well, that's what i'd like people to call me....

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hi! i'm lulu belle. welcome! i'm a georgia coon dog. i'm mostly yellow lab, and i'm all nose! i love to sniff!

i used to be a feral dog, but now i live like a queen. this is my story. (click on the photos for blow-ups.)

way back in october of '99 i was living in the piney woods of east-central georgia, in jenkins county. as a puppy i'd run away from home after somebody beat me and broke my jaw.

i'd reached an understanding with howard norris, a local gentleman, who found me hiding in a pea patch, and he let me hang out on the farm he watches over for another man named collins.

feral rescue dog before walkabout
walkabout adventure tour equipment but howard only visits the farm for 30 minutes a day. the rest of the time i was alone. i was lonely and sick, and spent most of my time scratching when i wasn't howling at the moon or chasing squirrels.

several months went by like this. then one day a new guy pulled up in a shiny airstream land yacht. i barked all night at him and that silver trailer, but when howard came by the next day he didn't chase the guy off. huh!

well, the guy started talking to me! it took him three days to lay a hand on me, because i was pretty wild. still, he caught me, and the next day gave me a bath. boy, did i hate that! i'd perfected the "essence of wild dog," and he washed it off! (dern!)

well, before you could say 'possum grease, he'd loaded me up in a kennel in that 4 wheel drive of his, hooked up that big silver twinkie of a trailer, and off we roared, heading south on "walkabout".

dog exploring a beach in key west

we drove for 2 days. oh, we stopped almost every hour and the guy took me for a walk, and he even let me sleep in that silver trailer of his at night. i really didn't sleep that well, though. it was too strange. i slept a lot during the day. all that food! bow-wow!

after two days we got to a place he called "key west." all i know is, there's lots of water, and there's lots of other dogs to play with! i mean, this is doggie heaven! that's me in the middle of that action shot at the right.

doggie adventures with the girls

rescue dogs at the beach

these are my good friends dixie belle and julie. look closely at the photo on the left and you'll see me sneaking up on them. boy, were they surprised! i gave new meaning to "jaws!" haaaaaa,hahahaha!

well, a month went by. i didn't enjoy the vet much - those shots hurt, but as the days passed i quit scratching, my red skin turned its normal color again, and my belly quit hurting. i sure do feel a lot better now!

i've gained 20 pounds, too, but it just made my girlish figure fill out more proper-like.

and then the guy loaded me up again, hauled me back to georgia (i think he called it ft. valley. i could smell that macon was pretty close), and he bought this big thing you see on the right! he said that the airstream wasn't big enough for the two of us!

and i moved right into that back bedroom, where i can lie on the bed and look out the windows as we travel.

walkabout adventure tour wanderlodge

well, the rest of november, all of december, and the beginning of january were something else, let me tell you.

he took me off to "visit the family." we went through florida, georgia, south carolina, north carolina, virginia, west virginia, ohio and michigan, and then back the same way, dropping off packages wherever we went. he kept referring to us as "the sleigh full of goodies." humph! those dern "goodies" took up a whole lot of my lounging room.

here i am sitting by stony creek just outside of love valley, nc. this is the guy's sister's ranch. she has 10 horses! let me give you a word of advice - don't try to chase horses. they kick! one almost got me, then i learned to sit on the other side of the creek and watch.

out in the country.

unwilling reindeer dog

ok, so the guy takes me to see what he called "nieces and nephews." oh, they're cute. i love little kids because they're more my size. but watch out for nieces. they put sweaters on you, and want you to be "santa's reindeer" for "christmas."

reindeer hugs from maddy.

oh, i'm tolerant. i love the guy so much i even tolerate his nieces. notice that i'm not smiling, though. a girl does have her pride, you know.

the hugs helped a lot, too!

well, finally we got back to key west. i love it because it's warm all the time and they don't have that "ice" stuff that freaked me out up in michigan. i get to live in the house, and you wouldn't believe the wonderfully smelly things that wash up on the beach for me to roll in! now if i could just talk the guy out of those dern baths!

more photos

the bathing beauty lounges on the beach.

more photos of lulu belle and her friend queenie.

well, thanks for visiting my website! y'all come back again, y'hear? bye, now!


this story is excerpted from walkabout updates, the narrative of jim carey's year-long adventure of exploring the continental united states. jim met lulu belle on 10/15 in the attached story.

(c) 2001 by jim carey