Meet Lulu the Chihuahua, otherwise known as the University of Alabama’s “elusive mascot.”
For years, an entire village of Alabama campus animal lovers took care of the homeless Lulu — but always from a distance, per Lulu’s wishes.
Nobody knows how or why Lulu ended up living alone on a university campus, but everyone understood one firm rule when it came to trying to be the dog’s friend — don’t.
Lulu accepted offers of respite here and there, pausing from her morning wanderings to chomp down a bowl of dog food left for her by security team members or administrators who loved her.
Lulu might have let a human sit near her from time to time — but no touching. Any time someone tried to pet Lulu or corral her in any way, she responded with a fierce resistance, followed by days of hiding in retreat.
To help the student body better understand how to (not) interact with Lulu, her favorite caregivers set up a Facebook page on the chihuahua’s behalf. They requested that people leave Lulu alone, explaining that rescue and adoption attempts did more to hurt Lulu than help.
Instead, followers were invited to post photos of Lulu as she was spotted around campus, just so everyone would know Lulu was alive and well.
Everyone was stunned, when out of the blue, Lulu latched on to a 4-and-a-half-year-old Catahoula mix named Carter. Lulu would watch Carter on his daily walks with human Kevin Mount and eventually started following along — from a distance.
Mount recognized Lulu from her Facebook page and responded as requested — he simply let Lulu be. But before long, he heard Lulu howling outside his balcony and making her way up the stairs to his apartment.
One day, Mount left his front door open, a take-it-if-you-want invitation for Lulu to come inside.
“I opened the door and she gradually just kind of creeped in,” Mount said. “Next thing you know, she was inside and up on the couch.”
Lulu wasn’t interested in interacting with Mount, but thoroughly enjoyed her time with Carter. The duo played together and seemed to genuinely enjoy each other’s company.
Slowly but surely, Lulu warmed up to Mount, deemed “the chosen one” by Lulu’s campus caretakers. Lulu now wakes up on Mount’s bed and likes to tuck herself under his trusting arm.
“It amazes me that she went from being a dog that didn’t want to be touched to where she will whimper and cry until I pick her up,” Mount said.
“I look at her all the time and wonder how she went all these years without this kind of attention because she is a very, very affectionate dog,” he said.
“It’s sad to think that she probably wanted that kind of affection, wanted that kind of attention, but she was just scared.”
“I guess a lot of us are the same way,” he concluded.
To those who loved Lulu from afar for so many years, her departure has been bittersweet. But they are delighted to know that their pup has finally adopted her own family.
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