Dog walker stumbles across heart-warming cardboard box message that 'brought tears'

By Tansy Liu

A message on a cardboard box full of tennis balls left in the park melts a pet sitter's heart.

Kayley Drewitt, 29, from Littleport, Ely, was walking her client’s puppy, Ozzy, a Springer Spaniel aged seven months, in Ely Country Park when they spotted the box last Thursday.

They approached it out of curiosity but didn’t expect to see a note left by a retired fan of ball games - Jarvis the Cocker Spaniel - on the front of the box, which read: “I’m too old to play with my favourite tennis balls now.

"But it would make me very happy to know that some younger doggies would have fun with them. Love from Jarvis.”

Love from Jarvis - a friendly note that melts many viewers' hearts (Kayley Drewitt)

Kayley, a dog walker who runs The Animal Ark Pet Services, shared the encounter with a local Facebook Page, Spotted in Ely, and received an overwhelming response from social media users, with some saying that the sweet post “instantly brought tears to my eyes”.

One woman on Facebook commented: “My dog would have tried to take the whole box or just refused to go home and guarded them. She can get three in her mouth at once.”

Kayley told TeamDogs : “When we found out about the box, Ozzy put his head straight in it and picked a ball straight away.

(Kayley Drewitt)

“I thought it was an amazing gesture. There were so many balls in that box that I just wanted other people to be able to go and take their dogs there as well.

“I couldn't believe how many people liked it. It just shows that a little bit of kindness goes a long way.”

Kayley was later surprised to receive a message from Jarvis’ owner, Lian Wymer, 53, who spotted the same post when randomly scrolling through Instagram.

Lian got in touch with Kayley (Kayley Drewitt)

Lian, an advocate for ethical animal sanctuaries from Littleport, wrote that it was a “bittersweet” experience seeing Ozzy sniffing the balls, but it made her “so happy”.

She said: “Jarvis is nearly 11 now and he’s got very severe arthritis, so he’s no longer fit for ball games. But he used to be a very active boy who liked carrying a ball in his mouth wherever we went.

“My husband was cleaning out the back of the car where all the balls were kept, and he was just going to throw them away, but I said no.

“It was such a big part of Jarvis' daily life. He would always have his ball. I said I'd rather give them to somebody else.

“So I put them in a box, wrote a little note on it and left it in the park. But because of Covid, I wasn't sure if people would be a bit funny about picking them up. People are worried about getting in contact with others' possessions now.”

Grateful Kayley is planning to leave a thank-you gift on Jarvis’ doorstep after getting in touch with kind-hearted Lian, and they agreed to meet up soon to bring Ozzy and Jarvis together.

Lian added: “I just found it very heart-warming that people could see past how everyone had to be distant from each other.

“It just proved to me that people are seeing beyond Covid, and hopefully not thought twice about letting their dogs just take the balls from the box.

“I know Jarvis would’ve been over the moon if he saw that two years ago.”


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