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Aki begs to be picked up every time I lower her to the floor. We’ve been separated for the past three weeks. She spent most of that time hanging out with an English lab and her humans. I’ve just returned from a hike and bicycle excursion in northern Italy and the Low Countries.

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After reuniting with the little dog, I drive with her out to our favorite trail where there are few signs of spring. A few skunk cabbage leaves have climbed above the surface of the beaver’s pond and thankfully, many of the forest’s blueberry plants are setting blossoms.

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The beach is still exposed when we reach it, but the tide is on the flood. We walk out to the end of a spit that will soon be covered with water. Normally Aki, always cautious in eagle country, would sulk at the forest edge when an on the spit. But today she trots along beside me. An eagle flies just off shore, making nervous a large raft of scooters that swims between Shaman Island and us. It’s good to be home.

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