Older Neighbor Says Petsitting Helped 'Restart My Life Again' In Emotional Letter

Ashley Hunte
A man whose face is turned away from the camera while hugging a golden retriever.
Unsplash | Eric Ward

Loneliness is something you don't always catch onto at first. Sometimes, it can take you months, or even years, before you notice how alone you feel. And when it comes to our neighbors -- especially the elderly ones -- you don't always see their loneliness.

When one Reddit user shared a letter an elderly neighbor sent her after he pet-sat for them during a vacation, it showed how powerful kindness (and pets) can be.

The viral post was uploaded to the r/pics subreddit.

The Reddit ap icon on a phone screen.
Unsplash | Brett Jordan

The post by user Snoo8upcakes8607 was titled, "This is the letter my neighbor sent me after I let him babysit my pets while I was on vacation." It's accompanied by an image of the letter, sent by a neighbor named Robert.

"Good afternoon. This letter is regarding your vacation two weeks ago, and how you let me babysit Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer."

Two dogs and a cat piled up on a woman's lap.
Unsplash | Chewy

"I'd just like to give you a letter of thanks," the neighbor wrote.

"As you know, I'm an old man. You don't see me outside often anymore, as these joints aren't as lively as they used to be."

"To add to that, two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, my dad got diagnosed with stage four colon cancer."

A shadowed person sitting in front of a window that shows grey skies/seas.
Unsplash | Noah Silliman

"After his death, I was left alone in my home. I don't have a wife or kids. I could go to sleep one day and never wake up again. Every day is just sitting around and wondering what I have done for this world."

"Until I met Smokey, Oreo, and Jennifer."

A man hugging a small, black puppy.
Unsplash | Erica Magugliani

"Your pets are the cutest, funniest, and most troublesome (In a good way, don't worry, they didn't mess up my house too much!) individuals," he continues. "They gave me the motivation to restart my life again."

"The highlight of their stay was when I took them to the park. It was the longest time I've spend outside in a while."

Several people and pets at a park.
Unsplash | MChe Lee

"...I also met other people, started talking, and made friends with a handful of fellow human beings. I was so happy to finally be able to talk with friends again, interact with others, and feel like I'm part of the human race."

"I realize I sound very existential right now, but I'm telling the truth."

To hands intertwined.
Unsplash | Markus Spiske

"It's nice knowing that I'm doing something for someone, even if it's my neighbor."

What Robert said right here is so impactful because it shows how important it is to feel needed.

"I adopted two dogs soon after."

Two dogs in the midst of running over frosted grass.
Unsplash | Vincent van Zalinge

"...I now take regular walks to the park with them and talk with friends I made there. Anyways, I'd just like to say: thank you so much. You brought back meaning to my life. And that's all that matters."

He signs the letter with his name (Robert), and then jokingly adds that the Reddit user needs to mow her lawn.

A letter in which an old man thanks his neighbor for letting him pet sit.
reddit | SnooCupcakes8607

It's such a beautiful letter that's been garnering a lot of attention on the website, with over 170k upvotes and hundreds of awards.

The comment section was absolutely loving this story.

SpongeBob dropping a broom to look at something while his expression changes to awe.
Giphy | SpongeBob SquarePants

"Aww that’s so sweet, sad and heartwarming at the same time! A kind and gentle old man!" one user wrote.

"My heart just grew three sizes reading this. You made the world a better place for that man OP, that’s all any of us can hope to do," another said.

At the end of the day, it just shows how much you can help others by letting them help you.

A person grabbing the hand of another person.
Unsplash | RĂ©mi Walle

Robert got to feel needed and less alone in the world. It's really like he got a new lease on life!

And if anything, this story is a good reminder that we should always try to reach out to others because we never know what they're going through.