A Hike

We woke to a covering of snow after two days of 70 degrees.  And, although moisture would be welcome, the storm only managed to spit out a pitiful .04 of liquid.  And the wind had to partner with the storm, so when I and 4 dogs took a walk this breezy afternoon, I expected a smidge of mud, but was disappointed.  It had been a race between the earth sucking up the wetness and the wind evaporating it.  Whoever won left the soil dry once more.  We travelled up a draw, looking in the sand for hints of those that came before.  A flake of chert, a pawprint, a bone.  We relaxed in the lee of the hill.  A cottontail blasts from the sagebrush and dogs fly over the shale and sandstone.  I turn direction, quietly signalling my dogs to come with me and leave the rabbit.  Soon the jingle of rabies tags is at my heel, and I smile.  We round a corner and I noticed bluebells joining the white phlox as the earliest flowers of spring.  The dogs circle around in front of me, testing the air, drowning their noses in loose dirt.  Dally is 30 feet away and I try, “Dally, sit!”  She takes 4 steps towards me and I “ankh” at her, she pauses, and once more, “Sit!”.  She does!  Good girl!  It was only a second or two, but sit at a distance is a good step forward.  Over the hill we come, four dogs enjoying spring and I, I am enjoying them.  The house is snuggled under the cottonwoods, braced against the brunt of the wind, and we swiftly cover the distance, ready for a drink and a pat on the head!  The dogs get both, but I get ice in my drink!


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