“Mush! Mush!” I whipped the leash, urging the beast faster.
He pushed harder, legs pumping, finding purchase on the ice. A heavy mist surrounded his head, billowing like a halo in time with his panting. His ears lay flat against his head and a thick froth covered his mouth.
We sailed over the tundra, trees and hills and vegetation buried from last night’s snowfall. The crisp air burned my lungs but I forced a deep breath. The next turn would decide our fate.
I bent lower, hunched behind the creature. Previous attempts had ended in disaster -- a collision with a tree, a busted lead, and worst of all, a surprise attack from the natives – but I was determined to make it to the end of the line.
“Faster!” I cried.
Our speed increased, the turn approaching too fast. A quick tug left and we entered the turn, muscles and tendons and fingernails straining against the centrifugal force that threatened to topple us into the snowbank on the side of the trail.
His ragged breathing reached my ears and I loosened the lead. We’d made it. No sign of—
“Hi Melanie!” My neighbor waved from his driveway, a plastic shovel resting on his shoulder. “Nice day for a walk, eh?”
“Hi Bob, sure is.” I pulled on the leash, slowing my dog to a gentle trot.
We’d have to try again tomorrow.