Bittersweet goodbye: Alabama vet has jar of kisses for dogs being put down

SMITHS STATION, Ala. — “No dog should go to Heaven without tasting chocolate.”

That is the simple message at an Alabama animal hospital that allows for a sweet goodbye when a beloved dog is being put down and put out of its misery.

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Smiths Station Animal Hospital knows that a dog should not have chocolate under normal circumstances. But when it is a final goodbye between an owner and his or her four-footed friend, and the end is already minutes away, it can’t hurt anymore.

In the past, staff at the animal hospital would give the dog a bite of pizza. But after finding inspiration online, one of the workers made their own “goodbye kisses” jar and filled it with the foil-wrapped treats, WZDX reported.

This jar is reserved for our euthanasia appointments...because no dog should go to Heaven without tasting chocolate. ❤️❤️❤️ Dr. Namie

Posted by Smiths Station Animal Hospital on Monday, September 20, 2021

They originally shared a photo on Facebook for their current clients so they know what happens when they make that tough decision.

But the post quickly went viral with millions of views, they told WZDX. The post also received more than 12,000 comments, most of which are stories of pet owners and their companions, some who had recently had to say goodbye to their pets. Some shared the traditions they have when it’s time to let them go and not feel sick or pain anymore.

One man said in a Facebook comment he makes his dogs pancakes and “feed them like royalty.” Another comment shared that they gave their dog a chocolate doughnut on the way to the final appointment and one woman who recently had to say goodbye said she gave her furbaby a steak and bacon green beans as a final meal.

Keep in mind, Veterinary Centers of America, a chain of animal hospitals across the country, says chocolate can be dangerous for dogs as they are unable to metabolize theobromine and caffeine as well as humans can. If a dog would ingest chocolate, call a veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline to see if they ate a toxic amount and what steps to take, the VCA advises.