Read more about Special Delivery: Beloved Pooch Memory Lives On By Owner Who Mails Tennis Balls at PetGuide.com.Losing your beloved pooch is nothing short of heart-breaking. Your home feels empty, you miss your best friend, and everything around you reminds you of them. But what if there was a way to celebrate Fido's life and, better yet, make the lives of other dogs just as happy as his had been? Well, Chris Stonag-Ratti, a heartbroken pet parent from San Francisco, did just that.
His Boxer/Rottweiler mix, fittingly named 'Everything,' was 12 years old when she died of cancer in January of 2002, 10 years after Stonag-Ratti had adopted her. In short, Everything was Stonag-Ratti's everything, and when she passed away, she took a piece of his heart with her.
Stonag-Ratti wanted to find a way to ease the pain by sharing a toy Everything loved to play with: a tennis ball. He posted a photo of Everything on his Instagram account, the caption reading that if anyone wanted a tennis ball, he would happily cover all costs and send them one in loving memory of Everything. The catch: they had to promise to play with the ball with their dog.
He initially had low expectations, thinking that hardly anyone would take notice. But overnight, his post had gathered over 8,000 likes and his supply finished almost overnight. Stonag-Ratti now has a list hundreds of dogs long, anxiously awaiting the arrival of their Everything ball.
Many send words of encouragement and thanks along with their request for one of the tennis balls. Those who have already received their ball have been sending or posing pictures up of their dog playing with the ball. Stonag-Ratti says this mission wasn't about himself or Everything, but it was mainly about getting people re-connected with their pet. One example, he says, is to get that backyard dog, lonely and on a chain, off the chain and playing with their owner with a ball.
Everything was a very sweet, playful dog who always reminded Stonag-Ratti to stay on the right track in life. Although cancer swept her off to Rainbow Bridge, we can be sure that her love of tennis balls is giving other owners and their pooches a reason to play if they didn't before thanks to Stonag-Ratti's act of kindness.