The little dog trots ahead on a faint meadow trail. Snow from this morning’s shower makes it easy to make out the path. I’d be able to spot animal tracks if anyone has passed since the snow fell. But only Aki’s little paws dimple the meadow.
She looks back often and sometimes stops, as if our roles have been reversed and I am now the feckless pet, likely to dash off into danger without a second thought. Maybe she knows that I am distracted. We are surrounded by a low-contrast landscape worthy of an Ansel Adams black and white print and I can’t figure out a way to capture it with my camera.
To take my mind off of my shortcomings, I think of the wolf recently spotted by dog walkers in the Treadwell ruins. Our local paper ran a photograph of the big canine half-hidden by the tree line, looking out with cautious curiosity. We have seen wolf tracks on this meadow, which is located only a few miles from Treadwell. How many times has the Treadwell wolf or another of his kind watched Aki and I cross this meadow? Could he be there, where the meadow gives was to a thick spruce forest, wondering why his cousin would wear an argyle-patterned wrap rendered from pink and gray colored fleece.