Saying goodbye to a beloved pet is an emotional experience, as was the case for heartbroken owner Sarah Keith. But her Border Collie best friend Ella “went out with a bang” as she was accompanied by more than 30 furry friends for a last-ever walk before the end of her life.
Ella was diagnosed with oral cancer and struggled with arthritis towards the end of her 12-year-long life. To give her the best send off imaginable, Sarah posted an urgent message on social media where she asked fellow dog owners to join her for a day out - little could she imagine what the turnout would be.
When Sarah made her way to Fraisthorpe Beach in East Yorkshire on Monday (February 6), she was amazed to be greeted by more than 30 dogs and roughly 25 dog owners. On her final day, Ella enjoyed charging around with her new furry friends across the sands of her favourite beach before she was put to sleep just hours later.
A tearful Sarah said: “There were people who I’d never met. You don’t know who they are. But it’s lovely they showed a bit of humility and grace when something like this happens.
“The only time I cried was when someone hugged me. There was also a lady that made a hand-stitched keepsake. And there was a group of people with border collies, and Ella loved running with them. At one point there were six or seven going after the same ball - she was the best dog I have ever had, and I have had lots of dogs.”
Sarah issued the call for a ‘last day to remember’ for Ella after a vet revealed the doggie had contracted mouth cancer on February 3. Given her age and breed, any treatment to prolong her life would only result in further “suffering” which Sarah could not agree to.
She explained: “It would have been selfish for me to prolong her suffering, just because I didn’t want to say goodbye to her. I thought people who knew her would maybe come down.
“Obviously, a lot of people are working on Monday, but I didn’t want to mess anyone around over the weekend. The post just got shared and shared. And I had people from all parts of the country who never were going to be able to make the walk sending me messages.
“When I arrived, there were probably more than 30 dogs, and in the region of 25 owners. There was even a group with leads on, with not particularly social dogs, but they wanted to support in their own way.”