A Life Without Tessa

On March 9, I sang happy birthday to my big girl Tessa.

She was the fourth and final puppy born to my dog Lady (who will be 15 years old this year).

I have to say, what an amazing experience to see these puppies being born and Lady taking care of them. Of course this wasn’t her first litter. I actually had planned to have her fixed but thanks to my neighbor and I engaged in conversation in the once quiet building we lived, her dog and my dog got together and 62 days later Tessa and three other puppies were born.

I remember her specifically because she had a round head and she was the smallest but ended up being a big dog, bigger than her half brother Sebastian.

And then there were three. I gave away the other puppies staying with the chosen one. The ones I called, “staying with the fold”.

I didn’t think I was able to handle three dogs but I did.

We had a good life in the Bronx. For most of their lives, we spent with my neighbor, along with her dogs and his parents and we were one big happy puppy family. Tessa grew up knowing who her daddy Scruffy, was and because Sebastian’s daddy lived in Brooklyn, well it was only fitting Scruffy adopt Sebastian.

In 2015, I went out and bought these tee shirts that dubbed “not listening” because when do yorkies ever listen LOL.

I bought a bunch too. A set for my neighbor, a set for me and one for my mom, who owns Lady’s other daughter she named Princess.

The day I put it on them it was raining, and being that it was white, I wanted to wash it right away. The next time I put it on Tessa, hers was tight. So I lifted her on the bed, turned her over and her boobies were protruding big time.

I looked at her and she looked at me like…”yep mommy”.

But yet I couldn’t be too sure.

My sister who was living with me at the time checked too and we pretty much figured out Tessa was expecting with her half brother Sebastian. I never thought anything would happen between them since Tessa wasn’t much to having Sebastian near her when she was in heat and would mostly hide under the bed.

I thought wrong.

On March 29th, she gave birth to five puppies.

FIVE!

I couldn’t believe it. They were the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. I didn’t think Tessa would be an attentive mother, she was such a tomboy, but she was a trooper, just like her mom Lady.

I had a playpen all set for her so she can be comfortable and her babies can be safe and warm.

It would be a matter of time before people were asking for one and my sister suspected I was going to keep one and I did. The first one born and the smallest one, Una.

At 12 weeks all the puppies would go to their respective homes and now I had four.

We were a happy family.

In the summer of 2016, an unexpected turn came when I jumped at the opportunity to leave NYC.

I hated uprooted my dogs in the only place (except for Lady) in the apartment they all knew was home. But I made a promise to them, we would live in a place where they can have a yard to play in and they can be outside all the time.

Long and behold, October of last year, I was able to keep that promise and see the looks on their faces as they made their way to their own yard.

It was the most exciting moment for me, to see my babies so happy. Everything I set out to accomplish, I did and then some.

I literally was living on a cloud until the last week of May into June I noticed something different about Tessa and I knew something was wrong. People thought maybe it was the heat, but she wasn’t like this last year, something wasn’t right. I made an appointment for a vet out here which lead to me another one and there we went, trying to figure out what was wrong.

Every time the vet came out running test after test, the prognosis was getting worse. She suggested I do to an emergency center because the blood results came back that she may have some form of Leukemia.

That’s where the nightmare begins because I’m not rich by far.

And the doctor even told me even with chemo, etc, I would only buy a few weeks or even a few months.

They kept her for a few hours, gave her a blood transfusion, among other things.

I took her home and there wasn’t an improvement and I struggled with the fact if I should put her down or make another appointment with a different vet and get a second opinion.

My fiance spent most of his time on his computer trying to piece together if in fact what the vets were saying was true.

I wouldn’t make it the other vet, a week later June 9th she was making her way to the other side. I text my neighbor to call and say goodbye to her and in that one moment, she opened her eyes when she heard her voice on the other end of the phone and five minutes later, she died.

I have asked myself every day since her death, what did I miss?

Why didn’t I realize something was wrong?

Was I a good owner?

Am I good enough to the pets I have now.

One thing my fiance says over and over, was she was all I knew from the minute she opened her eyes. But yet I feel I failed her because I didn’t see something was wrong.

A few days after she passed away, I was dreaming I was walking on a farm area and on the other side it was green and grassy and I called out for her as she was playing with a dog I never seen before. I held her tight and asked, “who was that dog you were playing with” and I woke up.

I have lost five cats. I have grieved for them, but there’s something different when you lose a dog.

I’m not saying a cat or any other animal is any less, but I guess because she was mine, I felt her in her Lady’s belly and in turn I got to feel her babies move in her belly.

I never had children, so to me these are my babies and I feel I let her down in some sort of way.

People that know me, tell me otherwise, but it doesn’t take away the pain I feel day after day she’s not here.

It just isn’t the same anymore and I feel different.

I feel different about how I see things, people, my life. I feel guarded. I don’t want anyone to be close to me anymore.

There are times I wish I would not wake up, so I won’t have to deal with these feelings.

I don’t know what will be my next phase will be.

All I know, right now, I miss my big girl and that my life will never be the same.

We all miss you. Love Your mommy Lady, your brother Sebastian and your daughter Una and your human mommy will never forget your big bark, your howls and your big hugs.

Tessa

March 9, 2011 – June 9, 2018

Rest in Peace Baby Munchkin

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