Cuddly toy helps ease widower Tony’s heartache

PUBLISHED: 07:00 22 April 2013 | UPDATED: 09:38 23 April 2013

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno


‘Bruno’s just company for when I’m driving’

IT might sound barking, but Bruno the pipe-smoking beagle is just the tonic to help ease widower Tony Fletcher’s heartache.

The Sidmouth pensioner adopted the cuddly canine as a travelling companion after his wife and pet dog died six years ago – and the pair are now inseparable.

Tony’s plush pal even joined him and his family for his 80th birthday celebrations.

Bruno has become a smash hit with residents, visitors, and even police who have spotted him strapped into the front seat of Tony’s car when it is parked around town.

“He must be the most photographed dog in Sidmouth,” said Tony. “I got him after my wife died shortly after my dog. My daughter Angela asked me why I didn’t get another dog, but I just couldn’t face the heartache.

“I live by myself and Bruno is just company for me when I’m driving.

“If I pick people up, I say they will have to sit in the back because the dog is in the front!”

Tony, of Winslade Road, took Bruno along when his family treated him to a trip to O’Connors Campers in Okehampton for his 80th birthday recently.

Tony, who had owned a variety of VW campervans over the years, said he had had a ‘very nice’ day.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Sidmouth Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Sidmouth Herald