(LOS ANGELES) — After the heartbreaking loss of their French bulldog Pepper, who lost her battle to cancer last Monday, Reese Witherspoon’s daughter delighted fans by showing off the family’s newest four-legged family member.

Ava Phillippe, who is 21, announced she recently rescued a mixed breed named Benji.  As it turns out, his “gotcha” day coincided with Pepper’s unexpected death.

“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,” Philippe shared on Sunday, alongside a series of photos of her adorable new fur baby. “This is Benji! He’s from the @bestfriendsanimalsociety sanctuary in Southern Utah and is a dream of a rescue dog.”

As it turns out, Benji has been crucial in helping the family heal from losing Pepper so suddenly.

“He loves to cuddle and meet new friends (human & canine) and has quickly adjusted to life in his new home environment,” detailed Philippe. “He is the happiest, smartest boy, and I’m so grateful to be his person.”

The 21-year-old also shouted out the shelter that connected her with Benji, endorsing, “I want to give many thanks to Best Friends Animal Society for all the work they do to save the lives of animals big and small and for helping me and Benji find each other.”  

“Even though we just entered each other’s lives, I feel like I’ve known Benji forever,” Philippe sweetly continued. “I’m super excited for many adventures with this guy by my side!”

Phillippe honored Pepper on Tuesday, telling fans she had been battling an “aggressive cancer” for months and was showing signs of improvement before her health took a turn for the worse.  

By Megan Stone
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