It’s late October, the feisty time for squirrels. A big grey one runs down the slanting trunk of an old growth Sitka spruce to stare me in the eye. I want to tell him that neither the dog nor I are here to rob his cache. Aki would rather eat cheese than the contents of the winter store of spruce nuts and mushrooms.
All through today’s walk squirrels drop from their tree perches to challenge Aki. She falls for it every time, dashing a few feet into the forest and then stopping to assume a rigid, tails-up pose very like that the big grey squirrel showed me. I know the little dog has no interest in harming the noisy rodents. Last year, on the moraine, a squirrel actually turned to face Aki’s charge. The poodle-mix stopped abruptly and wagged her tail like she does when meeting a friendly dog.