A pet owner’s heartwarming experience when she tried returning an item to an online pet food store after her dog died has gone viral.
Anna Brose and her husband were visiting relatives in Alaska last month when their beloved dog, Gus, suddenly passed away.
To Anna, Gus was the best dog. He loved cuddling, hunting squirrels, and licking whipped cream off his nose.
While grieving the loss of the beloved dog, Anna checked if she could return an unopened bag of prescription dog food they got from the Chewy pet store. The company gave her a full refund and suggested that she donate the food to a shelter instead.
Anna, 28, thought Chewy had done enough. But a few days later, she came home to find a box of flowers with a note on her porch. The flowers didn’t come from a friend or a family member but from Jordan, the Chewy customer service representative she had talked to and who had sent her their written condolences.
Anna said it “meant a lot” that someone else knew about Gus and cared about his passing.
“I didn’t even say his name, but the person must have gone to my profile and looked at my profile,” Anna said. “They came right back to me and said, ‘I’m so sorry about Gus.’ It was so moving.”
Touched by the gesture the pet food store, Anna took to Twitter to share her experience, and her story quickly went viral. People across the world started paying tribute to Gus and sharing their own similar stories with Chewy after their pets passed away.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Chewy’s director of customer service, Andrew Stein, said:
“Customers are at the heart of everything we do at Chewy,” he explained. “Every interaction with a customer is an opportunity to surprise them in a moment of joy or provide empathy in a time of sadness.”
“These acts of lasting companionship, which include sending handwritten Christmas cards, hand-painted portraits of pets and sympathy flowers, are embedded in our culture and allow us to create deeply personal and emotional connections through all heights. and pet’s lows. parent journey,” he added.
Shortly after marrying in 2017, Anna and her husband met then three-year-old Gus at a shelter in Billings, Montana. Anna said the Chocolate Lab-German Shorthaired Pointer mix was “really nervous and scared.”
“I don’t know what his life was like before, but he kept coming back to us, seeking comfort and safety,” Anna said. “He wanted to be with us. It just felt right.”
Whenever they would take him outside for a walk, run, or hike in Indiana, Montana, Alaska, and Wisconsin, any trepidation that Gus had disappeared. He’d be more playful and wrestle with Juniper, the couple’s other dog, at home and the dog park.
“As soon as he was outside, all his fear disappeared,” said Anna, a wildlife ecologist.
Anna and her husband knew Gus had some mysterious health symptoms but had been reassured that none of them were life-threatening. But on the night of May 26, a friend taking care of Gus while they were away called them to say that he had passed away.
Gus was only 7 or 8, according to Anna.
The vet later confirmed that stomach bloat, aka gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV), caused his death. This serious condition occurs when a dog’s stomach is filled with food, gas, or liquid and then turns clockwise. It develops without warning and can be fatal if left untreated.
It’s unclear what caused Gus’ stomach bloat.
When Anna shared her experience with the pet food store online, many friends and strangers replied with pictures of Gus and their own pets. Anna said the overwhelming support from the public has helped them throughout their grieving process.
Life has been hard without Gus, but Anna and her husband try to get by. They have focused on taking care of Juniper, who Anna said is “absolutely lonely and confused” without her dog sibling.
“The kindness Chewy and Twitter have shown since then has kind of restored my faith in humanity,” Anna said. “We still talk about Gus so he doesn’t become the sad thing that disappears from our lives.”
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