Monday, December 08, 2014

Saying goodbye to Tess

I am left wondering how on earth I am going to stop looking for her waiting for me outside the chicken coops, waiting for me outside the shed while I do chores, waiting for me outside the bathroom, sleeping on my side of the bed so close that I can't even step on the floor because of her 95 pounds of German Shepherd being THERE!  How do I not have her greet me at the door each time I come back home?  How long will it take for this huge hole in my heart to heal?  I know there aren't any answers to these questions, each of these things will fade as they do after losing a loved one, but I am hoping that the sharp pain dulls soon.

Tess smiling.............
Tess taking Jasmine the lamb back to the house (2012)

I had 13 years with this wonderful dog, family member and friend and she's been my "one in a million" dog.  She was smart, well behaved, kind and gentle despite her size.  Even as she dealt with the pain of arthritis and as I later found out, cancer.........she never nipped or did anymore than quietly tolerate her burden.  I found out on Tuesday that what I thought was just a heart failure related cough was the least of our worries, she had cancer and it was advanced, so her decline was quick and hard to accept.  I had exactly one week from the day we found out before I saw in her eyes that she was done, she had fought enough.   I saw it coming and decided to spend every minute with her that I could before I didn't have those moments.  
In one of our last nights together Tess and I were laying on her bed with me sobbing like a baby, and her licking tears from my face as if she needed to console me.  How do you repay that kind of love?
By ending her suffering and not being selfish by keeping her because it hurt to let her go, it was time.
Thankfully our vet makes house calls and with her head in my lap and in the safety of her home, we were able to quietly say goodbye. 
Tess and I on Tuesday night (12/2/14) 2 days before she left us
Tess as I will always remember in a million
I weep when I need to, often and without shame because Tess and her love for me and life is worth it.  She loved everyone, she was loving to everything around her and my tears are a tribute to her love.


  1. I know...I know how you feel
    I have posted this poem before
    It does sum up everything I think
    Take care
    THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way
    From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
    Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    Buy a pup and your money will buy
    Love unflinching that cannot lie
    Perfect passion and worship fed
    By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
    Nevertheless it is hardly fair
    To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

    When the fourteen years which Nature permits
    Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
    And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
    To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
    Then you will find - it's your own affair, -
    But ... you've given your heart to a dog to tear.

    When the body that lived at your single will,
    With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),
    When the spirit that answered your every mood
    Is gone - wherever it goes - for good,
    You will discover how much you care,
    And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

    We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
    When it comes to burying Christian clay.
    Our loves are not given, but only lent,
    At compound interest of cent per cent,
    Though it is not always the case, I believe,
    That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve;
    For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
    A short-time loan is as bad as a long -
    So why in - Heaven (before we are there)
    Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?


    1. I thank you as the tears that run down my face, it was perfect and oh, so true. They love us so completely that there are huge holes that seem impossible to fill after they are gone. Bless you for what you give to God's creatures John.

  2. Oh, I'm so sorry for you, Kelly. I know how it feels.

    1. Thanks Tom, I'm just now getting so I don't cry every time I mention her. Silly, I know, but she was pretty special. (and I'm getting soft in my old age)

  3. Believe me she is there even now. Just pain free and watching over everything.

    1. Thank you Karen, I know you know what she meant to me.

  4. Dogs tear my heart so completely that every time a new one comes into my life I start dreading the day I'll have to say good-bye . . . and yet they give so much unconditional love that I can't be without one. A beautiful little song explains it well, I think:
    (have tissues on hand!)

    1. I know exactly what you mean Michelle. BTW-the son made me smile and I posted it to my wall last week. Thank you.

  5. I am so sorry for you loss. It's hard to take. We lost our 13 year old Lucy a few months ago. It does get better but I still miss her and wish she was here.

    1. Thank you Jill. I'm sorry for your loss as well. :)

  6. Both of my cats are now at senior status (14 and 10), and I find myself taking every moment I can to pet them or just be with them.

    I'm sure when Tess was licking the tears from your face, she wanted to let you know that she'd be all right. And that you'll be all right, too.

  7. Kelly and Mike, So sorry you lost her--always tough, even when the decision is good and clear. I'm glad Russ and I met her once--a very special dog. Thinking of you...Terry


He who angers you, controls you.

And my favorite.......You can't control what others say or do, but you can control your reaction.

Mike and I

Mike and I
Mike and I at Nick and Emily's wedding

Raised beds & chickens coops

Raised beds & chickens coops
Can't wait for this stuff to actually be food....