A Tribute to the World’s Best Dog
To the Editor:
While others began their summer with backyard BBQs, pool parties, talks of vacationing, our family was reluctantly saying goodbye to the world’s best dog.
What once began with a simple “Can I have a dog?” from my then 3-year-old daughter, was quickly responded to with a “No way, dogs are a lot of work!”
That question somehow turned into a visit to the local SPCA. So our tale begins there. We went to a shelter, saw a lot of dogs and left, only to return days later with Dad. “What do think of this one?” I hear Dad say. I reply, “He’s cute, I don’t remember seeing him before, he must be new.”
There was a waitlist of 11 people. Perfect, we’ll add our name to the list and say we tried; that should pacify the kid. I learned the next day the shelter calls the list in order and if you don’t answer they move on.
So there I was hanging up the phone, turning off Sesame Street, loading two young kids in the car. As I was backing out of the driveway, I saw the backyard gate was shut. Quickly, I jumped out of the running car to open the gate while accidentally hitting the lock button and shutting the car door. Oh geez, this is bad, this is a sign, I said to myself, we are NOT ready for a dog. Somehow, rather swiftly, my daughter un-clicked her seatbelt and unlocked the door. Deep breaths, okay maybe THAT was a sign, we ARE ready for a dog.
The first week he made caring for a dog look easy. It wasn’t until the second week he had his first and only accident. “Dogs are a lot of work, Mom,” my daughter said. Gee, where did she hear that from? From that point on, he got real comfortable and began to steal food, jump on guests, and run off. Still, his good characteristics outweighed the bad and we decided he was family. We named him “Hershey.”
Hershey would wake up early and lick my hand until I was up. He’d then run to the top of the steps, sit and wait. He wouldn’t head downstairs until I took the first step, although he had to be the first one to reach the bottom. Even as an old dog he’d leap off the floor about two feet in the air then bolt outside like a rocket. He had to be first for everything — outside, in the car, to any room, you name it. His incredible zest for the simple pleasures of life was powerful and contagious.
His last few months he battled with kidney failure. We were so blessed to have been his owners and to have answered that 12th call. Thank you Hershey for an amazing 12½ years, you filled it with so much love and will be forever missed.