Hershey wasn’t meant to be my dog. We had a beagle puppy named Lady who had monopolized the family’s attention. The monopoly reached a crescendo when, on a clear sunny day in Grand Ledge Michigan, Lady and I entered the garage she found the garage door open and our two daughters across the street. In sheer happiness she bolted right into the path of our neighbor’s Cadillac. Figuring the family needed a replacement I searched and found Hershey a chocolate beagle named by the daughters and then abandoned left with only me.
We spent hours in the frigid Michigan winters pursuing the genetic hardwiring inherited from parents who earned eight international and twenty-five national field trial championships. I never saw a dog more love hunting. We bonded like the stuff movies are made of.
A move to California and we still hunted and ran to the tune of 7,000 miles together until she required two ACL surgeries. We began to communicate on a sensory level and when the divorce came and a move to Singapore Hershey, after 30 days in a rat infested quarantine at 14 years of age, lost her hearing. At 16 we were headed home and even with failing kidneys she survived the 12,000 mile trip and now resides in Illinois.
Along the way we found that through the hardships we cared for each other with unconditional love. Abandoned by my children, she’s become my only source of care and I thank the Lord each day for that privilege.
When she was dying from kidney failure in Singapore I sat with her and reflected how a dog is so special. When our parents leave us we only remember them as adults. But with our dogs we are blessed to know them as adorable puppies, mischievous adults and inseparable companions in their senior years. That’s my Hershey and thanks to Hershey’s inspiration, I’m here to write this story.

Ted from IL