Dear Dog Diary:
Fall leaves are back – made for TV colors, brazen sky divers. Airborne!
Leaves leave vivid landscapes.
Fall makes you go inside, in more ways than one.
On snappy mornings, dogs 'n friends snuggle up, under covers.
Big, blustery storms blow in and scare away the sunshine and a metaphysical force changes, deep inside.
Falling… memories…. how you felt… moments shared…
Fall is writing weather. Book season.
Fall comes around once a year, settling in like an old friend.
Bringing changes of life with changes of seasons.
Wild leaves mean that rain rides shotgun with frost. Any minute now, snow could repo the yard.
You aren’t ready to let go of summer, with warm rays and play days.
But those wild and crazy leaves are so joyful – flamboyant – perhaps we should be celebrating.
Life in a mountain town is managed by the woman in charge - Ma Nature.
And her partner - Mount Hood.
In fall, your wood pile is your new bff - loyal, at your side, like a black lab for the season to come.
The quail family returns - and resumes detailed yard work. They commute in each morning and back every night. Flittery, fluttery, running away as I come out the door. Maybe we should realign our work schedules.
And the hummer! The moment his retro red feeder comes out of storage, he knows – he shows. Another old friend returns.
Fall rituals are back - you pack away surfboards and wetsuits and pull out the skis.
You build Mount Hood on the porch with colorful bags - turtle necks, knit hats and scarves, big puffy coats, under-layers and gloves. And mini-me Mt. Hood - puffy coats and rain slickers for doxies.
Building Mount Hood is an all day ritual. In and out of the car and the shed and the rafters and racks. It’s concerning for dogs – like you’re packing for vacation and they’re not invited.
Ugly Christmas sweaters plan their annual visit...
Stuck inside weather.
Staring at orange embers in jammies all day weather.
Flames take you back. Last winter in Oregon - Snowmeggadon!
Happy and sad memories. Tear drops on old photos. Missing those we lost.
Elvis and Dude, my dear old surf dog sons.
Dog dad, my cousin Randy.
My dog-loving friend Don Benton.
Something about fall leaves and fireplaces brings all of those memories back.
I miss my sappy sweet Elvis.
With long, slow, swaying gait and dreadlock ears that drag on the ground. And that stare...
He was the strong, silent type with so much to say. Deep, deep stares into my soul, and beyond. Blaring, bloodshot basset hound eyes. I hear you, Elvis.
His shelter name was Fred. He was submissive at first - but he grew into the King.
Elvis led by example - a guide dog for his blind brother. And me.
Dude’s shelter name was “Yardley.” I named him Lil' Dude - little basset brother of Elvis.
Randy and Mel are our favorite cousins - the most normal of our family, if there is such a thing.
They married when I was in Junior High - inseparable until an accident on their 42nd anniversary.
Oh, how we miss you Randy.
Their life force lives with us - those loved and lost.
The red-hot warmth of embers glow,
long after the fire goes out.
They can reignite at any time.
Don't get stuck on the inside.
Snuggle up. Buckle up for the ride.
Inside is warm and wonderful.
Doodle the doxie, fuel-injecting joy into life’s tiniest moments.
Tia, the once-invisible feral feline, now commands the kingdom and troops.
Queen, more than ever, now that the King is gone.
She plops down with petticoats – 16 pounds of fatness and fur and purr - cementing my position, as peon, as furniture.
'Tis the season to snuggle up.
I can't wait - Cousin Mel is coming to visit! And I'll see the rest of my family at Christmas. Doodle, my carry-on bag dog, flying under my seat on the airplane.
He needn't worry about my excess baggage on the porch.
- Barb -