Dear Kid,

Dear Puppy,

Take a look at the calendar. Take a look outside. Take a look at all the Pumpkin-Spice everythings.

It is Fall. And after Fall comes (some form of) winter.

Which means temperatures are going to continue to drop.

Puppy: Of course not. Now leave me alone. I have to rip out the squeaker and kill it. you will want all that fur you are so, um, elegantly shedding right now.

Look at the squirrels. No, wait. Scratch that. Do NOT look at the squirrels—you’ll just start barking and miss the point.

The point is that if there WERE squirrels in our yard (you don’t need to check), they would be getting ready for winter. If there were squirrels anywhere (I’m sure there aren’t), they’d be out there storing nuts and sewing little squirrel mittens, not modeling bathing suits and shedding extra fur.

You are going to be unhappy if you’re cold. You are going to wish you’d kept your undercoat.

Winter is coming.

And I am not going to collect all that extra fur and glue it back on you.

No matter how pathetically you stare.

Love, Mom