Mistress of All She Surveys

Cocoa:  Mistress of All She Surveys

There Cocoa stood, atop the tailings piled high on the side of the road by the snow plow, basking in the late afternoon sunshine.

All this is mine,” she thought.  “The smells, the fields, the funky cold white stuff… the smells of the animals who crossed the field on top of the funky cold white stuff …  I love when my pet humans, He-Who-Rubs-My-Belly and She-Who-Drizzles-Bacon-Grease-on-My-Food bring me out here.  At this moment, life is very good!

Squirrel!

Who knows what tapestry of olfactory delights Cocoa weaves as she power-sniffs the ground or raises her quivering nose to the wind?

The occasional moose, elk, or deer sighting hints at only a small fraction of the life teeming in the woods.  The snow captures the history of our four-legged visitors as they criss-cross meadow and lake, unseen except for the footsteps left behind.  Does Cocoa’s nose provide a time machine that enables her to smell-o-vision the animals?

Animal tracks in deep snow, leading to the lake

For me, a walk outside during a crisp, sunny winter’s day fills my lungs with the freshest of air, maybe flavored with the slightest hint of wood smoke from a far off fireplace, but unsullied by car exhaust or restaurant fumes.  For Cocoa, however, it’s a whole other world.

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