Announcing Autumn

It’s here. Fall. It’s officially here. Yes, it began on Monday, according to the calendar. What an appropriate gift for my birthday since I love trees and leaves. They will not go unnoticed during fall. Trees cry out for your admiration and attention in autumn.

And isn’t autumn a beautiful word? You almost have to hum or sing it as it rolls from your lips. It lilts through the air. An appropriate word for a beautiful season.

Seeing “Fall Begins” in small print inside a square on my calendar isn’t the only way that I know the season is here. Yes, there is a crispness in the air that is new. Yes, there has been a drop in temperature at night. And, yes, darkness settles over our home earlier in the day now. But, these aren’t my indicators; these are:

 

My Smudger spends the summer sprawled out on the deck. He sleeps all day … on the deck…. without moving.

But, now that autumn is here, he SITS. Note that his feet are tucked up underneath his little body. Yep. Summer is gone. His piggies are cool.

And Dulcie? How does she let us know that fall has arrived?
She doesn’t want to go outside.
Why? Because she feels as though she’s under attack.

She has some issues. We found her on the side of the road on some back road when we lived in Albany, Ga. Long story short, the nearest neighbor (which was about a mile from her, at the time) said that she had been sitting there on the dirt road in the same spot for a week. At first, she ran around with a pack of dogs, but she had deserted them and staked out a spot on the road.

Evidently, she had been dropped off. She was waiting for her family to come back to pick her up. When we approached, she was SO excited to see our van. Then we spoke to her. She didn’t recognize our voices so she began to cower and began to trot down the road. After much following, coaxing, a rope and can of dog food, we lassoed her and got her into our van.

We tried to find her owners for several weeks to no avail. It turned out that she had heart worms (was this why she was dumped?). She thought the couch was a bed (not in THIS family, it’s not). She was dreadfully afraid of rain and lightning, vacuums and cameras (lightning association, maybe?). And she was afraid of a raised hand, arm, broom or toy…. anything that looked like you might be getting ready to hit her.

She was probably about two to three years old when we found her. She was fully house trained. She has no bad habits. She doesn’t drool or yap. She doesn’t turn over trash cans. She is calm, calm, calm and friendly. She likes children. She has no “men” fears. She sheds a bit in the fall and spring, but that’s about her only “flaw”.

Did I mention that she communicates with us? Yes. She humpfs, huffs, whines, and groans. She moans and sighs and grumbles. If you put your head down on her and say “IIIIeeee looooovveee yoooouuuu” in a sing-song kinda way, she will do a little sing-songy thing that mimicks the song in your voice as if she’s saying she loves you back to you. She also does this little barky thing where she jumps around and plays. And she “smiles.” Yes, really. A Dalmatian’s smile is a response to being caught doing something wrong… in fact, it’s more like a “smirk.” If we leave the house and come inside to find her smiling, she’s been in Glory’s room and found a pack of gum and eaten it. That’s just an absolute.

In the fall, when we put Dulcie on the porch, she whines… incessantly. Are you following me here? I’m talking about an almost constant noise. She can do it for hours. Why? Why does she hate the porch so much in the fall? The same deck that she loves in the spring and enjoys in the summer? What’s so scary about our porch?

This is our deck. These are weapons. The pine tree drops pine cones. The oak drops acorns. Later on, the sweet gum tree will drop gum balls. Evidently, she thinks they are being thrown at her. So, she’s afraid. It’s a sad thing. I wish I could help her. I wish I could explain to her that she’s okay. But, she doesn’t get it.

So, autumn and early winter terrorize her. It takes her all spring to fully recover. She loves the summer. And the fall hits her – literally.

So, the rest of you require a calendar to find out when autumn starts. At our house, our pets are our indicators.

Do your pets have any crazy quirks?

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