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|Pets: ‘Lick the tears off my face’|
|by Ryan Lee|
|August 06, 2010 00:00|
In the summer of 2008, Paris Johnson’s friend urged him to get a puppy from a litter of Boxers, but Johnson didn’t believe he was ready to devote himself to a new pet just six months after burying his companion of 16 years, a dog named Jazz. However, just seeing a picture of the freckled-nose dog that looked like a miniature version of Snoopy changed his mind.
“It was a good transition to a new dog, but it was like a baby, getting up at god-awful hours to get her acclimated to her new surrounding,” Johnson says of his two-year-old Boxer, LuLu. “I had to get used to her yelping in the middle of the night and having to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning so she could pee, and all of that stuff was brand new.”
Johnson considers his dogs his children, and talks about them as such.
“I love both of them, a little differently though,” he says. “Jazz was very attached and she liked to be right next to me at all times, she was very protective. LuLu is very independent, and she’s got her space, she’s not trying to sleep in the bed with me or do any of the things that Jazz used to do.”
What unites Jazz and LuLu’s personalities is how they learned Johnson’s.
“Until you have a dog, you never know that a dog really does get to know your ins and outs — they get used to the repetitiveness of your life and learn to recognize your patterns, or when you’re out of pattern,” Johnson say. “As young as LuLu is, I’ve had moments where I’ve been in tears and LuLu will hop up on the sofa and all she will do is lick the tears off my face, and you just feel that unique, unspoken bond.”
Johnson originally named his dog Ulu, which is Nigerian for “second born.”
“But every day when I would walk her though the neighborhood, people would stop me and ask me her name,” Johnson says. “I would say Ulu, and they would say, ‘Oh, hey LuLu!’ She would get all excited and jump up, so one day when we walked away I said, OK, girl, I guess your name is LuLu.”
Top photo: Paris & Lulu
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