It was the week between Christmas and New Years. I headed out to pick up beer, a few groceries and to take Mira for a walk on the Trans Canada Trail. Although it had been snowing for hours, I failed to notice and underestimated everything about the weather. It was snowing and blowing harder, snow was deeper, roads slipperier and the visibility poorer than anticipated.
The trail is built along the old railway and stretches behind and between villages, forest and farm land. By the time we got there the weather had deteriorated. I wasn’t dressed as well as I should have been, walked into the white with my head down and persisted because I knew the return would be easier. Wind swirled, swept and drove the falling snow in fitful gusts. Every now and then it carried the suggestion of howling dogs which may or may not have been there. At one point Mira, well ahead of me, stopped, looked over her shoulder and waited. A sign that a person or animal was ahead. When I reached her she was watching a black spot in the distance and the wailing separated itself from the wind to become clearly canine.
Imagine that no one is there. Only a black spot in a snowstorm, too far from anything like a home, howling louder and harder than any twelve week old puppy should ever have to.
This event had the potent kind of imagery and unexpectedness that lends itself to my writing and I was looking forward to putting a fictional and mysterious twist to it. But I can’t. The puppy was there. He and his siblings had followed their mother when she broke her leash and ran. Their owners had driven away for a couple of days and left them outside. It was an odd twist of fortune that he became separated from the rest and I found him. The mother’s leash got caught up and she and the other puppies were found two days later.
They say that everyone is alright. Really?