Prologue - Aloha Crossing


Aloha was struggling to breathe. Sleet-like wind and rain slapped her face, stinging her eyes, forcing her to turn away from the wind. She fought to keep afloat—soaked, cold and pelted by wind-driven rain.

      She battled the angry river to swim toward the house. But with each stroke the current carried her further away from Kimberly Louise. Captured by the current, she was dragged under again and again. She tried grabbing onto floating pieces of wood but couldn’t get a grip.

      An undertow--a sucking, sweeping backwash--took her further away from the shore. Up, then down, slammed with spray, ripped inward, then shoved out. She kicked hard. A strong tide tugged at her hindquarters. Branches and other obstacles loomed up in front of her and banged against her heaving sides and injured leg.

      The wake tide caught her and sucked her under again, spinning her body around and around before she could fight clear of it. Her lungs were almost bursting. With her mouth and throat full of water, Aloha fought and splashed in a delirium of terror. The hurricane’s roiling clouds seemed like an avalanche bearing down on her.

      When she finally surfaced, sputtering and panting, she gasped for just enough breath to fill her lungs. Her groping forepaws felt the impact of a submerged rock, and with her last ounce of strength she crawled feebly onto a narrow sand spit, where she collapsed and lay shivering, panting, and struggling for breath.

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