“What a wild & bittersweet week,” the 21-year-old captioned a series of sunny Instagram photos on Sunday, October 25, showcasing new pooch Benji. “The day we lost Pepper just so happened to be the day I brought this sweet boy home with me … This is Benji! 🐾 He’s from the @bestfriendsanimalsociety sanctuary in Southern Utah and is a ✨ dream ✨ of a rescue dog.”
The California native gushed over the latest addition to her family, who she said “quickly adjusted to life” in his new home. “He loves to cuddle and meet new friends (human & canine),” she wrote via Instagram. “Benji also enjoys squeaky toys, outdoor adventures, and anything he is allowed (or not allowed) to eat. 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!”
Less than one week earlier, Ava and her mother, 44, each paid loving tribute to their pet Pepper after her death from cancer.
“Our sweet Pepper passed away yesterday,” the Legally Blonde actress revealed in a heartfelt Instagram post on October 20. “My goodness, she was such a loyal and devoted family member. I am so heart broken, but I am also deeply grateful for all the love and comfort she brought our family. Now she’s in dog heaven where all great pets go. … We will always love you, Pepper.”
The college student also honored their “sweet girl,” who fought valiantly through a months-long battle with “an aggressive cancer.”
“Just when we thought she was getting better, things took a turn for the worst, and she passed peacefully, surrounded by those who love her,” Ava captioned six photos of the Frenchie on Instagram. “If you ever met Peps, you’d know she was such a special girl. She was smart, sassy, and loved cuddling. … I’ll always treasure the times when I’d come home from college and she would meet me at the door, jumping for joy, and I’d pick her up so she could lick my face. She really knew how to make me feel special!”
The Big Little Lies star shares Ava and son Deacon, 17, with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe, from whom she split in 2008. Three years later, Witherspoon married Jim Toth, and the pair welcomed son Tennessee in September 2012.
Scroll down to see more sweet snaps of Ava’s rescue pup!