Image: Adam C.
Owner, city: Sonia Zjawinski, Brooklyn
How I got my name: Grandma chose the name, based on the name of a swanky restaurant in San Francisco.
Lulu at about 4 years old when we moved to Berkeley for college.
How we met: Lulu and I met 16 years ago when I was spending weeks on end at a small summer camp in the equally small town of Middletown, California. Two and a half months prior to my arrival, the camp Rottweiler had once again allowed a love affair with the Australian Shepherd up the road to get physical. Needless to say neither took a sex ed course in obedience training, so in late May the hulking Rott gave birth to a half dozen pups.Lulu was the runt making her that much more attractive to a 15-year-old (me!) who was always on the lookout for what no one else had.I spent the next four weeks obsessively writing letters to my dad, who was back in San Francisco while my mom spent the summer with her family in Poland. Each letter promised the same thing: I would take full responsibility for the dog. I called him as many times as the camp owners would allow, and if email and digital cameras had existed at the time I would have crashed his inbox with photos and pleading messages. In the end I found all my work had been an unnecessary effort, since my father was and always will be a sucker. One look at the bread loaf-sized mongrel and he pulled open the door to his turquoise Astrovan grumbling, “Put her in. Mom’s gunna kill us.”
Personality type: How do you say, THE BEST!
Siblings: Lulu grew up with two cats (Max and Misza) when we lived with my parents in San Francisco. She became the only child when I went to college, but it didn’t last long. Post-degree, Sarah, my roommate at the time, found P.Kitty and Lulu became a sister again. She was alone again for about three years when we moved to New York, but then I started finding cats on the street and well, you know… Before she passed away this July she had two siblings — Dim Sum and Gizmo — plus a few foster sibs.
Lulu watches Dim Sum play with her toy. What nerve!
Pet peeves: Well, Lulu’s nickname was the “Fun Police” as anything out of the ordinary bothered her. Random dance party in the apartment? Not on Lulu’s clock! Cats running around? I don’t think so! Anyone trying to hug me? You better believe she was going to break that up.
Lulu does the walrus.
Favorite place to lounge: Anywhere I was. When she had four legs she always loved the bed, so much so that she would push me to the very edge so her 60-lbs. frame could stretch out diagonally. She also had a tendency of laying on the floor froggy style, as we named it. She would lay on her stomach with her front and back legs splayed out so she looked like a frog. When she went down to three legs, she had a walrus-like laying position with her front legs laid out in front of her but in a position where it looked like she was in mid breast stroke. She would lay her head between her paws and look pitifully up at you until you pet her.
Lulu’s last meal: Steak, pork chop, and an entire package of bacon.
Favorite foods: Chicken bones off the street. Whenever we went on walks I felt like the Terminator as I scanned the sidewalks for any loose chicken bones someone had thrown out (the downside of living near so many fried chicken joints). Somehow she still found that one shard of bone I didn’t see and scarf it down. On her last night with us we had a BBQ for her and I discovered many new foods she seemed to love, such as bacon!
Forbidden indulgences: BACON! I regret having waited until her last day to give her bacon, because she loved it so much.
Strangest habits: If you got Lulu really riled up she would make this death metal howl. After DeathBeak came out — the death metal band with a parrot as a lead singer, duh! — I wanted to start my own death metal band with Lulu playing lead, but we never got around to it. Her schedule was just way too packed.
Stand-out physical feature: Her dewclaw. Lulu had double dewclaws on her back feet. They would dangle in this funny way, which freaked out our friend Peter. Whenever he was over I would flick her little dewclaw to make it jiggle and to make Peter squeal. Lulu never liked that game.
Image: Aubrey Edwards
Things you might not know if I didn’t tell or show you: Many people thought Lulu had cataracts because one of her eyes looked a bit funny, but it was actually that she had a little river of blue in one of her eyes. Aussie’s often have blue eyes and I suppose this was a little smidgen she inherited from her pops.
Also, Lulu is the tripod behind the t-shirt charity line, I Heart Tripods.