Hundreds watch Walnut the whippet take final walk before he is put down

Owner Mark Woods is joined by hundreds of other people with their pets as he carries ailing dog on the beach

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The Independent Online

Hundreds of people have joined a dog on his final walk on his favourite Cornish beach before he was put to sleep.

Earlier this week Mark Woods made an emotional appeal on Facebook for people and pets to join him on Saturday morning with his beloved pet Walnut on Porth Beach in Newquay.

The 18-year-old dog's health had deteriorated so Mr Woods had made the decision to have the dog put to sleep.

His heartbreaking Facebook post, Walk With Walnut, went viral and saw the dog's story appear on national television.

Mr Woods carried Walnut onto the beach in a blanket and they were joined by hundreds of other people with their pets. When he reached the water's edge he gently lowered Walnut into the sand and allowed him to dip his paw in the water.

Afterwards, Mr Woods said goodbye to his dog in a Facebook post and thanked members of the public who came along.

“Walnut passed away this morning at 11.56am,” he said.

“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.

“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.

“I read out a poem that was sent to me by one of the many well wishers just before Walnut had his last sleep and would love you all to read this as well to remind ourselves just how lucky we are to be alive and to share in the wonderful world that our pets give us.

“God bless you all.”

Accompanying the message, Mr Woods posted a picture of the poem and of him and Walnut together.

Pet lovers took to social media to pay tribute to Walnut.

Emma Jayne Goodman wrote on Facebook: “Thinking of your family and Walnut. RIP Walnut run free over the rainbow bridge xxx."

Wendy Feather added: “Wish you so, so, so much strength today. You're gonna need it. Be calm for him to the end. He needs you to be strong and calm beside him until his last heartbeat.

“Having been in this exact position in April this year, my heart still hurts so much from my gorgeous lab Hardy leaving us.

“But you know when it's the right and just thing to do. You just know. My heart completely, is with you today at this very, very difficult time.

“Dwell on the joy he brought you and celebrate his life with you. You never ever, ever forget. Never. I wish you both so much love.”

TV presenter Ruth Langsford, who fought back tears when Walnut appeared on This Morning earlier this week, tweeted: “Thanks everyone who turned out to support Mark & Walnut on their final walk together RIP in peace darling Walnut.”

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