Tess & Me

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Me & Tess
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Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Tue Sep 09, 2008 6:52 pm

I have a story about my Tess that I would like to share. It is a fine story about a beautiful black chow that found her way into our hearts about 14 years ago. My husband said that I should start it chronologically but I am a somewhat scattered person so I guess I will start with the present. Tess has cancer. I am having to try to deal with the fact that I will be without her one day soon. She is at least 16 years old, maybe 17. A big girl for a chow, in her prime she weighed 80 pounds. She still has great appetite. She loves her walks, we try to take two every day about 1 mile each or as far as she wants to go. Sometimes we don’t make the one mile, we take our time as she sniffs all the wildlife smells, the mile can become an hour long. We have a spring/creek on our property where she loves to drink there and browse on grass by the side of the creek. I sit with her until she is ready to go back to the cabin. She occasionally chases a deer from our clearing. She only runs about 15 feet now, she still has heart. At times the deer just look at her and go back to grazing. I have a good story about a doe and Tess that I will tell later.

We saved Tess 14 years ago. She was running the streets of Norwalk, California for several days before we learned of her. One of our neighbors tried to keep her in their back yard but she kept escaping. They attempted to find her owner and were unable to. I believe someone just dropped her off because she was running the street and jumping up on car doors. That fateful afternoon she had half the neighborhood running after her when she ran though our gate and into the garage where my husband and his friend were hanging. Tess plopped herself next to my husband’s black 1951 pan head Harley. First sign! They asked if we were the owners. No. But…… Then they took her away and tied her up across the street in the back yard……. I came home from work and I saw this big black puffy dog….. Tess saw me and it was kismet! I went into the house, still looking at this big black dog, then looking at her from behind the screen door, I hollered for my husband to come look…… she was looking at me the whole time. A few hours later the neighbors came over to tell us they were calling the pound and my husband said we would take her. When we brought her into the house she was panting, I looked at her tong and oh - oh - CHOW! Too late we already fell into her spell. Right now it is raining and I hear thunder in the distance, (we are not in Norwalk anymore) Tess is at my side and I guess I will turn the computer off. More another time, if I may.
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Last edited by Me & Tess on Sun Sep 21, 2008 12:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vicster605
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by vicster605 » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:10 pm

Welcome to the site :D I'm soooo sorry to hear your Tess has cancer :( What a wonderful rescue story, can't wait to read more.....
We have another Black Chow on this site named Tess who is also a rescue
Again welcome to the site and feel free to tell us more about you & Tess.....sounds like you love her very much
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Chow Chow Mama » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:12 pm

What a wonderful story so far. Give Tess a big hug for me.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Laura » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:37 pm

Oh yes please continue her story and I am so sorry that she has cancer. :cry:
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by CoraP. » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:51 am

Welcome, and thank you for sharing your story . Cancer seems to come to so many. My Bear (a chowmix) had lymphoma and had to be put to sleep almost 4 years ago. We now have a black chowgirl named Molly and a retriever mix named Dusty. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. It is so hard to see them sick and know that their time with you is limited.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Victory » Wed Sep 10, 2008 9:38 am

Welcome to the site and I am so sorry to hear she has cancer, but she has lived a long time and for most of it with someone who obviously loves her very much. You may indeed post as much as you like, tell us all about your time with her, and when the time comes and if you feel a need to share her final days and passing we are here for you...

Many of us have been through this...
Victory, Darkwind, (our angel), Firesong, and Dreamdancer
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by jacqui » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:03 pm

it is a beautiful story and it sounds like Tess has a wonderful life with you.I am sorry that she has cancer.you must have taken very good care of her for her to live to see 16-17.I know you will share many peaceful days together.
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And when my time comes I will not go alone for my Chows will be there to say "Welcome Home".

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Piff Poff » Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:23 pm

More storey please.......
So sorry Tess has cancer, she sounds wonderful and I'll bet she won't give up without a fight!
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by willowchow » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:14 pm

I'm loving Tess' story! Isn't the anticipatory sadness the worst??? Try to focus on all the positive and just take one day at a time.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by sdasilva27 » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:20 pm

I'm sorry to hear about Tess. I understand losing a chow to cancer is rough. My chow was about half of Tess's age when he died. The one thing that I (today) am happy about, is that I didn't know he had cancer until the day he died. The stupid vet never told us. So I'm glad that I wasn't anticipating his death but I feel like I'll never forget him. He was around 7-8 when he died, yet he still acted like a puppy. He was always goofing around!

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by WildThings » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:25 pm

I have the other black rescue chow named Tess. It sounds like they have a lot in common. I'm sorry to hear about your Tess's cancer. It's difficult to know when something is wrong and not be able to fix it.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Wed Sep 10, 2008 6:16 pm

Thank you for welcoming us to this Chow forum. Your kind words give me courage to face the inevitable.

It feels that time goes by so fast. Fourteen years ago seems just like yesterday. We have a son, Matt who was 13 when Tess came into our lives. He calls her Foo. He loves her still as she was his childhood dog. Tess especially loves teenage boys and young men because of Matt. Matt could roll Tess up into a ball and turn her inside out and she was in heaven. He wasn’t really rough with her. Matt is now in the Navy and has served twice in Iraq, once on the USS Nimitz. The last time he volunteered to serve in-country under the Army. Tess does remember him when he visits and we talk about Matt lots. Our daughter, Wendy was indifferent to Tess, Wen's dog was a pretty little Ausie that died almost one year to the day Tess came to us. Wendy was 17 way back then and I think she really did like Tess, just didn’t show it. Wendy came up to visit us last Spring, before she left she was sitting on the floor by Tess smelling her fur…. Tess fur smell like clothes drying on clothes line in the open air.

The first week Tess was with us, she did show “assertiveness” to company who came to see our big black Chow dog. We had to watch her and protect her so that she wouldn’t go from assertive to aggressive. She did growl at one family who lived down the street. They had a red Chow named Sushi, who had one serious incident with the neighbor boy. Sushi tried to attack Matt when he and my husband were out in the front yard talking to “Roger.” Luckily Dad was there to save Boy.

I loved the name Tess. It is a warm name and she is really an angel. No other name could do.

Tess did good today. This morning she was ready to go for a walk before I was even dressed. She started prancing around and barked at me to "please let's go! We walked a little over a mile. Tonight she is resting after a hearty meal that included bbq chicken - her favorite.

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by CoraP. » Thu Sep 11, 2008 7:50 am

I am glad Tess felt so good yesterday. Hopefully the cancer will be very slow. She sounds like a wonderful girl.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Mally » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:57 pm

I love your story - can we please have more?????? :D I also like the name Tess! It's a very calm name.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:02 pm

Roger & Sushi

I am skipping several months to a story about our neighbor Roger & Sushi his red Chow. We had been neighbors & friends for over 17 years. He and his family live two doors down, our children played together. Roger never displayed this behavior with our little Ausie. He walked Sushi most every evening. All of a sudden he started stopping in front of our chain link gate. He would stare at Tess, Sushi barking and Tess going ballistic. I would fly out the door grab Tess and bring her inside. This went on quite often, Sushi barking; Tess going ballistic and me flying out the back door to grab Tess. Sometimes I would yell to Roger asking him what the heck was he doing. But he would just keep doing it. It seemed at times he would zone out. I know this wasn’t exactly the best decision I made, but one evening I was working in the front yard and decided to bring Tess out with me. As soon as she came out from behind the gate she took off running about six houses south, I ran after her and called. She started back - but - Roger was coming out with Sushi on a leash for their evening walk. Tess saw Roger and Sushi and ran like a jet up the stairs and onto the porch, & straight for Sushi’s neck. I ran up on the porch, not touching a stair. I know that what seemed an eternity to Roger was actually a couple of seconds. I had to make sure I wasn’t going to get bit before I attempted to break up the fight. I grabbed Tess and pulled her away from Sushi. Roger looked like he was going to have a heart attack! Tess drew first blood, only a nick. Roger discontinued his strange behavior.

Last night I got a little weepy. Tess and I stay up late at night. She laying next to the sofa. I gave her lots of hugs from my new friends, she gave kisses back. We went for a good walk this morning but she didn’t want to go the mile. We went a little slow, her sniffing and me gathering wildflower seeds. She doesn’t really want to take long walks in the evening lately. She has been staying outside a little more during the day. Me too. It’s Indian Summer up here in the Rockies!

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Lisa_D » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:47 pm

Welcome! I am so sorry to hear about Tess. Thank you for sharing her story! I too like the name Tess. My daughters name is Tessa. It means the 4th child hence how she got her name.
I too lost a dog (non Chow) to cancer recently. I didn't know it until late. He was diagnosed on Thanksgiving and died that Saturday. We had the best day of all the day before he died. We did all of his favorite things, he had his favorite foods and he loved to be brushed so he was brushed alot that day. I am so glad I had that last day with him! Cherish the good times you have with Tess. You will remember them always!
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by pfordeb » Fri Sep 12, 2008 6:49 pm

I joined this site when I found out our black chow girl had cancer. You'll find lots of wonderful supportive people. We were lucky to have a whole year with our girl between diagnosis and when she passed. I'm so glad you are enjoying and appreciating your time with Tess.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Sun Sep 14, 2008 1:43 pm

Back to the Beginning

It must have been a Friday that Tess made her way into our life. I remember posting signs at every intersection on Saturday. My heart wasn’t in it but by rights it was the ethical thing to do. I remember thinking maybe they could all blow off by Monday morning. Being honest, I did take a few signs down. There were a few people who came by to look if she was theirs, but she wasn’t. The signs or what was left of the signs came down the next weekend. (Our neighbor had also made an attempt to find Tess’ owner.)

I have always felt in my heart that saving a stray, or an unwanted pup was more important than buying through a kennel. In Los Angeles County, California there are so many pure breeds that don’t get adopted and are put down. In Orange County California, the county shelter sold dogs to the University for experiments. (Our first Ausie was saved from there.) We have given Tess an excellent home. The alternative was sure death.

Knowing that perhaps Tess was neglected or abused, we as a family protected her, indulged her, and loved her for who she was. She didn’t know what to do in a house, I assume she was kept outside. She wasn’t comfortable riding in a car. I can only imagine why. She settled in to being an inside/outside dog. She in turn became the protector of the "pack."

Last evening she wanted to go for a walk. When we went outside she decided to take off through the forest towards our neighbors. Sometimes she likes to visit. I usually don't go with her. She knows this. (That's a Chow girl for you.) I did wait for her to come back. When she returned she decided she wanted in the cabin. We walked this morning. Our dirt road was "busy." She loves to visit with the neighbors.
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Last edited by Me & Tess on Sun Sep 21, 2008 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by WeLoveLeRoy » Sun Sep 14, 2008 2:01 pm

Oh my gosh, what a beautiful story. You should take much comfort in knowing that you and your family are responsible for her having a wonderful life. Who knows what would have happened to her had you not opened your hearts and home. I cannot imagine the pain you feel though. My thoughts are with you.
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Me & Tess
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:23 am

My Beloved Chow Tess

That blue black tongue,
That fluffy black mane,
Tess stands apart.
Devoted, proud and loyal,
Sure to win your heart.

A Chow that’s quick
To give a hug,
And often makes me grin.
My Tess means
The world to me,
My Chow, my love, my friend.

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Loha'sDad » Tue Sep 16, 2008 8:50 am

Great, great, great poem.

Loha's Dad

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Tue Sep 16, 2008 12:56 pm

Bonding

Some will understand this and some will disagree. Tess needed to bond. As I said I feel that she was neglected or abused and discarded. That very evening of the first day, Tess began to mouth and chew my arm. To some it may sound strange, but the fact of the matter I let her. This went on for about two weeks. I was bruised but I was willing to let Tess “know” me. This helped to bridge her trust for me. She also gave me gifts. She would bring her bones to me and want me to play with the bone while she mouthed it. When I went to work on Monday, my husband said that she sat at the front door listening to my truck go off in the distance. I would go north on our block then west and take a left at the next block and she would move in the direction of where I drove. To those that think that their Chows are too attached, I will the tell you that it is worth it. Complete trust of a companion is a wonderful gift.

We took our morning walk today. I gathered wildflower seeds (attempting to make a mound full of wild flowers that the deer won't eat.) Tess was willing to wait for me and laid in the shade. She is still doing good. We didn’t go the mile.

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by pfordeb » Tue Sep 16, 2008 1:14 pm

I'm glad Tess is doing OK. I know those happy when they have good days moments. I'd be the last to disagree with you about overbonding, especially toward the end of days. It might not be politically correct to love a dog too much, but there's never enough for me. I so miss my coming home hugs from Sullivan.
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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:36 pm

Training & Discipline

For whom???

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Re: Tess & Me

Post by Me & Tess » Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:06 pm

Tess isn't doing so good. She had developed a sore on her cancer site. I put medicine on the sore and took a loose bandage to bind. I took her to the creek this evening so she could drink the cold clear water and smell the wild smells. She seemed to enjoy it. I've been collecting wild blue flax, hopefully the seeds will come up on the mound. I will plant the new seeds on her grave next year. God grant me the courage to make the decision when I need to. I only pray that she will go to sleep peacefully & not suffer. My friend sent me the following. It sort of comforts.

A Dog's Purpose (from a 6-year-old)

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish Wolfhound named Belker. The dog's owners, Ron, his wife Lisa, and their little boy Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker 's family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker's transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker's Death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that dog's lives are shorter than human lives. Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, 'I know why.'

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I'd never heard a more comforting explanation.

He said, 'People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life -- like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?' The six-year-old continued, 'Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don't have to stay as long.'

Live simply.

Love generously.

Care deeply.

Speak kindly.

Remember, if a dog was the teacher you would learn things like:

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

Take naps.

Stretch before rising.

Run, romp, and play daily.

Thrive on attention and let people touch you.

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do.

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree.

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body.

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

ENJOY EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!

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