How Skai still finds ways to visit me
Dear Mr. Skai,
I can’t sleep tonight.
It’s been more than two weeks since you and I had a big conversation. I’ve had small chats with you every day and every hour since, but the last long conversation we had was about two weeks ago when we chatted about letting go of someone you love.
One might think I’d feel your presence less as time progresses, but the opposite is true. I wake up in the middle of the night, worrying about you and missing you. Since childhood, I’ve had nightmares and sleepwalking episodes. Once, a long time ago, I had a major one and ran through a glass door and almost died.
But when you came along, you helped me be safe and for some magical reason also decreased the frequency of nightmares. This is what made you a special dog and that’s why you were allowed in the cabin of airplanes as my service dog to fly to Maui, Paris, Prague and London. It sounds glamorous, doesn't it, but I think you liked Canada and our forests the most.
I usually collected air mile points to be able to fly you business or first class and you had no idea how lucky you were. Snoozing on the pillow, not knowing that most dogs can’t come with their people for trips. You were lucky but you also deserved it. Quite often the pilot would come out on a break to say hi. You, Mr.Skai, were a little doggie celebrity, but you didn’t care. You were never cocky or stuck up. It was your gentle soul and sweetness that magnetized people.
The past three weeks have been up and down. I have not been doing badly, considering the circumstances. I miss you and then I also feel like I need a break from missing you. I feel you everywhere, but I miss you being physically by my side. Sixteen years of having you come almost everywhere with me is a long time.
I miss hugging you in the morning and tucking you in at night.
I thought going away and visiting my family in Europe would be a good way to get away from it all. In fact, right now I am on a flight back to Europe, writing this letter because I can’t sleep and you, little monkey, are on my mind. I feel you right here under my seat, wondering what the fuss is and why I’m sad.
You see, I’m not exactly certain about the afterlife. Some of the other dog lovers in our community are so sure, but how can we be sure, for sure, right? I like to play with the idea though because it makes missing you more bearable. The other day, I found this video of you running in the meadows and it gave me an idea about what dogs do in heaven.
It makes me feel happy watching you, how you used to be and hoping that is how you are now. But some days, I feel heaven is only where my mind re-creates you, where I feel you. Here, there and everywhere. No location, no meadow, just everywhere.
Unlike some people, I’ve always believed spiders bring good luck and when they drop and dangle right in front of my face, I take it as a good sign. In 1988, just before my final veterinary college exams, I had several little spiders dropping right in front of my face and then, a few days later, I graduated with honors. Other times, I imagine spiders are messengers from the loved ones who died.
I’m talking about this because for some strange reason, there is a tiny spider living in our bathroom in Vancouver and he was dangling in front of my face before leaving for the airport. Was that you trying to connect? If it was you, you dangled, then you climbed on my hand and then went off to build a web right in front of me. Busy, busy, just like the old days – a typical border collie! You loved having jobs.
I left and when I came back in the bathroom you were parading in the sink, perhaps having a little drink? Am I crazy? Whatever! They say based on the principles of quantum physics, we create our reality and that there are infinite versions of reality existing on different planes. If that’s true, I’m keen to build a reality with you in it. You as a spider, you as a crow flying right in front of my car, you as the wind and rain and the two trees that we got from the people at Dogs Naturally Magazine and our neighbors in your honor.
In my world, you are everywhere Mr.Skai and perhaps because your surname is ‘Wanstofly’ you are now with me, flying to visit our family in Prague. As you know, Prague is one of the most amazing places we’ve been together. When I was growing up in what was formerly Czechoslovakia, we were not allowed to travel and I thought that all cities and places around the world were nicer and better. But when the Eastern Block fell and I got to travel, I realized Prague is a very special place. Many buildings and bridges are more than 700 years old and the streets are colorful and happy in contrast with the hues of North American grayness.
In the 1300s, Prague was a part of the Roman Empire and the Emperor, Charles IV, made Prague his main residence. It’s amazing how much sensitivity and mastery the builders put into creating the city. It continues to blow tourists away.
I took you to Prague once. We walked on Charles’ Bridge, the one where medieval builders put eggs in the mortar to make it stronger. It must’ve worked because the bridge is still standing and it looks more beautiful than ever. I hope you don’t mind if I share a picture with our community here. They seem to miss you too and enjoy seeing your photos.
Going through photos is my main therapy these days. I have so many photos! Some of them are completely new discoveries and I love spending my free time organizing them and putting them together.
You are so photogenic! If you were a human, you’d be of Brad Pitt’s or George Clooney’s caliber. I know, you were always very modest, but as I said before, when you were running on the beach, it was fun to see people's faces light up as you ran by.
I also love seeing your picture on GreenMin. You know I take GreenMin because dogs and people need the minerals they aren’t getting in today’s depleted food.. I write about it in Chapter 5 of our Health and Longevity Course. I say ‘our’ because you’ve always helped me with writing and teaching. Moving my fingers along, it’s always felt kind of effortless and now it is getting even easier.
It seems like you’re asking me now where we are heading. First, we will surprise your Grandma Georgina, who is expecting only Hana, your aunt. We’ve told Hana we are coming too because one thing has become clearer than ever. Spending time with those we love is the most important and most rewarding part of life.
After Czech, we will head to visit auntie Eva from Austria. Do you remember that she spent a year in my practice to learn about holistic medicine? Now she lives in Graz, Austria helping dogs, cats and other creatures at her holistic veterinary practice. After that, we will take a train and I’m sure you’ll hop on with us because you love trains.
Do you remember when we took you on the super fast Eurostar train from Paris to London? One of our friends, uncle Lorne, sometimes teased me jokingly about being “Euro trash” and my reply usually was that he had it wrong. It is EuroStar, not Euro trash!
You too are my star, shining brighter than ever and becoming a little bit of a legend, Mr. Skai! I’d like to take another opportunity to thank all the people in our community for the continuous support, gifts, drawings and photos that come our way! Thanks to you, I feel the most love ever coming my way. How did you pull that off?
Ok, ok, you are asking where else we are heading? I miss dogs. In fact, I think I’m becoming a dog stalker. Every time I see one, I have to say hi. It’s crazy. But then, I know we will wait for some time before asking you to send us another dog. It seems that you already told me what his name will be but for now, I will keep it a secret if that's okay.
To get my dog fix, I plan to take tons of photos of the dogs of Europe. Dogs of Dusseldorf, dogs of Prague, dogs of Austria, dogs of Florence and perhaps I can put together a photo series on my website.
As you can see, I’m not sitting still. Keeping busy is the best way to chase away the thoughts of missing you like crazy. The other day, we got your paw prints back from the animal memorial center and imagine, I also got a necklace from one dog lover in the community. It has a chamber where I can put a little piece of you, your ashes.
There you go, I start out pretty brave and strong and now tears are in my eyes again. Me crying on planes…. I’m an expert in that by now.
Sending you much love,
Your dad aka Dr. D
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM