There has been a change of weather. The birds have become scarce. The wind has picked up. From inside it sounds like a chinook is blowing. The snow has been kicked off the trees in roaring clouds, like an avalanche leaves in its wake. The temperature started to rise. The old dog sleeps through it. She is mostly blind and more deaf by the day. Sometimes she jumps back when the fire cracks and flares. She still understands my language, but only responds to the important gestures. She will give me a smile when I think of putting on my boats for a walk. She nudges for small bits of meat. She won’t always come when called. She has lost fear of the things she should be afraid. This worries me. Her bones are close to the surface. After a year of being lifted into the truck, she has taken to jumping her height into the back seat like she was a pup again. She wakes me up at all hours. Sometimes she leads me, as she did this morning, into the chill dark to scratch our way around the frozen shore, both sniffing with diminished capacity.