I was a young, immature 18 year-old kid fresh out of the house in my first year of college when I walked into my hometown pet store to meet a whimpering puppy who I would take home with me. That puppy would spend the next 14 years of my life with me, numbering every year of my adulthood life, and this morning she was laid to rest.
The crazy thing about Hershey is that I have more memories of her than I do of just about any person in my life. She was with me in the formative years of college life, sat next to me as I struggled through the many deep, deep valleys, and was in more ways that I can imagine a gift from God. In the 14 years of her life, she lived with every member of my family, including my brother while a student at University of Alabama, my grandparents in their dying days to serve as a companion when they were too weak to get out of the house, and my parents who littered their refrigerator door with dozens and dozens of pictures of her. Almost everyone who came into my life over the past 14 years knew and loved her, but none more than my own family.
One funny story about Hershey has to do with when we moved down here to Cape Coral. While in Louisville, I really got into photography, so I took tons of photos of Hershey (see below for examples), and I posted them on my Flickr page. Since these photos were public, anyone could view them not only on Flickr but on any image search engine. One of Hershey’s photos went viral and became one of the most popular searched photos for a Pomeranian. So when we moved to Cape Coral, we needed to find a new dog groomer. When we entered the store to pick up Hershey, lo and behold here was an 8×10 print out of her on the wall of the store! One might think this was because they wanted customers to think she was one of their clients (when she lived in Louisville), and then she actually became one! But if you’re asking me, they probably posted it because she was that famous.
Hershey had an unusual personality for a Pomeranian. In her early years, she was quite stingy with my pillow, and when I would demand for more she would make up for that by resting her back on my head. Upon entering the house, she would run laps around the living room in absolute glee that made me feel like the most important person in the world. She wasn’t a dog who could do many tricks (largely my fault), but she made up for that in the way she loved. If Hershey had the ability to talk, she would be able to tell you more about my life than any other person (except my wife). But I guess that’s what makes dogs such good companions. They don’t talk, they just listen. And they make us laugh and feel loved.
I honestly could not have asked for a better dog and companion for the past 14 years of my life. Thank you Lord for providing a great companion and friend to love me and my family.