Lulu Belle Plott, Dies at 12

Lulu Belle Plott, beloved hound about town, died in her mother’s arms at a hospital in Tucson, Arizona on May 16, 2021. According to the emergency veterinarian, the cause was unknown. She was 12.

“Honey Lulu” was skilled at telling time, a lover of rolling in snow, lap warmer, runner, explorer, hard booper, sushi eater, reluctant parade walker, serial bone thief, mesquite pod addict, rabbit hunter, rope puller, face licker, and all around drama queen.

Although socially awkward, she had a lot to say. Ms. Plott had strong pupinions about plain Greek yogurt, sky booms, and memory foam pillows.

She lived by a simple motto: “Life is best slept between two pillows or two humans.”

Lulu Plott was born in Texas in 2009. She moved to Kansas with her family soon after and was abandoned as a young pup. She suffered homelessness and food insecurity prior to being adopted by a concerned neighbor.

Despite her troubled beginnings, Ms. Plott was a well-traveled hound.

She moved to Arizona in 2012 and quickly adapted to desert life. After living in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico for more than a year, Ms. Plott recently returned to the famous retirement community of Tucson, Arizona. She also made trips to California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho.

Lulu graduated from Obedience School at the Dodge City Kennel Club in Dodge City, Kansas in 2010. She was a member of the Gourmet Feces of the Week Club, Hole Digger Society of America, and Arizona Gecko Hunters Club, and was a loyal fan of Paw and Order. 

After retiring from her career as a hall monitor, she volunteered as a running partner, food taste tester, and emotional support dog.

Ms. Plott is survived by her pawrents, Ann and Andrew as well as her brother, Sherman, of the home; grandpawrents in Dodge City, Kansas; cousins in Arizona, Kansas, and Nebraska. She was preceded in death by brothers Rommel and Patton; cousins Lola Sophia Maria Theresa, Leonard Suzanne, Louie, Enzo Romeo, and Esther May.

There will be no public visitation, as cremation has taken place. The family suggests donations to support veterinarians in crisis.

What happens when your dog gets sick in Mexico?

There have been some pleasant surprises over the past couple months in Mexico. No, the propane has not been delivered so I’m sitting in a cold house unable to warm up with a hot shower. It rained so I can’t even count on the sun to warm up a bucket of water. But…BUT…my sweet Sherman has been treated by an extraordinary veterinary specialist.

About a year ago, Sherman’s right cornea was scratched. I’m not sure how it happened but I’m blaming his psychotic sister. Both dogs are on Banfield wellness plans so Sherman had been seen by a few different vets and was prescribed a few different ointments and an oral antibiotic. The scratch healed but the redness and cloudiness in his eye failed to improve.

Once we got to Mexico, it quickly worsened. He and I both have severe allergies so I wasn’t sure if that was compounding his problem. I had to change his food since Canidae isn’t sold in Mexico and couldn’t rule out a food allergy. The change in climate was pretty significant and my eyes were certainly suffering. Maybe he was experiencing the same?

Veterinary options in our town are limited and I wasn’t sure how to even go about having him seen. Apparently, you walk in and ask. The vet took one look at Sherman’s eye and said he couldn’t help. He didn’t have the equipment needed to test his eye so he gave me the phone number of a veterinary ophthalmologist in Cabo.

I was concerned about calling this specialist with my crappy Spanish so I looked him up online and found the Facebook page for his practice. He had Messenger enabled so I sent him an appointment request copied from Google Translate and he replied within minutes. We scheduled an appointment for the same afternoon and he asked me to send him a message via WhatsApp so he could give me directions to his office. That confused me for a moment but he literally replied with coordinates because the place isn’t the easiest to find.

This guy is amazing. He tested Sherman’s eye and immediately diagnosed him with glaucoma. He explained the treatment process and warned me that it involves a lot of trial and error. He prescribed a prednisone drop for the redness and betaxolol to reduce the pressure. We were told to have Sherman rechecked after a week on the drops. He charged about US$30 for the appointment and testing. My Arizona vet charges more than that for a regular office visit. Specialists charge more than double that amount.

When we returned for the recheck, Sherman’s eye pressure had been reduced but not enough so we added travaprost to his regimen. I should add that Costco carries the prednisone but not the other two so we ordered them from a pharmacy in our town which caters to the gringo population. I am quite certain we are not getting the best price but they are reliable and I can communicate with them reasonably well. It takes three days for the orders to arrive and I can absolutely live with that.

The vet wanted to see Sherman again after we tried the new drops and I was dreading another drive to Cabo but he said he would be in our town for church the following Sunday and could see him there…at no charge. So I met this guy at the local mission and he walked up with his magic wand to test the pressure again. It still hasn’t been reduced to a normal level but he thinks it may take a little time on the new drops so we’ll see him again next week.

Americans are generally suspicious of medical professionals who practice in other countries, even though many of them were educated in the US. When I lived in Arizona, I learned all about medical tourism in Nogales and heard great things from my friends and coworkers. My Arizona vets didn’t mention glaucoma to me at all and did not test for it. They didn’t refer him to a specialist. It took coming to Mexico for my dog to receive proper treatment from an experienced professional we all like and trust. Go figure.

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