Loss of a beloved pet can be a heart-wrenching pain affecting someone for a lifetime.
No matter how long it has been, somewhere something jumps out as a reminder of that lost companionship.
Many people use the memory of their long-gone pet to help another along life’s path.
Madison Sorrel, 20, stopped by the Tulsa Animal Welfare Shelter in Oklahoma hoping to connect with a dog through adoption.
She noticed something was out of place with an elderly gentleman waiting in the shelter.
Sorrel quickly snapped a photo of the man who stood quietly with a bulging plastic bag in his hand.
She soon learned that simple bag held a bunch of tennis balls meant for lonely dogs in the shelter to enjoy. He brought them by in memory of the pet he loved and lost.
His gift was something simple for animals that have so little and need all the happiness they can get.
Sorrel decided to tell her world of the man’s gesture, so she posted his photo on social media and it went viral.
“I didn’t expect it to get this much attention at all,” Sorrel said. “It’s a sweet message.”
The shelter was thrilled with the response.
“We love getting donations from the community,” a spokesperson said. “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!”
The elderly gentleman gave what he could, and the memory of his pet continued to help others, including Sorrel.
She now has a poodle-cross dog who is very happy in her forever home.