Meet Tessa the Welsh Terrier

How soon is too soon when getting a new pet after another one dies? If you had asked me three weeks ago I would have disagreed with what I’m about to say and that is to say that you should get a pet when you really need one.

Meet Tessa , our Welsh Terrier at 3 1/2 months old.

Meet Tessa , our Welsh Terrier at 3 1/2 months old.

When our first Welsh Terrier died I was devastated. If you’ve had a family pet before you know that it can be almost as difficult as losing a human – sometimes even more difficult. Now before you think that this comment is unfeeling, think about it. Our relationships with other humans can be very complex, full of good and bad memories or events, and this often affects the way we feel when they pass on. Our pets, on the other hand, love us unconditionally. They don’t hold grudges or remember that we yelled at them. They don’t care about who we are, how much money we make, what color of skin we have, or how old we are. Queen Elizabeth’s Corgis don’t care who she is.

I digress. When Taffy, our most recent Welsh Terrier (and author of Taffy Talks) died, I thought we would wait as long as we did after our first Welsh died – and that was eight months. Well-laid plans have a way of turning out differently than you expect. I began to do research online to see who bred Welsh Terriers (they are uncommon as opposed to most breeds) and only found two breeders in all of Canada. One was located in Atlantic Canada and the other in Mission,BC. I was very impressed with Darwyn Welsh Terriers and contacted them for information on future litters. (Check out their site).

To make a long story short, a pup that the breeder had originally intended to keep as a show dog turned out to have a slight underbite – something that isn’t acceptable in competitions so she decided to sell her to us. We picked up our new 12 week old puppy at the airport and brought her home on the very day that Taffy would have turned 12 had she lived. I like to imagine that she saw how lonely I was without her and sent me a gift.

We named our new six pound bundle of energy Tessa. I have to admit, we had forgotten how much work it was to have a puppy around the house. Everything has to be puppy-proofed as she puts everything in her mouth. Puppy “potty-training” is an experience that I had forgotten about…:) but this task is becoming more successful as time goes on.

So, did we make a mistake getting a puppy so soon? At first I may have felt like we were being disloyal to Taffy by “replacing” her so soon after she died, but knowing her gentle, loving spirit, she would have agreed with the “dog” who wrote a Letter to My Master. An elderly dog writes to his owner towards the end of his life that if he had been successful as a companion, it meant that his master could never again live without another dog. And if that is the measure of a dog’s worth, then Taffy was more successful than she will ever know.

13 responses to “Meet Tessa the Welsh Terrier

  1. We have in the last few weeks lost our lovely Welsh Terrier Ted at the tender age of two who died very quickly from severe meningitis leaving us totally devastated.He has left a huge gap in our lives so it was reassuring to read your article and to see what joy your new puppy has brought into your lives following the loss of your previous and much loved pet.

    • I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your Welshie. Especially at such a young age. When you get a puppy you think that you will have them for their regular life span but… Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Love your dog, Tessa. What a cutie. I have a welshie though, so I’m biased! It’s so hard to say goodbye to beloved pets like Taffy. I’m glad you have opened your heart to another dog and it’s going well for you.

    • Thank you so much. I think that people who have had pets for a lot of years can often pick out one dog or cat or… that was just a bit above the rest – although you love them all and Taffy was that dog. On the other hand, although I still miss her, having Tessa really fills that hole in my heart. And Welsh Terriers, as you know, demand their way into your heart!

  3. Tessa is a sweetheart! I think that once you have a dog companion, it is very difficult to live wholly without a dog. Learned from my experience!

  4. Hi Johanne,
    We just lost our Welsh Terrier “Tuffy” Easter Sunday – April 20th
    He was only 5 years old, he died of a condition called megaesophagus.
    The pain of that experience seems almost unbarrable to get through the day!!
    I love your explanation on why we love our little friends so much…the relationship with them is uncomplicated!
    Will we search for another Welsh like you, yes oh yes, the house is to quite and he left behind a Wheaton Terrier his friend Finnigan, that’s searching for him as I type this letter.
    When the timing is right the dog that is suppose to come into our lives will…Untill then, I’ve put word on the street.

    Thank you for writing a happy ending to your story, It gives me hope!
    Jennifer

    • Jennifer: I’m so sorry to hear about your dog – and especially because he was so young! I have a friend who was happy to hear we were considering getting another pup. She told me that, as good pet owners, it was our duty to give another dog a good home. But it isn’t a duty, is it ?- it’s a privilege.

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