Everyone heals at a different pace after losing a loved one. Oftentimes, that loss happens sooner than we can imagine. Reese Witherspoon and her 21-year-old daughter recently said goodbye to their French Bulldog named Pepper. She died from cancer, but the actress and her family thought she was getting better. So, when her daughter Ava Phillippe adopted a dog of her own, she never expected it to be on the same day that Pepper passed. Of course, she loves her new dog Benji more than anything, but he certainly isn’t a replacement for Pepper. So, the day Phillippe brought Benji home was definitely a bittersweet one.
Benji’s Unexpected Appearance
Pepper lived with Witherspoon during her final days, so Phillippe wasn’t there the moment the pup passed away. Instead, she was at Best Friends Animal Society adopting a dog of her own. She picked up Benji and brought him home, but as soon as she arrived with her furry friend, Witherspoon called her to let her know of Pepper’s passing. Phillippe was in shock because she never thought the sweet French Bulldog would pass away so soon.
So, as much as Phillippe wanted to introduce the world to Benji, she knew it wasn’t the right time. She made a tribute post to Pepper and then spent some quality time with her new rescue pup. Then, about five days after the loss of Pepper, Phillippe made a post introducing her new dog to her Instagram followers. She did her best to explain the unusual situation with them, letting them know that Benji was adopted before Pepper passed and not as a replacement of any kind.
“What a wild & bittersweet week. The day we lost Pepper just so happened to be the day I brought this sweet boy home with me…” Phillippe wrote on Instagram. “This is Benji! He’s from the Best Friend Animal Society Sanctuary in Southern Utah and is a dream of a rescue dog.”
Love and Heartbreak
While Phillippe is still full of heartbreak after saying goodbye to Pepper, Benji has shown her so much love and support. Phillippe thanked Best Friends Animal Society for helping bring her and Benji together. She also encouraged her followers to adopt from the organization if they were looking for a new furry friend.
“He loves to cuddle and meet new friends (human & canine) and has quickly adjusted to life in his new home environment. Benji also enjoys squeaky toys, outdoor adventures, and anything he is allowed (or not allowed) to eat,” Phillippe wrote. “He is the happiest, smartest boy, and I’m so grateful to be his person. I cannot wait for him to perfect his manners and become his full, goofy self as time goes on!”
She also invited followers to help her guess what dog breeds Benji is mixed with. Phillippe thinks he has some Border Collie in him, and fans guessed breeds like Jack Russell Terrier, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Australian Cattle Dog. Of course, the breed doesn’t matter to her though because she has already fallen in love with his personality.
Losing a dog is never easy, and no dog can ever be replaced, but it’s okay to move on when the time is right. For Reese Witherspoon’s daughter, getting a new dog happened much quicker than expected, but it all worked out in the end. Benji is clearly one happy rescue pup, and it’s clear that he’ll be loved and well cared for.