My dog Igloo and I launch into space from the front pasture at my parents' house. It's nighttime, and the sky is a dark blue with the lights of the Milky Way dotted across the expanse. Actually, it's less of a launch and more of a jump. After we pass the atmosphere, I can't tell how much progress we're making because there's barely a breeze. It's black around us scattered with distant stars, but I still see the glow of the Earth creeping up from behind us.
I look at Igloo and pet his head. I look down at the Earth—round and innocent—and it's slowly drifting away. I notice a red string tied to my ankle and his ankle that go all the way back down to somewhere on the surface of our planet. I look up toward Mars, far in the distance, and then back to Iggy. He rolls over so I can rub his belly while we travel.
I wake up.