Spring, 1999.
In a crucial lapse of judgment, I reached down to remove a piece of plastic from the mouth of Sonny, a Malamute living in Los Angeles.

It was the bone-crushing more than the skin-piercing that put me out of sorts. Think of an anvil dropping on your pinkies.

A verse from The Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service

This was the song of the parson's son, as he
lay in his bunk alone,
Ere the fire went out and the cold crept in, and
blue lips ceased to moan,
And the hunger-maddened malamutes had torn
him flesh from bone.