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A Kiss Goodbye

by Barry KuKes

I recently visited Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach with our Ambassador Dog and my personal pet, Bentley. The university had requested that we visit to help relieve the students’ stress levels during exams week. We were happy to be of assistance.
While students gathered to pet Bent- ley, several would pull up a slab of sidewalk and stay awhile. We talked about Bentley, how he was found as a stray not far from the university, what type of pets they had, etc. One of the students, a young man with Golden Re- trievers of his own, made a comment that stuck with me. We discussed how Bentley’s house brother Max had re-cently become quite ill, and we had to put him down to ease his suffering.

The young man asked, “Did you give Max a piece of chocolate before he passed?”

I replied, “No, why do you ask?”

He said, “Since chocolate is poisonous to dogs, it would be nice to let them taste it before they pass. Maybe a chocolate kiss could be the final kiss goodbye.” I just smiled in recognition of his genuine kindness.

Later that day, I thought about his observation again. Giving your pet what they have been denied their entire life is an act of kindness. It’s not like the chocolate would harm or make the animal sick before the effects of euthanasia helped them crossover the rainbow bridge. Why not let them taste chocolate before they crossover?

I suffer from diverticulitis and thus cannot eat nuts or seeds. So, when I am on my death bed, hopefully, many years from now, I will request a jar of cashews and macadamia nuts to gorge on before taking my last breath.
If my dogs could talk, they would have asked for chocolate and ice cream as their last meal. Maybe a hot fudge sundae with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

Remember to be kind to animals and adopt, don’t shop. When it is time for your pet to crossover, give them a special treat and lots of love, so they pass with happy thoughts of their life with you.

Barry KuKes is the Community Outreach Director for the Halifax Humane Society in Daytona Beach. He can be reached at 386. 274.4703, ext. 320, or at barryk@halifaxhu