Best Pooch Ever!

Fletchie and my eldest daughter, his biggest fan

Almost nine years ago, the sweetest, most loving, most cuddly, most adorable puppy came into my world. My husband wanted to name him Fletch, after one of his favorite movies. I agreed, mostly because I figured if he named the dog, then surely I would have naming rights when we had kids : ) Fletch was 16 lbs at 8 weeks, and his paws looked like big ol’ baseball mitts!

Super Puppy – look at those paws! Just a few days after we brought him home

We knew we were in for a big beast of a dog, but he melted our hearts and became part of our family immediately.

My favorite puppy photo – who wouldn’t love that face?!

He was our first baby. Our trial run to see how we’d do as parents. He was pretty spoiled and had our undivided attention for over two years, before our first daughter was born. I would take him on playdates to our local dog park. If I had errands to run, he’d join me as he loved going for rides. If we had to head out of town for the day on business, he’d go to doggie day care. He was as much a part of this family as I am.

Dog Beach in Del Mar, the summer before my first born made her debut

He loved going for walks, going to the beach, chasing bubbles, meeting other furry 4-legged friends, as well as 2-legged humans. He was a gentle giant, a sweet soul, a huge yellow lab that thought he was a lap dog. I would lovingly call him my teacup lab.

Chasing bubbles
Fletchie (L) gets a visit from his big brother Rocky (R)
Fletchie (L) gets a visit from his big brother Rocky (R)

As big as he was, he really did think he was a lap dog, my teacup lab. Case in point:

My teacup lab, just a year old

Once our girls were born, he didn’t get as much attention, but he was still our boy, still part of the pack, still our steadfast companion. When we brought each of our girls home from the hospital, he was completely intrigued by the bundles that arrived. With our first born in particular, they shared a special bond. From day one, he loved her and she loved him.

Getting ready for Halloween visitors, 3 week old baby girl

He even took up residence on her giant teddy bear, a gift from my sister-in-law’s family, the D’Agostino’s, whenever we were in her room.

The Beast on Big Bear

Over the years, he was her buddy. He’d join her playing dress up. He’d join her at tea parties. He’d join her for a cuddle, anytime.

ready for cuddles

She would call him Clifford, the big yellow dog.

loving her pooches

Or he would be her Baloo to her Mowgli.

always loving him

As long as we were all together, they were both happy campers.

neighborhood walk

When we knew he was sick, our eldest would get her doctor kit and play veterinarian with him.

Doc McStuffins has been a great influence

And if there was a possibility of getting a snack, he definitely wanted to be around!

anyone wanna share?

We’d call him our Fletch, Fletchie, Fletchers, pooches, beast, Fletchie-Bear, Baloo, Clifford, Snoopy, Dug, big boy, baby boy, love bug, waggle-flaggle and other terms of endearment. Many times, I’d refer to him as the teenage son I didn’t have… my Fletchie was usually the last one out of bed. Yes, there were times the girls and I would be leaving for school and I’d have to run back in the house realizing he was still snoozing. Pooches defined “lazy dog” and the girls loved helping him be cozy with their blankies.

Sweet dreams Fletchie Bear

We knew he’d be good with kids, but we had no idea he’d end up being an incredible friend to our girls.

Beauty and the Beast
unconditional love
My Kids

So my heart is broken — my pooch left us earlier this week to go on to heaven. That big red growth on his lip… it’s the ugliness of cancer, and the cancer was spreading throughout his body, resulting in muscle loss. It was becoming increasingly challenging for him. Somedays were better than others. Somedays his legs didn’t want to function. Somedays his tumor wouldn’t stop bleeding. Everyday we loved him and we forever will. Fletch will always have a special place in our hearts. He’s the best pooch we could have ever wanted. We miss you pooches, you’ll always be in our hearts and minds, and you will always be our sweet little prince, Fletchie Bear. We’ll see you in Heaven…

First Halloween, 4 months old

14 responses to “Best Pooch Ever!”

  1. Connie, I love the photos you have put on your site. It shows how much you love not only your family but your l’il boy dog too. I know how you feel having lost my l’il girl. (My Cocker Spaniel, Noel, when Anthony was 5 1/2 months old.) Took me a long time before I could get attached to another dog. It’s nice to know the girls will have good memories of him too. Maybe you should make a small scrapbook of just him for the girls to look back at if you haven’t done it already. My heart goes out to you all for your loss. Hugs!


  2. So sorry for your loss! From your story and the pictures, I know you’ve had a wonderful dog. He will be in your hearts forever!


  3. This made me cry! I had an identical, huge yellow lab like this named Alex. He lived to be 15 and died from a cancerous growth on his lip. It grew fast and he passed in just over a month! My two children grew up with him. He was the love of my life (besides my hubby). Best ever. But now 5 years later we have a 4 1/2 yr old yellow lab Brady. Totally different personality and in many other ways but love him just as much! Dogs are the best!

    I am feeling your pain and am very sorry for you and your family!


  4. This is a great tribute to your dog and your family. The loss of a pet is never easy. I have found them to be furry time capsules— markers in our shared lives when we think of specific points in time, as illustrated in your family photos.

    Cherish the memories of the good times,


  5. Mija, my heart has been heavy since Wednesday when this happened and I wrote you a card this morning (already in mailbox outside my office) sharing my thoughts about losing him. Thank you for posting these pics and sharing your thoughts; I’m sitting at my desk with tears running down my cheeks because like you all, I also loved him. At night when (after watching horrible news about children being abducted from their bedrooms in the middle of the night) I say my prayers I always knew you all were okay because Fletchie was always alert and ready to growl at anyone or anything on the other side of the walls…yet another reason to love him. I know how heavy your heart must be and just want to let you know I’m thinking of and loving you all so very much and glad we had a chance to talk on Wednesday. I’m looking forward to getting together soon.
    Love you…Mom


  6. Oh Connie, I am sitting here crying. What a wonderful tribute to your first baby. He was a lucky dog to have had your family during his life.


  7. I am SOOOOO sorry for your loss. I feel your pain. I’ve had two doggies that have gone to doggie heaven and I know how hard it could be for you and the family. You gave him so much love. That’s all a dog asks for…UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. You have taken beautiful pictures (as always) and documented his life with your family. Keep him in your heart always and cherish the moments of happiness that you all shared. 🙂


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