Nicknames: Tessa the Terrible, Teeny Tess, The Beast, Tah, Beep, Cheese
Gotcha Date: May 1st 2002
Birthday: May 19th 2000
Likes: HER BALL! (Tennis is preferred - but she just discovered raquetballs...) She also loves our morning snuggle time between snooze-button slaps.
Pet-Peeves: When I dremel her nails... When strangers overstep their bounds with her! (She'll give them an evil smile!)
Favorite Toy: BALL!!! :) The rattier the better!
Favorite Food: Whatever I'm eating (sometimes she gets a little as a special treat) **** GREENIES!!!!!!!!****
Favorite Walk: Anywhere I can throw the ball for her.
Best Tricks: Skateboarding, Fetch, Speak, "Bite Your Bum", "Bark At Your Bum", Back Up, "Oh NO!" (Hides face with her paw), Bow, Dance, the cup game... The list goes on...
Arrival Story: Tessa (originally "Koko") was rescued from the pound in Hartford CT by a wonderful woman named Diana. Hartford has a "7 Day Rule" for euthanasia and Tessa was on her way out. Diana took Tessa home, got her vaccinated, spayed & microchipped. She was then able to find her a new home - Tessa was promptly (within the week) returned for fear biting and aggression. Diana was able to adopt her out again - this time she was returned within 2 days for the same reason. I got in touch with her and was told that if I took her I'd have to find her a new home if I didn't want to keep her. I drove from Boston to Hartford and took Tessa home. She was HORRIBLE! Afraid of everything! I couldn't touch her, put a leash (or her harness) on her, lean over - once I picked up a ruler to measure something and Tessa was so frightened she flipped over and peed everywhere. She was horrible and I wondered what I had done bringing this beast home. I finally decided (after a weeks grace period) to just DO IT. I would arm myself with hotdog bits, dried liver (anything stinky and yummy) and just pick her up! She would threaten, bite, snarl, etc. and I would just walk around with her until she calmed down (all the while letting her sniff the yummies). I kept this up for a LONG TIME until she figured out that I wasn't going to hurt her. The next step was convincing her that strangers could be just as cool. By this time I had figured out her obsession with balls - I used this (and lots of food) to get her to accept men (VERY scary those men!). I had any man (delivery men included) either throw her ball or feed her cheese. Now she's convinced all men are suckers (no comment) *grin* Once she got over her fear of EVERYTHING I realized how smart she was! I continued using positive reinforcement in conjunction with the best invention EVER - the clicker! She overcame her fear of sticks and now LOVES her pointer. She will learn anything I can think up - sometimes she even makes up her own tricks while trying to get me to make that great *click* noise. She invented the "Bite Your Bum* trick (looks sort of like an odd convulsion). She is excellent! The worst part about my little super-dog is that no one believes that she used to be Satan! She's so GOOD now!!!! :)
Bio: Tessa used to have a big brother, Vanny. Vanny is a retired racing greyhound. He and I were a certified therapy dog/reading partner team. He is also certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizen. Vanny died early in 2010 after terribly dislocating his back leg while running around the yard. Because of his advanced age it was decided that surgery (and the recovery) would be cruel... Poor Vanny... He was such a good boy! :((
I don't like it. For some reason my brother is oblivious to the dissapearance of our things, but I'm keeping a tally. You can't leave home security to my little brother, he's purely decorative.
Mom knows something is going on, she's been hiding things in boxes and camo-ing things in newspaper... but she doesn't seem upset. I'm FURIOUS! Where are all the books? Where are the houseplants? Where did the pictures go? Where is the rug from the living room?
Something is going on and I'm going to find out what! I'm planning a stake-out tonight and will be monitoring all exits for activity. If I had opposable thumbs there would be trip-wire and traps... damn these useless dewclaws...