The Milky Way streaks across a glimmering black sky; painted by those no longer with you, as I was told. It, along with snow tipped peaks and my habituated temperate conifers reflects imperfectly across Trembleur lake before me.

I bend. My azure blue paws, an inheritance from my mother, dig into soggy lakeside sand as I lick Trembleur lake’s water. The clear, cold water, on my tongue and in my cheeks, reminiscent of the winter ice.

In the reflection, under moonlight, is an animal. Canine in shape, with a fluffy tail. Umber eyes, thick fur. White in colour, and a blue haze. This is me. As I am, always been, and forever will be.

I yearn puphood with my sibling. Fights and brawls in hot but not blazing sunlight. Our warm fuzzy bodies under a frigid moon. My mother’s licks in my earlier years. Today I am a lone drifter. To make my own adventures, for my own family.

I take one last sip, before shaking drips of water out of my hair; and hair out-of view. “Hair”, is what you might call the length of fur topping my head; and how us siblings identified one other.

I curl on lakeside sand. Tail guarding my snout. In the crisp wind, in the soggy sand. Nose down, I rest …