Tess is a breeder for Guide Dogs for the Blind. She was born in Australia to a guide dog service organization and sent to San Rafael as an exchange pup when she was only three months old. She was raised by a wonderful family in Fresno and became a breeder. I became her custodian when she was about two years old. She’s has four litters for Guide Dogs–the first litter delivered Una, a singleton (get the name?!) and her last litter had ten puppies! Naturally, we blame the stud for the inconsistencies.

Well, Tess has been retired as a breeder. I had the option to keep her as a pet. Normally, I would have jumped at the chance. But I’d gotten to know Tess’s puppy raising family over the last few years and I knew how much they loved Tess. There’s some kind of special bond between a raiser and puppy–I knew it the first time this Fresno family came to visit. At first, Tess gave her usual exuberant greeting. But then a wheel clicked in her mind and it was obvious she recognized this family. She went CRAZY with happiness.

So, last Monday, this lovely Fresno family came to my home and left with Tess–with my blessing. I have to admit that the house feels very empty without her . . . but I have a peace about this decision. Plus, she’s coming back for an extended visit in a few weeks. Another bonus of being connected to this family!

These dogs . . . they just bring such joy, don’t they?


My older brother, Dave, with Tess. He’s even more of a dog lover than I am.


Tess and her one puppy, Una.





Tess is five years old now, but thinks she’s still a puppy.


She’s been so sweet with babies in the house. She just quietly gets up and leaves.



Always looks a little long suffering when we go for a bath at Pet Food Express.


Isn’t she a beauty? People stop me on walks just to admire her.


She’s quite a reader.


This picture is right outside my kitchen window. She likes her sun baths.


Tess loves to photobomb my pix.


And she has been a faithful fan to Tad’s basketball games.


Sigh . . . I already miss her. It’s a VERY good thing that Toffee (Tess’s daughter, who also became a breeder and was also raised by this Fresno family) will be home soon after having her pups.



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