Between the sheep and the duck I sleep so cozy. The bed is stuffed with wool and the puff is filled with eider down. At my head is a wide open window from which the early morning, misty air fills my nostrils with cold blasts of an air so pure. No one except Bernie loves their bed so much. Below us on a bed of his own Snookie sleeps. We can hear his content sighs of comfort and relaxation. Sometimes, when I look down at him below us, in the early morning, and talk to him softly, he will groan and stretch out his front paws in sheer bliss.
It is fall and the flowers are starting to fade. Old Snookie is fading too. I think he's no longer a perennial whose bloom I will get to see again next spring. I watch him daily now with so much love and appreciation. Surely he's a fellow I was lucky to meet in life. The feel of his fur is so soft. He's a wonderful temperature to snuggle against and his smell to me is one of comfort and familiarity. He limps after us down the drive each morning with such determination. I will miss everything about him, including his sighs. I am aware of this coming loss every day now and it pangs my heart.
Snookie and I can't discuss the being apart that is coming, we can only sit together in the glow of our remaining bond. Around some corner rather too soon, the trouble will come and I will have to step up for my old friend and make a hard decision to keep him from suffering and to preserve his dignity.
This is a hard task for an old friend. To have to be the one that parts us forever. I will say a final goodbye and he will be gone from me. No more yellow shadow keeping his eye upon me. Knowing this makes for a poignant autumn together.
Perhaps that is why the sky seems bluer than usual. Why the leaves changing color look more vibrant than I've ever seen them. The air feels so fresh. The fire so warm and cozy. The cold mornings so invigorating. I am in love with life not just for me but for Snookie too. I know his time is short but before his eyes are these glory days and the love that we are bestowing upon him. Among the best is a nightly bowl of wood-stove warmed milk. He loves it, and we love sitting together listening to him lapping it up.
For now he is not a dog to pity but one to relish. His life is good. Our lives our good. This autumn is a glorious and special one. I will absorb now and then remember later this time on this farm with Snookie as a blissful one, one in which the notes are resonating in a rich harmony. Fall is a time of passing but it is also the most splendid of the seasons.