Every morning he walked the dog, named Buck. This was not his dog but the one from the downstairs neighbor. When the neighbor was away on business, which was frequently, Michael took care of Buck. Over time they bonded and Michael took him for a morning walk. The weather did not matter, and it was quite varied throughout the year: snow and ice in the winter through to heat and humidity in the summer. Fall was Michael's favorite season, especially in early in the day when the air smelled crisp and refreshed his mood.
A small condo building a few blocks away had an automatic sprinkler system to water the vegetation set to run each day around six a.m. Buck knew this; Michael knew this. Each day they wrestled over the path to the building and the timing. The dog wanted so badly to run through the water and play, while Michael tried his best to avoid the headache. Today was the day, the first day sprinkler did not run, marking the movement into fall. The two of them stood there, in front of the building. Buck repeatedly sniffing the ground, and Michael thinking about the time that had past.