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Sunday, 08 May 2011


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Best wishes to you, Zander, and Lulu.


Good for you Mike, taking care of Lulu; she is a lucky gal! I have got 5 rescues myself--expensive (3 are now 10+ in age), but I cannot imagine not getting that swimming pool for one of mine either! Happy Mother's Day! ;o)

Thanks for letting us know - all the best to you, Zander and Lulu.

The bond is strong between man and dog - I think it is because we are both social/pack creatures. They are called fur-kids for a reason! lol

Take the time you need, family should always be the priority. Trust us, we'll be here. Hopefully, next Sunday, you can take the time for an update. I'll have the coffee waiting.

...will soon purchase Canon EF100 Macro from Amazon for ring shots and to partially offset costs of canine surgery.

Mike, good luck with the repairs to Lulu. She sounds like a great dog. As a fellow dog owner, I can relate to the apprehension when they're not right.
Wishing Lulu a speedy recovery!

I thought something was slightly off. All the best to Lulu. They are love personified.

When we lost our 6 year (!) old corgi to nasal cancer, even at the last day, she still rallied to have one last play, and to wag her tail at the vet, even when she could no longer lift her head up the next morning (sorry about the tears on the keyboard).


We had another corgi named Kiva, who was injured when she was 7 and told by the vet surgeon that she may never walk again. She relearned how to walk and even to run (which was quite a feat because she was also blind due to a congenital disease, but she trusted the person holding the leash to guide her). She passed away when she was 16.

Mike, good luck with the operation. My heart goes out to anyone who has a similar situation with their pet. My wife and I agree that our lives would be much poorer in meaning without our pets.

Mike, I've owned dogs for almost sixty years, and fully understand the stress you and your family are experiencing. My very best wishes for a a good outcome for Lulu. I would be pleased to make a modest contribution to help with the significant expenses you are incurring. Please let me know where I should send said funds.

Thanks for TOPS - it is a great resource.

Apropos to pets, see:
"A Day in the Life of a Mobile Vet".


I was amused by the "cooking" command . Our dog picks ideas up quickly. However, with things she does not want to do, she's more likely to obey me as alpha, but less likely to obey my wife.
I hope it all goes well for Lulu.

Your comment about the swimming pool reminded me of this video from friends back in the UK.


Good exercise, and they certainly enjoy it.

I hope everything goes well.


What a beautiful dog!
My dog is an athletic quarter-pit too, you have your work cut out to keep a dog like that from running and jumping...
I hope you all come through this all right.
Best wishes.

Got a good idea what you're going through, she should recuperate well- she's got you guys.


you've got my every sympathy. I know how pets can get to you - particularly if you are without companionship of your own generation. I was an only child, and grew up with a labrador as a stand in sibling (also called Lulu after the Scottish singer - perhaps the name is more common than I thought). I remember feeling desolate when she was killed by being run over when I was twelve. Later, as a young adult, I bought my own labrador puppy who went everywhere with me. I watched her live happily for ten years until her tail stopped wagging so boisterously, and the vet said that she had a form of creeping paralysis that moved up her tail vertebra by vertebra, until in the end it reached her hips and she had to be put down.

Strange how these animals affect us. I'm wiping away tears of remembrance as I type this.

I hope that your Lulu bounces back from this setback. She's a terrier. She knows how to fight.

Hope all goes well Mike.

I completely understand how you feel.
Have rescued and loved numerous doggies and kitties nad still do for that matter.
They become Family, as much as our Kids do.
Lu gets our prayer/good energy what have you

Having only now had a dog in my 60's I think I know exactly what you mean I never realised just how much they can get to you. The jolly best to all three of you!

All the best wishes to Lulu and family and for her speedy recovery.

As to pitbulls (and other so-called "demon dogs"), it's not the breed that's the problem, it's the irresponsible owners who train them to be aggressive.

The biggest danger I ever faced from a pure-bred pit was in Costa Rica, the place we stayed had one. She was a big softie and nearly broke my ankles when she rolled over onto my feet to get her belly rubbed!

I know how you must feel, Mike. I hope for the best possible outcome for Lulu. I believe there's every reason for optimism, as veterinary orthopedic surgery has come a long, long way in the past 20 years. Today, generally, if it can be done to a human it can be done to a dog. (Of course the reverse is also true, but that's a perspective for another thread.)

You and Zander seem like the best possible owners Lulu could have.

My little girl, a forever immortal and always going to be here pug of 13 years, is in danger of needing almost the very same operation, and I'm...preoccupied to say the least about it. The operation, recovery, and the fact that everything is a jump up or down for a pug - ugh. So many happy thoughts and hopes for Lulu, and for your sanity during all this!

Best of everything with Lulu. When something is amiss you realize how "family" the pet is. Even our big Anatolian's wandering the last couple of days has been stressful, and he is back okay.

I guess Lulu was very lucky, first to escape and then to find such a good home. I'm sure she will be OK, given the care you obviously give her.

And yeah, dogs can be pretty smart too. My sister used to have a christmas tree laden with small presents for friends that came to visit during chistmas.

Tess, my sister's retriever, was particularly fond of the postman who used to bring her little presents. When he came to the door to deliver a parcel on christmas eve and stayed chatting to my sister in the hallway, Tess went to the tree, found a box of chocolates and gave it to the postman. I kid you not.

I lost my last dog to old age a few months ago. Sure wish he was here right now.

We've had to put down two cats, one was paralyzed and the other developed kidney failure after 20 years. Both times were probably the hardest decision I've ever made. They were just too much part of the family to let go. Since then we've gotten two more rescue cats and a golden retriever puppy. They've helped, but I still miss them.

On a more relevant note, I was in a local park with the dog today photographing the trillium, and along comes a guy and two dogs. One of the dogs only had three legs, one of the rear ones was gone. I asked him what happened, and he said he got him that way as a puppy. He was faster than the other dog, but he said the other could jump higher. I was somewhat amazed, but the dog seemed happy and healthy. They are such adaptable animals.

I hope your dog goes through the operation well.

Good luck with the surgery; and recovery! Our dog (Kate) had the same problem as Lulu. One ACL surgery and then a year or so later the same surgery on the other back knee. Lulu is probably sensing the stress and anxiety in her "pack" (i.e. your household) right about now. It was amazing how well she came out of the surgery and quickly was back on her feet. And today you would never know that she had two ACL surgeries. I am sure the same will happen with Lulu!

We sympathise. Our dog Bella came from the streets of Tirana in Albania. Back in the US we were involved in a serious traffic accident and her paw was badly mangled.

She was in the clinic for three days and at one point the vets were discussing amputation. Fortunately that wasn't necessary but when we got her home we had to change the dressing on her paw every day for three months.

At night she wore a plastic bag over her foot and moved into our bedroom so we could hear if she tried to lick the bandaging off.

As she regained her mobility we would gradually walk a little further with her week by week. Sometimes it got a little too much for her -especially up hill - and I carried her home. Since she weighs around 75lbs it was a great upper body workout.

Today she still wears a shoe on that foot because there is some permanent damage but she was worth every cent and all the time and every sleepless night.

Best wishes to Lulu and to you. I hope everything goes well.


All the "pit bulls", Rotweilers, German Shephards, Mastifs, and Dobermans I've known have been sweeties. They're all owned by sane people (some of them were rescues), and maybe I know enough about dogs to avoid doing really dumb-ass things (most of my adult experience is with cats). I concur with your opinion that the problems mostly come from owners.

Best of luck with the surgery and recovery and etc.


Best wishes to you and Lulu. I've been wanting to get a dog for a long time, but my situation prevents responsible 'owner'-ship. I'd like to be able to pitch in for Lulu. Is there a way I could make a special pet-love donation to help with her medical bills?

Best regards,

I'm honestly thinking of doing a print sale of one of my own pictures to try to cover the cost of the operation(s). Not sure yet, but maybe. The bill is going to come to $3,000 per leg, so it's quite a serious blow to the budget.


Nothing in all the world is better than a great dog. Best of luck to you and Lulu.

Pitbulls, whether purebred or mixes, are the absolute best dogs in the world. I've had the pleasure of the company of 3 and loved every one. They are the gentlest dogs with people and absolutely love people.

I say start a collection and an avenue for us to donate through paypal to help you defray the cost. AFter all, you give so much to us here.


Your worry is shared by all who love animals.

One of my dogs had a similar operation 20 years ago and I put pillows all over the floors and blocked off chairs and couches to make sure she didn't jump up and down. She came through ok and lived another 7 years.

Here's hoping Lulu has a very successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Good luck to Lulu and all of you.

Dear Mike,
You're a fine man. You've certainly contributed to my life so I'm with Tim. Just step aside and let us help out in whatever way we can. Best regards to Lulu!

I had to do that same operation on my dog, now gone. She was about 9 at the time and when she recovered from it she was better than new - it really gave her a whole new lease on life and she was active and happy right up until the very end of it. Expensive, yes, but worth every penny!

Mike, I know what you mean by a serious blow to the budget, but no matter what, when it comes to our pets (not having any children) we dig down deep and do what must be done. There are some things that must be overcome regardless of cost and this is job one for a pet owner.
Best of luck.


I'll buy a print. You tell me how much, I'll send it and trust you to pick a good one. :)

If I was in a positon to rescue a dog, I would have done so on Saturday. Sadly, work keeps me away from home, which isn't good for a dog. I'd post a pic or 2, but that's all techno-whiz stuff that I can't do.

The world would be a better place, we'd be better people if we lived up to our dog's estimation of us. They make us better for having them in our lives. If there are angels I wouldn't be surprised if they come to us as dogs. The only thing wrong with dogs is that they don't live long enough. My best wishes for you all.

We got a dog for the first time three years ago. It wasn't my choice and I was set enough in my ways that it took most of two years for me to become a dog lover. I fought it almost every step. I'm grateful that I can now understand a little how you feel. Two years ago your post and the outpourings above would have been incomprehensible. Best wishes to Lulu and good luck keeping her still enough.

Mike, you could solicit dog photos and do a print sale of the one you like best as a print.

Hello Mike:

One of my dogs has had both knees done by the team at University of Guelph Veterinary College here in Southern Ontario (had to give them a plug - they treated us so well).
Once he was fully recovered from the 1st surgery, he was Better Than Brand-new!
Fletcher's last surgery was 4 Feb 2011. Once again he had to spend 8 weeks in his crate (only leaving, by the shortest route, on leash, to relieve himself). No stairs for about 12 weeks. If all goes well Fletcher should be 100% by 1st week of June (currently increasing his walk distance by a few minutes/week). So far, so good.
There are several surgical procedures in current use to correct the problem (as I'm sure you know by now). The one I selected is called TPLO. The surgeon told me that it is not safe to swim a dog after a TPLO (even after the dog is fully recovered) because the new joint is only stable while it is bearing weight.
I wish you and your dog all the best in this endeavour!
Here is a shot of my Boys - Fletcher is the smaller one on the left (he is 60lbs - the big guy is over 120lbs):


I should mention one more thing. Veterinary College Hospitals (perhaps private clinics too??) need animal blood. Many people aren't aware that their dog could save lives by donating blood. I wasn't aware of this until Fletcher had his 1st surgery.
Cheers! Jay

"The only thing wrong with dogs is that they don't live long enough."

Amen. Although, as my mom's cousin says, "That's just God's way of making sure you get to know more than one."


Pets are part of the family, so of course it's understandable that you're distracted. Nothing but sympathy here. And it sounds like you'll have your hands full. If it's any consolation, it's high spring for many of your readers and therefore get-out-and-shoot weather, and we should thus be well able to amuse ourselves in the meantime, photography-wise. Best of luck.

Nice shots, too. I don't remember getting this good a look at the famous Lulu before. Thanks for sharing.

"I don't remember getting this good a look at the famous Lulu before. Thanks for sharing."

I've showed all these pictures before, but they're far and away my three favorite shots of Lulu...she's actually not an easy dog to photograph. She has a dark face, an abnormally long (i.e., unphotogenic) tongue, and she moves fast!


All the best to Lulu and all of her human friends. We're sending all the healing mojo we can muster to her.

May the compassion you are showing for her bring infinite blessings to you.

Jon and Joyce in TX

I will be keeping my fingers crossed for Lulu.

It's obviously too late for these procedures, Mike, but she's still young enough for you to get a decent deal on pet insurance for future necessities.

I know, unfortunately, just what you mean about cat ages. It was only after I allowed my ex-wife persuade us to adopt a rescue cat that I learned how long the little buggers can live. Obviously, I got custody (like I had a choice), and now fear that my stores of affection will still be required after my own legs have given up.

Best to Lulu, and your budget -- ouch.

@Jeff Hohner, I love your story.

Oh, poor thing. Hope she recovers fast.

"Yes, yes, yes" to the print sale of one of your own pictures. About time anyway! And a great way to contribute to Lulu. Amazing to read all the supportive notes from people who post here all the time about photography, but in fact have a dog or cat warming their feet or lap (as the case may be) while they're busy typing away...lol. I'd be completely lost without my Chocolate Lab, Hunter (though he's not at all a hunter, but he does fetch very well...it's part of their genes). Just let us know. And my vote is for something B&W.....

All the best to Lulu and to your-selves. Marsha our 10+ year old rescued lurcher rules this house-hold with a gentle paw. She was abandoned to the streets carrying an injury to a front leg joint so was no longer fit for coursing. She will bark at anything small and furry and is a danger to cats! Her love and affection means so much to us and we can appreciate what you are going through.

Best wishes,

it is interesting and not surprising that there are more comments about Lulu than I can remember on any strictly-photo-related topic on this site for yonks.
And rightly so, cameras can be replaced dogs when they go are just remembered and succeeded but never replaced.
All the very best wishes for success with the treatment programme.
I know exactly how you must feel....I wear a tag on a chain with my dog whistle that says:
"If there is a heaven and dogs don't go there
I want to go where they go"
They are much more reliable than most humans I have dealt with in life in terms of loyalty, dependability and affection.. and all without criticism !!

Mike: My last dog, Harpo, had diabetes the last three years of his life. We gave him two injections a day, and the exact same amount of food and exercise. We kept him stable and happy until his very last couple of days. Though it was a lot of work, there was no question about doing it. What a good dog gives back to you is always more than you give to him or her. Good luck with the surgery, and give Lulu a belly rub for me.

Get well soon, Lulu. Mike and the kid need you.

In Europe, they have a saying that when an English person sees a blind man, they feel sorry for his dog....

Mike, My best wishes of love light and warmth to you and your family (including Lovely Lulu). I am always touched deeply by people who value and honor our animal friends. Thank you for being that kind of person. Lulu is so much better off for it, and so are the rest of us.

Dogspeed Lulu, Mike and Zander.

Good luck Mike! Get well soon Lulu. All future amazon purchases are coming through here!

We have a young pitt bull mix that is showing signs of joint problems. I fear expensive surgery in the future. In the end, they are worth it. Our dogs are a huge part of the family. From your photos I can see Lulu is special to you guys.

Mike, I hope it goes well for you and Lulu on Wednesday. Although not raised to be a natural "dog person" I became very fond of the poodle-schnauzer cross that my (then) wife brought home early in our marriage, and in the bitza whatever that my current partner owns. The unreserved affection and personality some dogs offer is pretty hard to resist. It sounds like the print offer idea would really fly. By the way, that photo of Lulu and Zander is pretty special.

Speaking as someone insanely (and yet... not so insanely, not really...) devoted to two cats, I understand and sympathize completely. My best to Lulu, you and yours.

No surprise to read about how much people love their dogs. Mine is a quarter pit too. Gentle and sweet are the two adjectives that first come to mind.

I hope the best for Lulu and her peeps.

I can sympathise with you as one of our cats came home with a badly broken leg 3 years ago, and with him lying on the arm of my chair as I'm typing this with his legs dangling either side I can safely say it's the most satisfying money I've ever spent.

The surgical techniques nowadays are top-notch and looking at the x-rays of pins and plates was like looking at friends' after bike accidents!

What I would say is that if Lulu is on pain killers cut them down straight away as she might do damage if she thinks she's ok.

I grew up with Welsh border collies and dogs and cats are just on a different level to any other pet we've had.

Yeah, that final journey is always hard, but as you say, we get to experience a lot of creatures that are always happy to see us and are never judgemental (and they have it pretty well made as well ;-) ).

Good luck to all

'Zander and his Lu Dawg on the couch'

- brilliant photograph.

Glad to hear she's doing well. Dogs really are members of the family as much as anyone else. (I personally have to remind myself not to refer to mine as people, because for me they essentially are emotionally.)

Over the last few years of having a pit bull I've come to see them as one of the best dog breeds around, at least for me. Lots of energy, they love walks, smart, are friendly (my Stella is both dog and people friendly) and absolutely loyal and loving to their pack. At one point I needed to teach Stella to heel, I, like you, figured this would take a few weeks, two walks later she had it figured out. And her defense when the baby reaches for her is to lick the baby's face. Perfect dog. And she's a rescue as well, abandoned twice in the desert.

I'm glad Lulu is doing well, my thoughts are with you, Zander and Lulu. And enjoy the backyard pool a bit yourself, it'll probably make Lulu happy to have you in there too.

And my Stella, she loves to jump around on the rocks.


You're a good man Mike.

Haven't heard about Lulu for awhile, hope all is going well. All the best.

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