Normally Aki refuses to follow me onto Gastineau, giving me her “are you crazy, I am just a little dog with short legs and tiny feet who will just flounder out there” look. But it is still morning and the sun has not had time to soften the frozen surface of the snow. We are free to roam.
On the far edge of the meadow, where we can enjoy an unfiltered view of Mt. Juneau, Aki goes on alert. I can’t find anything among the stubby Douglas pines to merit her attention. Twice more during our walk across the meadow, the little poodle-mix will bark and stare into the woods. Twice more I will fail to spot anything worth barking at. I will hear a hawk whistle, see two bald eagles circle over our heads, and trace the track of a black bear made yesterday afternoon in softening snow.