A dog lover has issued a heartfelt plea inviting people to join his pet for his final walk on his favourite beach before he is put down.
Mark Woods has walked his ‘best friend’ Walnut for the past 18 years.
But now Walnut’s health has deteriorated due to his old age, so Mark has made the difficult decision to have him put to sleep.
But before his life is ended, Mark wants to give him one final walk and has written an appeal on Facebook, asking for others to join him.
The open message has been shared dozens of times by people who want to join in the final stroll on Porth beach in Newquay, Cornwall, on Saturday morning.
Mark wrote: “I would love it if dog lovers/owners and friends would join us for a celebration of Walnut on his favourite Porth beach.
“He has had an incredible life and having reached the grand age of 18 is ready for his final sleep. Hope to see you on Saturday.”
People are invited to the Walk with Walnut event at 9.30am.
He said since he posted the appeal on Facebook he has been stunned to receive hundreds of messages from dog owners throughout the world.
He said: “I have been answering e-mails all day.
“People have been sending me photos of dogs from all over the world. It was such a simple thing and something I did spur of the moment but it really has struck a chord with people.
“We were going to do something private but I walk my whippets there most days - I have four of them - and he loves to walk and we are always chatting to people on the beach.
“It was never meant to go global - it was purely asking people in Newquay to join in with our walk if they feel like it.
“But it has just exploded with interest - and I have got dog owners from all over sharing their own stories.
“Walnut is sat on my lap - and I am responding to people who have sent me messages from all over the world with people thanking me for helping with their own problems with their dogs.
“It is amazing and I just cannot explain it.
“We will see what happens on Saturday. Lots of people have said they will join us but we will see. I will still be going with him.
“I virtually have to carry him everywhere but I will see be there.
“It seems a lot of people even without dogs will come along.”
Mark said that the support was helping him cope with the impending loss of his best friend.
He added: “It is helping me now. I have owned Walnut for a long time and he has been my strength for many years.
“I have struggled with illness and had some bad times in my life and he has helped me through some desperate situations and I owe it to him to give him this back.
“He sleeps with me in bed and cries when I am not around. It is a desperate situation and not good.
“But all the support from people has done me the world of good. We were not sure at first but it has made me feel at east about the whole thing now.
“So many people are sharing their stories of losing their dogs that this has become bigger than just me and Walnut. It is about other people now too.”