The Windmills of Fall

Out of all seasons, fall is my favorite. The crisp clean air is soothing to my polar bear nature. The added visibility allows me to appreciate nature’s alarm clock as the color emerges like a butterfly from a chrysalis and then flutters away. My coffee tastes richer and is more satisfying as it steams in my hands; sitting on my front porch, taking in the songs of birds as they fuel up for the journey ahead. And then, there are my dogs…

If fall is nature’s way of getting me high, then to my dogs, it’s the equivalent of a thousand cups of coffee. It seems that no matter the age of the dog, fall’s crisp breezes wafting more and more scent through the air are the equivalent of a drink from the fountain of youth.

All of a sudden, each dog becomes Don Quixote with windmills for the tilting, and this presents me with a quandary. The added spring in the step, especially of my older dogs, has visions of cruciates tearing in my head. This actually happened to my late Aussie, Sundown, as she leapt off the back porch one day at the ripe old age of 16 to herd a pile of leaves that dared disturb her sense of Fung Shui. It hastened an end to what had been a long and beautiful life with us; more so because she had tons of other problems to deal with that added up to decisions about quality of life. But I still don’t regret that we allowed her to enjoy what was in her nature to do.

Even with the relative health of my current crop of elders I still worry. But watching the metamorphosis from frequent napper into butt scooting puppy is as good for their soul as it is mine. It’s something that we all long to do at one time or another, to play with abandon.

And that’s probably my favorite thing of all about fall. It’s the universe giving us a window of opportunity; soon it will be time to rest, but our dogs show us that there is always time for one more act of childishness.

Enjoy your Sunday in whatever you do, and enjoy your dog.



3 thoughts on “The Windmills of Fall

  1. Lovely piece, Kevin. As I know all too well, these are tough decisions, but I don’t think you can ever go wrong allowing these bouts of exuberance when you don’t know how many your dog has left.

  2. It’s amazing how their instincts take over and those aches and pains seem to fade away. My dog Cali will be 14 in January (she’s a golden/aussie mix) and I see her slowing down. But when the weather gets crisp & cool – she suddenly has a little sparkle in her eyes and a little more spring in her step. I love fall!

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