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  • suzjennifer62

From I to We to I

It is Autumn, the season of finishing things up as we begin to approach the end of the year. The trees with turning leaves pull back their life energy deep inside their trunks, safe from the coming cold. Bears who have packed on the pounds eating volumes of summer berries will soon be retreating to their dens to sleep it off. It's like Springtime in reverse. It is a time of contemplation, assessing what has been accomplished and accepting that which has not.

As children, we looked forward to the Fall that brings Halloween candy, Thanksgiving family, and the gifts of holiday celebrations. Circumstances being as they may, Autumn can bring about melancholy for us adults who would love to see things as if thru the eyes of youth but have seen too much reality to ignore the pains of daily living. Not sure why but for many, including me, the pain of loss of loved ones just hurts more at this time of year, and I find myself tearing up knowing I will one day all too soon be missing Winnie.

I have many friends with dogs and not a day goes by I don't know someone or know someone who knows of someone going thru the process of saying goodbye. It comes upon us too soon and tho we know in our minds our time with each of our dogs is fleeting, our hearts are never prepared when it happens. The sleepless nights, the inability to breath during the day. When your ears convince you for a moment you heard them padding and clipping along behind as you move about the house. Or your eyes catch a glimpse of movement in the doorway where they used to sit and watch you brush your teeth. There is no one there to remind you when it's dinner time, or time for a walk. It's as if you can't even tell time without them. There is no relief, you miss them everywhere. No one can help and there's nothing that can be said.

By 10 mos. old Winnie had doubled in size from the 7lb puppy she was when she arrived but she'll never be too big to snuggle in my arms. (March 2015)

Not unlike Seasons that define a year, lifespans are broken into sections. During the happy, carefree Springtime of puppyhood, in comes this little bundle of energy which requires, dare I say, demands many adjustments and sometimes drastic sacrifice.

Small rock climbing in Bodega Bay, Dec.3, 2016

Working together and joining forces, you become "we" and by Summertime of a dog's life we are living full throttle with a dog that is more of an extension of ourselves than a separate being. We feel invincible, together we can conquer the world. In Autumn, you and your dog are still full on but you begin to notice the hint of mellowing. Your older dog is refined, wise and absolutely perfect. And when we reach this stage, we begin denial. But Winter of the year will not be ignored. And the inevitable end of Winter for your dog will change you from "we" to I again.

Tho it's Fall out my window, I sit here typing, in the Summertime of Winnie and am reminded not to be sad. The seasons of the year remind me there is a time and place for everything.

Capitalizing on our experience as adults, instead of letting the energy downturn of the unwinding season bring us down, too, let's use the insight for inspiration. Feel deeper, all the emotions we feel, be it happiness or sorrow, for to deny one is to give up them all. Our smiles when touched with sorrow are the purest sign of love and true happiness and the best way to honor those who await us in the by and by.

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