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Finally, our new girl’s mom, Sunday, had a litter of nine, four male and five female puppies.


One is ours!


We had to go hike Tessa’s favorite trail to let her know.


I’m sure I’m a wuss!  Such a cry baby.  Miss her still — so much!

But it is time to let go.


So, I took Tessa’s hiking bandana off my hiking stick, folded it neatly and placed it beneath “Tessa’s Rock,” the trail memorial where we left Joy’s good-bye note and some Oreo cookies which Tessa loved so much.

I hate to admit how many tears we shed for her as we hiked the trail we have dubbed “The Tessa Trail.”

She hiked this trail with us year round, at times in over a foot of snow.


Joy says a last good-bye to Tessa at “Tessa’s Rock” 

Both Joy and I have come to empathize so much with mothers who lose young children.

What terrible, terrible grief that must be!

0105161430-2We have so much greater understanding of the pain one suffers from the loss of loved ones of every age.

Yes, we both lost our parents some time ago.

I lost a daughter a little over a year ago.

And we’ve lost good friends.

Those were painful.

But how can we compare our losses with the pain a mother suffers when losing a toddler!

And in our smaller way, the loss of our dearest pup, Tessa.

Tessa was with us all day and all night for her entire life.

We only left her at a boarding kennel for four days when we went on a trip on which there were no accommodations for her.

Otherwise she was with us constantly.

I took her hiking every day.  And I walked her a good quarter of a mile on four other walks a day.


We are now looking forward to the joy of our next puppy.

The first week of November, Joy will bring her back from Minnesota.

2 Responses

  1. Heidi
    | Reply

    Bill and Joy, so very very touching… Tessa was an extraordinary being…you all made each other so beautiful! We are very much looking forward to your new baby… and looking forward to seeing you soon….

    • BackpackerBill
      | Reply

      Thanks, Heidi. We knew you’d want to know about our new pup. Should have her in early November.

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