"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Seeking the New Normal

My children visited for Thanksgiving which brought life, love and energy into the house. Now they have returned to their own homes and we begin redefining our priorities, goals and the way we run our lives.

This is Sunday morning. By this time on most Sunday mornings, I have received untold numbers of smooches from Jezebel and she has cuddled next to me on my pillow while I tried to sleep late. When I don't get up on her schedule, she snuggles in close and settles in to wait until I am ready to move. When I do, she leaps off the bed, races down the stairs and waits to be let outside. As I reach for the doorknob, she yips in her ear piercing screech (because apparently that is how the door is opened) and I let her out. When she comes back in, she leans against my chair so I can pet her and looks back over her shoulder if I stop. When husband starts fixing her breakfast, she races into the kitchen and watches to make sure he doesn't miss anything. If, for some reason, I am upstairs, she races up to get me because, apparently, we all have to be in the kitchen for breakfast to be served. She gulps down her bowl, cleans up what Evelyn leaves, shrieks at husband that he better not forget her after breakfast biscuit and when he goes to get it, races in front of Evelyn and skids to a sitting position in front. She snatches is from his hand with enthusiasm. After that, I sit with coffee on the couch with husband to watch the morning news shows and Jezebel settles in next to us, head on my leg, sighing in contentment. I stroke her head, which is incredibly soft. She is blissful. I am relaxed. Those days are gone.

This morning, I woke when husband came back to bed. He'd taken Evelyn out back and was returning. Evelyn dutifully climbed up on the foot of the bed and gave me a couple of soft kisses when I crawled down to hug her. For awhile she sort of purred contentedly but then turned her head away and settled back to snooze. Husband was half in and half out of the bed so as not to jostle her and run her off. When I got up, like Jezebel, she raced down the stairs to be let out into the backyard. Unlike Jezebel, she stood silently while I opened the back door. Eventually, she came back in. It is dreary and wet and she carefully and politely handed me each of her paws to wipe clean. Evelyn has good manners. Then, she climbed up on "her" chair. She watched me from a few feet away. I shared the remains of my yogurt cup with her (normally, she and her sister get to take turns licking the plastic cup - Jezebel first). Husband had to call her in for breakfast and she wasn't really interested. She eventually wandered in there and picked at her food. I let her out after that and when she came back in, I invited her to sit on the couch with me. Not interested. I put her up on the couch with me but she got right back down. Now, she is dozing on her chair. She is a very sweet girl but she is Evelyn - not Jezebel. And to be honest, she is a bit of a daddy's girl.

Evelyn is not a morning dog. She is at her most lively at night. Last night, she was exuberant, playful and demonstrative. She will never be as boisterous as her sister, but she chased husband around the house and demanded that she be noticed and played with. She brought toys, played pull and flopped upside down on her back to rest. We tossed her some popcorn while she watched the OU/OSU Bedlam match (she missed most of them). She even arooed with husband. Brought tears to my eyes to see her begin to act normal, again.

We are beginning an active search for a puppy. I had not wanted one when I wasn't sure if Jezebel was going to be ailing. I did not want her to feel slighted watching us dote on a puppy, particularly if she was sick. I wanted to see if the Muriel vaccine was going to work before taking that next step. If, as husband was convinced, she was going to beat that monster, I hoped to have time to incorporate a new baby. Things didn't work out that way.

Unless something falls into place, it will probably be several months before we can find a puppy. There is generally a waiting list for a samoyed and you frequently have to be on the waiting list before the puppies are even conceived. We definitely want another samoyed. When we've got this much hair in the house, anyway, there is no reason not to get another of these sweet, sweet girls.

I have had our name listed at the shelter for them to call if someone drops off a samoyed, for years. They tell me that they haven't seen one in all that time, even a mix. You can get a samoyed from a rescue and that is a fabulous way to go. At the same time, I am so hurting from losing Jezebel (and Sapphire less than a year ago) that I want the next dog to be young so that its puppy breath can heal, and because I want to try to put off as long as possible the time when I have to lose her. I don't think I am in the right place, emotionally, to bring in an elderly dog knowing that I will have to let her go in a year or two.

Check out the puppy cam on the right column of this post. I found that while I was doing puppy research.

I sent a few Christmas presents back with the kids but let them open my granddog, Martin's, doggie quilt while they were here. She opened the box by herself and it was cute to watch her. Here is a picture of the front:

My daughter in law is a teacher so I used fabrics with a teaching theme and with apples.

Here is the back:

I really liked that fabric and had been saving it for a doggie project.

Things are definitely better, today, than yesterday and the day before. I expect it will continue in that general direction. Thank you, again, for all the kind notes and prayers and shared tears.


Linda said...

You're sounding a wee bit better. It's so hard to be patient, one day at a time, for the hurting to, not stop, but at least slow down. A puppy would be so wonderful. Take this time to just breathe, even though it's hard. My thoughts are with you all.
Lurking Linda

Infinity Quilter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paula said...

Wish I had the right words to say. I've cried with you and have friends all over the country crying, praying and hugging their furbabies more than usual. My Great Pyranese is always starving for attention, and I even have him hollering "enough already". And we love the puppy cam. DH and I do the sound booth at church and we watched puppies during the service this morning. Now I want one!


Stephanie D. said...

I understand the new normal so very well. For 3 days after Libby died, I had to make my husband's iced tea, because she would always beat him to the fridge to ask for a piece of ice when he got up to fix a glass. After a week of this loneliness (we didn't have a second dog) I couldn't take it anymore and began searching for a rescued cocker spaniel. Within the month, we'd bought Tandi.

Many times I wished we'd gone for a puppy, because it took a year to housebreak her, and months before she got over some of her emotional scars enough to really bond with us. She has now, and she adores us both, and it was worth it, finally. But it was over a year before I could think of Libby without seeing her take her last breath in my arms.

Give yourself lots of time to heal, but you're on the right track--you don't have to wait til the scar is healed completely to get another furbaby to love.

And Evelyn will love automatically being The Boss to a pupppy!