A British man took his beloved, ailing dog on a final walk to the sea, accompanied by 400 or so of his fellow dog lovers.
Mark Woods was overwhelmed by the outpouring of good will, and by his love for Walnut, his 18-year-old whippet who had to be put down because of his fading health.
But first, Woods wanted to take Walnut for one last dip in the water off Cornwall, and he signaled his intent on social media under the hashtag #walkwithwalnut.
He didn’t expect hundreds of people to show up, or to receive tens of thousands of messages from around the world.
“The idea seems to have resonated with everyone,” Woods told InsideEdition.com Monday.
“It was a lightbulb moment,” he said of the idea to take Walnut on one last walk. "I was stressing about how to deal with the day and then thought, 'why not keep it as normal a day as possible by taking all four of my whippets for a morning walk?'"
Walnut was too weak for the morning’s walk, so Woods carried him, wrapped in a blanket, as the other dog owners spread out with their animals in tow.
Woods set Walnut down in the water, on his favorite stretch of beach, and allowed him to take in the scenery for the last time.
A few hours later, he held Walnut as he was put to sleep.
“Numbness is a perfect word to use about how I feel,” Woods said. “I have a permanent headache.”
When asked what it was about Walnut that made the dog so special, Woods replied, “Walnut had the X factor, which was definable... Big beautiful brown eyes that looked right through me.”
On his Facebook page last week, Woods posted:
“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.”