'Best boy': Glorious obituary for golden retriever touches hearts everywhere

Thousands of good dogs are getting extra love these days to honor a golden retriever named Charlie.After losing Charlie to lymphoma earlier this month, Sallie Gregory Hammett cried for about four days straight. Then she decided to do something different with her grief: write his obituary.“I wanted to get down all of this quirks,” she told TODAY. “Not that I think I’ll ever forget them, but I wanted to immortalize them and write down every little thing, like him hating stairs and loving peanut butter and all that stuff. I wanted him to be recognized for how important he was to me.”

I wrote my dog an obituary because of course I did. He was the best boy. pic.twitter.com/FKmqeivtq9

— Sallie Hammett (@SallieGHammett)
Despite her loss, Hammett managed to capture canine whimsy — “If we’re being honest, Charlie loved everything life had to offer (except stairs. He hated stairs)” — as well as the deep love they shared. She concluded the obituary with a poignant request to readers: “He will be forever missed and forever remembered, but he left behind his fierce love, which never wavered. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you give all your pups some extra love in honor of Charlie.”

INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Dogs can be trained to to detect cancer and other diseases in humans. Cancerous cells release different metabolic waste products than healthy cells in the human body. Dogs may even be able to sniff out cancer cells simply through smelling someone’s breath.

Charlie's obituary, which mentions his love of "the beach, car rides, bananas, and socks," went viral on Twitter.Courtesy of Sallie Gregory Hammett
The message resonated. Soon after posting Charlie’s obituary on Twitter on Sept. 22, it went viral. It’s been liked over 108,000 times, and more than 3,000 people have commented, sharing condolences and photos of pets getting extra love or deceased dogs who will be greeting Charlie on the other side.

The response has been a great comfort for Hammett.

“It’s been a distraction because I have a new dog picture to look at every two minutes, which was an unrealized dream of mine,” she said. “It’s been so overwhelming but heartwarming, too. Overwhelming in a great way, because it’s made me feel like my grief is shared, and it’s just so cool that so many people are getting to know Charlie.”