How the Right Words Can Steer You Through Tough Times: Small Moments of Simple Serendipity

Scott Stavrou
4 min readJan 14, 2018

When dog is your co-pilot, sometimes the little things leave a big impact…

Sullivan, the Wonder-Dog (named after Richard Russo’s protagonist in “Nobody’s Fool)

My wife, myself, and Sully, the world’s greatest dog, had been living in Prague.

We were blessed in many ways: we had our youth, our own business, I had just signed a representation contract with one of the top literary agents in New York and my novel was being rather fervently fought over.

We had moved back to the picturesque city of Prague where we’d met some years before. This time to live more permanently. And with the third member of our tribe.

Prague, pictured from Letna, Sully’s second favorite park

We had a beautiful apartment in a restored baroque building that nestled up against the sprawling tree-lined hills of Prague’s Stromovka Park, which was ideal for long walks with Sully.

Sully poses for his sculpture

All was well with our little world. Right up until it wasn’t when I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease and required a series of surgeries that necessitated the counsel of numerous specialists and rushing back home to America.

My wife and I hastily packed our things and purchased a large dog carrier because these were the days before one could get away with any beloved furry family member being a therapy dog and he had to make the long flight back home in cargo.

Mixed with the distress about my own condition were the worries about our coddled high-strung Brittany Spaniel and how he would handle the long transatlantic flight.

Friends ferried us and our apprehensive pooch to the airport, where there was a great deal of consternation as to how to charge for Sully’s flight, which ended up, by weight, costing far more than either of our own tickets.

While our friends waited some ways away with our dog Sully, we found ourselves holding up the line, embattled in controversy with the ticket agent.

Scott Stavrou

Writer (Losing Venice, a novel) & Writing Coach | American abroad | PEN Hemingway Award | |