I am ignoring Aki’s agenda for this morning’s walk. She stands and stares at me from a strip of grass that borders the Sheep Creek beach. It is obvious to her that we should follow the worn dog-walking path down channel toward Juneau.
Wanting to take advantage of the ebb, I keep walking away from her over exposed tidelands. Since no eagles skulk in the beachside spruce trees, I can safely stretch the invisible rubber band that connects me to the little dog until it pulls her onto the tidelands.
Fifty meters out I turn around. Aki, who has halved the distance between us, freezes. I keep walking, wishing the wind wasn’t driving down the wind chill. The next time I turn around, Aki is right behind me. Then, she sneaks ahead to conduct a nasal survey of the exposed ground.
A small raft of mergansers splash in Gastineau Channel. But the local murder of crows dominates the tidelands. At first they flit around. When neither Aki nor I chase them, they return to their search for food and fun.