Dogs and the moon; we have a complicated relationship. Wolves, dogs and other animals evolved under the influence of the moon. It watched over us at night, exerted its subtle influence on our tides, and used its reflected light to guide the hunt of our nocturnal ancestors. In mythology, Hecate, Greek goddess of the moon kept the company of dogs. In Norse mythology, a pair of dogs chased the sun and the moon, bringing on the alternation of night and day. My own interest in the moon was stimulated when I heard that it was made of cheese, a claim that was eventually refuted by Neil Armstrong; though I'm not sure if I trust the government on this, and would like to taste it myself. Do wolves and dogs bay at the moon because we have some mysterious, intimate co-dependent relationship with it? If I approach the question with self introspection, I find the answer to be no. We're not really baying at the moon. Wolves just happen to point their heads upward when they howl at night because their sounds carry farther if they project their song out into the night sky. The acoustics are better, and allow us to communicate up to 6 miles in the forest. Our howls provide other wolves in our pack with information on our size, location, the progress of the hunt. Sometimes we just feel like singing. Did the moon inspire all of this behavior? Not that I know of. Dogs and wolves aren't poets, or songwriters. At least that's true for most of us. Still there's always a chance that the tidal pull causes minute changes in our chemistry, that influences our biology, which changes our psychology and then our behavior. The moon has been associated with many moods; with lunacy and looniness, with sadness and irrationality, but also with gaiety and dancing. Who knows what nefarious influences the moon may exert on unsuspecting creatures of the night. Wolfmen, insanity, insomnia and depression; this is the dark side of the moon. Blame it on midnight. Shame on the Moon.
The moon sometimes imposes a particularly dramatic presence in the sky above. Is it boasting of its power over us?It's reflection on the water has inspired meditation and song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flm4xcOyiCo
Dancin in the Moonlight, I'll meet you after midnight. I suggest that these dancers keep a wary eye out for wolves.
On the other hand, maybe the howls are providing the music for their gyrations. It's a marvelous night for a moondance! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-kLeQkJRxU