The Pleasure Of The Fall, Or Should I Say These Autumn Days, In Memory Of Henry?

Photo of FitOldDog having coffee

We enjoyed a short run today, with Willbe, our yellow lab, followed by a coffee at Caffe Driade. Very pleasant it was too. I look happy, anyway, with my glowing ears. Photo by Deb!

FitOldDog's new garden gate.A friend of mine, Henry Heck, died recently, and he was not the first to leave us. Each time it happens, I’m left thinking that every day is more precious than the last. People speak of the autumn of life, and I guess it’s the natural cycle of things, but I’m in no hurry to go. I’m working to enjoy these lovely fall days and nights in North Carolina. The dogs are certainly happier, and more active, as the weather cools. Picks them right up!

I’m pretty excited about my fall garden, even though it was a bit too late to plant anything, other than turnips and winter greens. It was a bit late, even for them, and the fence is still not completely sealed against deer, and dogs, and rabbits and such. In the spring, I’ll have a full garden, and hopefully chickens, if this spring chicken makes it – which I probably will, but you think such thoughts when you lose a friend. He was a great guy, a somewhat stubborn Physical Chemist by day, and a playful man during family life. I’ll never forget his pleasure at riding on a large, yellow, rubber ducky, in the sea near his home, years ago. Who would have thought it?

Photo of FitOldDog's dog, Willbe, in a stream

Willbe enjoys a paddle in a stream on this lovely cool fall day, during a run. Photo by Deb.

Aging is a funny thing. It comes with advantages and disadvantages. The negatives include stiffness in the mornings, running becomes really tough, and you slowly lose certain links with society in general, including precious friends. These effects are offset by a greater sense of calm, and a more balanced perspective. Though you have to work to achieve it, as the worst enemy of a happy old age is fear, which is a complete waste of time.

Never a geriatric misoneist be!

Things that seemed so important when I was younger, just don’t appear to matter so much anymore. They’ve been replaced by simply enjoying the moment.

Watching our turnips and greens appear was quite exciting, as was the construction of the new garden gate. Nothing like leaning on the garden gate, and watching the vegetables grow, to make you feel good.

I’ll miss Henry, even though our paths separated over the last few years. I send my love to his family and friends, especially Mercedes. My plan is to remember the good old days, including partying with Henri and Mercedes, and to make as many more as I can, in Henry’s memory.

Time to buy my own rubber ducky!



  1. yes Kevin, Henry was unique and I loved him more than life itself!

    As we sailed by the moonlight in Bath Creek you kept exclaiming: “is this dr. Heck?”

  2. And it was! It was Dr. Heck. See you soon, love, kev and Deb

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.