Have a you ever been inspired to write a post that begins in your head as something very simple, succinct, and sweet?
Today I'm not sure which way this one will go because it's about a subject that is near and dear to my heart; one that I have also hidden somewhere in a secret place in my head and heart.
It's about Fletcher.
Today marks exactly a year that he passed away. I wrote about it here right in the thick of the pain and heartache. I don't think I've uttered a single word about it since, at least on this blog, but I certainly remember him almost on a daily basis the love that he brought to our family.
Braaten was giving Fletch all kinds of love in our old kitchen back before we moved across the pond. I dare say she is the one in which his tragic death has affected the most. I can't say for sure as we all have grieved in different ways as this year has gone by.
Melanie looks like a little peanut in this photo. I think she is probably about 7 years old (She is almost 11 now). And just like Braaten, she adored him.
I remember this photo so well. It was when we had been separated from Fletcher for months because we were waiting for his shots and everything to be updated so that he can join us in England. We all felt his absence as we were trying to acclimate to new life in the u.K. It felt like if he was with us that our transition would have somehow been easier.
This picture makes me smile because he was resting his chin on my hand as he slept. He was one tired pup!
Just writing about him again helps in the healing. I haven't taken the time recently to conjure up too many thoughts, although having said that, I just told the story about how he died to someone and got choked up again.
Taking care of him was a lot of work, but I wouldn't have traded it.
I walked him around the Lymm dam everyday and it kept me trim and him happy in doing so. He would run down into the water no matter how cold it was to get a drink and chase some ducks. He almost always came home wet and dirty and mama had to clean him up.
Not sure what he was hunting here, but it must have been a squirrel.
After that particular day of hunting, he ended up looking like this and I was not too happy.
In his spare time, he enjoyed a game of twister.
And it looks like Mel was giving him a talking-to.
It's ok, Buddy.
Golden Retrievers have a way of melting my heart. Look how pretty he is!
That boy could not get himself back up the hill. I had to go down and help him up. Not a fun day for me.
Austin is funny in this one.
These kids loved him to pieces.
This is the beautiful family that was Fletch's home away from home.
As any sane expat family would, we traveled as often we could. We made the best of the opportunity and tried to see as many places in Europe as possible. That meant Fletcher needed a place to stay. So one day Jane offered their home to him. And since I really didn't want to put him in a dog shelter, that was the best offer in the world.
I loved how our British friends put themselves in front of an American flag for a photo. They went to an Independence celebration with us and then decided to do this for us. They also made it into a Christmas tree ornament which lovingly hangs there during Christmastime.
Megan and Amy are a couple of my daughters' best friends in the whole wide world. See I warned you about this post. Now I'm talking about best friends and traveling. Speaking of travel... their family is coming to see us in August of this year to stay with us for a week and then we all will travel out west to see the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone.
Ava and her mom, Mayra, my dear friend from NJ, came to see us in England.
Braaten took several photos of Ava and Fletch together.
Fletcher was a well-traveled canine. We were all in Scotland here.
And this picture will forever remind me of one of our last walks together. It was a couple of months before he died, but it was a beautiful walk.
Shawn and I took him all around Lymm taking in all of the scenery that we had gotten so used to. Our time in the U.K. was coming to a close and we wanted to capture all of the beauty there. We snapped photos as we walked so that we could always cherish them.
Icy water didn't keep him away from a nice, cold drink.
And this is the big snowstorm in Northwest England in January, 2010. It was the biggest snow that they had had in 30 years. I came to find out recently that the U.K. got record amounts of snow again this winter.
And so it goes. Our dear boy has been gone a year and we think of all the love he brought to our family and wonder when it will be time again to have another furry friend.
For now I guess it'll be chickens and kittens, but the kids ask often when we can have another pup.
If you made it this far, thanks ever so much for reading.