Tennis ball memorial tribute to dog goes viral

image copyrightJennifer McKnight
image captionJennifer McKnight says she has been overwhelmed by the reaction to her tennis ball tribute to Loki

A woman who left boxes of tennis balls for dogs to play with in memory of her late pet has been overwhelmed by the reaction.

Jennifer McKnight came up with touching tribute to Staffordshire cross Loki after he died last month.

She also left posters on the Kelvin Walkway in Glasgow urging owners to cherish their time with their dogs.

But since pictures of her gesture were shared on Twitter by actor Colin McCredie, it has gone viral.

image copyrightJennifer McKnight
image captionLoki was diagnosed with canine lymphoma in December and died last month

Ms McKnight told BBC Radio Scotland's Stephen Jardine Programme: "I thought fellow dog owners will get this, they will understand, but the amount of attention it has got has been quite something.

"It has been lovely and just extra comfort for us at this time as well."

Ms McKnight held a family gathering to remember Loki on Monday.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Afterwards, she left three boxes of balls and tug rope at separate locations along the walkway in the city's west end.

Ms McKnight also tied posters to the fence with pictures of Loki and a message which has struck a chord with the public.

It reads: "Please take a treat for your own furry pal, and treasure every minute you have with them. There are never enough. 'Mon the dugs."

image copyrightJennifer McKnight
image captionThe poster Ms McKnight put up in memory of her beloved dog, who even attended her wedding

Loki was adopted from the SSPA's Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Cardonald by Ms McKnight's flatmate in 2007.

But the pair bonded when her friend went to visit her sister in New Zealand and they became inseparable.

Ms McKnight said: "He was just wonderful.

"I know everyone thinks they have got the best dog in the world but he really was an absolutely special wee soul.

"He was just gentle, sweet, good with children and good with other dogs. I took him everywhere with me."

Ms McKnight said Loki never gave her any trouble.

She added: "I feel a little bit as if I have lost my shadow. He was always there, always with me, always following me around."

'Something positive'

Loki was diagnosed with canine lymphoma last December but, given his age, Ms McKnight did not want to see him suffer by undergoing chemotherapy.

She said he remained playful until the end and was put to sleep in her Glasgow flat on 11 July.

A month later, she returned to the walkway and left the boxes of balls behind.

She said: "In the same way that many people do when they lose a member of their family, you want to do something positive and happy in their honour.

"The walkway was an obvious choice because it was his walk."

As well as the grief at losing her pet, Ms McKnight acknowledged that she has lost the links she formed with other dog owners and their pets.

She added: "Leaving that memorial was a way of having a final connection with them, maybe saying goodbye to them as well."

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