The end of summer at Berkshire Hills was delightfully alive with puppies and volunteers. There were puppies running around the playground, chasing each other through tunnels, making sleepy puppy piles on their white lamb bed. Meanwhile, Mo, my 5 month-old grew long lanky legs, and my seniors took lazy naps in the sun.

Fall has now settled in. Mo’s legs grew 6 inches longer. We are buttoning down the house for colder weather, bringing in the firewood and pulling down the storm windows. Thanksgiving will be here soon.  I just love Thanksgiving dinner in this house.  It was built in 1790 and is such a  classic New England home with stone walls bordering the fields and several big wooden barns once housing oxen and tobacco. I sometimes laugh thinking about the stories I am adding to it’s history.

I fear this winter might be hard on my three seniors. They will turn 15 early February. Zak is a bit more uncertain when he walks. His gait is less coordinated. Kiefer can’t seem to keep his weight up and gets cold easily.  Paloma is the same happy girl as always. When I call her into the house she stops at the threshold wagging her tail with a big smile on her face. She’s not sure what I want. My daughter describes her as, “pleasantly confused.”

Now that we are spending more time inside, moving through the house has become a bit of a challenge. The 2 younger ones move around like little tornadoes, twirling into me. The older ones move so slow, or don’t move at all.  They just stand in the way blocking doors and pathways so I have to climb over them or gently push their butts off to the side to get by. And then there are 5 other dogs just hanging around me, waiting to see what I’m going to do next. It’s an odd dance that has no flow.

But, at the end of the day, everyone settles in for a cozy night, grabbing beds where ever they can and it all flows just perfect. Well, at least until Kiefer wants something!