Tess and Amy at Waukesha Expo 1976
January 7th is my Siberian husky’s [44th] birthday. Tess was born January 7th, 1975. Thanks to her hyper-social demeanor and my inability to deal with it, Tess pulled me into my career as a dog trainer.
Despite my growing dislike for Tess, I enrolled at K-9 OTC in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. After attending classes for three months with pathetic results, I made a crazy decision — I decided to practice! After two weeks my outlook changed; Tess started listening and by spring of ’76 I had become an obedience trial enthusiast. Ultimately, Tess won multiple Highest Scoring Dog in Trial awards and completed her Utility Dog title in the United States in 7 shows and her Canadian UD in 3 shows*.
Tess died 32 years ago. When I got Tess in 1975, I just wanted Tess to listen. Thank goodness she didn’t! The struggle forced me to learn how to communicate with Tess and develop a profound bond that is only experienced by working through challenges.
Every dog I’ve owned has shaped and enriched my life but Tess made the greatest impact. Happy birthday Tess!
*Thanks to Art Kearns at Arko Dog Training, Milwaukee, WI and Bill Koehler, Ontario, CA for the step-by-step instruction that simplified my Siberian husky training program.