It is a tragic day when someone we love passes away. When it is a person, there is an immediate mourning period followed by a funeral.
For many, that is the end of it. But for those closest to the one who has passed, the mourning, pain, longing, and remembering have just begun at that point.
When a beloved pet passes away, the scene is typically much different. Pets, if they are to be buried, are often buried rather quickly and in relative privacy.
Unless you post your loss to social media, most people you know will never know of your loss. And those that do are the ones closest to you, likely people who are mourning with you or for your loss.
There are memorials for pets who have passed away. There are seeds that can be planted over a grave to emerge year after year.
There are statues and grave markers that can be placed. But most of all there are our memories, some captured on film and others held fondly and intimately in our hearts.
This is the story of an elderly man who quietly and anonymously honored a beloved pet who had passed away. He did not keep it all to himself.
He did not simply move on with his life. But neither did he get stuck in his mourning, grief, loss or loneliness. Instead, he took action to honor the memory of his pet.
Madison Sorrel and her boyfriend went to the Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter with the intention of adopting a dog. And she did adopt a dog.
But it is what she observed at the shelter that is making headlines and going viral among those who long for happy stories in the news.
The 20-year-old Sorrel was waiting to get her dog when she saw an elderly man whose name remains unknown enter the animal shelter. In his hand, he carried a white plastic bag.
It was full of tennis balls. He was bringing them to the shelter to donate them to the shelter for other dogs to use. And he did it all to honor the dog he had lost.
Sorrel was moved by what she saw and quickly snapped a photo. She posted it to Twitter.
“My boyfriend and I were adopting a poodle mix puppy at Tulsa Animal Welfare. We found out this gentleman was donating tennis balls in memory of a very loved pet. If this doesn’t make your day then I don’t know what will,” Sorrel wrote.
Her post has since been shared and retweeted hundreds of thousands of times.
“I didn’t expect it to get this much attention at all” she said. “It’s a sweet message. You’re never too old to give your time and donate.”
Followers on social media were clearly moved by the show of love and honor this man demonstrated. People were amazed and filled with awe that this elderly man would take the time, effort and struggle to come to the shelter in the first place.
That he donated to help these animals was simply the icing on the cake.
The elderly man’s identity remains unknown. But Sorrel did post on Twitter that the man’s family learned about the story and recognized him. They showed him the post and also the overwhelmingly positive responses to it.
He is able to see first-hand how his anonymous contribution to these homeless animals can inspire and give hope to so many.
The Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter confirmed that a man did generously give tennis balls “in memory of a much-loved dog.”
“We love getting donations from the community,” they added. “Even if it’s food or blankets or towels, any little bit helps. We’re a municipal shelter, so the volume of animals we get is high, especially this time of year. Give back to your local shelter! If you can’t donate goods, we’re always in search for more volunteers.”
So Share This pointed out that there are more than 6.5 million animals housed in US animal shelters each year. This places an immense burden on shelters, staff, and volunteers to meet the needs of so many animals with limited resources.
They are all always in need of additional money, tangible donations and volunteers. If you are able, check out one of the animal shelters in your area to see how you might be able to help.
Even a one-time gift of tennis balls can be a huge service. Just imagine how happy those animals were to have these new balls to play with.
And if you have lost a pet, too, consider how your donation of time, materials or money may be used to honor your pet’s memory, help other animals in need and help you to heal from your own loss.
Source: So Share This