Three-year-old Luke Westbrook was heartbroken when the family beagle, Moe, died in April.
With help from his mom, Mary, the Norfolk, VA, boy began writing letters to Moe in “doggie heaven” and putting them in the mailbox.
Mary retrieved the notes after Luke fell asleep — except one was accidentally collected by a letter carrier. Since the envelope didn’t have a stamp, Mary expected it to be thrown out.
So imagine the family’s surprise when a note from Moe arrived last week.
“I’m in Doggie Heaven,” the letter read. “I play all day. I am happy. Thank you for 4 being my friend. I wuv you Luke.”
The Virginian-Pilot’s story about the miraculous response went viral, receiving clicks and comments from readers in about 80 countries.
This week, the newspaper tracked down the writer: Norfolk Retail Associate Zina Owens, who said Luke’s note touched her.
“I felt it in my heart,” she said. “Here was a child who had lost his dog, and any time you love something and it goes away, it hurts.”
Luke’s letter made her day, Owens said, “so I wanted to make his. It’s just love. Plain and simple.”