Aki’s Day Off

Yesterday hid in her kennel as I gathered gear for our daily walk. I managed to coax her out but she was back in the kennel by the time I opened the front door.  It had been snowing for hours by that time. Six inches of fluff covered the hiking trails. I didn’t push the matter. But this morning I am wondering whether she will balk again.

            The snowstorm ended an hour before. But it was still storm gray out. Aki didn’t seem to mind. She waited at the front door for me to secure my boots. She leaped from the car as soon after I stopped the car at the trailhead.  We had to climb an two-meter high snow berm to reach the trail. That didn’t slow her. But a half-mile down the trail I discovered that I was alone. Backtracking, I found the little poodle-mix chest deep in new snow. Golf-ball sized snow clumps covered all four of her legs. 

  Looking like a guilty child, Aki slowly turned and headed back toward the car.  I knew we would soon be on a snow-free beach so I picked her up. While I carried her up the trail, I pulled snowballs from her fur. Most were gone by time we reach a spot where she could smell salt water. She wriggled as I lowered her onto the trail. 

  In ten minutes were on a beach swept clear of snow by the ebbing tide. Aki, her legs again loaded down with snowballs, stood by my side. Together we watched a sea lion, just fifteen meters away, raise its doggie head out of the water to check us out. Aki gave out a low growl. The sea lion immediately disappeared into the water.  After that, the little dog had no problem leading me back to the car. 



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