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An older Labrador retriever is seen getting a treat in the stock image above.

An older Labrador retriever is seen getting a treat in the stock image above. (Kurdyukova Olga / Shutterstock)

 By Amanda Thomason  October 1, 2021 at 3:15pm

There comes a point in most pet owners’ lives when they must decide how to approach the inevitable and impending loss of their beloved animal companions.

Some create bucket lists. Some travel once more to that favorite spot and share one last adventure with their four-legged friend.

Many make sure that their pet’s last day is as good as it can be, and they fill it with love, comfort and their pet’s favorite foods.

Smiths Station Animal Hospital has recently risen to internet fame after a simple, heartfelt share of one of the special treats its employees incorporate into euthanasia appointments, and it has brought many to tears.

It began when Casey Hinkley, a veterinary technician at the clinic based in Alabama, spotted a lovely idea online of a treat jar for dogs about to cross the rainbow bridge, Fox News reported.

With the design help of Tracy Gee and the heartbreaking phrase Dr. Nicole Namie came up with, the treat jar was complete: A dog-themed “cookie jar” holding chocolate Kisses for final appointments, labeled “Goodbye Kisses.”

The animal hospital posted a photo of the jar on Facebook with a simple description, and it quickly went viral.

“This jar is reserved for our euthanasia appointments…because no dog should go to Heaven without tasting chocolate,” the caption read.

Since being shared on Sept. 20, the post has been reacted to over 68,000 times and shared over 126,000 times. Over 13,000 people have commented — many sharing stories of their own pets’ final meals.

Just three days later, the animal hospital posted its surprise at how far the jar idea had reached.

“Wow!” the hospital wrote. “We did not expect a post to become so viral! Thank you everyone so much for your support and love. We love our patients so much and this just made our day.”

People have sent packages of candy to the hospital so they can keep their jar stocked, and hospital manager Jennifer Williams told Fox that other vet hospitals have decided to pick up on the trend after seeing their post.

“It was just so sweet that this one little jar filled with Hershey’s Kisses brought people together from all over the world,” Williams said.

“They are complete strangers … but we have that one commonality — that people really do love their pets, and they understand what it’s like to lose a family member.”

On Facebook, the hospital once again extended condolences to the bereaved and created video slideshows out of the many photos commenters shared of their late pets.

“We have read all your stories, we have cried, and we have been overwhelmed by the sweet responses from people all around the world,” the hospital wrote.

“We love you all. Our thoughts and prayers go out to each of you who have lost a furry family member. We wanted to share the pictures you have all shared. There are 3 separate videos. Thank you again for being so kind and sharing these with us.”

Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she’s strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.

As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn’t really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.

She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she’s had teal hair.

With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children’s books with her husband, Edward.

Location

Austin, Texas

Languages Spoken

English und ein bißchen Deutsch

Topics of Expertise

Faith, Animals, Cooking

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