After babysitting his neighbor’s pets while their owner was on vacation, a man called Robert sent his neighbor a letter, thanking them for “bringing meaning back” into his life.
Robert’s neighbor, who goes by the username u/SnooCupcakes8607, shared the letter on Reddit, where it has so far reached over 151,000 upvotes, almost 2,900 comments and any kind of award you can possibly give a missive on the platform.
In the post the neighbor wrote: “This is the letter my neighbor sent me after I let him babysit my pets while I was on vacation.” Robert’s letter starts with a big thank you to his neighbor for letting him take care of their three pets, Smokey, Oreo and Jennifer while they were on holiday, and goes on to explain how their pets changed his life.
“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. 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 spent just sitting around and wondering what I have done for this world.”
He then goes on to explain how his neighbor’s pets gave him the motivation to restart his life again. “Every 10 minutes whenever I felt sad for a second, they would bark or rub against my leg and make me laugh,” he wrote.
“The highlight of their stay was when I took them to the park. It was the longest time I’ve spent outside in a while,” he added, going on about how these pets also helped him with his social life.
“It didn’t just bring back pet interaction, I also met other people, started talking, and made friends with a handful of fellow human beings. I was very happy to finally be able to talk with friends again, interact with others, and feel like I’m part of the human race.”
In the emotional letter Robert also told his neighbor that after the incredible time he had looking after his dogs he has now adopted two dogs of his own. “I now take regular walks to the park 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.”
A Harvard University report from October 2020 shows that 36 percent of adult Americans feels “serious loneliness.” Some 61 percent of young adults and 51 percent of mothers report feeling the same way.
The same study found that 43 percent of young adults reported an increase in loneliness since the pandemic started. “About half of lonely young adults in our survey reported that no one in the past few weeks had ‘taken more than just a few minutes’ to ask how they are doing in a way that made them feel like the person ‘genuinely cared.’ “
Some of the comments were almost as emotional as the letter. One user, treesfen, commented: “You never know when or where you are helping someone by asking for their help.”
Another user, gruntillidan, shared their own story of kindness: “I’ve been pretty apathetic lately, haven’t met or really talked to anyone in a long time. I have a lot of good friends, but I’ve just avoided meet -ups etc. Just today my friend asked me to pick up his son from their summer cabin. The way back home was a blessing, he is my godson, brilliant and witty kid. I ended up staying at their home for some time chit- chatting with the friend.”
While most users were moved by the letter, others joked about the funny ending, where Robert asked his neighbor to mow their lawn, and the original poster answered: “dw man, I cut it this morning. Haven’t trimmed the edges though, gotta get to that later”, and another user, Ratdogkent, added: “10 paragraphs followed by ‘lol but seriously, trim the f**king edges you animal.'”
Newsweek has reached out to SnooCupcakes8607 for comment.