Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dog Prayers

I got home from Miami this afternoon. I had spent a couple of days at a law conference with my partner A in Miami, and of course you have to ask the question, why would anyone willingly spend time at a law conference if they did not have to, and the answer would be, because it's a free trip to Miami, stupid. A free trip to Miami, if it's not in July or August, is worth all of the talk of case facts and arguments over the finer points of the law. My partner had to deliver several seminars on just these topics, while I lounged beside the pool. Since A is a government lawyer, and not one of those highly paid defense lawyers, the perks are few and far between, so I don't have many chances to play the wife of leisure. I had to endure an evening of lawyer talk at a fabulous resort, but I also got the chance to take my wife out to dinner in South Beach, where we sat under palm trees far away from the stress of DC, and ate warm chocolate chip cookies with mint chocolate chip ice cream for dessert.

Not a bad trade.

During my stay in Miami, I got a phone call from friend Jules from Australia. She has recently relocated to Seattle, which is a hell of a lot closer than Melbourne. I don't know about you, but I always meet some fabulous people when I travel, and I always wish that I will keep these friends for a lifetime. I was particularly fond of my friends from Down Under, since I had spent nearly three months there, and practically gone native in that time. As the years went by, and e-mails became fewer and farther between, I gave up the hope that I would ever meet up with my mates from the other hemisphere. But Jules is here, and a trip to Seattle is entirely do-able and so my hope of keeping contact with friends from far-away places is not so far-fetched.

I got home around two, and immediately sorted through the mail, and cleaned out the fridge. I was only gone for three days, but it is a habit of mine to clean the fridge when I get home from travel, because in the past I have often had some unpleasant surprises when returning from vacation, such as getting up in the morning after a red-eye flight and pouring some really foul smelling milk into my Frosted Flakes and shoveling a huge spoonfull into my mouth before my olfactory glands were fully functioning. My first act upon arriving home was to discard all dairy products, and then go to the Safeway for something edible. It was surprising to me that even in my short absence, there were so many nasty things in the fridge. There were a couple of cartons of milk, and more than a few plastic wrapped packets that looked like my science experiments from high school. And even though one of those Saran Wrapped Wonders might have held the cure for cancer, I bravely chucked them into the kitchen trash, not wanting to take the risk of food poisoning, and the unpleasant prospect of having the heaves when I had to work in the morning.

I opened a beer and dialed my friend Jules in Seattle. She was after all of these years, just exactly as I had left her in Sydney, funny, happy, and completely real, which is the thing that I love and miss about all of my friends in Australia. She had arrived in the US a few weeks ago, and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of her stuff. We spent a bit of time catching up, and planning to meet up in Seattle in August. During the conversation, I learned that Jules' longtime companion, Doof the Amazing Oz Dog had gone missing on the farm and missed the trip to Seattle. Jules was on the verge of something very un-Australian, crying, and it distressed me in the extreme. I got off the phone with Jules, booked a flight to Seattle in August, and did something very out of character.

Okay, I have never admitted to believing in a god, but I have recently taken to carrying a rosary. It's a Catholic thing, and I'm not sure why, I'm still skeptical about the existence of a Devine Being, but I figure, these days, we mortals can use all the help we can get. My rosary popped out of my suitcase tangled in a few knots, and I almost stepped on it on my way to clean out the fridge. After hearing my friend Jules and her distress about Doof, I picked up the rosary, and said a few quick prayers for the lost canine. I have no idea if the prayers helped at all, but I get this feeling that Doof never wanted to go to Seattle, and is chasing some hot gurl dog in the woods, rather than sit at a Starbucks on a leash.

Doof is waiting for Jules at home, just like I waited for her here.

And everything is right in the universe.