Aki turns 11 today. That’s the equivalent to 77 in big dog years. Thankfully, little guys like Aki have a smaller multiplier. So, she is more middle-aged than elderly. This morning, while I shoveled 5 inches of new snow off the driveway, the poodle-mix was inside, chowing down on her birthday surprise—a can of high-end steak-flavored dog food. Rather than charge her up, the heavy meal seemed to have made her sluggish. Two blocks into our walk she stops in the middle of the street.
Aki doesn’t follow when I continue on up Basin Road. She throws on the break and digs her paws into the new snow. It’s like she is saying dude, its my birthday and I get to do whatever I want. On a normal snowy day, a walk up the Perseverance Trail would be exactly what Aki would want. She probably plans to head home in case another can of tasty food has been plopped into her dish. It’s hard to believe that a 10-pound dog could make a god of her stomach, but it’s the most likely explanation for her behavior.
We walk back down to house, passing a crab apple trees with red fruit covered in new snow. At our driveway, Aki starts to turn toward our door and looks up at me. When I take another step down the street she drops her head and leads me toward Cope Park. It is a favorite with dogs and their walkers so it is a mother lode of rich smells. At the park, we take as long as Aki needs to read the extensive pee mail. When done, she spots two big dogs running free in the snow. After the birthday girl is properly introduced I unclip her lead. Aki yips and entices the other dogs to chase her. Just before they catch her, she throws on the breaks and watches her pursuers slide past. Then she chases them. Happy birthday little dog. It looks like you are going to enjoy many more.