Walnut, Mark Wood's beloved whippet.

Our tribute to Walnut

Last week we were reminded of the power of social media and how whole communities can be brought together in kindred spirit and empathy. Here is the story of Mark Wood and his faithful friend Walnut.

Walnut, like all pets, was a very special friend and companion during his glorious 18 years of life. He had been a significant part of Mark’s life from a pup and like all dogs was truly man’s best friend throughout many of life’s ups and downs. This is just another example of how untouchable the bond between dog and owner really is. Mark had come to the sad realisation that the time had come for his elderly and increasingly unwell companion, and wanted to take him for one last walk, inviting others to join him prior to Walnut’s euthanasia last Saturday.

Newquay resident Mark Woods put out an emotional call on Facebook inviting people to accompany him and Walnut on their last walk together at Porth Beach in Cornwall. Needless to say he did not expect the reaction he received which prompted a wonderful outpouring of support and an event which celebrated Walnut’s life with a final walk in his favourite place.

The response to his post was far reaching and overwhelming. Hundreds of people came to bid Walnut farewell on the walk, and many that couldn’t make it ensured they went for a walk (dog owners or not) around the same time.

CREDIT: MARK WOODS / SWNS.COM/MARK WOODS / SWNS.COM

Mark and his beloved Walnut. PHOTO CREDIT: MARK WOODS / SWNS.COM

This is a wonderful display of how complete strangers understand the difficulties their fellow man can face when dealing with the bereavement of a beloved pet. Almost all of us will have been through the loss of a pet at some point in our lives, and making the decision to end a treasured pet’s suffering is both incredibly hard and brave. That is why it is so important to have the support of others around you at this time and why this story is as wonderfully inspiring as it is heartbreaking.

We here at Vital Pet Health want to pay our respects to Walnut and offer our sincerest condolences to Mark Woods and his family at this difficult time. We also want to recognise all of you who have or are about to undergo the same hardship and loss, you are not alone.

To those of you who are struggling to deal with a pet bereavement or are about to embark on this difficult time please take a look at the following links for advice and support.

https://www.pdsa.org.uk/get-involved/remembering-pets/dealing-with-grief

https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-support

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