This story was so so sad 😦
A DEVASTATED dog owner has announced his beloved dog’s death — after hundreds of animal lovers turned out today to join him as he took his companion for one final walk.
Hordes of wellwishers, many accompanied by their own dogs, joined Mark and his family on a wind swept Porth beach, Newquay in Cornwall for Walnut’s emotional farewell.
This afternoon, Mark announced Walnut’s death on Facebook, thanking the hundreds of people who supported the family over the past few days
He wrote: “Walnut passed away this morning at 11.56am. The family and our three whippets, Monty, Nelson and Charlie were also in the room. He went very quickly and in my arms.
“I am writing this post because I owe it to everyone who has supported myself, my family and most importantly Walnut.” He added: “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.”
During the walk, Mark carried Walnut across the beach as his health deteriorated in old age and he was no longer able to walk.
Covered in a chequered blanket to keep him warm, strangers comforted Walnut and children came over to stroke the dog as they strolled past the water’s edge.
Before his best friend’s death, Mark wanted to take him for a stroll on his favourite beach in Cornwall for his final farewell. Despite Mark’s two marriages and three engagements, he’s had Walnut all the way through.
The dog owner has stolen the nation’s heart, including TV presenters Eammon Holmes and Ruth Langsford, who had to hold back tears yesterday when Walnut appeared on ITV’s This Morning show.
Mark and Walnut’s story has been shared thousands of times, and people from all over the UK have sent their support.
Speaking before the walk, Mark said: “I think that all pets are special to everybody, I’ve got three other whippets, but there’s something special about Walnut.
“He’s been with me through some very difficult times in my life and he’s just got me through them, both physically and mentally.
“We’ve shared a lot of dramas, a lot of fun and a lot of shenanigans and he’s exceptionally special.
“Eighteen years is a long time to build up a bond of friendship.
“We normally walk alone on the beach of a morning.
“It just felt the right thing to do to share a walk for a change, we have the most beautiful beaches in Newquay, a lovely community here and a lot of people have dogs.”
Mark spoiled Walnut with his favourite treats, burgers and custard cremes, and around 200 people came to walk with Walnut on his final day, with even more dogs than people.
People travelled up to four hours to support Mark Woods and his beloved whippet as they walked to the waters edge and back again.
Sue Coombs, 49, has lived in Newquay for the past twenty years, came to see Walnut’s final walk with her Jack Russel, Bodhi.
She said: “It was amazing, obviously emotional but such a fantastic and beautiful thing, I’m very proud of the community I live in.
“This is the second Jack Russel I’ve had so I know how it feels to lose one.
“Anyone that has a dog, whether they’ve lost one or not, they know how much of a bond it is.
“People were gathering around him and being supportive.
“There were dogs absolutely everywhere, all running and playing along, it was really special.”
Charlotte Jones, a 20-year-old designer, said: “There was literally hundreds of people, probably a couple of hundred.
“There were loads of different, dogs, people without dogs, lots of children, it was really good.
“There were a lot of locals, I’m a local, but I did hear people talking saying they’d driven four hours to get down here.
“It was really heartwarming to see how many people were there, but slightly sad as well I guess because of what’s going to happen.
“Mark was totally overwhelmed with everything, he was thanking everybody and he was just amazed I think.”