It’s two degrees Fahrenheit. There’s little breeze to produce a lower wind chill. But the warming sun is at our backs as we ski over lake ice toward the glacier. The bare-pawed Aki doesn’t seem to notice the cold. But her people worry that their hands will never regain feeling. Even though they are encased in my heaviest gauntlet gloves, I can’t warm my fingers without pulling them into the gloves’ palm area where they form a numb ball.
The little dog dashes back and forth between her humans after we reach the apex of a looped trail and turn into the sun. Thanks to the perfect snow conditions, I manage to pull ahead of Aki’s other human. Confused, for this never happens, the little dog turns back the way we had come and runs at full speed toward the glacier where she expects to find me doddling along. Eventually Aki’s other human catches her and together they head toward the trailhead. Only when she hears my whistle, does the poodle-mix stop looking over her shoulder.