Tess passed away early Sunday, January 29, 2017. She was 15 years, 2 months old. She had aged into a graceful, gray-faced, sweetheart. My companion and happy girl till the end. I’m glad I could comfort and hold her as she passed.
She was the last of my original four Labradors. The end of an era. Gone, but never to be forgotten. You came to me at a time when there was turmoil in my life. The black Labrador Retriever puppy that made me laugh every day with her antics as she grew up.
She had two litters of puppies and was an excellent mom to them. Hey, you try feeding 8 kids and then licking up their poop and pee when they were tiny -- Mom of the year. In both litters, she had one yellow pup in a sea of black ones. A male in one, a female in another. She carried that gene along with the chocolate gene.
Tess had her own style completely different from my other Labs. She was my goofy girl. Always quick with a face lick, a big happy face, a tail wag that could knock you over. She never had a problem getting right in your face for a pet or hug. Tess made her presence known but after she had some time with you was content to curl up or stretch out and keep an eye on you from across the room. If I whispered her name she would wag her tail so hard it sounded like a bass drum thumping away.
She was Abbey’s best friend and constant buddy. When I brought Tess home, Abbey scooped her up, took her to her bed and fell asleep with her. For many years Abbey had the size over Tess. It was around age 3-4 that Tess realized she had the height on Abbey and could give her a run for the money.
Those two knew how to have fun together and their rough play sounded more dramatic than it was. She was sweet on Casey but knew that he was Abbey’s guy but had a muzzle lick for him each day.
Always ready for a car ride and an adventure, she traveled with me to every state surrounding Missouri and Illinois. She was a good retriever in the field and loved to swim and get her downed ducks. She loved people and enjoyed doing meet and greets whenever she could.
This girl knew her snacks and even in old age could hear the refrigerator door open or a slice of American cheese being unwrapped. Her favorite way to spend an evening was chewing on a bull stick and then taking a nap.
Rest in Peace sweet Tess. Keep an eye out for Casey, Abbey, and Darby. It’s your time to run and play in the fields with them forever. I’ll catch up with you guys down the road.
Tess Dutch Hollow’s Cure The Blues JH November 17, 2001 to January 29, 2017