Aki has to be very patient today. She is leading one our human friends and me down the icy beach that borders Mendenhall Lake. Snow as fine as confectioners’ sugar collects in the little dog’s curls and obscures the lake ice. With her strong, sharp nails, Aki could trot comfortably down the beach. But her humans have been reduced to duck walking by the ice. Our grippers offer little help.
Snow clouds cover most of the glacier and almost all the surrounding mountains. But Mt. McGinnis stands separate from the clouds. I want to ask our human friend if he knows why the snow can’t defeat McGinnis but he leads the conversation into a discussion about victims and violence. He has just finished Sherman Alexie’s memoir about his mother. I am reading that honest book about love surviving violence. It could be one of those conversations that leave everyone feeling helpless. But we remember stories of victims overcoming violence, people speaking out against it, young people insisting on change. Aki, who had been keeping her tail at half-mast lets it rise to its “happy dog.”