The snow on each side of the path is too soft for even Aki to use. The little dog must master an icy chute of a trail if we are going to drop down to the road. I’d like to appreciate the sugar sparkle of the snow and the shapes formed by the bare cottonwood trees against the indigo sky. But Aki has all my attention.
The little poodle-mix tries a quick trot then slides and freezes into a cringe. When sure that she won’t slip out of control she reaches out with her front left paw to tip toe forward and drops into another cringe. Thanks to my cleats, I can move with confidence toward her. She arches her back after I arrive like she does when asking to be picked up at home. I do and carry her to the relative safety of the road. Soon she is trotting along in a snowy channel packed firm by the tire of a passing truck.