Last night I dreamed that I had lost Tess. Tess is my Aunt Betsy’s chocolate lab. I was in Illinois, and I’d lost Tess. Betsy does not live in Illinois.

“When was the last time anyone saw her? The other dog’s black, you should be able to tell the difference.”
“Did we have her when we left Aunt Pam’s? Did we leave her in the car?”
“Can you please call and ask Aunt Pam if she’s seen Tess? I mean, not that she goes outside to notice, but still. Maybe.”
“Well, if I have to drive her back to New York, I can. I’ll find the time. I’ll make it work.”

It was an incredibly surreal blending of family, of responsibility and loss and failure and obligation and fear… In the end, though, I found Tess and we were magically back in Hawkeye where she belonged. So… at least my stress dreams resolve themselves? That’s gotta be something. If only the solutions to real life problems were as easy as “fade out, cut, scene opens at Silver Lake.”

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