Fall is the season when we reap what we sow. It's the season when we prepare for the long winter ahead. It's also the season that brings families together. We gather together to go apple picking, attend fairs and share a Thanksgiving dinner. Fall is my favorite season, for many reasons.
I love the smell of cinnamon and spice, as people bake pies and mull wine. I love the beautiful reds and golds of the leaves as they change color. I love the faces carved into the pumpkins, that sit guarding the stoops. Attending Fairs, and wandering among the cows, goats, pigs and ducks never fails to make me smile like a child again. I look forward to Halloween night, as the children arrive to collect their share of candy, and to proudly display their costumes. I enjoy the cooler temperatures at night, where curling up under a blanket with a good book is a pleasure to be enjoyed. Thanksgiving dinner is a time to count your blessings, and share a meal with family and friends. I even love the sound of the crinkly fallen leaves under my feet, as I shuffle along our favorite hiking trails with our beloved collies.
As my daughter has aged, she no longer wants to dress up for Halloween. But the collies indulge me, and gamely wear their costumes, to the delight of every child who comes to our door. We have already bought their costumes, with the promise of some turkey on Thanksgiving as a reward for their good humor.
The Fall also has a special date for our family of collies. On a September day, 13 years ago, a litter of collie puppies were born. The first puppy in the litter was a smooth, sable girl. She was given the name Angel, and she was beautiful. Angel went on to win at the Collie National, two different years. She was one of the top collies in the country during her youth. She is also the mother of our collie, Abby, who resembles her mother so closely. Angel is also the grandmother of our Holly, Ryder, Kori, Scarlett and of our Lad. Her 13th birthday would have been this Sunday, but today Angel went to heaven, to wait with all our lost collies at the Rainbow Bridge. Angel may not have been my collie, but I took care of her many times during her lifetime. And as I look at the sweet faces of my own collies, I have so much to thank her for...this Fall is going to be a bittersweet time for us, as the absence of one family member will be keenly felt by all.
Life is too short, but for our canine companions this is especially true. They are our friends, children and our confidants. They make us laugh when we are brought low by life's trials and tribulations. They listen to our problems and celebrate our joys. They are a never ending source of comfort, providing love without judgment. And because of their very nature they teach us to unselfishly care for another being, and through this, they redeem us. So this Fall as the world around us changes, take a moment to appreciate the loved ones in your lives, whether they have two feet or four.