For 14 years, Jason Dunne walked his beloved dog Rex along the sandy beaches of Exmouth, Australia. Over the years, Rex became a familiar sight on the beach, often carrying a tennis ball in his mouth and giving a friendly tail wag to every person he met.
But, sadly, after many happy years together and countless walks, Rex reached the end of his life. Dunne was left shattered with grief, but he knew he wanted to do something to commemorate all the love and friendliness that Rex brought into the world.
Since Rex (who had his very own Facebook page) loved tennis balls, Dunne filled a box with tennis balls. He then left the box near a sidewalk of their favorite beach, leaving this message:
“The goodest of good boys. Rex loved the beach, Rex loved the ball. Please feel free to take a ball for your dog & I hope you all enjoy this place as much as we did. Rex — Sleep well my ginger prince.”
The touching tribute struck a chord with dog lovers and all Exmouth residents. Exmouth’s county council shared their news on their social media pages, as did other neighbors.
💚 A lovely gesture on Exmouth beach. pic.twitter.com/SeQNVrvcBU
— Devon County Council (@DevonCC) June 14, 2023
Just as he did in life, Rex continued to inspire feelings of goodwill and neighborliness even after his passing.
“Rex bought the community together today,” Dunne wrote on Facebook. “Be more Rex. The goodest boy.”
“Still doing what he did best and spreading kindness,” one commenter, Sophie Jane, said.
“You’ve broken the internet today mate,” commenter Chris Fletch added. “I took Bruno to the beach this morning and he loved having a ball.”
Reflecting on his loss in another post, Dunne had this advice to offer to other pet lovers.
“Cuddle your dogs & cats for Rex,” he wrote. “Thank you for the kind messages. Much love.”
He said he and his family have received many sympathetic notes from other pet owners as a result of the viral post and that Rex would be remembered because of the toy giveaway.
“It was my way of having one last beach day with my once-in-a-lifetime dog who literally changed our lives for the better in so many ways,” he told East Devon News.
The emotional message comes not long after comedian Pete Davidson recently shared his own experience with pet loss. As with Dunne, Davidson said that his dog, who died young, had a big effect on his life.
“Henry was only 2 years old but unfortunately got very sick very fast,” Davidson wrote in an Instagram post shared by his friend Dave Sirus. “My mom, sister and I got Henry at the beginning of the pandemic and he saved our lives. Not sure id even be around without him … Thank you for making our lives fuller and reminding me what actually matters.”