Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Across the miles: friends in far away places

We live in an amazing time.

I've been down lately. It seems like life has presented 101 obstacles to my dog training: sudden flat tires on the training rig; weather; my health. And, after a not-so-great report card about my health today (more on that later), I was feeling pretty down.

I'm ashamed to admit, this week, I've been struggling to give thanks. Feeling pretty negative, I turned to a friend who lives 3632.88 miles away from me, almost quite literally halfway around the globe in Chatanika, Alaska.

Meet Jodi Bailey. I've written about her before.

Jodi and her dog, Jake, after winning the Gin-Gin 200 Sled Dog Race

I first met Jodi via the Internet, on Myspace. You can view her Myspace page here

At first, our conversations were mostly about dogs. Gradually, Jodi and I shared more and more. We began to realize we had many, many things in common.

I happen to love camels and once held the dubious title of "camel handler" at a local zoo. Imagine my surprise when Jodi posted this picture of herself on an Internet social networking site:

A small photo, I realize, but if you can't see it, it is a picture of Jodi receiving kisses from a camel

Not only does Jodi run dogs, she also runs, bikes, loves Bob Dylan, works in a University and claims the Grateful Dead is the "soundtrack to a large part of her life."

She says she runs by herself when the weather is too warm to run dogs. And run she does: she completed her first marathon in '08

It was during my hospital stay last summer that Jodi and I really started becoming close. She reached out to me during a time of darkness and isolation.

Tonight, when I was down, she reached out to me again. From almost 4,000 miles away.

Isn't it funny how the world works, bringing two people who would be very unlikely to find each other together from across the globe?

I was struggling with finding something to be thankful for on this night when I felt so frustrated and alone. But the universe intervened in an email, out of the blue, from Jodi.

It also intervened as I tucked my two kiddos in bed. I was scribbling negative vibes into a notebook, and stumbled on a happy little drawing done by my five year old.

It reminded me to be thankful for my two girls.

It's funny how the world works, isn't it? It keeps us in check, reminds us to not just survive, but live, to not just look, but see.

As Jodi said tonight, "yup sometimes things just, well, click."

Indeed. As the Buddha said, “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky” Thank you, Jodi.


  1. Sorry to hear you've been down. What's up with your health these days? Love that last quote the Buddha! That's a hard one to believe when you're feeling blue. But I'm quite sure it's true.

  2. And now you know someone who knows Bob Dylan's drummer.

    Hope that helps in some weird nonsensical way.

    Now burn those negative thoughts along with the paper you wrote it on.


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