Tess was born at the local vet by Caesarean section and came home with Poppy and her brother later that day. At birth her brother was bigger than her but she soon overtook him and as Poppy had plenty of milk her weight more than doubled in the first week. This earned her the sobriquet Miss Piggy and then Ten Ton Tess, but I thought Tess was such a pretty name I decided to call her that.

Tess first went out at about 4 weeks and didn’t like it much. She also found Milly’s puppies, 3 weeks older, rather overwhelming at first; but soon she became more adventurous and enjoyed playing with them.

Tess aged 7 weeks

By the time Pepper left she was full of energy and missed him very much. She and Poppy played together quite a lot, and gradually she formed a bond with Amber who became her favourite playmate.

Tess was very quick and clever just as Poppy had been and became known as the Infant Phenomenon (although she was not fed on neat gin). She was mostly easy to housetrain and only made a mess when she wanted to express her displeasure.

Tess at 9 weeks

It’s my suspicion that Tess thinks she should be the best dog – at least! Milly has to put her in her place from time to time when she gets ideas that Milly considers to be above her station.

Tess at 4 months

All puppies chew, but Tess was in a class of her own. One day when she had been particularly tiresome, I put her back in the kitchen where I thought she couldn’t do any serious harm. The Infant Phenomenon didn’t like that one bit and decided on revenge. When I went to see her a bit later, I couldn’t open the door. Tessy had ripped up the floor.

Tess at 6 months

Despite her early promise Tessy has grown up quite a small dog with a pronounced resemblance to Poppy when seen in profile. As Poppy’s only daughter, the family honour rests with her.

I wanted to know whether Tess shared her mother’s aversion to motherhood, so when she was nearly 2 years old she became the mother of a healthy litter of 4 gorgeous particoloured Cavapoos, 3 girls and 1 boy.

Tess with her 2 day old litter

The father was a handsome miniature poodle whose colouring was so rare it was not recognised by the Kennel Club.

Milo, father of Tess’ litter

They were beautiful puppies with lovely markings. Tess was an excellent mother and devoted to her puppies. Poppy seemed to like the role of grandmother and appointed herself guardian to the puppies as they grew up.

The puppies growing

After the puppies left for their new homes, Tess had her first holiday, on Exmoor. It was autumn but we were very lucky with the weather, and all the dogs had a wonderful time.

Tess will have more puppies one day. Meanwhile she enjoys life with her family and particularly chasing butterflies!

Tess, aged 3