Fairhaven Dog Mom Keeps Mac’s Memory Alive With Unusual Gift
FAIRHAVEN — Fairhaven residents might notice an extra perk at their favorite park, after one local woman has started putting up baskets with free tennis balls for local pooches in memory of her four-legged pal Mac.
"Please help yourself to a tennis ball to spend some quality time playing with your best friend," signs on the baskets read, going on to thank users for "helping keep Mac's memory alive."
"We know he's watching somewhere so happy to see other dogs enjoying play time with their humans," the note adds.
Leanne Manning, the woman behind the free ball baskets — also known as "The Furry Dogmother" — said she did it for her best friend, who passed away earlier this year.
"He was the biggest sweetheart," she said about Mac, whose photo adorns the signs above the baskets.
"He had a huge personality and was so incredibly loving to all people and animals," Manning added.
"His favorite thing was swimming and finding the biggest rocks and bringing them home with him. He loved exploring and was truly the best dog."
So far two baskets with free balls for dogs have gone up, one at Fort Phoenix, where Mac loved to swim, and another at Cushman Park.
And Manning isn't done putting them up yet, saying there are a few more spots she'd like to add to the list.
Manning, a former vet tech, now runs an aptly named pet-sitting business called 'It's The Furry Dogmother.'
"I’ve seen a lot of pets pass, sadly, and I just wanted to do something special to keep his memory alive in a positive way," she said.
She raised Mac for 11 years, ever since he was a puppy.
"He was my best friend and I was really struggling with losing him," she said.
Now, Manning said people have sent her photos and videos of their pets playing with the balls via her Facebook or Instagram.
"It makes me think of him in a happy way, instead of being sad about him being gone," she said.
"He loved me his entire life, and I’ll be missing him for the rest of mine," Manning added. "And to anyone grieving losing their pet, know they’re not alone."