Four years ago, we were anticipating the long, drawn out process as Flyer reached the end.
Mother spent four days with me, adding comfort, and holding back her own tears. Friends and students stopped to visit for "that one last time." Flyer had bounced back several times from previous illnesses, including a near-death bout with pancreatitis. However, this time, we all knew this was it.
One afternoon, we spent a few hours lying next to Wilbur Wright's grave.
The first day I got Flyer in 2001, we stopped at Woodland Cemetery for our first walk together. The tiny Flyer scampered out of the car, and zigzagged through the headstones, and suddenly stopped at Wilbur Wright's grave. All succeeding visits were the same.
Even this last visit with Wilbur was unchanged. While Flyer needed assistance navigating her way through the maze of stones, she aimed directly toward the Wright Family plot.
In 2003, with a newly published book, I discovered Wilbur Wright, while demonstrating the flying machine in France, 1908-1909, he had a pet dog which was named Flyer.
Eerie though it may be, it's always been a bit reassuring to ponder this connection.
On our way home, we stopped at Carillon Park for one final walk past the carillon bell tower, and onto the vast lawn that was the scene of many playful romps with my little pal.
Flyer passed away on the last Monday morning of July 2013. I held her in my arms, and Chief laid with his head on her hip and his paw draped over her waist.
I miss several loved ones, but there's nothing to ease the ache of Flyer's absence.
What a great little pal….