By MICK HOLIEN
Rare indeed was the sudden velocity of the storm that swept through the Flathead just before 8 p.m. and I just had got my pickup in the garage and came down the hallway only to see slightly illuminated just by the fading sunlight the large canvas picture of my deceased yellow lab Skyy, a present from Sandy, sparkling in the corner like a flashlight was shining on it. Surreal
Skyy hated storms and hid in the bathroom or next to my bed and this was like she bid farewell six hours after her death to let me know she’d crossed the Rainbow Bridge but would always be looking over me with a thunderous crack.
I hope you will allow I can’t yet describe Skyy’s passing without breaking into tears even though she let me know it was her time and long ago had my permission to romp into her next life with my assurances when she was ready.
I have similar challenges trying to stand up and she always watched with concern seeming to almost will me to my feet much like I did for her. But Tuesday her back side refused to cooperate and while she could walk after we got her up she couldn’t get up without assistance.
When will you know, I had asked in a program some time ago. Indeed it was time.
Sure there will be those who won’t understand the feelings that some of us have for our pets but my dogs have always been family members.
Skyy understood my every word since coming into my life almost 14 years ago. We grew old together, her not many years now older than I.
I really wanted to get her into the Flathead River water at her favorite spot one more time but it wasn’t to be and while Bob and Krisco were able to get her to her feet by putting a towel under her torso her quality of life roaming Holien acres had diminished to the point where she’d rather sleep most of the day.
She did love people food and while not a picky dry dog food eater, she preferred part of what I was eating which we shared that morning.
I don’t think I will ever get up all her hair in the house or the truck and that’s certainly all right. Some will share a spot with the clay footprint Dr. McKee made.
Her passing was peaceful, dignified, solemn and quick.
Many times when someone asks me about In My Opinion, they’d cautiously inquire about Skyy like those of us who prefer the dark side of the microphone; she enjoyed her own invisible radio reputation.
And the kind words, thoughts, and reactions more than 500 of you shared were amazing, helpful and therapeutic. Thanks to the magic of editing, a bit easier than the cut and splice of my early radio days I was able to get some of this to you in words.
Again corny to some I’m sure but my previous observations of my sensitive emotional state should provide the explanation not needed here.
Will there be another many have inquired. I think that is it for me since I see her at every turn and still find myself sharing my thoughts because she never made me justify my beliefs.
And I have the enhanced photo Karen did for me and of course Sandy’s portrait.
The storm is fading and the thunder diminishing as I am ready to live along with her memory.
Let’s face it death is inevitable and even with animals predictable. That doesn’t make it any easier does it?