MIAGD: Flyer and Wilbur

MIAGD: Make it a great day

I’ve never been able to explain the relationship my dog, Flyer, had with Wilbur Wright at his gravesite.

On a warm November Sunday afternoon in 2000, I traveled out to a farm near Xenia Ohio intending to only check out puppies listed in an advertisement.

That was my original intent.

Instead, I left with this blue-eyed girl dressed in black with white accents.

I immediately named her Flyer in honor of the Wright Brothers from Dayton, Ohio.

Her dad, Caesar, was a full springer spaniel.  Flyer’s mother, Portia, was a sleek, beautiful black lab with large blue eyes from her husky mother.  Little Flyer had the playfulness of her dad, the intelligence, and poise of her mother.

As I retraced my course back home I watched the secure little rascal.  She didn’t seem to miss her four siblings and appeared quite content.  Flyer was so tiny she could not see out the windows.  Eventually, she looked over at me, studying me.  It seemed that at the moment she was convinced of our partnership.  She walked across the front seat and placed her head on my thigh and slept.

Before returning to Centerville we stopped at Woodland Cemetery to visit the Wright family’s plot.

I opened the door and Flyer scampered out of the car, aimed at a mission.

Her destination, after weaving around a mass of gravestones, was Wilbur Wright’s grave. She sat as though on command.

It seemed a bit peculiar, but I didn’t place much weight on the activity.  However, every bi-weekly visit for our hike, Flyer never failed to visit Wilbur.

I learned several years later that Wilbur Wright, while working in France, had a dog named Flyer.

For thirteen years we regularly visited Woodland Cemetery and Flyer never missed a visit with Wilbur.

Flyer lost her sight the last three years of her life after a nasty battle with pancreatitis that nearly took her life. Still, with leash-guided assistance to keep from smacking her head into tombstones, she always sniffed her way to Wilbur.

A few weeks before she died in late July 2013, I took Flyer for one last road trip to Orville Wright’s home, Hawthorn Hill, Carillon Park and Woodland Cemetery.

At Wilbur’s grave the old girl, rather than sitting, laid down.

She was tired.

At times she was coherent and happy, still fighting to be in the moment – my moment.

Still, there were those times I knew she was waiting for my final command, “It’s okay, Flyer, you can soar on to Rainbow Bridge.  Daddy will be just fine.  You’ve taken such good care of me and the four boys. Go play near the bridge until Daddy gets there.”

I laid down in the thick, cool grass a few feet away from Flyer, watching her and committing this moment, this last visit, to memory.

Our normal 5-10 minute visit lasted over 90 minutes. I knew it was her last visit with Wilbur and I honestly believe she did, too.

I’ll never understand the how’s or why’s with this relationship but maybe there’s no need to understand.

It was simply beautiful.

Make it a great day, Folks!

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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