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Goodbye Tessie


In March of 2009, I started working for a small book publishers in South-Western New Hampshire. The business was run out of the owners' attic, and employees consisted of myself, my assistant, the Shipping Manager, the VP and the President. We also had three people that worked in the warehouse - Like I said, the place was SMALL. The building itself was erected in the mid 1700's and is replete with great plank floors, original glass, antiques, the works - your typical, New Hampshire farmstead. While everyone that worked at this company knew the building was haunted, and had, had experiences (myself included - maybe I'll write about that another time!), this was completely unexpected.

My bosses had two dogs, Sadie and Tessie. Sadie is a black lab, and full of spunk; while Tessie was a chocolate lab with equal parts love and health problems. She had eaten a paperclip when she was a puppy (yepp) and in addition to several internal injuries she sustained, she also developed kidney and bladder problems. Something also happened with her brain over time, so she developed some very peculiar-to-her habits. One of these habits was refusing to come up the stairs into the attic without a person - she would scramble up the small three-step flight to the landing, stop, and whine to be let up the other twelve steps. After a few weeks working at the publishers, I took it upon myself to be Tessie's Helper, and would sooth her up the tumultuous flight of stairs. Eventually, after long enough of knowing me and trusting me to be her reliable Stair-and-Outdoorsies Buddy, Tessie would lie underneath my desk with her head on my feet. We became very close, and even though she was not my dog, I loved her to absolute bits.

The first winter with this company wound up being rather harsh for Tessie's health. She went into the hospital several times for refusing to eat, she would throw up, she would sleep all the time - very sick, and tired, and it broke my heart to see her that way. Then, all of a sudden, she had a second breath of wind! She was perfectly healthy, putting on weight for a solid two or three months before she began a rapid decline. More rapid than before, even. It was the middle of April when the VP asked me to take Tessie to the vet for her, as she was busy that day. Tessie's legs were bandaged from where she had been given shots and had, had blood taken, etc, and she was also pretty weak. So I picked the poor thing up, put her on my back seat, and carefully drove to the Vet. I kept looking back at her in my rearview mirror, to see her sad chocolate eyes looking directly at me. I was so naΓ―ve and so in love with this dog that I had no idea I had been sent on her Death Errand. I checked her in, said a long goodbye with many encouraging words of health, and felt an incredible wave of sadness as I walked to my car. I sat behind the wheel smoking and crying for a solid half hour, and then drove back to work.

Tessie was put down that afternoon, and I felt so guilty for delivering her to the Vet. I was furious with my bosses - they knew how much I loved that dog, and sent me on the unpleasant errand regardless. The next several weeks, I didn't talk to anyone unless I had to. I kept to myself. One afternoon, a few weeks after Tessie's death, my bosses needed to travel to Concord, NH for some medical business, and asked that I stay a little later to answer the phones and watch over the house. This was fine, I had extra work to do anyway, so off they went and I was left by myself. They took Sadie, the other dog, with them, and all the doors were locked from the inside. Going over some inventory in the office, I heard a faint scratching on the hardwood floors directly underneath me - the sort of scratching dog toenails make on hardwood. The sounds got louder, and still so soon after her death, my immediate thought was "Oh, Tessie wants to come up!" before stopping and realizing my thought, then listening as the scratches gained weight behind them and scrambled up those three small steps to the landing. I heard a very soft whimper and the sounds of a dog lying down in a huff.

I never told my bosses what I heard, but when I told the shipping manager, she smiled and said, "Of course Tessie came to say she loves you - you were her Mom." Tessie was a little over two years old when she died, and I still think of her coming to say hello to me while I was hurting for her the most. Thank you for reading:)

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, reddysteady, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

LindaG (3 stories) (32 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-04)
That was a very heartwarming. How sweet it was for Tessie to come and tell you thank you for being there for her. Maybe that's why she was there for you. Thank you for this wonderful story.
HappySpirit (187 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-03)
What a beautiful story! I am an absolute basket case with these sad but heart warming stories of loyal loving pets coming back to say goodbye one last time. I an totally understand how upset you were having been made the Angle of Death's unknowing and unwitting assistant. Glad Tessie could come back one last time...
dying_beauty (1 stories) (4 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-03)
What a wonderful story:) I think Tessie knew exactly how you felt about her and how much you loved her, and she didn't want to go without comforting you a bit. This way the last memory you have of her is a happy one and not the hard goodbye... Yes, I cried a little at the end too xD
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-03)
Thank you, all, for your kindnesses 😁 It gives me an incredible feeling to think back on her visit, and I'm so grateful that others have had similar experiences with their own pets or loved animals that have passed on. It's a beautiful experience, yet?
Love and light,
macdouk (1 stories) (6 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-03)
Hi Reddy,
I am sorry to hear about Tessie and how much you loved her. I too, as like many others, have sufered the heart break of losing a pet. This story has given me both tears and a smile on my face knowing that even pets can come back and say "hey, I'm okay!"
I have a story of my own that I will post shortly about my dogs visit. I hope Tessie visits you again soon:)
stephyw2001 (guest)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
Thank you for sharing this story! It seems many people who have animals they loved that died have come back to see them. I had to put my cat down after 5 years. She had some health issue too. I also really regret the drive to put her down. 😭Since then I moved out of my parent's house, and they moved as well. That house was always her home though. So I often wonder if the new owners ever occasionally see a tortie cat out of the corner of their eye...
geetha50 (15 stories) (986 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
I agree that I rather spent time with animals than humans because I find them to understand you better than humans.

I agree with Fergie that I would be really pissed at the bosses for letting you do this without at least giving you a warning but at least she made the attempt to apologize. But think of it this way; You cared for Tessie more than anyone at work and like the shipping manager said, you were her mommy. What a better way for Tessie to pass then to travel with the person she trusted the most. If she traveled with her owner or anyone else for that matter, Tessie would have been scared and so much emotion running though her and she wouldn't have been able to express it probably. With you, she felt that peace and although she was sad to go but at the same time she was sad to see you feel really badly.

In my opinion, she had a peaceful going out and she was in pain or miserable while she was alive and she knew that. Tessie came back to comfort you knowing how you were torturing yourself over her death.

Sorry for going on and on but you made me feel really sad and I was crying while I read this story (not a good thing while you are at work πŸ˜†).
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
Ohhh no 😭 Poor baby, I'm sorry for her and for you! It is absolutely gorgeous, however, that, that tree flowers your favorite color during its first blossoming, however πŸ˜† Kitty saying "I love you!" Very sweet, thank you for sharing!
kristy-lee1985 (4 stories) (44 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
this brought back memories for me to. I adopted a cat off someone else whom could not keep her a few years back. I let her out one morning to go to the loo and do the things cat's do. I went out later that night to find her, but strangely she was nowhere to be seen. Later that night I was sitting in the lounge room watching television with my partner when I heard my cat meowing, you no the kind of meow that makes your blood run cold, the kind of meow that says "something is wrong" I walked outside and there she was, broken back mid way down, when I walked towards my front gate you could see the drag marks from her dragging herself home from the front gate to my front door. She was put down the next day: (. I buried her under a tree that should flower with light pink flowers, but the first flowers it gets every year are always purple. (purple being my favourite colour) and the tree I'm talking about is a fragapani tree which is also one of my favourite flowers. I think tessie was saying good bye and thanking you for taking her to be put out of her misery.
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
I sure hope you'll live, Fergie! You're a good one 😊

Frankly, I'd rather spend time with animals than with people, so your feeling is quite relatable. 😁
Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
It's okay reddy...I'll live... 😐
Well I'm glad that you got an apology, that was the Least that she could do!
I am sorry if I come across as more sensitive to animal suffering, than humans; animals are the ones' that can't speak though.
I hope you Never have to take your animal friend to be put's heart-wrenching!
reddysteady (5 stories) (95 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
Oh no! 😒 I'm sorry, Fergie! I have yet to experience this with my very own animal friend (luckily), but imagine that it is just that much more difficult.
I mentioned to the woman boss, near the last few weeks of my working there, how much it had crushed me, and she apologized - that was something.
Still makes my heart smile to think about sweet Tessie saying goodbye, however 😊
Thank you for your kind words, and for reading, also! <3
Fergie (40 stories) (1159 posts)
12 years ago (2012-08-02)
Hi reddy, you just had me in tears! You just reminded me of times I had to take animals of my own to be put down, and how hard it was to say goodbye.
What absolute beasts your bosses were, giving you that aweful job! I don't blame you for not speaking to them.
At least you got a sweet goodbye from Tessie.
Thank you for sharing

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