For any pet parent, having to put a beloved furry best friend to sleep is as heartbreaking as life can get.
When Mark Woods of the United Kingdom had to make the painful, but necessary decision to lay his 18-year-old dog Walnut to rest, he wanted to give him a loving send-off.
On November 8, Woods wrote a Facebook post titled “Walk with Wally,” requesting that his followers join him and Walnut for a final jaunt on the beach.
“I would love it if dog lovers/owners and friends would join us for a celebration of Walnut on his favourite Porth Beach. He has had an incredible life and having reached the grand age of 18 is ready for his final sleep.”
The post quickly caught on with pet lovers from all over, and on that Saturday morning, just hours before Walnut would be put to rest, hundreds showed up to say goodbye to a life well lived.
The touching experience, which was captured by radio station Pirate FM, shows Woods holding Walnut wrapped in a blanket, as hundreds walk by his side and give him loving pats on the head.
The following day, after Walnut passed away, Woods wrote another Facebook post—this time as a tribute to his amazing dog and the people that helped make such a wonderful farewell.
Woods noted that Walnut “went very quickly and in my arms” and was surrounded by love, as his family and their other dogs (Monty, Nelson, and Charlie) were right by his side.
In addition to sharing a poem—which he said served as a reminder of “just how lucky we are to be alive and to share in the wonderful world that our pets give us”— Woods penned some grateful words of his own.
“I am writing this post because I owe it to everyone who has supported myself, my family and most importantly Walnut,” he wrote on November 13. “Thank you to the hundreds of people that attended the walk this morning and to all those that had their own walks with their beloved pets at 9.30am all around the world. I also want to thank the wonderful people of Newquay for their support which I will never forget as long as I live.”
Images via Mark Woods Facebook
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.