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Sarah Jayne daughter Ava and neighbour send notes to check in with each other through DOG Nugget

Neighbours in a country town are keeping in touch in a most unique way – attaching handwritten letters to each other to the collar of an adorable dog called Nugget who delivers them between houses. 

Mother Sarah Jayne, 40, who lives in a town in central Victoria, said her American Staffordshire Terrier returned to his family home on Thursday with a the handwritten letter attached to his collar. 

The letter was addressed to her six-year-old daughter Ava who has been staying at home as a precaution in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

‘Our dog Nugget came home with something stuck in his collar. I took it off and what was written on it made my daughter’s day and melted my heart,’ Ms Jayne told Daily Mail Australia.

‘Ava had influenza last year and she was hospitalised. She still sees specialists as her kidneys were affected. Due to this we have been very careful with this current situation and have kept her home.

‘She has been quite lonely, missing her friends and hanging out with the neighbours so to get this surprise letter meant the world to her.

‘The letter made us really smile in these uncertain times, kids are so sweet.’

The heartwarming note was written by her 10-year-old neighbour Sianne, who has lived next door to the family since Ava was a baby.

‘They are best friends, like sisters,’ Ms Jayne said.

The letter read: ‘Ava, I know we can’t see each other now but we can still send messages through Nugget. I don’t know why but dogs can’t carry viruses. I know right? Can you please send me a message back so I know you’re still alive.

‘From Sianne. P.S: COVID-19 will eventually go and everything will be ok.’

Little Ava has been spending a lot of time indoors so when the letter arrived, she was thrilled to hear from her best friend who she hadn’t seen in weeks.

‘When I read it my heart melted, what a sweet gesture and seeing another child trying to put Ava’s mind at ease was even sweeter,’ Ms Jayne said.

‘Ava was so excited to receive communication from her friend and now the girls have even incorporated home schooling into the letters giving each other tasks like poem writing and drawing pictures of things so it has also become a great learning tool.’

The family have since set up a letterbox on the fence outside their property with a ‘flag system to show if there is mail’.

‘Nugget was getting a little lazy with his mail delivery and the girls were getting impatient with him so we set up a letterbox,’ Ms Jayne said as she laughed.

‘We live on 30 acres of land and he wanders around visiting the neighbours as they all love him. Nugget also brings smiles to everyone’s faces with his visits.

‘We have also been careful, spraying and washing our hands regularly.’

Ms Jayne shared the note on Facebook – and her heartwarming post has since gone viral, with hundreds of Australians praising Nugget, the ‘official messenger dog’.

‘These are the stories that will keep those of us in isolation buoyed,’ one said.

A second said: ‘This makes my heart so happy.’

A third said: ‘How precious, the silver lining in all of this is we are now going back to basics and communicating again. This is just lovely.’

And another said: ‘Awww! Sure beats carrier pigeons.’ 

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