01 December 2005

The story of Tess

Henry and Tess

Tess is a pretty 14-month old black cocker spaniel who has had an awful lot of homes in her short life. She came to Pension Milou for the first time a few days before the end of November. She’d lived in Monaco but the boyfriend didn’t like dogs so she ended up in a refuge. I always wonder about people who don’t like dogs? My mother didn’t like dogs so how did I end up running a doggy pension? Come to think of it, my first dog was a cocker spaniel – black with white feet and called Boots. One day my mother said she was ‘sending him away to the country’ because he brought too much mud into the house. Maybe there were other reasons. How would I have known? I was five years old but I’ve never forgotten him.

Anyway, back to Tess, who ended up at the refuge in Vence. Her new owner helps out sometimes, saw her, fell in love and took her home. Hardly surprising as she's the happiest most loving little dog. Tess was actually Bess at the time but Janet changed it. She felt Tess suited her better and so it does. I had a Bess once – a rather portly Old English Sheepdog called Bessie Bunter. That was a happy marriage of dog and name. Tess is lithe and energetic and not a Bess at all. Funny how a name can bring an image instantly to mind, isn’t it?

Janet worked really hard to train Tess – she was a bit scared of men - she still is, but gets over it pretty quickly now. She was spayed and life was good. Then, after a few months, Janet's husband was offered a job in the UK. Realistically they knew it wasn’t practical to keep Tess. They were travelling. And so Tess went to her next home, this time in Mougins. She loved playing with the Boxer who lived there but there was a problem – the property had large automatic double gates and Janet worried herself silly Tess might get thru them, escape, get into traffic, worse - and so she took her back. And then the search began, yet again, for the perfect home.

And they found it, via a recommendation from a friend: a lady in Kent, with two dogs, who is more than happy to welcome Tess into her family, even tho she’s not met her yet. So next January, when all the injections and blood tests are complete, she will go to the UK. Meanwhile, she is here for a week whilst her current owners are away. She settled almost instantly. She's such a well-adjusted cocker spaniel considering her history - no small thanks to Janet’s training and care and she’s epitome of what a cocker spaniel should be – ‘the merry cocker.’

And little Tess is in luck. I have another ‘merry cocker’ here called Henry. That was a coup de foudre - he and Tess are inseparable and then, suddenly, my memory wakes up. I remember that Henry’s owners are thinking of getting a second dog. It is agreed I should speak to Henry’s owners when they collect him, and guess what, Tess has been adopted and is now in her ‘forever home’ with her new friend, Henry.

Now that’s a happy ending, isn’t it?

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