Becky Says...

February 2002

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February 22

I spent some time today letting several friends know that no one I knew had been involved in a freak accident yesterday. An attorney from Chapel Hill was killed when a construction crane somehow managed to drop a caisson onto his car as he was driving on one of the nearby interstate highways.

In this day of news spreading quickly and people reading news from far away places online, I was afraid that if I waited till tonight to get in touch with them, some out-of-town friends who do keep up with news from this part of the state might think the deceased was one of "my" attorneys, and worry that I was upset. I have some wonderfully supportive friends, and I hate to make any of them worry unduly.

At the same time, it's hard to write such a note without sounding cold and unconcerned. I am sorry for the death, and extend condolences to the man's loved ones, but he was not someone I knew at all.

We are into some heavy-duty work at the law firm. This means some late days there, and that sometimes things don't go according to schedule. For instance, Zoe felt the need to remind me late this afternoon that we hadn't had my lunch yet. And she was more than ready to have her part. She had had to work a long time (in dog minutes) with a client who came slightly early for her appointment with one of the attorneys.

It was lovely to watch Zoe at her office-dog best. She came out into the lobby to greet the client, and on learning that the client would welcome a chance to have a closer encounter, came over and stood patiently while the client patted her head. The client sat down, indicating that Zoe was welcome to follow her, so Zoe moved over to be beside her.

Zoe also let the client decide when patting time was over, which was about the same moment the client wanted some coffee. Zoe knows that hot coffee and patting the dog are not a good mixture.

Later, when the client and the attorney were in the conference room, finishing up paperwork, Zoe went in and stayed quietly with them, just in case they needed some canine witnessing of the signatures or anything.

For her efforts with this client, Zoe got an extra treat from Aunt Becky when I finally did take time to eat. Sometimes, I actually share whatever I'm eating, if it's something that Zoe can have. But my secret weapon is a plastic bag with several small dog treats in it. The bag's supply is replenished from the main office supply as needed. Zoe is perfectly content to have one of the treats, broken into severeral pieces and fed individually, on those days when I'm eating something inappropriate to give dogs. For her the meal is a social interaction as much as a food event.

But I do wonder if she thinks I have dog biscuits for lunch several times a week.

Text © copyright 2000-2002 Becky