Heartbreaking story behind this box of tennis balls at the beach

The heartbreaking story behind a box of tennis balls at the beach has sent the internet into a meltdown after it was revealed as a tribute to a dog who had recently passed away.

The wooden box filled with tennis balls features a sign explaining its purpose, left by the owner of a dog named ‘Charlie’.

“Please help yourself to a tennis ball for your dog to enjoy,” the sign, which appears to have been at the UK beach for a while but has since gone viral after being posted on Reddit, said.

“Remember to live each moment just like your dog, with unconditional love, loyalty and happiness.”

The picture was posted by a Reddit user who was stunned by the gesture.

The touching canine tribute (pictured). Source: Reddit/u/Sir_battmaker

“You may also wish to pop it back in the box afterwards for another pooch to enjoy,” the sign continued.

“If you wish to keep it then that’s fine.”

The tender tribute struck a chord with social media users.

“Oh man that made my heart hurt,” one Reddit user wrote.

“Worst part of owning a dog is knowing you’re watching them get a little closer to the end, every day,” another wrote.

“That is so sweet and nice! There is nothing better than a dog. RIP Charlie the good boy,” a Reddit user wrote.

A golden retriever (pictured). Source: Getty (file pic)