Ode to Joy

I had promised a blog this week about my mentor. I became busy with work & intended on writing it Friday morning. Then Friday morning came & my beautiful dog became sick. We lost her a few hours later. This post is all about my first baby, Contessa.

Contessa (AKA Tess, Tessa, Tessa-Lou, Lou, Princess & Baby Girl) was my second Shepherd, but my first puppy. She turned ten on Thursday. Ten years ago my life was completely different. I was a single guy with no family who had recently lost their adopted dog. I couldn’t imagine life without a dog & found the right breeder for me.

My baby girl & I when we first met


When I went to pick my puppy out of the litter, I knew she was the one immediately & she knew I was hers. This little six-week-old puppy followed me around & we knew we were meant for each other. She was perfect. When she came home she’d bark at herself in the mirror, chew anything her mouth could fit around & spend hours attacking doorstops. She was my first baby.

Our life changed significantly over the last decade. My wife moved in with us with her son, we had another son, we adopted a kitten, moved to the suburbs & had a daughter. She became the guardian of a whole pack & she gained the love of four more humans & a cat. Tess became everyone’s puppy in our home, but our daughter was the most impressive with her. At two our daughter was the alpha in Tess’ eyes & we were more than happy to allow that to happen.

Our daughter at 3 playing with 9-year-oldĀ Contessa


Our beauty has left us with some amazing memories like my stepson walking her through the house at 2, our son laughing hysterically for the first time at the dog & then kitten play fighting, our daughter going through commands with her & her body hitting my wife’s side of the bed every night to snore away with us. Contessa looked & sounded vicious if you were to stand at our door, but upon entering you’d have to worry about being licked to death. She was perfection.

No matter how long you have with a loved one, being human or furry, it’s never enough time. The worst part of being a pet owner is knowing that part of your family will go well before you’re ready to say goodbye.

Thank you all for your patience & understanding as to why this post isn’t the intended one this week. Hug those you love this week & give an extra bit of love to your pets for me.


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