This morning at about 6:15 a.m. our old dog Tessa passed away.
She was no longer able to walk very much when we carried her outside, and by late afternoon she couldn’t stand by herself any more. Early in the evening she was breathing heavy and things just gradually went downhill from there. It was a very rough night for her. Stephanie and I had to stay downstairs with her through the night. If we went up to bed for any length of time she would start yelping, so Steph finally brought a big chair into the kitchen beside her bed, and that’s where we spent the night. Merlin (the Cat Who Came Back) was also there beside her most of the night. He was always very fond of Tessa. I think Merlin might miss her even more than our other dog Max.
It’s weird, because I’d called the vet yesterday afternoon and arranged for him to come over this afternoon to put Tessie to sleep. She’d been going downhill the past few days, and though it was a difficult decision, I knew she was going to get a lot worse soon. I only wish I’d had him come yesterday! Man! she was a stubborn dog; always had been, and also one of the sweetest dogs you’d ever want to meet. She put up one hell of a fight, but a little before six in the morning, after Stephanie had gone up to try to get some sleep, Tessa’s labored breathing slowed down a bit. She seemed more quiet, almost peaceful. I left the room for a few minutes, and when I came back into the kitchen to check her again there was silence. She was gone.
Tessie was the first dog that little Arthur ever knew. And no matter how much he pulled her tail or chased her around when he learned to walk or how much racket he made, she always put up with it. She was the gentlest dog you could imagine. And when Fiona came along and there was more noise and commotion, we never had to worry about Tessa. As long as she got lots of petting (and treats over the fence from our neighbor, Mary Jane) and a walk now and then, she was content. And when we brought that big doofus Max home to contribute his own special craziness, Tessa never put up a fuss. She was cool as a cucumber. Although she did take on some of Max’s manic obsessions, (food!) I think she also mellowed him out a bit over the last few years.
If there’s one thing I learned last night, it’s that if you think a pet is in bad enough shape to make you wonder if they should be euthanized, then you probably should! There’s nothing worse than watching a pet (or anybody) suffering when there’s really not a damn thing you can do to help them! I just wish we’d done it a little bit sooner. And I wish we could show humans the same kind of humane treatment that we give out pets. But… second guessing can be a pretty tricky thing.
So now I’ve got to try to get a little sleep. Shortly we’ll be digging another hole in our back yard and putting our good dog to rest in that good earth, next to the grave of Dempsey, who is the one who actually picked out Tessa at the animal shelter about ten years ago. Wow, that seems like a long time ago now!
Good Bye Tessa Bear. You really were a good dog! We will all miss you.
Here is a link to Wil Wheaton’s blog. I saw this post a few weeks back and liked it a lot: To celebrate the legacy of our awesome dog