Monday 15 October 2018

Tess (2005-2018)

For the second time in a week we lost a dear little companion.

We were surprised and shocked when Tess developed some very serious health problems in the last few months. While we hoped we would be able to deal with them, recent deterioration in her well-being led us to conclude that we needed to spare her any unnecessary discomfort. We believed it was going to be an uphill battle for her to regain a quality of life she needed and deserved in order to go on. She died peacefully in our arms at the vet clinic on 13 October 2018.

Some readers may find it strange to talk about dogs in a genealogical-related blog. My view is that “family” often goes beyond just parents, children, grandparents or siblings – or even human beings. Those warm, loving little animals we choose to share our homes and lives with are also family. And their passing brings heartache!

Tess was born 18 March 2005: mother, Ellie; sire, Draco. She came home with us on 15 May 2005 and was immediately adopted by Robbie – the West Highland White Terrier that we lost earlier last week – the two becoming life-long friends. And family, of course.

She was a sweet dog, prone to friendly licking of anyone who came within tongue distance – which made children giggle and adults squirm. From the start she was an energetic dog – in so being, energizing the rest of us. She never had a litter of her own but she did her best to mother Robbie, regularly grooming his coat and cleaning his ears. Tess could also be fierce at times, especially if any other dog looked crosswise at Robbie.

Tess was a brindle Cairn Terrier, with white, gray and brown in her mostly black coat. We liked to tell people that she was a look-a-like to the original Toto of Wizard of Oz fame, also a brindle Cairn. She was not a registered purebred dog but that was not of concern to us. Our grandson did think she deserved a bigger name, though, and decided she should be called Contessa Licksalot in recognition of her overbearingly-friendly demeaner.

In people years, Tess would have been close to 70, not a bad age for a terrier, although we certainly would have wished for more time with her, as well as with Robbie.

It is difficult to convey in a few words what a lifetime of joy these pets gave us. If electronic messages could be tear-stained in the way hand-written notes can be, this would be one of them.

Robbie and Tess had an enormous impact on our lives and will be lovingly remembered.