"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

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Evolution of Evelyn

Evelyn ate two meals in a four day period. She lay around, depressed, eyes dead, no sound. She wasn't even drinking water.

A couple of nights ago she came into my sewing room and lay down (see picture, above). After awhile, she got up and walked down the hall. I saw her head go up and she looked excited. She flared her nostrils and disappeared into the hall bathroom where Jezebel frequently slept in the bathtub (she was an odd little dog). In moments, she came back out looking dejected. I think she thought Jezebel might be there. She went down the hall and lay on my bed in the dark, facing the wall. Broke my heart.

Last night, she abruptly showed a little spark. She scarfed down her meal and stared intently at the hot air register in the kitchen. It was like she'd never noticed it, before. Jezebel used to stare at it, regularly (I've mentioned that she was an odd little dog). Husband said that must be where they keep the Alpha Mojo. Evelyn showed a definite prance in her step and while it didn't last long, Husband's and my reaction was pretty similar to the delight we demonstrated when we thought Jezebel was returning from the dead.

Today was difficult because I had to be gone most of it. Before today, Evelyn has only been alone without a person or Jezebel one time (when I'd taken Jezebel to the vet). On that day, Evelyn howled the whole time we were gone (sez the neighbors).

I've mentioned that Jezebel had a horrible bark. Much as I love her, I feel no disloyalty to say she had a bark from hell. It could shatter windows three blocks away. Evelyn, on the other hand, is pretty quiet. She has a lovely bark but she doesn't carry on the way Jezebel did as a strategy to open doors, announce that we are HOME, tell us to wake up NOW, feed me NOW, etc. Usually, when I came home, I'd hear Jezebel shrieking and Evelyn standing next to her all lady like. Sometimes when she gets really, really excited, she whimpers.

This morning I had doctors appointments until about 11:00. I changed my schedule around so I could check on Evelyn before going back to work. When I drove into the driveway, I heard her yelling her head off in the back yard. Not Jezebel's shriek, but a pretty hearty bark. When I came into the house, she was peering through the window waiting patiently to come in.

That is so different from what would have happened with Jezebel. Jezebel would have been looking through the window, grinning ear to ear. When I opened the door, she would have raced into the house, spun around, planted her stout little bowling pin legs and chewed me out for leaving her alone. When Jezebel finished chewing me out, she'd run over to Evelyn and race around the house to get her to play with her. With Jezebel, it was like coming home to a lunatic asylum. After about two minutes, they'd take a nap. While all this was going on, for the most part, Evelyn would just stand there being sweet, and offering butterfly kisses.

So anyway, this morning I let Evelyn in and she looked around the house, whimpering. She followed me from room to room, then lay down, quietly.

I didn't expect anything different.

I had a trial this afternoon so had to leave a second time. I was gone about three hours and when I got home, I didn't hear Evelyn barking out back. I came into the house and could see her peering through the back window with a grin on her face. I let her in and she raced past me, around the corner, up the stairs and back through the kitchen where she skidded to a stop right in front of me. Did I get any sweet kisses? No, I did not! Instead, sweet Evelyn planted her long, elegant legs hard on the floor, threw back her head and proceeded to CHEW ME OUT in a warbly, talky rumble. From there, she launched into a lovely arooooooooo, then stopped and grinned at me. I was astonished. Before I could move, her head went low to the ground and she looked me hard in the eye and RUFFED. When I just stood there, she stomped her foot at me and leaped like a spider.

We spent the next couple of minutes racing through the house, jumping on furniture, barking and carrying on. She played Jezebel, I guess I played Evelyn. I wasn't nearly as loud and mainly I just wanted kisses.

Then we took a nap.

I guess our girl is on the mend and we will find out just what kind of dog she has hiding in that puppy.

And speaking of puppies, thanks to some lovely ladies who are active in raising and showing Samoyeds and who have taken pity on us, we are on the waiting list for a little girl puppy. The breeder who is willing to let us adopt is expecting two litters in the next couple of weeks. If they get a female companion dog (as opposed to a show dog), we hopefully will be able to bring her home in February. The breeder is three hours away and we are pretty excited about it. I wish we had a puppy, right now, because the end of the year is slow and that would make it easier to take off work and stay home with her while she settled in. Plus, Evelyn wouldn't be left alone.

But we are very, very grateful for what we have.

I have been doing some quilting therapy. Not sure what I am going to do with it, but here are a couple of blocks I worked on, yesterday. They are "Kentucky" from Carol Doak's Fifty Paper Pieced Stars book. I made two using the same fabrics configured differently.

Off to check on Ms. Evelyn. At the rate she is going, she is likely to be doing some forbidden counter surfing.


South Jersey Quilter said...

Penny, yours is the first blog I check every day. Reading them is so bittersweet- I've had tears in my eyes for every post. You sound like you're all starting to adjust to your new reality. Take care.

Anonymous said...

I hope you and Evelyn continue to heal, and the right girl puppy comes along at the right time.

Your stories about dog behavior are fascinating.


P.S. the blocks look great!

Anonymous said...

Just read this post ~ twice.

It will be so interesting to hear how Evelyn evolves.
She's a beauty. How old is she?

Great blocks, as usual.


jessicasews said...

Running through the house and jumping on the furniture!
We didn't get that on film?!!
It's okay...
I envisioned it...a joyous moment!

~ Jes

Owens Family Adventures said...

Okay, now you've done it...I am searching for tissue. My heart just goes out to Evelyn. I am so glad that she has you to understand what she is going through and I am glad that you have her to help you through this hard time. Crossing fingers and toes for a wonderful puppy soon!!

Penny said...

To answer the question - Evelyn will be four years old in March. She is just a darling. When we were in the operating room trying to bring Jezebel back, Evelyn was right there in the middle of it, being a complete angel in the midst of all the commotion.

ranette said...

Hi Penny, sounds like Evelyn is healing some and I hope that you are as well. Getting to work in the sewing room helps, that I know for sure. If I had my way there are times I wouldn't even come out of my little sewing room. The blocks look good!


Linda said...

Yay Evelyn! I'm with South Jersey Quilter--I read you first and have tears often lately. However, life is getting a little better from the sound of it. Your block is lovely and yes, isn't quilting therapeutic. Best wishes to all
Lurking Linda

jacquie said...

i'm so glad that evelyn is starting to spark. you sound a bit cheerier too. congrats on the puppy news. that is so wonderful!

Pam said...

It made me smile to see you and Evelyn taking joy in each other, and in life itself! Penny, I am spending an inordinate amount of time peeping at the Samoyed puppy cam!! They are soooo cute! They crack me up. There is one that is just determined to do his own thing, all of the time.

DearGina said...

Stopping in to catch up, aving hello to you:) How u get those darn points so well !!!!

Stephanie D. said...

I wonder what's going on in Evelyn's mind--if she's taking on Jezebel's role, and if it's because she's now the only dog and she thinks this is what she's supposed to do, if it's an attempt to recreate the life she had with Jezebel, if it's a way to make you laugh and smile again, if it's a coming out of the depths of depression for her and a celebration of life again, or what. My husband doesn't believe dogs think, but I do. Maybe not just like us, but I do believe they put things together in a process.

She's amazing.