Your Pet Loss Stories

'Fletcher, My Shiney Black Dog'

by Summer
(Australia)

The day I met Fletcher, was at an animal shelter. My old girl Sugar, who I had since I was 4, had passed away at 20, and I wanted my son to grow up with a dog like I had with her. I looked around, none of them were deemed suitable for families. I asked the shelter manager "can you please just find me a dog that's perfect for kids?" she gave a knowing smile and said "Fletcher".


He was about to be put down at another shelter, and someone rescued him and took him to the one I went to. He wasn't on show. If I hadn't of asked I would have ever known him. But it was meant to be. From that day on, he wasn't just "Fletcher the shelter dog" he was Fletcher Douglas. He was family. He was my shadow. He was my baby dog.

Fletcher was, an amazing little ball of pure happiness. Australian Kelpies would do anything for their owners. Fletcher dog went beyond that. He was fun, and funny, and smart. He was a nanny to my son, a guardian, a play mate, a counciler, and my best friend. He knew everyone in the family by name and loved playing hide and seek. He'd zoom around my yard like a bolt of black lightening.

He'd howl "hello" when ever anyone came home, even if they had just been to the letterbox. He loved us that much, that even that 30 seconds apart was exciting when we came back. He was just pure happiness, wrapped in shiney black fur.

On friday nights we play music, and Fletcher's song was Cherry Cherry by Neil Diamond. He'd go nuts every time it was on, even if he was asleep he'd hear it and come racing out to dance!

He started to get sick about a month ago. He was only 3. We tried different vets, different tablets, specialist, nothing worked. Slowly I started to see everything that made him, him, drain away. He wouldn't eat. He'd only drink from my hand. He was only trying to stay alive because I asked him to. That's what kelpies
do, anything for you. I tried every option I had. But the megaesophagus and pnemonia were stronger than my will.

I threw up when the vet told me I had to put him down. I couldn't imagine my life without him. We saved each other, he and I. I had post traumatic stress when I got him and he had taught me to feel safe again. And now I was signing a form to let somebody kill my best friend. But he was so sick, I could see in his face that he had had enough fighting. he'd lost a third of his body weight. He looked at me as if to say "Mum, I'm so tired".

I played him Cherry Cherry. The vet probably thought I was nuts. But this was Fletcher's last 5 minutes, not his. I hugged him and kissed his perfect face and told him how much I loved him and how blessed I was to have him in my life, what a privilege it was to be his human. I told him he was a good boy, and I meant it. After I felt his last breath, I couldn't leave him. I just wanted one more hug, one more pat, to feel his velvet ears again.


****

That's you, my baby, being you <3

Fletcher, you changed us. You are everything that a human should be, loyal and loving and compassionate, and selfless... but you were better. You were my dog. You are LOVED.

I sleep with your collar still, it's only been 5 days. I miss your spotty black and white paws waiting for me to come home under the gate, I miss you, my big 23 kilo kelpie thinking that you were a lap dog and sitting on my lap up right when I type. I miss hearing your claws on the floor boards, I miss you howling "heeeeeeerroooooooo!!". I miss your perfect face, and your love.

Thank you, my shiney black dog, for being you. I'm so sorry I couldn't fix it, I tried so hard, and I know you did too. But I'll see you in the next life bubba. You're perfect <3

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