Eevon and April: Best Friends from Day One Until the Last

Guest post by April Franklin

This is my own tale about my beautiful girl Eevon Rose Franklin.

elkhound mix in blue dog bed

Eevon came to me from a pet store at two months old, my aunts bought her for me for my 16th birthday and the funny part is we were all told I was getting a small dog like a rat terrier.

elkhound mix puppy EevonShe was small as a puppy with nice sized paws and so much thick fur. We slept together, went for “walks” together (she walked by two houses and collapsed in the yard so I carried her most of the time). By six months she was beautiful, very fluffy and NOT small at all. Which my parents weren’t all that happy about but I loved having a big girl to pal around with.

She was sold at the pet store as a Norwegian elkhound mix but I’m not sure what else. I saw German shepherd in her and several people mentioned possible wolf. All I know for sure is that she loved to hear herself talk and she loved to talk back to you.

She was so vocal and always let you know exactly what she wanted and that she wanted it NOW. It drove my parents and sister crazy. She ran out the door at the first opportunity she got for a fun game of “chase Eevon through the neighborhood,” she stole countless loaves of bread off the counter, ham steaks off plates, a dozen cookies off the dining room table (even tried to put the chair back to hide the evidence), head butted my closet door open to eat my Easter candy and got into the trash so much we moved the can to the back porch.

Eevon the senior elkhound mix and her owner and friend AprilShe also learned to sit pretty (sit up), tell me (speak), whisper (speak softly) and lay down from my sister’s older Dalmatian. She learned high five and shake from me. She would do ANYTHING for food or treats. She developed a wonderful bond with my dad, she loved eating his candied cherries whenever he got them and he always seemed to think he put them someplace she wouldn’t get to them but he was very wrong. She loved to get in his lap and force him to lay back in the recliner while he was reading a magazine so that he could hold her easier and moved his hand to pet her.

senior elkhound mix sitting in a chairWhen he was diagnosed with cancer and was sick she always wanted to be near him. After almost two years of battling the disease he passed away and she felt it just like we did. She lay in his wheelchair, on his hospital bed in the living room and we mourned together. His passing changed her just as it did all of us and we had to kind of get to know each other again. She developed dog aggression with the other two dogs in the house and that took a lot of time to sort out. We went to the lake for walks and she loved to watch the ducks. We went to a walking trail around 5 in the morning and she would always sniff out deer tracks and I think if I had left her to follow them she probably would have found them!

At the age of eight she became terrified of thunderstorms and would shake so much her teeth would chatter. We found calming chews that worked wonders for her. At 14 she was diagnosed with arthritis and started having problems with mobility. Through all those years even with arthritis she was stealing bread from the kitchen counters and going upstairs to lay on my bed and roll on my pajamas (even wearing a bra on her head.) She demanded dinner at 9 and 6 (she later changed it to 8 and 4:30/5.) She would herd me to the snack cabinet and bark at me “I want a snack! I know you brought in chicken jerky and pork chews!!”

Also around 14 years old, she was diagnosed with cognitive dysfunction, staring into corners, walking in clockwise circles and forgetting which way doors opened. I would guide her around and help her day to day as the time went on. She started having trouble sleeping and having nighttime anxiety so we tried melatonin which helped her a lot. I also made her a playlist on my iPod with relaxing music for her. We went on great walks around the neighborhood she loved the scenery and all the smells. We also just went and sat together in the front yard just watching life bustle around us. Me and my beauty queen.

Sadly in November of 2017 Eevon had lost 12 pounds in four months and was unofficially diagnosed with cancer. I then had to start thinking of her end of life care and that was the hardest thing I would ever do. She had developed severe anxiety every time I left the house and had gotten so upset she soiled herself. I started making her a bathroom schedule to train myself to make sure she got out when she needed to go out and that started to lessen the incidents along with watching how long I was gone. I tried digestion enzymes with probiotics which seemed to really help put pep back in her step and she did wonderfully until December 11.

After coming home from the store and she was panting and shaking horribly. I had thought she had gotten overstressed, the next day she slept, the day after she slept as well and the day after she was only walking in counter-clockwise circles, barely walking had to have assistance always, couldn’t sit herself up when laying on one side and curling her body in on itself which she had no control over laying on the other side. Sadly December 22, 2017 I told her I loved her and I always will. I kissed her over and over. I held her tightly against myself to keep her calm and comfortable and I had to say goodbye.

Eevon the senior elkhound mix and her owner and friend April

I decided on private cremation, I could barely leave the vet’s office that day just thinking of her in that room alone and I couldn’t imagine not bringing her home with me in some way. That last morning I didn’t sleep but maybe two hours. I stayed up watching her and memorizing all the little details about her. I watched movies with her and hugged her. I sang her Tom Jones parody “it’s not unusual to be loved by Eevon. It’s not unusual to have fun with the fuzzy one!” I made so many songs about her, I loved to sing to her and even now I still do.

It will be a month on Monday and my whole world is emptier without her here. My life is quiet and I don’t know how I will live without her. Every day there is a huge hole, I still turn on her music every night before I go to bed and I find myself waking up at 4 in the morning waiting for a voice that I won’t hear again. We used to watch “K-9 to 5” on Animal Planet every Sunday and we talked about all the different jobs she could do, I always thought she would have been perfect for a therapy dog but she always liked the taste tester at fancy restaurants idea (who knew?)

senior elkhound mix with dementiaShe never did either of those jobs but she had the greatest job in the world. Being my best friend, she was my baby, we laughed together, we cried together, we had great days and hard days. We were always there for each other and I’m so thankful for every day I had with her. She made it to 16.8 years old—she would have been 17 on April 20th and though I know her mind would have made it and she would have fought for me I never wanted her life to be a fight.

She was too beautiful to ever be in any pain and although I’m heartbroken I know that she’s happy and when my time comes we will be together again. Until then I’m left with trying to do anything I can to keep her presence around me and memorialize her in jewelry, pictures, writing and her songs.

Copyright 2018 April Franklin

4 thoughts on “Eevon and April: Best Friends from Day One Until the Last

  1. I hope you can take comfort in knowing you are not alone. So many of us have been there to help our pets pass on to their next adventure.

  2. When you love much you hurt much….My little Jack Russell Toby was 22 years when I had to say goodbye to him January 2016….Sad for you that your best friend has gone, but happy you enjoyed each other SO much, just like my little ‘furrybutt’ and I….When you love much you hurt much!

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, my logical side knew I would out live her but saying goodbye or rather I’ll see you again was so hard. The day to day is still hard but knowing others have been through the same and understand how I feel does help. It seems like she should still be laying on her bed in the morning or yelling at me for breakfast/ dinner/ snacks. Writing this helped a lot, I want to talk about her but it’s hard to find people to listen. Thank you for all your wonderful comments

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