Pets have always been a big part of my life. My Mom was as crazy about animals (and bugs) as I was! When I was born we had Speckles, a large dog that was half Dalmatian and half…who knows what! He was fearless and his post was right beside my playpen. Yep, my fate as a dog-lover was sealed.

As an adult and parent myself, the legacy continued…so when my kids were little they begged me for a dog, and Hershey came into our lives. She was a wonderful rescued Chocolate Labrador Retriever who came to work with me daily, gracing my offices with her cheery presence. Hershey oversaw the business activities from her perch atop the conference table, where she also took her daily nap, greeted vendors, and welcomed clients. All this while doing her main job: alerting us to messengers and deliveries.

So how did my dog Hershey help my business?

Well, most clients who came to visit would pet and make a fuss over her. They were always so delighted to see a furry friend in a business environment. Sometimes I wondered who they actually came to see…me or my dog!

Hershey become the Sygrove Associates mascot and was featured in my monthly newsletter for years. She was always “dressed” to fit the season. For August she may be pictured preparing culinary delights at the grill, spatula in “paw.”

September features Hershey on her way “back to school” on the bus or busy teaching “biscuit math” in the classroom.

November always featured her presiding over a bountiful Thanksgiving table laden with turkey and the fixings. It has been such fun to come up with creative settings that punctuate the feeling for that month. My clients couldn’t wait to see what Hershey would be up to each month.

Then a wonderful thing happened. At the end of a presentation for a large 75-story cooperative building hallway project, I handed each board member a folder containing the requisite information they would need to make a decision. Inside each folder I had added a surprise: a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

“What’s this for?” they asked.

I went on to explain that Sygrove Associates has a very key staff member who is brown, furry and wags her tail. The treat was is my way of honoring Design Dog Hershey. At this, the entire board perked up and chimed in. One by one they told a story of a rescued Wheaton Terrier, Daschund, and even a Heinz 57. Dog lovers, all of them. Right then and there they told me that we got the job!

Never, in all of my years in business, would I have guessed that my dog would be the determining factor in winning a project!

Hey, You never know…

Sadly, after 15 years of service and loving companionship Hershey was laid to rest. We have photos and videos of her but we have an imprint of her paw for posterity. She is forever part of us. Will I ever replace her? That is unimagineable, but I do peek at dogs being walked near me and I size them up and think to myself “ could I adopt again”? I even check out dog rescue websites occasionally but I am not ready…… yet.

Hershey on Valentine’s Day

Sygrove Interior Design Services

Sygrove Associates Design Group is an NYC interior design company. Our company’s founder Marilyn Sygrove is the lead interior designer on all projects. And she’s as tough as you are when it comes to quality, aesthetics, and coming in on time and on budget.

It all starts with a design consultation with Marilyn. She takes the time to thoroughly understand your design needs then personally directs all interior design, planning, and installation activities. Her work has been delighting clients, co-op and condo boards, and homeowners for over 30 years.

You can reach Marilyn by email at or call her directly at 212.757.0631.

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