I'd like to tell you a story about our dog, Gorm, who has been missing since Sunday.
We adopted him as a stray before we were married. He was a German shepherd-Doberman-possibly Great Dane mix with fierce teeth and a heart of gold. He fit in well: He was smart, but an underachiever.
When we lived in Forest Lake, we had a small yard. We would take him out on Third Lake at night in the winter and let him run on the ice until he was worn out. He was about 100 pounds and could put his paws on my shoulders when he stood up, and he was a jumper until he got older. We would throw snowballs in the air and he would leap improbably high to catch them, then land and sneeze and shake his head to clear it of the snow.
One night under a full moon we ran him down to the lake to play. He ran and went in circles and slipped and panted, so clearly enjoying being a dog that it made us glad just to watch him. Matt called him to get his attention and threw a snowball straight up.
Gorm's ears went up. His tail went up. His eyes got big as he watched the snowball go up, stop, and hang in midair.
Gorm waited. And waited. He watched it, neck straining and nose pointing to the sky, quivering with anticipation. He had watched the snowball, the moon caught his eye, and his little doggie brain got confused. He waited for the moon to fall.
The snowball landed a little behind him, and he leaped, twisted in midair and pounced on it, while Matt and I fell over howling and went over to rub him down, praising him and telling him he'd catch it someday. And that's how I imagine him now, ears up, mouth open, catching the moon in his teeth and with a face full of cold powder, leaping and catching it again and again, and laughing.