This is Fletch. Fletch was 2 years old when he came to live with us in 2002. He was supposed to be my son's dog, but ended up being my delightful, big, sweet, stinky baby. Fletch was a very big guy - about 110 lbs but not overweight. He was smart and wanted so badly to be a lap-dog. He loved to snuggle. He was a gentle beast in every way. He passed away during Christmas 2008. It was very unexpected as I didn't even know the big guy was sick - he hid it so well or maybe I just didn't want to see it. It broke my heart to have to kennel him on Christmas Eve 2008 because we were going out of town and it was one of the few places the big guy just couldn't go with us; I kept telling Bruce that I felt just awful that Fletch wasn't going to be with us for the holidays. 2 days later the vet called to tell me Fletch was seriously down with lung cancer. We left Atlanta right away but it's an 8 hour drive and Fletch died 2 hours after the vet's phone call. Not for an instant when I left him at the kennel did I think I'd never see him again.
Well, last night I had a most delightful dream. I was sitting on my living room floor and had called Fletch to me so I could put his collar on. He came up to me and sat down, then scootched in real close which is what he would do when he wanted a hug. I wrapped my arms around his big neck and could smell his oily skin, feel the roughness of his fur, feel the substance and warmth of his body. We sat like that for a long time but gradually the dream faded. I did not want to get out of bed, trying to keep that feeling alive for a little while longer but eventually reality called and Charleston was asking to go outside for his morning constitutional, reminding me that it was a new and wonderful day.
It was a delightful way to start my day, with an unexpected but most welcomed visit from my big guy. I still sorely miss him.