Aki is stuck, high-centered a foot of new snow. Big, “Charlie Brown Christmas Special” flakes deepen the snow cover. Nearby, gulls and scoters bob in the three-foot swells about to slam onto a snow covered beach. The little dog gives me a patience look. She could be barking complaints about my trail selection. She could be whining. Instead she waits for the expected rescue.
I want to explain that I took special care to stomp down the trail. But her face tells me not to bother. She understands. I lift up the little dog and carry her up the trail and over a five-foot deep berm thrown up by a truck when it plowed out the trailhead parking lot. When released, she rolls her face in the snow and starts to chew off the snowballs now clinging to her legs. I want to tell her that thanks to this winter storm, she’d struggle on any trail we used today. A ten-year victim of our fickle weather, Aki doesn’t need such reassurance.