Watching Tessa Grow

This is Maggie.

Maggie's a nine year old Irish Wolfound. She and my girls are friends and have been for years, sharing cabins at dog camp, going on hikes, attending dogs-invited barbeques. The girls spend time with Maggie at her house when I'm away and I can't take them with me.

Maggie lives with Robin, a dog trainer/friend who owns and operates Canine Behavior Center.

Recently, Robin emailed me a photo announcing the arrival of Tessa, an eight week old Irish Wolfhound. Maggie now had a little sister, one she - like many older siblings - wasn't so sure she really wanted around. But wise, calm Maggie has decided to let her stay.

I figured the girls and I - and eventually Finn - needed to spend time with Tessa so that all the dogs continue to get along well.

Tessa likes big sister Maggie. Maggie tolerates Tessa. On this visit, Tessa was 11 weeks old and about 28 pounds, nearly twice her weight when Robin and her husband Rich got her at eight weeks old.

Robin and Maggie. Maggie weighs about 140 pounds. For comparison: each of my girls weighs 80 pounds, and Finn weighs 40. (I didn't bring Finn on this visit; I wanted to make sure the girls and Tessa bonded first, and I was a little concerned Finn might try to herd Tessa while she was so small.)

The girls rush to meet and smell Tessa. She's a little overwhelmed at first, but quickly decides that even though her breed was originally prized for their ability to hunt and kill wolves, these wolf-like dogs are just fine.

Robin and Maggie. Gives you an idea just how tall these gorgeous, mellow Wolfhounds are.

Meadow first met Katie, Maggie's biological sister (Katie died a few years ago from cancer), when she was a wee pup. It was instant respect and bonding; thereafter, whenever Meadow saw Katie, she melted into a puddle of puppy mannerisms which was fun to watch. And even though Maggie didn't come into Robin's life until after Katie was gone, and even though Maggie is a different color than her sister Katie, Meadow quickly adopted Maggie as Katie's sister and stand-in.

Somehow I managed to get all four dogs in one frame. Maia and Meadow are still quite interested in the new puppy, who's actually pretty mellow this particular evening after playing with some of the puppies who had been there for obedience classes.

Maia adores Robin while Meadow grooms Maggie's ears. It's a love fest.

Rich and Tessa. Both Rich and Robin knew that the times when they could pick Tessa up and cuddle her were rapidly disappearing. She's growing sooo fast.

Tessa is growing so fast, and is so awkward with her long legs and body. Here, she's actually stalking Maia, even though she's hardly moving! It was hilarious, watching her try to run as her brain's messages to her feet moved at glacial speed. The idea was great, but the execution needs work.

More photos to come as I chronicle Tessa's growth!