"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 1, 2009

Evelyn's Favorite Day

Halloween is, beyond all doubt, Evelyn's favorite day of the year. Samoyeds are known for their loving temperaments but I've never seen a dog love babies and children like Evelyn does. Every year, we put a gate across the front door so the girls can greet the trick or treaters. Evelyn begins beaming when she spots the candy holder and gets positively giddy when we put the gate across the front door. She knows what's coming.

Over the years, we've watched neighborhood kids grow up, which is so much fun. There are a few we only see on Halloween but they always remind us of last year or the year before when they saw the girls. Of course, they can't tell the difference from one Samoyed to the next since they only see them up close at Halloween. For several years, we had three dogs to greet the kids at the door (Sapphire, Jezebel and Evelyn). That made quite an impression, as you might imagine.

Halloween 2008 was a bit bittersweet. We'd lost Sapphire the previous Christmas and many of the kids asked about her - they'd looked forward to seeing the "wolf pack," I think. I confess to feeling teary eyed a couple of times during that evening - Sapphire also loved Halloween. Jezebel had been fighting the good fight against her cancer and appeared to be winning. We were optimistic that she'd have many more Halloweens although unsure. I'm glad I didn't know it would be her last.

This year, we have a healthy, strong Evelyn, a new puppy and happy plans to go home, soon. So while there was a certain bittersweetness that this is our last Halloween, here, it lacked the same stab of grief as last year.

We don't dress up the dogs. In the past, Husband has told kids that they are "ghost" dogs but that prompted alarm in a small child so we just let it pass on the little ones, now.

Over the years, I've taken to sitting on the steps with a small glass of red wine while I wait on the kids. Husband hands out the candy and I keep an eye on the girls to make sure they behave. It occurred to me, this year, to wonder how many houses contain rip roaring drunk home owners dealing with strange children. Mind you, I WASN'T rip roaring drunk or even tipsy. It was just an idle thought...

The girls don't bark and act ridiculous on Trick or Treat night. They wait expectantly at the door for the kids, tails wagging and ears on alert.

Then they melt.

This was Pearl's first Halloween and, at first, she didn't know what to think about it all. She backed up and didn't want to come near the kids, initially (but didn't want them out of her sight). Evelyn, in contrast, would rear up, put her paws on the gate, offer kisses and create gale force winds with her tail. When the fourth large batch of kids came to the door, Pearl gave out an excited little "huff huff" when she recognized Kyle and Kate, from next door. That made all the difference. When the next group of kids came by, she snuck up to the gate and offered kisses to all the little ones (and big ones) she could reach.

She was enchanted, after that, although a few costumes caused her to back up and let Evelyn handle it.

Discretion is the better part of valor, they say.

The rain kept the hordes down but we got quite a few kids. Husband and I both really enjoy Halloween and that is one thing we will probably miss at the new place. We'll live in a much more rural area and unless someone brings their grandkids, we doubt we will see many trick or treaters. Husband remarked that maybe we could go spend the evening at his dad's house, next Halloween, which tickled me. For all his gruff exterior, he sure likes to see the kids dress up at Halloween.

I have been waiting for the day I could say, "We are going home, next month!" So that day has arrived. We met with the realtor, yesterday, and made plans to put the house on the market in December. I had to take a big gulp - this is a buyer's market, afterall. But, we aren't upside down the way many people are and I am not going to fret over it. The realtor was pleased with the condition of the house and it shouldn't be difficult to prepare it for sale - mainly, we just need to get out! We expect it will take several months to move it and this time of year is not the best - but it is what it is.

Anyway, happy All Hallows and enjoy the sugar highs.


Anonymous said...

What a fun night for you all. The girls are so excited. Love the photo with Pearl's paw on Evelyn's back and the story to go along with it. Cute!

Only had 2 GD's last pm which was great but do miss the variety of little (and big,too) trick or treaters that we've had in other places we lived.


Cher said...

It sounds to be a wonderful evening you all had. We didn't have any trick or treater's last night, maybe next year.

ranette said...

It does look like a great night for you all. I had to do a double take on a couple of picture to be able to tell who was who. Pearl is really growing up!

Stephanie D. said...

Hmmmm, I like the baby gate idea--might have to steal that one from you, though we do have to manage the storm door. Tandi barks every time the doorbell rings and doesn't stop until everyone is gone.

Putting her in her crate and covering it up was worse--she ended with the little howl which is her way of saying "Plleeeeease". So I put her harness on her so I could grab her, because, although she won't hurt anyone, she does scare the kids with the barking. Deafens us all, too.

At least with the baby gate no one would be afraid that she'd attack them. She really does sound ferocious.

The wuss.