One woman’s delightful gesture for local dogs has melted hearts online this week after her unique free dog-toy library went viral on Reddit.
Julie Longenecker from Mankato, Minnesota, gained viral attention when her niece Sarah Nall shared a short video of the “little library” outside her house.
Sharing the video on Tuesday, since when it has received thousands of upvotes, Nall explained how her aunt had used the small outdoor structure to create a free dog toy dispenser for people who walked by.
“She and her independent contractors made it by hand,” Nall said Newsweek.
It was back in the summer of 2020 when Julie first started leaving toys out for local dogs and filled the library box in her front yard with her handmade creations.
Running a small business called Whiskers n’ Paws online, Julie sells handmade pet toys and accessories from cat fishing toys to self-heating dog beds.
The box is a big hit with local dogs and owners as it empties out every few days.
Online, Redditors were delighted by the random act of kindness and shared their thoughts in the comments.
“You have an awesome aunt,” said one commenter, while another wrote: “This is so cool, I wish we all had your aunt’s little library to visit.”
“This is adorable,” said another reply. “And quite possibly the purest joy-dispensing act of charity a person would ever take. It hurts my heart to think of all the effort she put in, knowing that my dog will immediately amputate the limbs and then perform emergency heart surgery.”
The free dog toy library puts a fun twist on the well-loved Little Free Library—a movement that started in 2009 in Hudson, Wisconsin when Todd Bol mounted a wooden container on his lawn and filled it with books.
After a while, the idea spread, and thousands of people began to build mini library bookhouses across the US By 2012, Free Little Library was officially incorporated as a non-profit organization to encourage widespread reading.
“What an amazing and lovely idea,” said another Redditor. “Your aunt sounds like an awesome human!”
With hundreds of delighted comments, Nall was thrilled that the video had made so many people happy too: “My aunt is so inspiring to me and what she does for the pet community,” she said. “I wish her mailboxes were all around the world to make dog walkers’ days. She was overjoyed by the response.”