Dear Fletcher,

Dear Fletcher,

dearfletcher_bl_mainAs most of you know by now, I’ve become a foster failure for the 3rd time. After almost a year of being a resident of Priceless Pets, he’s found his home with me and my pack. Being away with him for 5 days put me in a very emotional state and when I came back I needed to re-assess how I was feeling after my emotions had calmed down. Even after that, I knew this was the place for him. And as I do when all my fosters get adopted, I write them a letter. Here’s my letter to Fletcher…

Dear Fletcher,

Let me start off with saying that, Terra was right. 10 months ago, when we picked you up from the pound, Terra said you were the perfect dog. I figured she was just saying that because this was her first pull from a pound and you were going to be put down if we didn’t take you. You passed every test and on April 1st, 2014 you became an official Priceless Pets resident.

As the days passed, you started hurting yourself in your kennels and trying to escape every chance you got. You were reactive to male dogs and every time we found a nice calm female to room with you, they would get adopted and you would get passed over.

As the months passed by, you seemed to be getting worse. Your face was always red and you were losing your fur. You started to shut down at the rescue and it got to the point where you were the last dog being picked to walk on the weekly pack walks. We thought putting you in a foster home would help but it just wasn’t the right fit. Soon after that, I offered to foster you.

dearfletcher_bl_2In the back of my mind, there was no way you were meeting my pack. There was no way I was putting my pack with such an unbalanced and nervous dog. And when I did try, you proved me right. You went after Wally…then Elvis. The only one you felt comfortable with was Penny so I played on that. Terra said you needed a couch to lie on so I tried that. Once again, Terra was right. Within a month, you had completely integrated with the pack.

Then I adopted, Snack Pak. By now, I was catching on to the fact that you don’t like change. I know, most dogs don’t but you’re so sensitive that your adjustment time takes a little longer than the rest of my pack. I think I lost count on how many times you went after this little pig. And any thoughts of keeping you had gone out the window but that was alright because not too many people would have a pig in their house.

In between all of this, you had one family who just loved you. I’m sure you remember her, her name was Michelle. She had a dog named CoCo who looked just like Penny. I thought she was the one. You got along with her dog and she was so in love with you. I could see it in her eyes. She put in the time with multiple meet n greets but I could tell your anxiety made her nervous but only because she loved you so much she didn’t want to do anything wrong.

dearfletcher_bl_4By now, you had gotten over your issue with Snack Pak and everyone in the house was co-existing. It was awesome. For the first time, I really started to consider adopting you but I had an opportunity to bring you to train with Cesar Millan and his staff for 5 days. I thought this would be a perfect way to work on your issues so I took you with me in hopes that this would be the final step in your journey of getting adopted.

Once I got there, I wasn’t sure how you were going to act. You seemed to be doing alright but as soon as the first dog started barking you turned back into the “old Fletcher”. The anxiousness, the nervousness all started coming back but the trainers didn’t address that in you…they addressed that in me. Once they got me to relax, you followed suit. Cesar, himself, told me that your sensitivity could be your worst enemy or you best friend. And by the end of the 5 days there, I saw all your weaknesses as your strengths. I knew you had to stay…

You see, every dog plays a certain part in my life. Penny reminds me that I need to take chances. Elvis reminds me that life is fun. Wally reminds me to never give up and Snack Pak teaches me patience. But you, Fletcher, you may play the most important role because you tell me how I’m feeling. Because you see, I’m a lot like you. Though I may hide it well, I’m sensitive just like you. I’m always worried about what people think and how people will perceive me. Except while I can fake it by talking fast and telling jokes, you do it by growling, barking and running away. And I know the only way you will calm down is if I do. You just don’t need me, I need you. My best days with you haven’t been the days where everything has gone well; they’ve been the days that have gone bad. It’s the bad days where I’ve learned the most and it’s dearfletcher_bl_3the bad days where I’ve had the most progress with you. You have no idea how much you’re gonna help not only me but help me with other people’s dogs.

Terra was right. From the beginning she told me all you needed was love and a couch…but what she didn’t tell me was all our pack was missing was you.

I love you, Fletcher. I brought you with me to train with Cesar in hopes that someone would fall in love with you and adopt you. I just didn’t know it would be me.





  1. Kathleen Masnec : February 26, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    Wow. My heart is doing somersaults. I love this read! I am so grateful for all the dogs that have crossed your path and been lucky enough to find homes and better yet, your home. Fletcher is one lucky dog!!! THANKS FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO!

  2. I follow you actively on instagram and love every pic posted. You have an awesome pack and you are amazing for what you do! That letter to Fletcher was heartfelt and made me cry. You truly show them how loved they are and you can see It in the eyes. Beautiful babies!!

  3. I’m crying tears of joy . My heart is so happy for both of you and the rest of the pack . You are a remarkable human being, and I envy you. You are also a gifted writer . Best of everything to you, Fletcher, Penny Lane, Elvis, Wally, and Snack Pack !! Love you all!!

  4. Such a beautiful letter thank you for sharing I can relate with my three dogs. When I’m at my best they are at their best. When I perceive the world with a scared or negative view that reflects on my pack as well. Here is to all pack leaders that we may learn from our pack compassion strength patience joy and confidence

  5. Ahhh of course I cried! So happy for Fletcher and you and your pack! Time for another tattoo lol

  6. reading this gives me a lump in my throat. Words cannot express how happy my heart is that Fletcher has found his forever home… As I’ve told you before I was one of those who judge the bully breed off of what I saw, what the media portrays them to be and by what I’ve been told by others, that is until I found Priceless Pets on IG which lead me to your page… You and your pack and everyone who is involved has helped me understand this misunderstood breed. I am also learning more and more about bait dogs and dog fighting which unbelievable what humans will and do to a poor helpless dog.. I just want to thank you, your pack and crew for helping me and teaching me not to judge but to learn about the breed… One day I would love to foster the unwanted, especially puppies but, I have to conceive my husband. We have two Boxers ( Mr. Seth Cohan and Ms. Bella Bo) (which I love to death) and one crazy Maltipoo (Zoey) who thinks she’s the leading of the pack… Keep up the amazing work you do.. May God continue to bless you and your pack…

  7. As always, you are a wonderful writer who really tells his story from the heart. I thoroughly enjoy reading about your pack and never doubted for a minute that Fletcher wouldn’t be a part of it forever. Congratulations on your new adoption!

  8. sharyl andruska : February 26, 2015 at 5:31 pm

    Wow…. I have tears of joy reading this. I wish everyone could read this post. It is well written, beautiful, insightful and honest. Thank you for answering your calling and allowing us to “tag along” with you through your posts.

  9. I follow you on Instagram, and I hoped for this day for sweet lil Fletcher. I’m so glad you’ve found what you needed in another sensitive soul. Probably sounds weird, but my daughter is the same with my anxiety. It’s nice to have someone alongside us to learn from.

  10. Stephanie Gomez : February 26, 2015 at 8:56 pm

    Omg…once again I’m crying..not tears of sadness but tears of absolute JOY!!
    I’m so happy that you have each are awesome John..keep up the great work that you do!

  11. Congrats on both of you for finding each other, it’s like Cesar always says “you don’t always get the dog you want, you get the dog you need”. Love this post!!! You and your pack rock!

  12. so happy to read this story

  13. CONGRATULATIONS! This is such fantastic news! I always thought to myself that it would be awesome if Fletcher got to stay with you forever! <3 <3 <3 Thank you John for loving him and giving him happily ever after…

  14. Tear jerker. So happy you are keeping him! You’re a great family

  15. I’m really happy for both you and Fletcher, it’s so heart warming knowing he has found his forever home, he has come a very long way since you first got him. It’s really inspiring!

  16. The goosebumps on my arms are the size of quarters!! This story melts my heart. There can always be good found in the bad, but it takes special people to see it! You are a very, very special person. You inspire me! I love how you each pack member teaches you or brings to your heart something different. That is the power of the pack, each member has a role and something they are good at giving to the pack. Thats how a pack works. You are a true pack leader and an awesome role model for others who too quickly give up on a pet that isn’t “easy”. Challenges bring growth and prosperity. The challenges Fletcher faced and even your own personal challenges made you guys grow together, and thats something a lot of people miss out on because they want the easy way out. Makes me believe they never really know themselves, so how can they be in touch with another being? Very special story, thank you so very much for sharing.

  17. Holy crap! I’m crying at work as I read this. Bomb!

  18. Always look forward to your IG posts and especially the letters to your Pups!!! I visualize your heart holding a pencil and lovingly jotting down the words that are deeply felt. IT’s GREAT!!! How can you do that? Crocodile tears of happiness flow down my cheeks every time, and just knowing that it will be another tear jerker, I have a kleenix ready AND read it when I am alone so no one has to wonder what’s wrong with me & why I am crying!! Ha!!
    Everything you are, everything you do, everything that you have achieved is not by mistake John!!
    You are an amazing animal lover!!! That passion you have has resulted in finding great homes for all your fosters.
    Thanks so much for being YOU.

  19. kathleen a goblirsch : June 30, 2015 at 11:12 pm

    Geez Louise. Like all the others, crying from joy for all your posts is what we do.
    I have been slacking reading your posts. I love this post. You are a dogs best, best friend. Together you learn to accept each other. Love it!!!! Thank you John for your continued devotion with Priceless Pets.

  20. […] was asked to foster Sully because they had heard about the progress I made with Fletcher. Out of the 50 plus fosters I’ve had in the past 2 years, I’ve never worked with a dog that was […]

  21. Hey Dude, not to break your balls but Fletchers status on your home page is still foster, not “My Pack”. OH… and OK… yeah… kinda just to break your balls. LOL!

  22. I understand foster failing 3 times. I have foster failed for Sasha, Cameron and Sophie. Tomorrow my husband and I are foster failing for Millie. It’s not the same as it was for my other 3 dogs but my husband has wanted to adopt Millie for at least 5 months now. We’ve had her a year. It’s technically his first foster fail and we are going to make it the best celebration yet on National Clear the Shelter day.

Comments are closed.