Mozart was from Maine Lab Rescue, and he was the family’s first dog.

Mo had breathed new life into our home and family. He loved being outdoors. His face captured the look of wonder that we all felt whenever we stepped out into a Maine day.

On this November morning, the wind blew cold. Dad had taken Mo out for a walk, but the wind quickly brought them both back inside.

Or so Dad thought — when he turned back, five months of puppy rearing was gone, as was Mo.

Immediately, the search was on to find our lost boy. Dad jumped on Facebook and posted a missing dog poster; it had 500 likes before I had put on my coat, and soon we had several leads to follow. First up, check the neighborhood. Second, check every side road. Third, follow the leads.

One lead was in a neighboring town. It seemed far-fetched, but the description fit. Dad began knocking on doors, and people were timidly opening them to see a 6-foot-3, 250-pound man asking if they had seen his family’s puppy. The neighbors were quick to shake their heads and close their doors.

One neighbor let us roam in the large field behind their home. The grass under our feet had frozen, the light of the full moon cast shadows. Then, at the edge of the field, I saw him. “There he is!” I shouted, tears running down my frozen cheeks.

I began to run, but the shadows quickly fooled those of us who were believers. It was just sticks and leaves pushed up against a wire fence. Expectation turned to realization. We were frozen and out of leads, but in my heart I felt that good deeds would bring Mo home. Dad got back online, and Maine Lab Rescue had alerted animal control, who asked us to get food to bait a cage and await our puppy’s return. Obediently, I raced up to the store and purchased cans of dog food.

The full moon was my only companion on that cold November night. Quickly I climbed the stairs to who knows where and left the bag of cans. One kind deed, I kept repeating in my head. One kind deed will bring him home. I didn’t really believe the food was for Mo, but my heart had grown. If it saved one animal’s life that night, I would be happy.

We resigned ourselves to leaving food out for Mo, and reluctantly began making dinner.  A sudden movement on the deck caught Dad’s attention. A black circle appeared on the window pane.

It was Mo’s nose.

Dad opened the door and welcomed our boy home. The celebration began. Cheers and tears. It was too good to be true. Mozart felt the same.

It’s a story we have told over and over to whoever would listen. During our annual Thanksgiving dinner with all the family, we talk a lot about that day, in early November, when the wind blew cold.

Read more stories from Maine at www.pressherald.com/meetinghouse

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