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Posted on Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Ann Arbor couple mourns dog that drowned in crate during apartment flood

By Danny Shaw


Lola, left, was still in her dog crate where she drowned when the Park Place Apartments flooded during last Thursday's storm.

Photo courtesy of Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson was having an average day last Thursday. The busy University of Michigan nursing student left her Ann Arbor apartment to run some errands, planning on being gone for less than an hour.

Johnson returned home 45 minutes later - after storms with heavy rain pummeled Washtenaw County - to a scene that she could only describe as “very graphic and terrifying.”

The parking lot leading up to her bottom-level apartment was flooded, with water covering hoods of cars and rising above the windows. She saw her boyfriend carrying a large box from outside of her apartment.

Inside was Lola, their 3-year-old black mixed-Labrador retriever. She had drowned.

Johnson had left her beloved pet in a dog crate, where Lola often napped, so she wouldn’t chew into any electrical cords or knock anything over while home alone.

Lola was still inside when more than four feet of water filled the apartment.

“It was horrific,” Johnson said, crying. “Evan tried to give her CPR a few times. ... She was really very young. I don’t know when I’m going to be able to get through this. ... She was my first puppy.”

Johnson’s apartment was one of seven units at Park Place Apartments that flooded in last Thursday’s storm, which also produced a tornado that swept through Dexter.

While people at the scene confirmed last week that the dog had died, Johnson declined comment at the time.

Days later, she and her boyfriend, Evan George, remain devastated over their loss.

George found Lola at around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, after the downpour struck Ann Arbor and as flooding overtook the lower level of the complex.

“I pulled into the pond,” George said, referring to the flooded lot, “and I was talking to Laura on the phone. I told her it looked like the apartment was flooded.

"She said, ‘Oh my gosh, Lola is in her crate.’”

“Then I told her I was going in,” he added.


Lola and one of her owners, Evan George.

Photo courtesy of Laura Johnson

George said when he got into the apartment the water was higher than his waist and things in Johnson’s living room were floating everywhere. He frantically looked for Lola, thinking she might’ve gotten out and was on the bed or couch.

“I found the crate,” he said, hesitating and taking a breath. “She was in there. I waded over to the bed and took her out. I didn’t know how long she was under so I tried CPR a few times. It was too late.”

“I keep thinking what if I had charged in there sooner, or if maybe I came by earlier. ... We just think back about many, many things that we could’ve done.

"It’s devastating.”

George said he arrived just before the fire and rescue crews did, but he said “knowing our dog was in there, I was going in no matter what.”

Johnson said Lola will be cremated with her favorite ball. Their veterinarian at Easthaven Animal Hospital even made a plaster mold of Lola’s paw print for them.

“It’s a very sweet thing,” Johnson said. “I lost a lot of pictures in the flood. It’s very compassionate of them.”

While McKinley Inc. CEO Albert Berriz said Monday that all displaced residents were offered other units, Johnson said she has yet to be contacted.

"The first I heard about it was when I saw the article Tuesday," she said. "Frankly, given my losses ... I'm speechless."

Berriz said they tried to contact every displaced resident, but with relocating certain residents and others leaving to stay with family members, it's been difficult to connect with each person.

"We've been working our butts off to make sure we can provide a solution," he said. "We want to go above and beyond to help."

McKinley Inc. established the Park Place Flood Recovery Fund to accept donations for the families affected by the flooding.

Johnson said she has been staying with family members since the flooding and will look for other housing options soon.



Wed, Apr 25, 2012 : 9:15 a.m.

Dear Laura and Evan. I am greatly sorry for all that you have lost, especially Lola. I am also a dog lover and I know how I would feel. Mckinley has grossly been negligent concerning how they have dealt with we tenants. As far as I know, they refused to warn anyone moving in this building about the history of the flooding. And then the had the main sewer drain partially blocked. Please call me and we can talk. My number is #734-997-7169. Again, please call. Mike


Mon, Apr 2, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

This beloved dog was the only casualty in this storm. That is why it is important.


Fri, Mar 23, 2012 : 12:45 p.m.

My heart is so saddened to read about Lola. My sympathies to the owners. Everyone should have a disaster preparedness plan (which includes all animals that are part of families). Where I live, University Townhouses Cooperative, The UTC Board discussed forming a Disaster Preparedness Committee last night. Lola is running in doggy heaven with my precious dog Martella, whom I lost 4 years ago from old age. Easthaven Animal Hospital is the BEST! Martella use to go there. My prayers go to both owners of Lola. Remember the memories with Lola. Rest in Peace Lola!

Go Blue

Fri, Mar 23, 2012 : 3:15 a.m.

Yes, there are many, many comments for this sad loss. Yet I couldn't help but add one more. When a person is in the position that they caused grief, loss, etc., that person should step up to the plate, make immediate contact to apologize and try to remedy the situtation as best as possible. Not the other way around. I find it quite appalling that the CEO of McKinley had the lack of sensitivity to actually put the word out to have the injured parties contact him! Talk about out of touch and living on another planet. You pick up the phone, contact the injured party and make amends, that being the honorable thing to do .

Dog Guy

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

Now THAT was a dog!


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 6:10 p.m.

This is very NEWS-worthy. I am not an empty and mainstream selfish materialistic mindset type of a person at all. I care deeply for animals and people both young and old. Most of the folks who have comments of support to the couple in this article are very empathetic and compassionate people who not only have pets of their own but also raise children, care for their elderly parents, volunteer to pick up debris from tornado-stricken communities like Dexter, donate blood, attend nursing school and some may even be trying to help their teenage son or daughter through difficulty with depression right now. And to Laura and Evan, I am very sorry for the loss of your puppy Lola.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

I'm so sorry for your loss. My dog too needs to be in a crate--she will harm herself and her surroundings otherwise--and there is no way any dog owner, myself included, could have foreseen this. It's a horror scenario, but it's not your fault.

Wolf's Bane

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 11:37 a.m.

Not really sure what to say except that you should keep your dogs caged on upper levels of your home or not at all.

Renee S.

Thu, Mar 29, 2012 : 1:23 p.m.

Well, the tornado warnings told us all to stay in our basements, soo... I live on an upper floor condo and my husband made me leave the apartment to go hang out in the basement of a common area. As soon as I heard this dog drowned, I knew that the dog was crated, and I knew how awful the owners must be feeling because of it. But leaving dogs crated is a perfectly normal and common part of puppy training, and there's nothing the owners could have done. We can't stop crating dogs, and we can't predict which level of a house is going to be destroyed in a freak storm. It's nice to think that Lola's death could have been prevented but it could not; you cannot prepare for every single eventuality.


Fri, Mar 23, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

Sandalwood, we rescued a mix from the shelter due to be put down the next day because his records stated "destructive if left alone"'. The dog was around a year old, an address search showed he was in a one bedroom apartment. Obviously, the previous owners did not have a crate. After about six months of attention, training, love, and the crate, our dog actually slept in the crate with the door wide open for a couple of years and was no longer "destructive". Our dog remained attached to the bed that was in the crate, even after we removed the crate completely and was his place for another 10 years.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 10:48 p.m.

You are kidding aren't you???


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 5:55 p.m.

That is not true - there is nothing wrong with caging and many dogs find comfort in it. It was a tragedy, but no one could have saw this coming.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:55 p.m.

Yeah, right on the upper floors of your home during a tornado-producing storm. That's good advice.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:37 p.m.

Yes, because floods like this are fairly common. Also, dogs rarely get arthritis or have hip problems preventing them from going up stairs. Additionally, if you have a ground floor apartment, seeing as how you have no second floor, you should build a 4-5 foot platform with a large ramp, so the dog can walk up it and be safely caged. You know, in case there is a hundred year flood.

Rich Blakley

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 7:56 a.m.

As a longtime friend (41 years and counting) of Laura's family, I grieve both with them and for them--they are the best people I know, and I count Evan as family also. I thank everyone who has made a thoughtful and positive post to this thread, which would in fact be most of you. At the same time, I can't help but wonder why all who manufacture and sell animal crates are not required to incorporate either a simple integral flotation device, or some form of sensor-triggered lock release, or both, in every last crate. No one should have to suffer this kind of loss, and perhaps the most lasting and effective memorial to Lola, and to Laura and Evan's love for her, would be if nobody else did.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:09 p.m.

The flotation capability or lock release sound like two excellent ideas and probably are worthy of exploring for their existence by pet owners on or for currently available crates, or having someone just invent the darn things, either as add-ons or modifications to existing crates, or as an integrated feature for new crates. However, notwithstanding the circumstances of Lola's demise, such a need for such a feature likely is very rare, so I doubt their usefulness would hardly ever be utilized. Also, adding such features (primarily or as an add-on) would be an additional expense, one that many pet owners would be unwilling to bear if the additional cost was significant. I reiterate, though, that I think it is an excellent idea in principle.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 4:18 a.m.

For Pete's sake - sorry for the owners, but what exactly was so important about this story that it needed to be written up? Is this something that someone, somewhere working for feels that the citizens of Ann Arbor and the surrounding areas needed to know? Other than making people feel sad that a dog is dead (and, of course, to give a chance to the more annoying/tragic members of the population to bring up the utterly astounding and unique fact that they, too, happen to have pets that, unlike Lola, are currently alive), what exactly was the purpose of the article?


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Why did you read it if it is so uninteresting to you? Was it just to make your comment? Avery unnecessary comment, I might add.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:01 a.m.

My earlier comment, very brief, was removed. I would like to to ust say "good Daaaawg" in my shout out to you as owners and Loal in general. These owners were crating their dog properly, protecting it from the hazzards within the home, they were not anticipating the flood. Please don't stop being a dog lover and when the time is right find four more paws to guard the kitchen floor from the coutertop invaders. I am certain Lola would love to know you are sharing your unconditional love with another. By the way, I would add tha t the O'Jay's, Stairway to Heaven is a great song to contemplate your effect on Lola , and Lola's effect on you.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 2:57 a.m.

After reading the headline I was all set to blast these pet owners with both barrels for leaving their dog in harm's way, as per usual for I, ypsicat. But there is no way they could have envisioned or avoided this. What a mess. My heartfelt condolences, and shame on those who don't appreciate how pets are family and made ignorant comments. I hope McKinley finds it in their heart to try and make amends.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

I know about the humans who are displaced, but what about the animals that have lost connection with their human companions? Do the humans need food for their animals? All I keep hearing is how much food and everything else for the human but what about the animals? After reading the cremation and dog print? I lost it. Wow, what a thing to go thru. We went thru a sudden loss with our pet and it still hurts. Time will heal. So? Is Cherry Hill or other Pet shops donating food? Balls? Toys? Just curious.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:09 a.m.

Ok, I'll get back with you!! But first I would like to send my condolences out to you Laura and Evan on your loss and to everyone else that are going through this tough time!!!

deborah sedore

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 11:45 p.m.

I am Laura"s mom. Thank you for all your kind words about Lola. This is a story today because McKinleys media blitz to convince the Ann Arbor community that they are doing something to help the tenants that were displaced and that they care. Their campaign is form rather than substance. As of 5pm today my daughter has yet to be contacted by McKinley. It has been a week and her contact information is unchanged and her phone is on. When her family cleaned out her apt , no one even said sorry about your dog. They were however very concerned about reconstructing their property.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 10:48 a.m.

They terminated her lease? For this? OMG. I think McKinley needs a good dose of some 3 spirits visiting. And I am not talking libation either.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:16 a.m.

Deborah, most of the locals and anyone that has worked for McKinley knows they are about flipping units, not wrapping warm arms around people. I think they could give 2 squirts less for Laura or Lola. The flood may not have been their fault, but their response to it sure is. I personally think they suck. But then, I've been reading these comments for the past 20 minutes and find myself now cranky.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

Apparently, Mr. McKinley is aware of how many hits articles about dogs get on Make a donation to HVHS and other dog resuces in Lola's honor and we might take your comment at face value.

Albert M. Berriz

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 2:12 a.m.

Dear Ms. Sedore, I shared my direct cell and email with Danny Shaw. My direct email is Please give your daughter my email and we would love to connect with her. As you know, we immediately terminated her lease as we were directed, but remain wanting to be at her service. Again, my direct email is, and our team is ready to respond to her. Thank You! Albert M. Berriz CEO McKinley


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 1:01 a.m.

After the media blitz McKinley did to kill that mileage a few years back? Don't count on Ebenezer to chip into the pot by any means. They are scrooges and us Tiny Tims are going to have to let the miser know we know what they are will not stand for it. Good luck rebuilding. I know the hurt of loosing a beloved pet.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:03 a.m.

So sorry to you, Laura and Evan. Only wish there were some way to make it better.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 11:39 p.m.

Laura and Evan, I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Lola. You seem like wonderful, responsible dog owners and I'm sure another sweet pup will come your way when you are ready. Take care.

Deb Anderson

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

My heart so goes out to Laura and Evan, I can't even imagine the emotional devastation.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:26 p.m.

Laura and Evan, I am so incredibly sorry and sad for your loss. You and Lola are in my thoughts. Please accept my deepest condolences.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:22 p.m.

Laura and Evan, I am also so sorry for your loss. We keep our dogs in crates when we are not home for the same reasons. How could you anticipate this happening? Lola looks so sweet and happy in her photos. You are good dog owners and I, as others have suggested, hope that when your heart heals a little you will open it to another puppy that needs a good home. Also, I think the Easthaven vets and staff are wonderful!


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 1:02 a.m.

Remember the story of Rainbow Bridge. Gets me every time. She will be waiting for you at the end of your life. Good luck.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:11 p.m.

As a dog lover, I find this tragic. Humans need to remember that a pet's survival depends greatly on us. We need to think of any and all ways we can keep our pet's out of harms way. RIP- Lola


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:07 p.m.

Laura and Evan, as owners of five dogs and fosters of many more thoughout the years, our hearts go out to you. We cannot imagine the heartache you must feel right now. Thank you for providing Lola with a loving home, thank you for doing what you could to make her safe in her home. Please know that you could not have forseen your appartment flooding. You did what you needed to do to make Lola safe. You did nothing wrong. Coming from someone who also has come home to a tragedy envolving a beloved pet, who we also thought was safe, please know that we grieve with you and understand your pain. Do not listen to heartless, gutless, brainless rants of people who want to make you feel worse then you already do, they are themselves obviously very unhappy people. Feel good about the happiness that you provided Lola, she knew she was loved and that is more then most dogs. R.I.P sweet girl.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

hardworker? You really need to volunteer a raid on a puppy mill. Do some volunteer time with an animal that has been so beaten that it might not survive. People do stupid things to their animals. This was not one of them. You really need a hug and a reality check. Once you have really loved an animal? I guess you have not. No wonder people here want to send you to the ASPCA.

free form

Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:04 a.m.

Hmmm... Is someone's family not paying enough attention to them? Seems that SOMEONE might be projecting a bit on this topic. Hardworker, How you think you can infer ANYTHING about a person's relationship with their family by the way they talk about a deceased dog is ridiculous. Someone can call a dog "sweet girl" and not hate their mom.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

Uhh, I can only speak for myself, unlike so many others on this subject. On the way home today I did call my dad to see if he needed anything, I will stop to buy his groceries after work tomorrow. I work as an RN everyday compassionately caring for people, just as Laura does as a nursing student. My wife is a teacher, she teaches kids. As a 53 year old I have grieved many times for and with my many family members and friends over the years, for various reasons. When we arrive home we are joyfully met by other family members, our dogs. The boys the girls and yeah, one who we even effectionately called "little girl". I make no apoligies for this, and I never will. I am grateful that we have it in our hearts to care for both people and animals. Just because people grieve and give condolences to Laura and Evan over the loss of their beloved Lola, does not mean in anyway that they put more value on her life then any humans life. To suggest so is absurd and ignorant. It simply means we have compassion for the loss of Lola's life, for Laura and Evan's loss, and for all living things, especially those that suffer. I feel sorry for those that do not have this in them and for those that cannot find it in themselves to feel a litte empathy for someone who has had a loss like this. I feel disdain for anyone who would try to make the hurt of losing Lola anymore difficult for Evan and Laura and anyone who does, regardless of their agenda, should be ashamed of yourselves. Laura, if during your nursing school rounds you ever make it over to Interventional Radiology, ask for me, I am the guy with all the dogs, they will know who you are talking about. I have a big hug for you. Again, I am so sorry for the loss of Lola and thank you both for caring so much for her, I am sure she knew how much she was loved.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:23 p.m.

@a2zoo: That's my point. It's not a girl, it's a dog, an animal. If you read my post more carefully, I showed sympathy for any living being that suffers. But this speech of "poor girl" is just out of place. I've enjoyed having a dog as well, but I don't understand why would someone be more "loving" to an animal than, say, to their own close relatives. For example, how many of those saying "poor baby/girl/other" called last night to check on their parents? I'm sure very few, if any. THAT scale of values is heartless and brainless.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

I am sorry for the pet owners losing their dog to drowning, yet I do not feel this story is worth being a 3pm BREAKING NEWS story. It would be more appropriate, in my opinion, to have it in the pet/animal category of the Lifestyle section of Again, this is just an opinion and a request. So no death threats, please.

Paula Gardner

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

We send the 3@3 newsletter every afternoon - it's not necessarily a "breaking news" blast. Sometimes it's just the newer stories of the day or stories that we think readers will find interesting, based on the comments received during the day.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:55 p.m.

Laura and Evan, So sorry for your loss. This situation was beyond your control. Lola was lucky to have had such loving pet parents. Hopefully, in the future, you find yourself able to share the same love you had for Lola with another deserving pet.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:32 p.m.

Sorry for the dog as well as for any living being that undergoes suffering, whether they know what's going on or not. But also sorry for all these people placing so much higher importance on an animal than on a human being. Reading some comments portrays how messed up is the scale of priorities and values nowadays. Extreme, heartfelt reactions are spent on an animal, while most people don't really care about their closest relatives. Just compare the comments here versus those where a depressed child commits suicide. This shows the emptiness of mainstream selfish, materialistic mindset.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Actually, it is sadder than a human suicide. The person made a CHOICE to commit suicide. The dog did not choose to be drowned while trapped in a cage. I feel way more sympathy for the dog than I do for those that commit suicide. I guess in your materialistic view, animals are only PROPERTY. You really have no clue what you are talking about. Go away.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

@brb11: Sorry if my recurrent use of the "m-word" annoys you, but it 's the origin of some people's empty lifestyle and their exaggerated dimension of things. I can understand "Lola"'s owners are sad, but this cascade of tearful messages like if it were a girl is just ridiculous.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:57 p.m.

You keep saying that word, "materialistic". I do not think it means what you think it means.


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 2:41 a.m.

" while most people don't really care about their closest relatives" Where did this 'statistic' come from? Hardworker you are truly out of touch.

Lynn Liston

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 11:26 p.m.

Those insensitive kinds of comments show the emptiness of uncaring, selfish, materialistic people - the sort of people who not only don't sympathize when your beloved pet dies, but blame you when your child takes their life. Caring people express their concern in all aspects of a person's life by understanding what loss means to you. There is no higher importance of animals over human beings, but there may be an equality of grief when one experiences loss.

free form

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:54 p.m.

Hardworker, Actually, those who express empathy for animals are shown to care MORE about other people. It is those with little regard for "lower" forms of life who most often act selfishly and cruely toward other human beings. You are seriously confused and your comment is an insult to anyone who cares about animals.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:16 p.m.

Expressing sympathy for someone who has lost a pet is NOT an indication that those who responded don't care about their own families. Far from it. And how or why you believe that respondents are empty, selfish or materialistic is simply a false--and insulting-- presumption on your part.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:58 p.m.

Ummm, my only question to you hardworker is really!!!???? I mean really!!!!????


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:42 p.m.

They are not mutually exclusive! I can feel pain for these poor owners and their suffering, just as I felt awful for those PEOPLE who were affected by the tornado. Caring about animals does not make one selfish or materialistic.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:31 p.m.

I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your wonderful dog. I can't imagine the pain. You had no way of knowing that this would happen. Please accept my condolences.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

I am so sorry to hear about this. I have a beloved dog, and I could not bear to think of her suffering. I hope that Lola's owners will consider adopting another dog from the Ann Arbor Humane Society. Laura and Even sound like wonderful pet parents, and there are lots of dogs who need love and a good home.

Lynn Liston

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:16 p.m.

This is heart-breaking. The loss of a beloved pet like Lola is the loss of a family member. Ms. Johnson, in sharing this story, helps others become better aware of how they can plan for the safety of their pets during unexpected emergencies. We share your sorrow.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:15 p.m.

There are no words.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

Laura and Evan - Please accept my condolences on the death of your precious Lola. You were obviously wonderful, loving doggie parents, and what happened was outside of your control. I can't imagine the pain and hurt you must feel. I'm not sure if they still have it, but the Humane Society of Huron Valley used to have a pet loss support group that met once a month. It might something to think about, when you feel ready.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

Ouch, that's sad. Poor girl.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:45 p.m.

This story almost made me cry, especially the part about when Evan thought may Lola made it out, but saw the cage. I'm so sorry for your loss.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

It's difficult enough to lose a beloved family member through the aging process. I just can't imagine how devastating and traumatic this loss must be to Laura and George and I am so sorry for your loss. And to annarborkid, this is news because it's a continuation of the tragedies that occurred last week in the storm that not only damaged over 200 homes in Dexter, but tragically and and irreversibly affected several households here and in a few other places in our region. And make no mistake about it, it's not just sad when a dog (or cat or other animal companion) dies, it is a loss of a family member.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:44 p.m.

Sorry to hear about this, really sad story

Dexter Bear

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

As a mother of 3 year old puggies, my heart breaks for you. You and your sweet Lola are in my thoughts.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

I am so sorry for the loss of poor Lola.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

So sorry for the loss of your first dog in such an awful way. My heart aches for you!


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

My heart breaks for you both.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

poor Lola


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

I have been thinking about this dog and her owners ever since reading the news of her death (in the comments section on Friday, I think). It's so sad, and such a traumatic way to lose a pet. Condolences to both of them.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

I am very sorry for your loss, losing a pet can be a truly devastating experience


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:19 p.m.

I'm sad to hear that the dog died, but why is this a news article?


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 12:56 p.m.

Albert M. Berriz, quit playing term games. A cosignor on the apartment is not always the resident. You needed to speak with the actual residents directly. So you can continue to spin this anyway you want, but I don't buy the lines you are handing out. Oh and I don't need to stop by this property, used to live in close proximity, and was never impressed, which is why I live in Dexter Township now. The fact you continue to try to spin this in a light that is favorable to McKinley, instead of apologizing for overlooking an occupant during the chaos of this mess (which could easily happen in this situation) just speaks volumes of the caliber of this business and not in a good way!


Thu, Mar 22, 2012 : 3:35 a.m.

I am sorry, I misunderstood the article when I originally read it this afternoon. I was under the impression that lola had died a year ago and responded to it as such. I truly hope I did not offend anyone.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 10:42 p.m.

Wow! The famous Albert Berriz! Michigan GOP insider/donor and heavy hitter. Good to hear from a citizen of your stature in Ann Arbor. You and Ron Weiser are Ann Arbor's two great leaders. Hope to see you at the GOP state convention this May at the Cobo Center.

Annette Poole

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 10:28 p.m.

I would call it a "human interest" story, which there's always room for.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

Hello Ann Arbor kid ... one of the somewhat important things about "news" is that some people will learn something and become better or smarter people. Perhaps this is not you, but there are others out there who might make different decisions in the future because of a "news" article. I'm not saying anything whatsoever about fault in this news story, I am just trying to tell you that "news" has more purposes than ... whatever you think it is limited to.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:38 p.m.

No way to contact your customer Mr. Berriz? Her phone number is on the lease. Mckinley left her voicemails in the past, and emails her receipts on a monthly basis, they know how to reach her. I understand you have suffered a loss from this accident too, but respectfully ask you to do your damage control elsewhere.

Albert M. Berriz

Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

RuralMom Thank you for your feedback. I urge you to stop by and visit with our team at Park Place to understand what we have done since the storm event. In this specific case, during the evening of the event, a family member that was also a co-signer on the lease asked that we immediately terminate the lease and we did given the events of that day. We were not given a way to connect with our customer, and we're asked that we not contact them. We respected that request. When Danny Shaw called this afternoon I asked that he pass on my personal cell phone and email, and we stand ready to communicate without customer as we have been with everyone since this occurred. I was personally affected by this specific incident. My wife and I own three pugs and we were there all night. Above all this affected us the most. Fortunately no one was hurt, we will repair our apartments, and we are raising funds for the victims, but that was very sad to say the least. I hope you find my summary of the facts helpful as you continue this debate. Albert M. Berriz CEO McKinley


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:24 p.m.

I'm usually one who jumps on the "is this really news?" bandwagon, but this is most definitely news. Not to mention the fact that it's absolutely heartbreaking.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 8:05 p.m.

Me too DBH!


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

And I'm one of them.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

And, to add to @RuralMom's comment, some people care about pets, even those not their own.


Wed, Mar 21, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

#1 - its follow up to a news story on our storms. #2 - McKinley has been telling everyone how they are helping their residents. It appears they are telling half truths, and apparently they are not helping this couple who not only lost their home, but a beloved pet.