Tess, be in peace

The sad loss of our dog, Tess.

Over a couple of months ago, Tess was diagnosed with bone cancer, in the shoulder joint of her right front leg.  The vet thought that she might have only a very few weeks to live, this particular form of cancer being aggressive.

As it happened, Tess kept going for much, much longer.  But this morning (Wednesday at the time of writing) Jean made the agonising decision to end the pain for Tess.  Despite a daily dose of strong pain-killer tablets, this morning Tess was breathing more laboriously and showing clear signs of tiring.  It was time.

For me it was the first time that I had been with a loved animal that had to be euthanised and it was hard.

A few pictures to keep her memory alive.

Tess, far left (next to the plant pot), and friends
Jean & Tess, a few moments before leaving.
Dear Tess, you are out of pain and at peace.

Let me close with the same poem that was published when we lost our little Poppy,

“There is one best place to bury a dog.
“If you bury him in this spot, he will
come to you when you call – come to you
over the grim, dim frontier of death,
and down the well-remembered path,
and to your side again.

“And though you call a dozen living
dogs to heel, they shall not growl at
him, nor resent his coming,
for he belongs there.

“People may scoff at you, who see
no lightest blade of grass bent by his
footfall, who hear no whimper, people
who may never really have had a dog.
Smile at them, for you shall know
something that is hidden from them,
and which is well worth the knowing.

“The one best place to bury a good
dog is in the heart of his master.”

Ben Hur Lampman —
from the Portland Oregonian Sept. 11, 1925

16 thoughts on “Tess, be in peace

  1. Here in east yorkshire, tears from a stranger for Tess, and for you her owners. It was the ‘before leaving’ photo that did it for me – such dog-love in Tess’s eyes…!


    1. Thanks CC, that’s very thoughtful of you. I’ll pass this on to Jean. The sad truth is that out of our now 11 dogs, four of them are 12/13+ so the next year is likely to see a repeat of this departure. In the midst of such a chaotic and strange world, the love and dignity of a dog is one of life’s rich anchors. Blessings, Paul.


  2. Hi Paul and Jean… Im so sorry for the loss of Tess… I know only too well the parting of our dear family members, for that is what they are Family.. as they give us such love….. Its always a hard choice to make.. But the right one…. and I made it twice with our beloved Cats.. .. So I weep with you today… but I also know that their Spirit goes on Paul and Jean.. This I have seen with my own eyes.. and often when in times of need and at a low ebb… I still feel one come close to sit on my bed… and thats the truth…

    Wishing you both many blessings in these times of change… Sue


  3. Dear Paul and Jean,

    My deepest sympathy for your loss. I’m sorry you had to say bye to Tess. I also weep with you.

    I agree with Dreamwalker, I too saw my Free girl’s spirit. I cannot explain it, and probably not many believe it is possible, but those of us who have felt and seen their spirits, we know it is true. Just like the beautiful poem says, there is no better place to bury a dog, other than in your heart and your memories too, because they live there.

    My sweet Free girl had bone cancer. I dreamed of her after I had to choose her day, which is as you know, very difficult. She thanked me. She showed me how happy she was. She was glad not to have to take any more pills. She was happy. She asked me to be okay, because she was okay.

    Bless your heart Jean. Tess was beautiful. Now, her memory and spirit in your heart is beautiful.

    Bless you, for every tear from your heart will one day be replaced with laughter and joy from your years together.

    Tess is at peace and I know she had the greatest people on earth to care for and love her!

    In sympathy, with love,


    1. What a sweet, dear person you are and how privileged Jean and I are to have so many lovely people reach out to us. I was reflecting the other day about this word ‘love’. Saying it, or writing it, misses the point. Love is how each of us make someone else feel.

      Indeed, some might argue that it’s too easy, too insignificant to say it or write it if it is not heartfelt, and if it is heartfelt, in a sense, love, the word, doesn’t need to be spoken or written, because the person or animal that we love will feel it. Dogs, and many other animals, make us feel loved in so many small ways yet they neither write it or speak it.

      So a heartfelt thank you to you, DK, and all the others who pass by Learning from Dogs for making Jean and me feel so loved. Paul


  4. Sorry to hear about Tess it made me very sad to see the photo of her and Jean – it is so hard to see them go they are so much part of our lives and our hearts.


    1. Thanks Gloria, both for your sympathetic comment, and for reading the Post. I’m afraid that with another four elderly dogs, it may not be too long before this sad place has to be revisited. Hope you and Barry are well and Jean and I send you our love. Paul xxx


  5. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is a wonderful and woeful thing to love a dog. Someone, I can’t remember who, once said that the only fault dogs have is that their lives are too short. Wise words.

    I, too, having lost many dogs and helped two on their journey home, believe that a good dog always comes when called and that death is no obstacle to love.

    Thank you for being such good friends to these splendid creatures.

    This is my favourite poem on the loss and continued love of a dog.

    We Have A Secret

    We have a secret, you and I

    that no one else shall know,

    for who but I can see you lie

    each night in fire glow?

    And who but I can reach my hand

    before we go to bed

    and feel the living warmth of you

    and touch your silken head?

    And only I walk woodland paths

    and see ahead of me,

    your small form racing with the wind

    so young again, and free.

    And only I can see you swim

    in every brook I pass

    and when I call, no one but I

    can see the bending grass.

    Author Unknown


    1. Christina, Wow! Not only are you a new contributor but you share your heart so touchingly. Thank you so much. Hope you stay in touch and, please, do comment whenever you want to. Thanks, Paul.


      1. How kind of you, Paul, to leave these lovely words for me. I subscribed to the blog right after leaving my post. This is very obviously a place of love, peace and thought. I look forward to the journey.
        peace out


      2. Thank you Christina for your subscription. Hopefully, in time you will see just how much mankind could learn from dogs. Best wishes to you, Paul


  6. I can’t finish wiping my tears. My sympathies for you. I honestly don’t know how it is to go through this experience – I have two dogs and I can’t imagine having to go without them ever. Your blog pains me, and makes me realize that like you, I too will have to go through this. Peace to Tess. I can’t bear to look at her.


    1. Sampurna,

      Bless you for your thoughts. That is what dogs give us. Not only in the sense of unconditional love but also in terms of integrity. Of course, dogs aren’t humans and humans aren’t dogs, to write the obvious. But dogs, and other animals, through the simplicity of their relationships with us humans, offer us a very pure ‘bonding’ and constantly remind us to value the present moment, as I wrote subsequently on the 17th.

      Hope my reply makes sense 😉 and thank you so much for reaching out to others through your comment.


  7. I am so sorry for your loss! I had to put my cat to sleep after 14 years together. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I still cry when I go past the vet clinic where Bobo’s battle ended. I miss him still and it’s been over a year. I still miss animals that I had as a child over 40 years ago! I truly believe that animals have a soul and that when it’s my turn to cross over to the spiritual life, my animals will all be there to greet me!! Blessings to you and blessings to Tess as she enjoys lots of loving attention from the angels.


    1. Deborah, like others who have commented about the loss of Tess, your own thoughts and words are deeply touching. We are so grateful for you stopping by Learning from Dogs and spending a few moments sharing your own feelings. Thank you, and hope you will stop by again, Paul.


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