Grab the tissues and sneak a snuggle or some playtime with your dog as you read on because this one caught us right in the feels … hard. When we heard about Dr. Nicole Namie and her team of earth angels at Smiths Station Animal Hospital in Alabama, we just knew we had to share. This veterinary staff has been bringing comfort — and even a bit of joy — to some of the hardest moments in any pet parent’s life, with a little bit of chocolate.
It all started with a Facebook post of a jar filled with Hershey’s Kisses. The jar, labeled “goodbye kisses,” was shared alongside the caption “This jar is reserved for our euthanasia appointments … because no dog should go to Heaven without tasting chocolate.”
The post has been shared over 126,000 times on Facebook and is making its way across the internet — leaving a path of teary-eyed pet lovers in the process (us included).
Although the bittersweet post went viral only recently, Namie and her staff have been treating patients to all kinds of snacks in their final moments for years now.
She told TV station WRBL of Columbus, Georgia, “My staff has always kept little snacks and candy bars tucked away specifically for those appointments. Typically, these are treats that I wouldn’t recommend giving to my patients, but in their final moments I think it’s important to offer them something special.”
Although a small treat can go a long way for a dog, especially when they may not be feeling their best, these kisses do even more for the pet parents and veterinary staff who know and love these dogs. In a small town like Smiths Station, notes Namie, it’s common for her and her medical team to know their clients — both human and canine — personally as well as professionally.
This gentle, loving, and community-driven environment is exactly what makes the goodbye kisses so special — and pulls at the heartstrings of pet parents worldwide. It’s comforting to know there are veterinarians who care just as much as you do about the well-being and happiness of your pet, even in the most difficult of times.
“It isn’t a service that clients expect or anticipate, but they really seem to appreciate [it],” Namie says. “They seem to find comfort in knowing their pets are going to heaven with a full belly and love in their hearts.”
This sweet gesture doesn’t bring comfort just to pet parents but also to dog lovers across the globe. Over 13,000 people have commented on the Facebook post to share their own bittersweet stories of saying goodbye to best friends or to offer comforting words to others. A word of warning, though — these beautiful memorials are even more tear-jerking than the post itself.
Namie hopes this final gesture of gentleness will inspire other veterinary clinics to take similar steps. She notes that choosing to euthanize a pet is just like losing any other member of the family, and it does not take much to make these final moments both comfortable and joyful. It means the world to the families she meets, and it helps her and her staff show some love and say goodbye, too.
Thank you, Dr. Namie, for making the world a little kinder and more comforting.
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