Welcome to my Blog :)

Pitter Patter of Doggy Feet

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Dogs. Part II - Tessa

Several years before A.J. left us, we got another cute blonde puppy... This one was a pure bred yellow lab. Her registered name was "Hey Look at Me, Tessa Marie" but we called her Tess or Tessa.
How she got her registered name was we bought "the pick of the litter" from my sister and brother-in-law as their male lab sired the pups and payment for that is the pick of the litter or first pick out of all the puppies and we bought that right from them. So when we went to pick out our puppy Roger was initially looking for a male so he would pick up a puppy and look at the "privates" and set it down if it wasn't a male and move on. Well he somehow walked past Tessa without picking her up and she let out a little woof... as in "Hey! Look at me!!" and so I picked her up and gave her a cuddle and talked Roger into a female... hehe. Then we had to okay it with the breeders as we had already told them we wanted a male, and they were making sales of the rest of the puppies with that in mind. But luckily we were able to change and we brought home Tessa. And shortly after that Roger named his boat Tessa's Taxi. And I'll tell you... He couldn't get that boat out of the yard without Tess going along.
When Tess was just over a year she graced us with 9 puppies. 8 males and 1 female. One of the males - the runt - didn't make it. That was so sad. But we had so much fun with the remaining 8 cute little puppies. And A.J. loved them too. Whenever Tessa took a break from them A.J. would go to into the birthing box and lay with the puppies to watch over them. It was so funny. A.J. was curious about the puppies right from the beginning but for the first few days Tess wouldn't let him near them, but after that I think she welcomed the help. And he was happy to do it.
We had a little bit of trouble registering the pups. The male that we bred Tess with was pure bred and we were told he was registered, but we found out after he did the deed that the owner never sent in the paperwork on him. So he had to contact an ex-girlfriend to get the paperwork, pay the registration fee wait to get his registration back before we could sell any of the puppies. What a nightmare! So we had them a little longer than we should have. And feeding these 8 hungry puppies was getting expensive! hehe. 
Once we got the paperwork we advertised a couple weeks and only sold 2. So we decided to donate one of the pups to Ducks Unlimited and bring along the rest of the puppies with the hopes of selling them to the people that got out bid. And it worked! We sold every last one that night at the banquet. However, the guy that got the first puppy thru the bidding was a little tipsy and his wife wasn't with him at the banquet... so the next day when he traveled west 200 miles home with this new puppy his wife was less than thrilled. And that's an understatement. The man called us a week later and asked if we would take the puppy back. We said we would, but we couldn't refund him anything as his $$ had gone to the banquet, it wasn't one of the puppies we sold out of the back of our truck and he paid quite a bit more than we charged for the others. He said that was fine. So he drove the 200 miles east and gave us the puppy back. Tessa was so happy to see one of her babies again... it was kind of bittersweet as we knew we weren't going to keep him. We put another ad in the paper and got another hit from a man who lived........... 200 miles west of here! He came to see the puppy, decided he wanted him and took him home. That was one traveling puppy!
Tessa was Roger's hunting dog and best friend. He spent many hours training her to fetch. And she loved it. You never saw her without a tennis ball either in her mouth or near enough to reach it. She would fall asleep with the ball beside her front paws.
Roger took such pride in Tessa's tricks and training. He would show her off to everyone all the time. Didn't matter if we were at home or at the beach or a park. And people would gather around and just be fascinated by her. They would give Roger their names and numbers and said if we bred her again they wanted one of her puppies.
Some of the things she did were Roger would throw one tennis ball over the house and make Tessa sit until he snapped his fingers. Then she would take off to go find it. While she was gone Roger would hide a second tennis ball somewhere in the backyard. When she came back she would bring the first ball back to Roger and drop it right into his hands and Roger would give her hand signals and snap his fingers telling her to go find the other one. She would use her nose to try to find it... if she couldn't find it she would look back at Roger and he would give her hand signals on which way to go until she found it and she would proudly bring it back.
The other thing Roger taught her which he was so proud of was to dive in the water to fetch. As she was his "Duck Dog" and sometimes wounded ducks dive to avoid getting retrieved and not very many retrievers will get their head underwater to go after them. But Tessa did. And to keep her skills up Roger would always take a non-floating toy with us to the lake and play fetch with that. Again... People were fascinated with her - how far under she would dive to get that toy and bring it back not just to Roger but to anyone who would play with her.
We loved Tess for about 10 years... but we were bad parents... we gave her too many food scrapes and she became very overweight. Roger always said "She's not fat, she's buoyant!" The last few years of her life the Vet kept warning us that she needed to loose weight and we needed to stop feeding her table scrapes. But it was a hard habit to break... you love them so much and you know they love the food, so how do you not give it to them?
One morning Roger came home from work and woke me up and he was crying and was trying to tell me something and I couldn't understand him because he was crying so hard. I was scared to death. I finally got him to calm down enough to tell me what happened. He said that when he got home that morning I was still asleep and he called the Vet to find out how much it would be to put Tessa down - as she was really suffering from being overweight. She was having a hard time getting up from a lying down position and several other issues. Even walking looked like she was in pain. When he found out the price he decided not to put it off and just take her down right then and "protect me from it". I know he meant well, but I was so upset! He didn't even give me a chance to say goodbye to her! But she was his dog and I think he thought he needed to do this on his own. I didn't say anything about my feeling for awhile because he was so upset about loosing her. But later in the day I did and I told him to never ever do something like that again. That I loved Tess too and I would have wanted to be there not only to say my goodbyes but to support Roger thru loosing his best friend too.

No comments:

Post a Comment