A man tried to return a bag of dog food after he lost his beloved pet. Instead, he received the sweetest package in the mail.
Joseph Inabnet of Falls Church, Virginia, lost his pug, Bailey, in October. Before she passed, she was on a diet of prescription dog food, which Joseph routinely ordered from the online pet retailer Chewy.
After Bailey’s passing, Joseph tried to return an unopened bag of Bailey’s food to Chewy. He explained the situation. Instead of accepting the return, Chewy told Joseph to donate the food and said it would refund his money.
Then the retailer did something that has many pet owners trying not to cry.
Joseph shared the story on Facebook, where it went viral.
“Today, completely out of the blue, I received from Chewy.com the card and painting below,” he wrote.
The (hand-written!) card expressed sympathy for Joseph’s loss:
“Pets come into our lives, leave paw prints on our hearts and we are forever changed,” it said. “We’re sending lots of love and positive thoughts. If you ever need anything, we’re always here.”
Along with the card, Chewy sent a personalized oil painting of Bailey’s face. Yes, really.
Joseph Inabnet is a pet owner in Falls Church, Virginia. Bailey is his late pug, a very special doggo.
Bailey died in October 2018, and Joseph had to complete one of those small yet excruciating tasks that all pet owners must do when their fur-baby dies — getting rid of all those pet supplies that they no longer need.
For Joseph, that meant returning Bailey’s expensive prescription dog food.
“She had been on prescription dog food, and I had a brand new unopened bag (about $70),” Joseph explained on Facebook. “I asked Chewy if I could return it. They told me to donate it instead, and they returned my money.”
That’s already way better customer service than many stores. But Chewy didn’t stop there.
A while later, Joseph received an unexpected package from Chewy.
Inside the package, there was a hand-written sympathy card for Joseph’s loss.
There was also a real oil painting of Bailey, which was based on a photo that Joseph says he must have uploaded to Chewy at some point.
Losing a pet is HARD, and so is getting rid of their things. To receive such a meaningful gift in the mail out of nowhere is just … so emotional.
WHO KNEW A RETAIL COMPANY COULD BE SO SWEET?!
The oil painting was by Sharon LaVoie Lamb, an artist in Connecticut who specializes in pet portraits and often does commissions for Chewy.
Apparently, Joseph’s story is far from unique. Many pet owners have received surprise paintings in the mail from Chewy, sometimes for pets who are still alive and healthy — just to be nice!
Joseph shared his story on Facebook, hoping to draw attention to this great company.
“I don’t know how to make something go viral, but Chewy.com deserves recognition for their outstanding attention to detail and customer service,” he wrote.
The post did go viral, though. Very much so — it has been shared over 100,000 times, and it has almost 9,000 comments.
People in the comments shared their own stories of Chewy’s exceptional customer service. The company has sent flowers, cards, and portraits to grieving pet owners, and it also sends cards in the mail for pets’ birthdays.
Chewy already has a loyal customer base, for obvious reasons. The retailer tries to build real relationships with its customers, and it seems to be working.
Thanks to Joseph’s post, though, the company is becoming even more popular as many pet owners make the switch from other online retailers.
In fact, Chewy’s stock jumped 77% higher after this story. It (literally) pays to be personable and kind sometimes!