“I am Michael. My name means who is like God. A tough name to live up to. … My message is quite simple. Believe in God and love each other. Difficult at times, with all that goes on around us and to us, but it works. It’s a good way to conduct your life. … I hear the birds, the water and I see the prairie blue sky and feel the sun. There’s a nice breeze and the trees are whispering.”
The Story Behind Mikey, the Mine Detection Dog.
Mikey, named in memory of Michael, son of Len and Linda Nicolas, brother to Marc and Matthieu, will be deployed with Handicap International’s demining program in Mozambique. Michael (Mikey) passed away at age 17 on March 16, 2009. He was a brain injured child from age of 3 weeks and survived whatever life threw his way until he could no more.
In February 2010, it all got connected…
Cpl. James Hayward Arnal, who died in action July 18, 2008, had worked for Len Nicolas at Nygard prior to joining the forces. As well, Len Nicolas is 1970 Graduate of University of Winnipeg. When Len heard from an associate who knew Wendy Hayward (CLMF Director) that two Mine Detection Dogs (MDDs) were sponsored and in training (Jimmy, named after Cpl. James Hayward Arnal, and Wesley, sponsored by the University of Winnipeg), he launched a campaign to raise money in memory of Michael. All funds were raised before March 16, 2010, thanks to relatives, co-workers, and friends that were touched by Michael.
It so happens that MDD Mikey was born in May 2009!
“Michael was a remarkable young man having endured challenges every minute of every day of his life … yet all he could do was love. That was his purpose in life … wealthier than any basketball star, he was a winged messenger of love. I believe he lived up to his name and continues to live up to that name … especially through Mikey!”