One of the most heartbreaking things in life is when a beloved pet passes away. Pet owners deal with this grief in different ways, whether it’s finding a special way of remembering the good times you had together, or honoring them by helping out other animals.
And one anonymous person recently found a way to do both at the same time: after the death of their dog, they found a heartwarming way to memorialize them while also helping out the local pets.
A woman in Newport, Rhode Island came across an unusual sight at Rejects Beach: a wooden box filled with yellow tennis balls.
Affixed to the box was a sign that revealed the box was actually set up as a memorial: it read “Piper Harden 2006-2021.”
Piper, it turned out, was a dog who recently passed away — and her owner decided to do something special to remember her by, in the dog’s old favorite place.
“This beach was Piper’s favorite place to run around, play fetch, and bark at the waves,” the sign read, according to Newport Buzz. You can see a black-and-white photo of the late dog standing on the beach.
In honor of all the fun times they had with Piper, the owner decided to make sure other dog owners could have a great time playing with their pets by offering up free tennis balls.
“Please help yourself to a tennis ball for your dog to play with,” the owner wrote. “Keep it or drop it back in the box for another dog to enjoy. Love this time with your pup and enjoy this day you have together.”
When a pet dies, you suddenly remember all the great times you had together — even if it was something as simple as playing fetch. Piper’s memorial serves as a reminder to make the most of these good times while we still can.
It isn’t the first time someone has set up a free tennis ball stand in honor of their late dog: earlier this year, a stand appeared in Silver Sands beach in South Australia, honoring a dog named Bruce.
“Remember to live each moment like your dog with unconditional love, loyalty and happiness,” Bruce’s owner wrote, according to Daily Mail Australia.
Rest in peace, Piper. It’s clear your owner loved you a lot. You may be gone, but you’re still touching many people.