A Fish called Splashy

A Fish called Splashy

Sheryl Dunn and I had dinner with Steve Hodak a few nights ago. Steve’s wife is the late Natalie Smith-Blakeslee, a medium and local celebrity here in the Erie area. While we were eating Steve reminded me of a funny incident involving a deceased goldfish.

It happened when Natalie invited me to do readings with her at a retreat in Ohio for bereaved parents which was, unfortunately, cancelled due to lack of registrations.

Luckily, Steve saved what I wrote about what happened involving a fish named Splashy in an old blog of mine –



Goldfish CPR and a reading!

Since the retreat wasn’t taking place, Natalie, Steve, their daughter Alexa (Ally) and I spent the afternoon at the campgrounds. Natalie cooked up hamburgers and hot dogs, and served a great dessert.

While we were eating, Denise, a bereaved mom and friend of Natalie’s stopped by with a goldfish she and her fiance won at a fair. They gave the fish to Ally, who quickly named the fish, “Splashy.”
Well, after transferring Splashy from the plastic bag it was in to a Tupperware container, the fish died.
(Pausing for a moment of silence)
Ally who is seven years old, didn’t take it well. She started crying and insisting that Steve do something to save the fish. So Steve did. He started giving the fish CPR. Yes, he brought the fish up to his mouth and blew into it, giving it a couple of gentle pokes with his index finger after each breath.
(Pausing a moment to let you to get a visual of this.)
Well, when Natalie saw this she tried to hold her breath to keep from laughing out loud, but tears started streaming down her face. Ally saw this and ran over to her, distressed about her fish, demanding to know what was wrong with Natalie.
“Nothing honey. I’m just sad about Splashy,” Natalie told her and then covered her face. Between Natalie’s tears, laughter that sounded like sobs coming from behind her hands, and her shoulders going up and down, Ally believed that Natalie really was grieving the passing of Splashy. Ally ran back to see how Steve was coming along with his resuscitation efforts.
Medium readings are meant to help people who are grieving move through their grief, so I thought, why not help a young girl who’s grieving the passing of her goldfish? I quietly asked Natalie to confirm the fish’s name for me. “Ally … Ally, honey,” I said to her as gently, and as seriously, as I could (which wasn’t at all easy for me), “I’m hearing a name. The name I’m hearing is ‘Splashy.’ Do you know who this is?”
“That’s my fish,” Ally sobbed. Keep in mind, Ally’s mom is a medium, so readings are not a new to her.
“Oh … well … Splashy wants me to tell you he’s okay, and he’s in fishy heaven. He also wants you to know that he has a sister named ‘Goldy.'” I looked over at Natalie and Steve, who both were covering their faces with their hands. It was all I could do to keep from laughing myself, again. “If Denise,” I continued, “goes to a pet store and looks carefully, she’ll be able to find Goldy. Splashy told me he wants you to be a mommy to his sister. She needs a mommy. Okay?”
“Okay,” Ally said. Of course, she wanted Denise to go find “Goldy” right then and there. Luckily, Natalie, Steve and Denise were able to convince Ally that Monday was a better day to find Splashy’s sister. After a proper burial, Ally was calm, and was soon happily riding her bike up and down the campgrounds.
“Thank you,” Natalie whispered to me with tears still in her eyes.
Later, when we were chiding Steve about giving a fish CPR, he said, “It worked in the Dr. Doolittle movie with a hamster. I figured, why wouldn’t work on a fish?”
Good times.
Ok, yes, I Dr. Steve, did attempt to revive a fish. My seven year old was truamatized and I had to think and act quickly even though I knew it would have never worked, at least she saw that dad cared enough to try and help poor Splashy.

And yes she did get 10 more fish which all died also. Goldfish just don’t seem to last long in my house and no I didnt try CPR on any of the others, just promised I would get more. Dr. Steve


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