Not matter how hard she scowls or glares, Aki makes people laugh. This morning, a woman pulling into a state-workers’ parking lot looks at her, lets a smile spreads across her face and enjoys a belly laugh. My little dog just trots on across the parking lot, pulled by scents on the air. Nothing is going to slow her—not the three inches of new snow, traffic, or derisive laughter. Aki is on a mission.
At the 12th Street intersection of the Egan Expressway, Aki waits patiently for the light to change. It’s 8 A.M and still dark. We have just dropped the car off for an oil change. The snowy outline of the Douglas Island ridge forms a soft border against light blue sky. It’s the tail end of the morning rush hour so the little dog has a large audience. But few notice the little poodle-mix even though she is wearing her “Elvis in Edinburgh” fleece wrap.
The light changes. Aki pulls me across the intersection and over toward the new sea walk. When we reach the life sized humpback whale statute that marks the north end of the sea walk, Aki throws on the brakes. In the low light the whale is little more than a silhouette. Down channel an arc of sun crests Salisbury Point. I take a picture or two and then carry Aki down the portion of the sea walk that forms a bridge over tidelands. She hates to walk over water. Below, mallards, gulls, and ravens stir from their nighttime resting places. One raven waits for us on a walkway railing. It flits over the other railing when we are within five feet and then flies off. Brave, stupid, or bored, you never know about ravens little dog.
The sun is full up by the time we reach the downtown bus terminal. Low angle light manages to make even that blocky building look like a place you might want to live.