A three-year-old boy, Luke Westbrook, wrote a letter to his beloved beagle Moe, who passed away and went to “doggie heaven.” Incredibly, the beloved pet wrote back to the little boy from beyond the grave.
Moe passed away in April, aged 13, and like all good pet dogs went to “doggie heaven,” leaving the family of Mary and Roberto Westbrook in Norfolk’s Colonial Place, Virginia, to grieve.
Soon after the beagle passed away, Mary and her son began writing letters to him in “doggie heaven” as a way of dealing with the heartbreak. The letter writing ritual began after Luke asked if Moe was coming back home and expressed a wish to write a letter to him.
In a blog post for Distinction Magazine, Mary Architzel Westbrook said she would write the letter with verbal input from Luke and address it to “Moe Westbrook, Doggie Heaven, Cloud 1.”
According to Mary, a typical letter to the dog in “doggie heaven” would read, “I miss you. Hope you’re having fun in doggie heaven.”
Westbrook told Today that “because you can’t fool a three-year-old,” she would put the letter in their mailbox but take it out after Luke had gone to bed.
The mother-son ritual continued for some time without incident, until one evening Westbrook forgot to retrieve the letter from the box after her son had gone to bed. When she went to retrieve the letter in the morning she found it was missing.
But Westbrook soon forgot about the missing letter, assuming that it was found by a postal worker who probably read it, snickered and threw it away. But two weeks later she got a big surprise when she found a letter in her box addressed to Luke “From Moe.”
“I assumed the post office would throw it away – or that someone might even laugh at it, or us. [But] instead, this morning [on Wednesday], this unstamped note appeared in our mailbox. The return address read only, ‘From Moe.'”
The doggie writer from the great beyond thanked Luke for being his friend during his life and signed off, saying, “I wuv you Luke.”
“I’m in doggie heaven. I play all day. I am happy. Thank you 4 being my friend. I wuv you Luke.”
As The Virginian-Pilot notes, Luke was too young to be impressed with the miracle of a letter from “doggie heaven,” and his mother was also not impressed with the miracle for a different, adult reason — letters written in neat, legible handwriting don’t come from heaven, let alone “doggie heaven.”
Yet, as Westbrook told Today, she was deeply touched by the thoughtful gesture from a stranger, but she did not know who was behind it. She read the note to her son later in the day.
“Moe came into my life 13 years ago and he made things more complicated and smelly, but also, well. I still miss him every day…
“The kindness of this stranger gutted me. Receiving the note reminded me of the goodness of people and just how big a small gesture can really be. Here’s to Moe, in doggie heaven, and thoughtful postal workers everywhere.”
However, The Virginian-Pilot conducted an investigation and found that the letter was written by Zina Owens, a postal worker – a window clerk – at the U.S. Post Office, 3800 Colley Avenue.
Owens, who has worked with the postal service for 25 years, said this is not the first time that she has responded to unstamped letters written by little boys and girls. But she said that previous letters she has replied were addressed mostly to Santa Claus. It is the first time she has replied a letter to a pet in “doggie heaven.”
“I felt it in my heart. Here was a child who had lost his dog, and any time you love something and it goes away, it hurts.”
Reacting to the viral attention her letter has received, Owens said, “You see so much negativity in the world. So many bad headlines. But we’re more than that. I wanted to make his. It’s just love. Plain and simple.”
[Images: Mary Architzel Westbrook/Distinction Magazine]