Yesterday was Tess's birthday but since I was feeling ill, I went to bed early and didn't post a single item. Tess is fourteen years old and it seems like a few days ago, we brought home a tiny, frightened, abused puppy home. She soon felt safe and trusted us with all of her heart. She became family, and our beloved heart dog.
Through the years, she has helped me on my journey to become an Open Handler. She let me stand at the post and act like a fool, while she covered my butt on the trial field. She would sigh deeply when I would give her the wrong flank, turn her head at me as if to say, "For real" and then do the correct flank. This usually happened at the panel or pen. She was wonderful at the blind outrun and always brought the sheep to my feet and had a kind way with her stock.
Over the years, she took care of me on the trial field but later she took care of me after my numerous heart surgeries. I spent months in rehab and she hovered over me and licked my tears away, while I cried in pain. After the first set of surgeries, on the trial field, she was very careful with me and ended her trial career, not only qualifying but getting high-pointed Open Dog for the WASH Club and winning a huge quilt.
After her retirement, she was still the queen of the farm, assisting students and being my right hand. She would go to trial and be my lap warmers and sometimes would beg to do exhaust. Nightly chores became her ritual so she would put the poultry away, help feed the sheep and whatever else needed to be done. As the years passed, her eyes grew dimmer and her pace slowed down but she was still the queen.
The fourteen years have rushed by in a whirl and It has been one grand adventure this little dog has taken me. She was the reason that I am trialing now and her patience over the years made me realize my errors.
Now in the her twilight years, she will want to do sheep chores for about 15 minutes then decides that is enough and wants her treat or to play ball. She still is the boss in the pond pasture and no other dog will touch her ball. She has a grand sense of humor.
We have been blessed for fourteen year to have Tess and we hope to have more. She has congestive heart failure, pulmonary hypertension and kidney disease so she is on a maintenance program. We honestly don't know how long she will be with us but each day we have with her is a blessing. She is still full of life and enjoys being the center of attention.
She took care of me in her earlier years so it is my turn to take care of her. She loves to lay next to me when I type my blog and often has her head on part of the keyboard. She still hogs my pillow and will do her dog tricks for treats.
I wasn't around for her birthday but Getty was home and she got a grilled burger for her birthday. When I get home, we will go to the pet store so she can get a pink piggie. (She loves pink piggies as they are her security blanket). She loves the pet store as she gets to pick a treat from the bins. Last time, she grabbed the hugest smoked bone! She is no dummy.
The old dogs are the best dogs and she is my hero, my love of my life and my guiding star.
Happy Birthday, my dear Tessie. I love you with all of my heart.