March 1, 2011 — February 7, 2017
“Hershey was like a little Hershey Kiss. He was tiny and extremely sweet. We enjoyed him more than you would ever imagine. Physically, he went quicker than we wanted. But when he was ‘gone,’ he continued to leave a good taste in our mouth… that we could remember at any time, which reminded of how much we actually loved him.”
It was March 2013. The Mimm Family was recently hit with something we never wanted. Our nearly 16 year-old beagle, Bailey, had passed away. It was difficult and we never thought that we would lose him. More importantly, we never ever thought that there would be a dog close to us that could even come close to as good as Bailey. Oh little did we know.
Being the insane, pet loving family that we are, we were on the computers immediately searching for a new pup. But, we wanted to make one quick change before we brought any new family members in. We wanted to adopt. And that was a great decision. Adopting, we found, was 100 times better than buying an animal from a pet store. We found that these dogs, that you adopt, have lived a tough life. Some were in high-kill shelters, and some were traumatized from previous life experiences. Hershey was one of those dogs. We believe that his life before he came to use wasn’t as great as it could’ve been. But we also believe that when he came to us, we gave him a pretty nice life.
It was a normal day. At home, probably raining outside. So, we were on Petfinder, a popular pet adoption site. We were searching continuously for the “right fit.” And we finally stopped. All of a sudden, the mom of the house, Lisa shouted “Hey Bill and Lizzy, come here I found someone.” Then I, the young nine year old came into the room, “Wait really Mommy? You found a dog??” That day, my mom e-mailed the foster mom of little Melvin, soon to be Hershey.
Two days later, we had scheduled a nice home meet up to meet two year old Melvin, which we now believe may have been a fluke with age predicting. Two days after that, we walked into a home, about 35 minutes away from where we lived. When we entered, we were greeted by a woman, who was really kind, another beagle, two other dogs, and one little guy. This little guy was Melvin. Melvin was only 15 pounds. We go into another room, the room where we could talk about the little dog. And of course, we have following closely behind us, a happy, fast tailed beagle. That we now knew, would soon be ours.
After talking for a little while, we already had finalized the fact that Melvin was ours. And beyond that, we had dog hair all over us. Especially my mom and dad, whom Melvin absolutely adored. My dad had dog hair all over his work suit, but that was okay, since it was Hershey’s hair. I remember asking to pick him up, since he was adorable, but being told not to, since he had recently been neutered. I also remember being told that Hershey was a heart worm positive dog. At the time, I had no clue what that was, and when I learned, it wasn’t the best thing to hear. But that wouldn’t stop me from loving him, although it may have to stop him from being loved.
We stayed and further finalized the fact that he was going to be ours. I was so excited, I really didn’t know how to feel, all I knew was that it was an awesome experience. Eventually, we had to leave to go back home, but we would definitely see Melvin again. When we stood at the door, I saw something. I saw a little dog, smiling. I knew that he was happy. I was happy too.
I told my parents then and there that I wanted to take him home, really badly, that night. It couldn’t be done though. It was alright, since I knew he had to get ready to come be with our family. And to be a great addition to our family. That moment, the foster mom also showed us his “Adopt Me” sash that he wore previously to be shown to possible owners. I remember her saying that they no longer needed it, since Melvin had most definitely found a home. Looking back, I honestly have to ask myself… that night, what was going on? I still wonder… who rescued who?
On our car ride home, on our way to get gas, the song “I Gotta Feeling,” which talks about how the group had a good idea that the future was going to be good turned on. Which really fit well into our future. I also remember, on that street, saying “Hey I thought of a name for Hershel, (the name after Melvin) Let’s name him Hershey. Because he’s so sweet.” My mom loved it, and I did too.
A few days later, we found out that Melvin was coming down to our house, and we could keep him. That whole day, I was shouting to my parents every single time a car came by. “Mom! Dad! Melvin is here. Oops wrong car, never mind.” Eventually, I was sure Melvin was actually here. My mom shouted “Lizzy, Bill, he’s here.” A nice SUV had pulled up in front of our house, and in the back of that car, was our new little car rider, who would always be up to taking a ride. We came to greet him, and I remember being so excited seeing him in the back of the car. When he got out, he waddled out of the car, and ran up to our front door. He had the biggest smile, which I found out is most definitely possible for a dog. He came in, wagging his tail, and running around. After running around, he ran into the back room, which is our houses biggest room, and I followed after. This is one moment I remember vividly. I was back in there, and I said “Hi Hershey. Welcome to our family. I love you.” He smiled. I hugged him. I then chased him into the main part of our house. He was so happy, franticly wagging his tail. We stayed with him, he jumped up onto the couch, and he snuggled into my dad. My dad was his best friend, until one day, he became completely attached to my mom. And that relationship was inseparable. In his last few days, he was seeming to get closer to me, which he never really was. I didn’t understand why. I now do.
The first day that we had Hershey, shortly after the foster mom left, my mom and I took Hershey for his first walk. We learned one thing. That dog loved to roll in the grass. As we walked, he ran ahead, but was still great. It was hard to walk him, since he had ants in his pants, but he calmed when he got to the corner of the street. He walked around, and he fell. From falling, he started rolling around. He was so happy. He got grass all over him. He stood up, smiled, and rolled more. We had to force him from the grass. Today, I wish I could see that again. Just once. But I know it isn’t possible. At least he has a bigger field to roll in now.
We had the best four years following the time that we adopted him. They may have gone quickly, but looking back now, I see that there were many great moments that we were lucky enough to have. I remember now, that we shouldn’t cry because it’s over, but smile because it ever happened. Hershey was the sweetest little guy. When we adopted Leonidas, Hershey gained a friend. Leo and Hershey were best friends, starting when we adopted Leo at only 8 weeks old. I know that all Leo wants right now, just like the rest of us, is his best friend back. He wants little Hershey back, so that he can play with him, with little games of tug of war, and so that he can bite his tiny head, signaling that he really just wanted to play.
Thinking about Hershey, I can recall some of the following events: When we went to Bethany Beach three years ago. We came into the house, my parents first time there, Leo’s first time there, my first time there, and Hershey’s first time there. Yes Hershey may’ve been small, but he wasn’t afraid of anything. This little guy walked in and marked his territory… on a fake bush. That is one place we will sprinkle his ashes. Next, he would walk with us in the common grounds. When Leo was still tiny and young, and I wasn’t a teenager, we went into the fields and another dog started to hurt Leo, as well as me. Hershey wasn’t afraid. He immediately jumped up onto this big dogs ear and held on. Nothing would stop this little guy. He wanted to protect us. I hope we did the same for him. Next memory. Hershey and I would chase each other. One day, when I went out on my bike, to ride down the street, Hershey was outside at the same time, and he decided he would chase me. And I would chase him back. Next one. In the house, multiple times it occurred, Hershey and Leo would snuggle up near each others and just fall asleep. That is another place we will sprinkle ashes, in the reach of Leo; so that his brother may walk with him. Everywhere he goes. The last place that I would like to sprinkle Hershey’s ashes is in my heart, since Hershey will always have a special place there. Hershey is definitely responsible for creating many of memories for all of my family to remember, and to keep and cherish for years and years. Until we meet again.