This is Only a Test

It’s been more than a week since Aki strained a leg muscle. She shows no sign of soreness this morning. Keeping her leash in my pocket. I join the little dog on a gravel trail that crosses one of our mountain meadows. I slow my pace, like I had to when tethered to the poodle-mix. 

            Clouds hid the surrounding mountains when we started the walk. Now they lift to reveal peaks and ridges and let shafts of sunlight reach the meadow. This is a good wildflower meadow in a normal year. This one is exceptional. Magenta-colored shooting stars, bog laurel and rosemary for islands on the green muskeg. Yellow avens flowers surround the skeleton of a downed Douglas pine. Clusters of white Labrador tea blossoms line the trail. 

            Aki and I ignore each other, she mapping scents and me counting wildflowers. She ignores the robins dragging their skirts along the trail. But when something, maybe an ermine or mink slinks across the trail, she charges after it. Now I feel bad for not keeping her leashed. But she trots back, tail wagging, showing no signs of aggravating her injury.  

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