To Tess

February 10, 2012 at 5:33 AM 11 comments

I know I had promised a giveaway this week.  Don’t worry, it’s not going anywhere; it’ll just be coming up next week now.  You see sometimes life throws a wrench in our plans.

On Wednesday, I got a call from my mom that our beloved family dog of thirteen years, Tess had died.  I went home to be with mom and to see sweet Tess one last time.

Tess was a black lab and Australian shepherd mix.  Or so, we think she had some Australian Shepherd in her.  She has a very interesting story on how she came into this world.  Her mom, Tonka, was our first black lab; she died in 2008.  We had Tonka breed with our cousin’s dog, another black lab.  From that liter, came only one dog that survived – Truck – this dog went to my cousins.  Since Tonka had such a strange birth where only one dog survived the liter, we had her spade.  A little while after she was spade, she was showing a bunch of symptoms that looked like she was pregnant.  We took her to the vet and the vet assured us she could not be since she was spade.  The vet said that sometimes dogs can give pregnancy symptoms after they have been spade but they are not really pregnant.  The weekend after the Dr’s appointment, we brought Tonka to the ranch.  She was incredibly hesitant to get in the car to go (which she usually never was); the entire time at the ranch she was howling and wanting to get home (she loved the ranch) as soon as we got back home she jumped out of the car and raced to under the deck.  My mom, as the great mother that she is, sensed that the vet was wrong.  Mom crawled 25 feet underneath the deck, though spider webs and prickly leaves, to see where Tonka had gone off to.  There in the back corner, she saw one little tini tiny puppy, who was only about a week old.  Our beloved Tess.  Tonka had indeed been pregnant after all.  And that miracle puppy survived the weekend.  Once again, Tonka only gave birth to one puppy.  It was our special girl.

The addition could not have been better timing because Tess was discovered right before I left for college.  I am the baby of the family and so my parents were becoming empty nesters.  Tess filled their lives right back up.  She was a very rambunctious puppy and she never lost that energy.  She was constantly moving around and very, very active.  She loved people and always wanted to be around everyone.  She would wag her tail like no other.  And no matter the time, she would always be running up to your car to greet you.  I will miss stepping out of my car and having Tess right there, wagging her tail, waiting for a pet on the back.

It’s also amazing what she could sense.  The morning that dad passed away; it was as though Tess knew.  She was so sad and sullen and whimpering.  For a hyper, happy dog, I had never ever seen her act this way.  She surely knew that Dad had passed away.  It may sound crazy but it was so apparent.    She was always incredibly loyal to my dad.

We will all miss Tess and her rambunctious spirit.  If I have one take away from her life, it’s to always be smiling, as she was always wagging her tail.  We love you and we’ll miss you, Tessy.

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11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lauren Stradford  |  February 10, 2012 at 6:36 AM

    Oh Kate that is so sad. Tess always had so much energy and always made me feel welcome at your house! I am sure she did know when your Dad passed away. Dogs are so amazing. Tess had a wonderful life and she was lucky to be part of your family.

  • 2. dmm  |  February 10, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    Dear Kate, Many condolences on Tess’s passing. . . the Tess Story is beautiful and touched my heart. The Manning family had a black Lab for 14 years and our Topper (Cozmo Topper from the movie) was my third daughter. When asked how many children I had I answered,”Three, two white and one black!” And the black one was the best listener, smartest, happiest and dearest of the three!! She went to Dog Heaven two years ago and yet her memory repesents so much for our family; we tell Topper Stories a lot and it always helps, always. There is a book I read to my First grade and Kindergarten classes when a pet died call Dog Heaven by Cynthia Rylant; please try to find it, it is lovely and the illustrations alone are spectacular. It helped explain and soften the loss and reassured the children (and me) that life would go on. dmm

  • 3. Katie  |  February 10, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Kate, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Tess sounds like an amazing dog. Thank you for sharing her story with us! We lost our family dog Killy this year. She was 15 years old, and it was really hard on us all, especially my mom. Killy was her best little friend. When we were down in Mexico over Christmas we took her ashes out on the kyak – that was one of her favorite things to do. It’s really amazing how a pet can have such an impact on a family’s life. I’ll be thinking about you and your family! XOXO

  • 4. Ann Williams  |  February 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    So sorry for your loss. That brought tears to my eyes, I can’t imagine the day that my family dog Sophie doesn’t come running up to me when I visit. What an amazing story of her birth, amazing that she was the only little one born. Thanks for sharing

  • 5. bridget  |  February 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    oh tess! i miss her already. it won’t be the same without her sea lion grunts and tail wagging that made her whole body wiggle towards you when you got out of the car. i hope she is getting a lot of attention up in doggy heaven!

  • 6. Glynnis  |  February 10, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Sympathies to all of you. She was a such a sweet dog and makes me think of that bumper sticker I’ve seen around: BARK LESS, WAG MORE.
    RIP Tess.

  • 7. Cheryl Deegan  |  February 10, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    Gosh Kate, I SO remember Tess’s birth! Your dad told us all about it. 🙂 And I remember many times driving up to the house and being greeted by Tess (and Tonka too!). Our beloved animals have such a big place in our hearts and our lives….

  • 8. Shannon Foote  |  February 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM

    Kate I am so sorry to hear about Tess. That post made me very teary eyed. We had to put down Jessie our golden of 15 years last Saturday and I feel like I’ve been so sad all week about it. Doggies are so special and I totally understand how you feel. L

  • 9. Nat  |  February 10, 2012 at 12:03 PM

    Kate I’m so sorry about your loss. But what an amazing story! Losing a pet is the same as losing a family member in my eyes. Just remember all dogs go to heaven 🙂

  • 10. Dor  |  February 10, 2012 at 1:37 PM

    Your Tess story is so sweet and I know how difficult it is to lose her. My brother just had to put his 13 year old Dalmation, Mickey, down and it is absolutely devastating. My sympathies to you and your family.

  • 11. Alice  |  February 10, 2012 at 3:49 PM

    So sorry for your loss, Kate. It sounds like your Tess had a long and wonderful life with a loving family. I’m sure she is smiling up in doggy heaven!


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