By Jackie Patterson
Rescues are often plagued with the need to find a home for a senior pet as many people feel that a senior dog won’t be around as long as a puppy and pass them by. While that may be true, some fosters realize that older dogs have often grown out of annoying puppy habits and are often more likely to settle into a home more easily than a younger pet. Such a home was fortuitously found for Tissaia, a ten year old intact senior Chessie. Tissaia, originally known as Jessie, had titles in both conformation and in hunt tests. After seeing pictures of her sweet gray face, Wendy and Angela, already CBRR&R adopters, agreed, not only to take her in, but to also help with her transport! Toys and other goodies were purchased in preparation for welcoming Jessie into their home and her new name -Tissaia – was decided upon! Travel was made easy with a new ramp that was purchased so she wouldn’t have difficulty getting into the car and she figured it out just like a champ.
On August 27th, before even getting to her new home, she saw the vet, got her vaccines, was bathed, ears cleaned and toenails clipped! Having experience with bringing in a rescue, baby gates were up and there was a room for Tissaia to have some alone time so she could adapt to her new surroundings, new people and new animals. Besides 4 cats, Tissaia now had a new sister named Yennifer, also a rescue from CBRR&R, so a leashed walk to get the two acquainted happened before a closeup meet and greet. Tissaia’s first night was spent in the living room and she fared well with no accidents, enjoying her first time living in a home with a family.
Once home, Tissaia showed that she was definitely a Velcro dog. Just a happy camper with her tongue hanging out and wanting to cuddle. Happily, she was so gentle with the cats – just sniffing them gently and going on about her business. She decided that her favorite place was on the sofa by the window where Yen usually sat and Yen actually allowed that! She loved running around the yard and enjoyed playing fetch. Being a really smart girl, Tissaia figured out how feeding was done – with a sit and a wait while the food was placed and then a release to eat. She rapidly learned to be gentle giving the ball back while playing fetch and enjoyed running around chasing a ball, playing fetch, and just exploring with Yen. Turns out that the old lady really could haul ass, giving Yen a run for her money! Tissaia loves her food and was a bit of a counter surfer and would sometimes pace around the kitchen hoping some food would magically fly off the counters from a dinner just finished. She loves to cuddle with her humans and loves her toys, happily carrying them around with her.
It wasn’t long before adoption papers were signed and Tissaia became a treasured member of the family. Usually fosters tend to wait to see how things go before committing to an adoption, but Wendy and Angela knew right away that Tissaia was to be family.
Shortly after bringing Tissaia home, Wendy found a mass on Tissaia that was of concern, so on the 15th of September, she saw the cardiologist to be cleared for surgery, to have teeth cleaned, to be spayed and have the mass removed. All went well, but the mass was very deep and came out in pieces. Three and a half hours under, but she took it like a champ!
Tissaia was doing ok after the surgery, but wanted lots of snuggles. She managed to get out of her bandage, so ended up with one of Angela’s t-shirts and looked really cute. She had been overweight when she arrived, but after lots of walks and play with Yen, she lost 2 pounds and was at her goal weight. She really wanted to play and it was hard to keep her down, but she needed to heal. Over time, Yen and Tissaia had become good friends and loved playing and snuggling together.
Sadly, the lab results arrived to show that Tissaia had terrible cancer and that there was nothing medically that could be done for her. The tumor was growing so rapidly it was outgrowing its blood supply. The type of cancer she had would not respond to treatment. It was only a matter of time before it would spread to her lungs. Palliative care and comfort measures for pain was all that could be done medically.
Physically and mentally, Wendy and Angela did everything that could be done to give Tissaia all the love, cuddles and support possible to make her remaining days all they could be. They reported that Tissaia remained a happy, energetic, and affectionate girl who loved to cuddle and wrestle with Yen. She was still a happy girl who loved her food and was being fed anything she wanted. When Tissaia let Wendy and Angela know that it was time to go, they stopped on the way to vet to get cheeseburgers and chicken nuggets for her. Tissaia left this life surrounded by love. She had such a short time with her beloved family, but they were the best days they ever could have been under the circumstances. Loving a dog, even for way too short a time, is an important rescue message. Her life mattered and she is loved and missed greatly by all her family – humans, dog and cats. Rest in peace, dear Tissaia, you will always be remembered