her favorite toy which I brought in to rest with :) they will need to be cautious and monitor her lungs before removing the chest tube which has been venting the excess air. .. this gives me hope and her the time for the hole to seal itself off... I got an update on future costs to carry us through this past week and the next few critical dayd... will adjust goals as necessary. .pLEASE KEEP THE PRAYERS COMING ! I'm on my way home truly feeling hopeful and she not give up, and neither will I...
I am on my way in to Angell Memorial this am...I'm bringing her one of my sleep shirts, and her food as I always prepare it for her ...pureed with organic chicken broth :) I spoke with the ICC Dr and he agreed that it would be a good idea.. Thank you Beth Mcashan for the suggestion, so I'm on my way in and hoping this perks her up !
Lulu Thursday night
They will be removing more air from her chest by tube today...she is not in any pain, and is resting comfortably, but they are very concerned that she has a small hole in her lung from the adhesions that needs to heal up.. I truly need every prayer possible because the next few days of intensive care in ICC will tell if it heals.. thank you all so very, very much for your unconditional love and support...
Update as of Thursday am
X rays confirm the pneumonia, she had air & fluid drained from her chest cavity, still on oxygen and 2 antibiotics...she is in CCU with the best care & staff possible. They have called and given me no less than 5 updates today...saying she is stable and not slipping backwards... I can't go see her... they feel if she sees me she has become so bonded that her anxiety will get her worked up and they need her to rest... I am going to adjust her FundMe Goal as we are deep into the bills for her care, and I won't give up as long as she continues she show her strength to try to heal. Thank you all for your prayers, caring emails, and donations... You are all truly Angels..
I got a call this morning from Angell Memorial, Lulu has developed pneumoina overnight...she has a temperature, and is receiving oxygen and antibiotics to fight it off....please, please say a prayer. The Dr said it is not uncommon post-op, but they feel her situation is guarded...They are doing xrays to confirm that it is nothing else....so I do ask for everyone to say a prayer as I so want to get her better and back home to be loved and recover fully... Thank you for everything..
PRAYERS Please ...
I will focus on only the positives of today... I got a call from Angell Memorial that she was not generating excess fluid so they will remove the drainage line from her chest tonight :) YAY ! also she was given food by mouth and has kept it down thus far.... all good ... no matter what else
Nick at Angell Memorial Hospital sent me this pix this morning... He said "she is such a sweetheart" and he enjoyed spending the morning with her...
This was sent to me this morning by Nick
I am so eternally grateful for everyone that has helped me with this endeavor... I truly am and will be forever... Lulu had almost 5 hours of surgery today... She is being monitored for several days to avoid any complications, but we are not unfortunately out of the woods yet. They found so many more problems internally than originally thought... She had multiple adhesions and scar tissue internally...from who knows what... nor do I want to know. They were able to relieve a band of adhesions that were limiting and constricting her esophagus, resulting in the mega esophagus. They also discovered that one of her lungs was actually adhered to her abdominal cavity... they were able to free it and feel that they did not puncture or compromise her lung. This will be a long road of recovery and depending upon the outcome I may do more fund raising. I believe that all things happen for a reason...she came to all of us, and we have come a long way, and made tremendous strides. Please keep checking back as I want all of the prayers that can be offered... I will post updates as I know more...THANK GOD for Angell Memorial Hospital ....
Good St. Francis, you loved all of God's creatures.
To you they were your brothers and sisters.
Help us to follow your example
of treating every living thing with kindness.
St. Francis, Patron Saint of animals,
watch over our Lulu
and keep my companion safe and healthy..
may her surgery go well and may it bring her the comfort and a better quality of life, that she so deserves.
I know I've posted this before, but because folks are asking again, Lulu's surgery is scheduled for Monday, March 24th at Angell Memorial Hospital in Boston MA. The reason for this date is that it will require two specialized surgeons whose schedules had to be coordinated. While the waiting creates anxiety for those who care tremendously, please know that Lulu is right now a very happy dog, being pampered and well loved. It's a slow process, but all good things come to those who have patience. Please keep her in your thoughts & prayers :)
I get so many emails, from the most wonderful souls, all with good positive caring thoughts .... this is such a truly wonderful vehicle for sharing. Lulu is thriving !! Thank you all so very, very much!
Lulu is very excited ! She got a phone call from a local k9 trainer who is willing to spend some time helping train her with the basic commands after she is on the road to recovery...to teach her a few more manners :) She is so very smart, but this will be a huge help !!!! From the heart....thank you Rocco at the Canine Castle in Marblehead MA !!!!
I just feel the need today to say "thank you" ...to every person out there who has said a prayer, sent a kind note, or made a donation... Lulu is doing well.. She's had a good week and I am just getting nervous... I just want to be on the other side of the surgery and be working on her rehab to living pain free ...
This was yesterday at Spoiled Rotten Doggie Daycare...it was a GOOD day ! Lulu is always found resting with my dog, Shiloh, but the she had some playful moments with a few others as well. The girls said she had a happy afternoon! Please keep the positive thoughts & prayers coming...
Best Friends :)
I am completely open to all natural remedies, once we get past the surgery required to fix her aorta and esophagus. The vets do not want to introduce any new substances to her just prior to surgery as her system has been taxed enough over the years.
Thank you very much for continuing to check in and for the kind words :) Please know that overall we are making great progress...in the month that I've had her she has only had one episode of vomiting, and the diarrhea last night was not that extensive. She has gained some weight and her personality is emerging as she feels better and is happy to have a healthy routine. She has a comfy bed of her own now, and I keep her in my kitchen at night when we go to bed where the floor is mostly tile so she can't hurt herself and it makes cleanup not too bad....labor of love ...all of it !
Diahrreha back last night for no reason... not much, but I just feel so bad that she has it happen for no apparant reason, and then she feels so bad afterwards for having it happen. Please keep the positive healing thoughts & prayers coming :)
First warm sunny day...short frequent walks to get some fresh air without stressing her too much with anything too strenuous. So many people meet & greet her and are always amazed at how gentle she is, especially with kids... I think she would make an truly good service dog to visit those in the nursing home one day...She is quiet and patient, and always sits down to just be with someone, and is so happy to do so..
This is a picture of Lulu, Shiloh and Bear...they are all rescues that have found that it's good to bond and make your own family pack !
3 separate rescues, bonding :)
YAY !!! we are back to a stable day..no diarrhea, no vomiting, all tail wagging...tired, but happy :)
Saturday night was a tough night...lots of diarrhea & vomiting.. I knew it could happen at any moment...just hard to help her feel better. Trip to the vet yesterday to get some fluids built up...lots of quiet time.. seems much better this am :) Angell Memorial Hospital called last night, and we seem to be landing on 3/24 for surgery. Will keep you all posted, please keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming !
Resting up always helps keep food down :)
resting up always helps keep food down!
This is Lulu, she is truly the sweetest German Shepherd. She was abandoned at Spoiled Rotten Doggie Daycare in Danvers, after being left behind there for over a month. She's had a hard life up to this point, spending most of her time outside, but deserves a second chance at life. Danvers Animal Hospital who has seen her in the past has shared that she has a medical condition (esophageal diverticulitis) which requires immediate corrective surgery to allow her to eat and not regurgitate her food. If she doesn't have the surgery, the condition will most likely escalate into a secondary condition (infection in her lungs from aspirating food when vomiting) that could develop, costing her her life. I am going to have her evaluated at Angel Memorial this week for immediate surgery to correct this problem which may cost between $5000 to $8000. depending on severity. Timing is critical. No donation is too small or will go unnoticed...please help me, help Lulu... the Staff at Spoiled Rotten is committed with me to helping her get healthy and get a second chance at life. We are her guardian angels, as she has not had an advocate until this point... every soul deserves a chance. Thanks for lending whatever support you can.