Cuddly toy helps ease widower Tony’s heartache

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno - Credit: Archant

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

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno

Tony Fletcher and his plush pal Bruno - Credit: Archant

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.


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“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.

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“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.

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