My dog is depressed. I can tell when she's depressed and it's totally my fault. Autumn has finally arrived and it's not being super nice. Whenever the seasons start changing my animals get into these weird moods. Percy races through the house like his tail is on fire. Puckett starts Bogarting the couch and gets very pushy about it to the point where if I even get up for a nanosecond she has parked herself in my spot. Willow just doesn't even care if the litter box is close enough or not, she pees on the floor if she feels like it's too far away on that particular day.
And Tess...well, Tess just gets mopey.
To be honest I'm kind of sad and depressed too, partially because of the changing seasons, and partially because of other things. We had a rather long summer. It's the first week of October and we've had one really nasty, cold weekend where all it did was rain. Just last week it was still in the nineties. Now the air has warmed up again but there is that definite shift. It's not summer warm, it's Indian Summer warm when the mornings are frosty and cold and the evenings have a bite. The mountains might already be getting some snow. It's no longer warm enough for my lazy butt to get out of bed in the mornings to walk my dog and the days are getting shorter so there is very little time after work to walk either.
So Tess mopes. I don't blame her. As of late I haven't been much fun to be around. My summer was weird and I just ended my latest relationship with a guy I really liked but knew was completely inappropriate. Tess liked him too and that makes it harder. I hate letting my dog bond with someone I know isn't going to be sticking around. She senses my unhappiness and so she mirrors it. We lay around and give each other sorrowful looks. The cats look at us in disgust and go back to the food bowl or to whatever bed they are using at the moment.
It is a season of endings.
I don't care much for fall. It means the weather will start getting cold. I hate the cold. My garden is on its last leg and I have to harvest what has made it through the season while it's still warm enough to dig around in the dirt. My bumblebees under the front porch are gone. Wally and his friends have lived their circle of life and now their new queen has gone off to hibernate for the winter so she can start a new nest in the spring. Unfortunately that new nest will not be my front porch as they usually don't nest in the same place twice. Even my spiders are hiding out. In the summer my house is an eight-legged party. As fall approaches they disappear to wherever they like to winter which is probably under my house in the crawl space. It's comforting knowing they are down there, but I miss having them to talk to.
It hasn't escaped my notice that Tess is at the halfway mark of her eighth year. She will be nine in March. I will be 38. My first German Shepherd, Flag, died when he was 8. Tess is getting older and I cannot stop it. She has been my longest most enduring relationship and instead of enjoying her company I'm moping around the house and encouraging her to mope as well. My friend mentioned that she wished we could just stop time and stay like this for awhile until we are ready to move on. Ready to give up our independence and have children. Ready to stop acting like we are in our twenties. Ready to grow up. Ready to say goodbye. But we know that can't and won't happen and time marches on. Tess is getting older and I'm getting too old to have children, to get married, to find my soulmate.
Though Tess might just be my soulmate. In which case I am not ready to lose her. I am not ready for her to be nine years old, moving into the canine senior years while I'm still middle-aged.
I am not ready to say goodbye. To Tess, to summer, to Wally and his friends, to that last guy. I want the season to last just a little bit longer and be content while time stands still.
I'm not ready for the seasons to change.