I know a lot of pet lovers both personally and blogging friends so I am sure that nobody will mind another post about the fur kids. Cindy and Polly are the current ones but before Cindy we had Tessie. Yesterday when I was tidying up I found an old photo of her that was taken soon after we moved to Tasmania. She was nine and a half years old when we moved here, about the age that Cindy is now.
Tessie was a Corgi/Cavalier King Charles Spaniel cross. The Corgi was predominant and that’s what most people took her for. I sometimes called her a “Water Corgi” because she loved water, except for baths of course. We lived near the beach for most of Tessie’s life and she would happily chase a ball into the sea and swim back with it. If we walked near a creek or river I’d have to have her on the leash or she would almost certainly jump in for a paddle. She would walk through puddles when it was wet if she got half a chance and with her little legs that meant I spent a lot of time cleaning her up after a walk.
The other thing that Tessie loved was chasing tennis balls, just like Cindy does. Of the four dogs we owned three of them were fanatical ball chasers, only Tammy, our first dog, grew out of it. She preferred hide and seek at the beach and scrounging at other people’s picnics but that’s another story.
Tessie only had short little legs but she had a good turn of speed and as David used to say she cornered well. Sometimes when we visited our friends Gillian and Bruce and their dog Holly we would take the dogs out to play ball. They were about the same age and they were good friends. Nevertheless it didn’t stop Tessie from being competitive in the race to get the ball so we usually used two. Although Holly was a much bigger dog, a Border Collie type, it was often Tessie who got possession of the ball because she just wanted it more. If there was no ball available she was just as happy to chase a stick or even a pine cone.
We got Tessie via my sister who originally bought her to be a companion to her dog. However, she soon realised that the two of them were not very compatible and she preferred to get a male so Tessie became our dog. She was a gorgeous puppy. The first time I ever saw her I just scooped her up to cuddle her. I don’t usually do that when I meet other people’s dogs for the first time.
Tessie was a friendly dog, she got on well with other dogs, cats and people. At the beach her party trick was to take her tennis ball up to someone, drop it at their feet and if they didn’t get the hint she would nudge it towards them and give a bark or two. It didn’t matter to her the age or nationality of the person. I saw her try to get a baby to play with her on one occasion and on another a group of Japanese tourists. Hardly anyone ever refused to play once Tessie or I had explained what she wanted. I did spend a lot of time running after her on the beach and breathlessly explaining to total strangers that my dog was inviting them to play with her.
Tessie took the move to Tasmania in her stride. She enjoyed the long drive from Adelaide to Melbourne. I’m sure she thought it was the best car ride ever. She did not enjoy being in a kennel all alone on the ferry but she forgot quickly. On our first night in the new house we slept in sleeping bags on the floor and Tessie burrowed in between us. That’s where she always liked to be, between David and me. Tessie did not show favouritism to one or the other of us.
I thought that she might react negatively to seeing farm animals for the first time but cows and sheep didn’t interest her much. She just seem to accept them as part of life. I don’t think she ever tried to chase any wildlife. In fact once I recall looking out the back door and seeing Tessie nose to nose with some little native marsupial just for a moment. I think they were just investigating each other. She was more worried about the heavy, noisy log trucks that rolled past us when we took our walks but after a few weeks even they didn’t bother her any more. She enjoyed long walks as we explored the area and shorter ones closer to home until she developed cancer and died aged twelve and a half.