I've had that special connection with certain animals, and I know that they were happiest when they were with me. That's what I believe was what Fonzi felt. The fact that you retired when you did, just meant that you were there for him much more, and I'm sure that made a difference to him. People don't always realize it, but they take comfort from us being nearby, the same way that we do from having them nearby.
The downside, is how much we miss them, when we get that close. And, I know that you will miss him always. (((Hug!)))
Love All Life, Thank You For Posting! :)