Crisp, clear, winter mornings. Pale sun. Rye's Playland Beach at shimmering low tide, open for dogs to hurtle, sniff, and socialize. Leila, unfettered, joyously runs two hundred yards across the damp sand to chase a flock of seagulls.* Stands in the freezing ocean up to her belly, puzzled by flight. Later, leaps into the passenger seat of the Starship Minnie, dripping sand, sea, and snow, panting and happy.
But other days, we still pound the streets at a brisk trot, so that her person can get as much exercise as she does. Today, crossing a City parking lot, I happen to glance down. She looks back warily, a slice of pizza mysteriously clamped between her jaws.
*The birds, not the 80s New Wave band.