According to folklore, dog years are multiplied by 7. Thus, I have a part pomeranian, part yorkie who recently had her fifteen birthday in people years or 105 dog years. Meet Tessa Marie Jenkins, the centenarian!
Tessa was her original name, but over time, Marie and Jenkins were added. Why? I don’t know. In her early years, she was an active, friendly little dog, but then she became a recluse. She spent the majority of her time under the bed. So much so, that many of our family and friends asked, “Who’s that elusive dog of which I caught a glimpse?” She kept her distance even from me. She ran and hid if I tried to pet her. I had to feed her in a separate room, as she wouldn’t eat in front of the others. My kids called her a diva. “She’s too good for our company. Such a high-maintenance snob!”
Then miraculously, two years ago Tessa Marie came out from under the bed. She ate with my other dogs, and she even came to parties. I took her to the vet for her innoculations and check-up, and the vet said she was in wonderful condition. “Sue, you must have just had her teeth cleaned. Her teeth are immaculate.” I only nodded–little did he know her teeth had never been cleaned. (I’m not a fan of routinely putting dogs to sleep for teeth cleaning, unless infection threatens their health.)
These days Tessa is a spry, active and very demanding 105 year-old. She barks and barks until she gets a dog biscuit or three. I can’t tell her “no” because she is stone deaf. Yet, when her internal clock goes off, she barks until her dinner is served. She barks when she needs to patrol the backyard, and she barks when she sees someone at the front door.
Tessa has lived in my house for 15 years and has never gone near the swimming pool. However, this week, during a romp, she fell in the deep end. I was in shock! She’s freaking old; she’ll have a heart attack and plummet ten feet down. No. She swam to the side, where my cabana boy rescued her. Though I was sure she’d have some type of injury or side effect, she shook herself off as we towel-dried her. She sprinted around the yard; I imagined her singing: Hey, now. I’m a Rock Star! I was amazed at her energy.
I guess I need to add this to my daily, dietary intake: