The snow slowly vanishes and in its wake shadows return.
Andi sees them, out there, beyond the fringe of woods. And within the shadows’ midnight countenance other ‘things’ lurk within.
Who knows what Andi sees in such darkled recesses and folds, creases left lightless through leafless trees?
Usually I let him out for his morning pee. But today I opted to take him on a trek across fallow fields, windswept with blowing snow. Snow! On March 28th.
He stops along the way, sniffs and stares into the black bowers surrounding the field. Out there, beyond the perimeter, creatures unseen skitter and scrabble stealthily, within thicket and dormant shrub.
Only the faint glimmer of sun strains to release its visage upon the world, emitting sallow beams that feebly shine through a knot of pine.
We enter the woods. Silence greets our footfalls. No birdsong is heard. Only the faint trickling of a thawed stream murmurs muted along its meandering path. A single crow flutters past and disappears between saplings and fir.
Trudging along, Andi again pauses to take in such environs. A steady, light snow filters through trees, settling quietly on delicate limbs.
I turn to go and manage twenty paces before realizing Andi has not followed. Patiently do I wait for him to come by my side. But he stands, resolute, staring and sniffing the frigid morning air, perhaps a brief glimpse and return to his forebears, his roots as a member of Canis Lupus, once again part of the wolf pack. Reluctantly, he releases his stare into the distant forest.
We amble back, onto the deck, where candy rockers replace my former snow-made sofa and side table. Andi still peers through rail slats at the woods beyond.
But with a twist of a doorknob, Andi’s revelry is broken.
Once again does he instantly return to his domesticated self, a canine who relishes the warmth within, a safe haven from whatever creatures stalk the pitch black underbrush.
He clicks across the tiled kitchen floor and hops onto the sofa, where Julie and I reside, nursing cups of joe, heaped with blankets piled high.
Andi lies comfortably ‘neath our mounds of cloth. The invisible creatures remain outside, hidden in darkled forests, and whatever glimmer of joining a wolf pack has fled his mind, as he lies nestled and warm and content between his two loving caretakers.
Although at times it seems a shame that Andi has lost his wild side, his ancestral calling to roam the world, it is a comfort and pleasure—in a selfish human way—to have this loving, beautiful animal, this wonderful dog, curled near.
Copyright, Paul Grignon, 2015, All Rights Reserved.