Friday, 2 September 2011

Introducing Tess.

Time for another hairy introduction. This is Tess.
Tess is the matriarch of my little pack and she keeps the boys in check with the slightest look. They defer instantly to her and it is very rare that she has to assert herself with them. But she's happy to oblige if they step out of line.
After my old retriever Leo died I was hoping to get along with just Rolf, but he had other ideas. We had made great progress but he obviously got a lot of his confidence from an older, steadier dog and he relapsed quite a bit, becoming increasingly nervous. So we went off to the rescue centre again to find him a pal. The first date didn't go so well, due to his cowardly refusal to leave the car and come and meet the young lady. She, in turn, was entirely unimpressed with the wuss. Definitely not love at first sight. The centre owner said that there was another dog that might be ok but no-one wanted her because her ears didn't stand up so she'd been in the kennels for eighteen months. They spotted each other through the passenger window and the rest is history. He leaped out and they went off in a mad gamble. It was good to see them happily playing together. They were well matched in their rough play.

She came home with us and had no intention of ever being sent away again. She is the most loyal dog you could wish for and would protect me from any threat, whatever the cost. She tries so hard to get my approval, and that is pretty much all she wants in life. Well, that and the postman. Actually, having sung her praises I have to admit that the postman is her greatest desire. The post box is placed well outside the garden so she doesn't get a chance to get anywhere near the postie. It's a fault that she came with that I haven't been able to overcome so it is carefully managed instead. Tess was handed in to the kennels at the age of three and a half and she was five when she came to me. Although a pedigree German Shepherd she is clearly the result of indiscriminate breeding (something that enrages me). Her hips are in terrible shape so she's been on long term medication,she has skin problems, and doesn't moult properly so she has to be clipped,and she has those ears (that we love). But with the exception of the postman thing, she has the most beautiful temperament and loving heart.She mothers all the other animals and is a dreadful flirt with men.She's extremely undemanding and sits in the background awaiting her turn while the boys demand all the attention.
She's always made a bee-line for water and lies down in it.Whether it eases her aches and pains or itchy skin or whether she just likes it who knows? Any water will do.
The sea

A pond

Or a muddy puddle in a gateway.

Funny, she's not as keen on the hosepipe when we get home.

Although she's only 9, her age and the results of her poor breeding are showing these days. She no longer plays so roughly with Rolf, and can't walk too far before she stiffens up. But she'll always have a warm cosy place in front of the fire and she still bosses the others with a stern look. And gets excited when she hears the postman's van from two miles away!
One of a kind.


  1. One worth the effort to keep? I think so. Lovely dog.

  2. I just love those ears! What a gorgeous dog. Our g.s. turned 14 yesterday, her 'official birthday' as we haven't a clue when she was born, but she came to us on 1st March and was approx 6 months old, so we've always celebrated on 1st Sept. Her ears are like bats... enormous. She's never grown into them. I think dogs with special ears are top dog!

  3. She's here for the duration Cheyenne - same with all my animals, whatever they're problems, issues or idiosyncrasies. They seem to put up with mine pretty well!

    Happy birthday to Nell! 14 is a good age for a GSD Vee, you're obviously doing something right.