I worked for a few minutes, creating a satisfying pile of crisp yellow and orange leaves. I'd gathered them about six feet behind a parked vehicle so they'd be sheltered from wind gusts.
Bud appeared. As I worked on the leaves, he snouted the rake curiously. I chided him and continued working. He stood still - usually a sign that he's getting ready to take an unexpected action. And he did. He snouted around in the pile of leaves. Then, suddenly, he grabbed a mouthful and raced off. He tore around the yard and back, leaped into the pile of leaves, whirled around, and tore off again.
Alarmed at his frenzy, I reraked the pile, moving them away from the vehicle lest he hurl himself into it and injure himself. He raced back, leaped into the pile again, and fell over into it, rolling and snorting.
Several rerakings later, Bud lost interest in the proceedings and wandered off. I called a family member to come and watch, but Bud refused to repeat his performance. Naturally.
For the next couple of days, I raked that pile of leaves periodically. Bud displayed no interest. BUT each time, I noticed that when I returned to the area an hour later, the leaves were scattered on the ground. There was no wind, so I knew Bud's secret. He did his leaf jumping when no one else was around.
Bud's ashes arrived yesterday in a teak box. On Saturday morning we'll have our remembrance time, scattering him in the places he loved: near his house under the deck, in the garden where he rooted for potatoes, along the path to the neighbors' where he munched on dandelions, and, finally, under the big cedars in the side yard.