Fletcher Loved Her Pants

Fletcher was our sweet dog. Half golden retriever and half yellow lab, she entertained us almost constantly for 13½ years. She was very high energy and puppy-like for the first ten years, but as time went by, she began to age. After about 11 years Fletcher began having some incontinence issues. It wasn’t all that often, and we lived in a “dog house,” so it wasn’t the end of the world to clean up a dribble here or there. But it got worse, so we decided to try “doggie diapers” and bought a package of the paper disposables. Putting them on the first time was very entertaining. Fletcher didn’t much like anyone messing with her tail, so threading that tail through the little hole in the diaper was a bit of a challenge, but persistence prevailed. Once the tail was through the hole, and the tape was fastened (as well as any tape all covered with dog hair would fasten!), she wiggled around a bit, but made no serious attempt to extract herself from the disposable diaper. The tape was pretty worthless, but a bit of blue masking tape wrapped around her belly held it on. It was obvious the disposable variety was not going to work out, but the concept was promising, so a quick online order of a set of cloth “doggie diapers” was placed.

A couple days later, Fletcher got a package in the mail with three pairs of “pants” in it: purple, baby blue and hot pink. The bright cloth pants had good Velcro closures and, after mastering the art of threading the tail, these things were great. (Online reviews of the pants suggested using “feminine napkins” as absorbent liners, and that worked swell.) Whenever Fletcher was in the house, she wore her “pants,” so no more piddles on the floor. Oh, sure, there were leaks sometimes, but these pants were easy to toss in the washing machine. To always have spares, we got two more sets of assorted colors (including lime green, lavender, even hotter pink, and black—for formal occasions ☺). Fletcher loved her pants.

While Fletcher loved her pants, I’m sad to say that initially we were a little embarrassed to have a dog that needed pants. But she only wore them in the house, so no one really knew – except that we got so used to her wearing her pants that sometimes someone would forget to take them off of her before we went for a walk or out to get the mail. Of course, as soon as you’d take Fletcher outside she’d have to pee. So here we’d be, headed to the mailbox in bright green pants and she’d drop down to pee and only then would her clueless human notice she was fully arrayed in lime green pants—which were now filled with a VERY wet feminine napkin. The mailbox was about 100 feet from the house, but at times like this it seemed like a mile.

And one morning, we were enjoying breakfast at the kitchen table when something pink flashed by the window. “What was that? Uh oh, where’s Fletcher?” So, even though Fletcher was aging and slowing down, she was still up for a good “catch me if you can run” when she found herself outdoors and unencumbered by a leash. One must admit, however, it is easier to locate an orange dog running amok wearing hot pink pants than, say, just an orange dog running amok.

After a while, Fletcher’s pants were just a part of Fletcher and we came to love them as much as Fletcher did. She really seemed more at ease with them on. They kept us from getting frustrated with her incontinence and allowed her to live her remaining years comfortably and colorfully.

After we lost our sweet Fletcher, we took a just-opened bag of dog food, a large crate and some other items to the local animal shelter. We’d thrown in her colorful pairs of pants and asked if the shelter would have a use for them. The lady just lit up. She said they got a lot of older dogs in the shelter and they would LOVE to have Fletcher’s pants.