This was to be an easy walk through the Treadwell woods. The sun had managed to break through mottled sky. With the temperature just above freezing we expected a walk in the park.
We had it easy at first. Previous dog walkers had broken a trail through the foot of new snow that covered the forest floor. Aki bounced ahead, stopping often to pee or sniff. I unzipped my jacket and shoved my mittens into a pocket.
I walked toward the beach, attracted by what sounded like a series of express trains moving through a tunnel. Aki reluctantly followed me until the trail disappeared.
I carried the little dog across a drifted-over streambed and then onto a snow-covered dune. Aki made to turned back when she felt the first strong gust of wind blow snow into her fur. But she perked up when we reached the frozen sand of the beach.
The poodle-mix charged down the beach as if in a race with the streams of windblown snow that skidded over the sand. She disappeared for a moment in a whiteout. Seconds later I spotted her sheltering behind a weathered piling. When the wind dropped she charged back to me and then took a trail off the beach. That’s the smart move little dog, I said as I followed her into the sheltering woods.