Today’s post is to share a recent passing of one of our owners’ beloved dogs, Hershey. These cottage owners are devoted and loyal pet owners and their cottage has always been one to welcome pet guests, too. Hershey was a handsome and beloved member of our Mermaid Cottages’ family, as well, and those of us with senior pets can certainly appreciate his passing is one to be eulogized. We won’t try to speak any more eloquently than his owners who shared his passing on their Facebook page:
“Hershey had a fabulous time this weekend. He enjoyed Ribeye steak with us on the Terrace on Friday night. We went walking Downtown on Saturday and then a late afternoon cruise on Smith Mountain Lake with us and Anne…. He seemed to really love riding down the lake with the breeze blowing back those beautiful long brown ears. He watched Mike and Anne swim while I sat with him on the boat. At sunset we slowly headed back and reached shore after dark. Hershey was curled up and sound asleep for the ride back. He sat with Anne in the back seat of the car and kept his paw in her lap for the ride back. Sunday morning we went for a walk in the unusually cool morning air. We came back and read the paper while he napped at our feet. Sunday afternoon we went back to the Mountain house and he spent a small amount of time outside while we did chores. He stayed right with me while I was working boxing up items. I must have walked around him a 100 times but I was just glad he was there under foot. Our Homeowners group had their annual picnic at the Windy Gap Mountain Village picnic shelter. I knew this would likely be the last time that everyone who knew Hershey in the neighborhood would see him. I woke up after 3 this morning and felt a lot of anxiety. After tossing and turning I decided to check on Hershey. He had decided to sleep in the great room under the fan instead of our bedroom. When I went in he was laying down but had his head up. He didn’t move or turn to look at me. I knew something was very wrong. I laid down next to him and could hear his heavy breathing. After an hour or so I woke Mike up and told him it looked like the end was near. We both stayed on the floor with him. He was very hot. I wiped him down with cold water but he was still hot. I opened the door to the Terrace to let in some cool air. He staggered up walked two steps to the door and eventually walked outside and laid down on the cool paving stones. Mike and I stayed by his side and put towels and blankets around him and under his legs to protect them from the hard surface. His breathing got much heavier and a few times he struggled as if to get up. With both of us petting him under the now blue sky he quietly passed away at 7:50 a.m.” -Connie & Mike, Paws and Paddles Cottage
No matter one’s beliefs or religion or thoughts of what comes after this life, I can’t help but believe that heaven is truly a wonderful place and it’s also where we’ll again see each of the pets and people we have loved most on this earth. And, just as with our family and friends, and no matter how difficult or overwhelming or challenging it can be to care for an elderly family member or friend or loyal pet, it is truly an honor and a privilege to help a loved one pass on when the time comes. It’s probably the most loving and noble task we will ever be asked to carry out. It’s the ultimate gift of love. Hershey has now crossed over the Rainbow Bridge and he is happy and well and running and enjoying his just reward for his lifetime of devotion and service to Connie and Mike.
Hershey was a good dog. That’s just about the best compliment anyone can receive.