Dog Finds A Discarded Volleyball — And Falls Madly In Love
"I have never seen him act like this toward any one toy."
This sweet dog named Fletcher has always had plenty of friends — it was only recently, however, that he finally found his soulmate.
It's an unconventional type of companion, but Fletcher loves him all the same.
Last week, on July 4, Fletcher accompanied his owner Nicki Wyatt-Park to an Independence Day party held at a friend's place. They have a large yard, so the location was perfect for Fletcher, a curious pup who loves to explore.
That's where he discovered the object of his dreams.
"He found this rogue volleyball and brought it to me," Wyatt-Park told The Dodo. She assumed it belonged to her friend. "I was like, 'Oh no! Fletcher's destroyed your ball.' But they said it wasn't theirs."
The ball, it seems, had been discarded — but it wasn't trash in Fletcher's eyes. It was a treasure.
From the moment they met, Fletcher and his new friend, now formally known as Volley, were inseparable.
"Fletcher had that ball in his mouth the entire seven hours we were at that party," Wyatt-Park said. "He chased the other dogs with the ball. He swam with the ball. He rested with the ball."
And sure enough:
"That thing ended up going home with us," she said.
That night, Fletcher slept with Volley by his side.
Oh, his human was there too.
Since then, Fletcher's love for Volley has only continued to grow stronger and deeper. Wherever the dog is, you can bet he's holding Volley in his mouth.
"I have never seen him act like this toward any one toy," Wyatt-Park said.
The only time that Fletcher isn't holding Volley is when his mouth is required for the essentials of maintaining life.
The dog does allow his owner some limited contact with Volley, under strict supervision, of course.
"He'll play fetch with it but he doesn't want you to hold on to it very long," Wyatt-Park said.
Fletcher and Volley aren't much interested in third wheels.
Downgraded slightly, perhaps, in the hierarchy of Fletcher's heart, Wyatt-Park has been mostly accepting of her new status: "I wake up to Volley in my face most mornings," she said.
Volley isn't merely some jealously guarded plaything — he's a source of comfort.
"Fletcher has gone through some transition with people and other dogs coming in and out of his life. I think this is the one inanimate object that he has attached himself to knowing that it’s going to be around for a very long time," Wyatt-Park said.
So far, Fletcher's unlikely new friend has been holding up to all the affection.
"Volley has a few holes and feels a little deflated at times, but other than that he’s willing to go wherever Fletcher goes," Wyatt-Park said.
She's even doing her part to keep Fletcher's soulmate safe.
In truth, there's no telling how long this unlikely (and adorable) little love affair will last, but it shows no signs of fading yet.
And rather than feeling jilted by her pup, Wyatt-Park is seeing the beauty in it.
"I think the lesson learned is that friendship can be found in the most unique circumstances," she said. "And Fletcher’s love is obviously unconditional."