She’s a snow dancer.

She leaps straight-legged

into the air

then noses down swiftly

into the snow,

knowing where to dive

to find that next vole.

And swiveling down with her nose

she pulls it out.

With her mouth,

she tosses it into the air

like a skating partner,

but over and over until it is dead.

Her dance looks more like play

than murder.


She’s a tundra runner.

Vole devoured,

she folds her long limbs in,

and races.

Her strong, sinewy form,

bred for sleddogging,

hides the old history of a broken leg

from a time when, as a puppy ,

she was dropped off a porch

by a dull young child.


She’s in a new life.

She runs in joyful circles

around us,

her rescuers and her housemates,

then stretches out to put some distance

between us.

No real dancing on a leash.

When the walk is over

and we head back

toward the run-down village

that is our temporary home

she gives in

and returns to us,

knowing in her bones

that she is no longer wild and feral,

grateful that we believe

in adopted dogs as family.

No Dog Left Behind.