BESS is supposed to be about 7yrs but looks older, possibly because she has had a painful haematoma on one ear and had growths in the other. She has now had all this operated on by the vet and looks very fetching in her head attire, bless her.

Her fosterer, Julie says

She is a real star. She has been pulled about with this ear op and the other one is sore too after having the growths removed, but she doesnt bat an eye. Her ears are getting better and the smell is going (thank goodness) The pus must have been in there for months. She has to wear the rotten plastic collar 24/7 as she has a crafty scratch when we take collar off to wash out and clean her ears and stitches/straws, so she cant be trusted.

She adores children and seemed fine with neighbours cat.

Notes on Bess from Sandy, her fosterer

Bess would suit an active retired person. She walks well on the lead, would probably be better with a harness, and walks to heel when checked. She would pull if allowed.

She does bark a bit when someone walks past HER window but she greets visitors as old friends and brings them a gift. She nearly wags her tail off.

Bessie loves bones and toys.

She absolutely LOVES water, river or sea, she just wants to swim.

She is good in traffic. Not fazed by low-flying helicopters (they are in Penzance) and has walked happily by the railway line when trains were going past.

She does not like small, enclosed cars and gets very anxious. She prefers estate cars or vans where she does start to relax.

Her ears are healing well and there is no smell and the hair on her ear is starting to grow again. The vet has pronounced her fit again and thought she was a lovely dog who has been badly affected by the stresses of moving. She is such a different dog now and is, hopefully, much more attractive to would-be adopters.


Bess now lives happily with her forever mum and brother in Cornwall. It seems, at last, with TLC, flower essences and hands on healing, that Bess is beginning to put the horrors of her past firmly behind her.

Diana says: Attachment grows by the day. I did let her off in field, she LOVED it, full of the joys of life.


Bess has now been with me for 6 months, and superficially she settled in very quickly, and on the whole has been very easy. The deeper changes have been far more subtle.

Bess is always enthusiastic with visitors and gets very excited, tail wagging madly (actually, it goes round and round like windmill sails!) and a smile on her face. On a daily basis she is far more reserved and tends to keep herself to herself. It has, and still is, taking dear Bess a long time to really trust again, to know that this is home and she won't be abandoned yet again.

Slowly, she has relaxed - her eyes are open wider, and she retreats into herself less and less. She makes eye contact far more often now, and maintains it. Her coat is much glossier and silkier, no doubt helped by her raw food diet. She can be stubborn, but hey, she's entitled to be at her age! She loves going out walking, has found her waist and is much fitter - well able to chase rabbits at speed, though often she just 'plods'.

She definitely feels more secure on the lead and walks forward well (but doesn't pull). Apart from her warm comfy bed, the joys in Bess's life, in no particular order, are: food, yummy smells, rolling , preferably in something, the smellier the better (dead seal takes the prize for being the absolute worst smell imaginable) and being gently stroked. She's not one to be smothered with kisses and cuddles, but stroking is another matter...and if you stop she'll gently wave a paw at you, give you a nudge, and say 'that wasn't enough, thanks!'

Two things that have consistently helped have been flower essences and regular T-Touch, even just a few minutes daily. Bess is not keen on sudden noise and movement, but she coped really well with firework season, better than I expected, and I'm sure the essences and T-Touch took the edge off her fear.

She adores Walter, and they have great mad games together, but they look out for each other too, and their being together has been mutually beneficial.


Sadly, Bess has gone to Rainbow Bridge. She was never an easy dog because of her dreadful past and her ongoing ailments so few people would have been prepared or able to cope with her but she was loved to bits by Diana and her young "brother"Walter and will be missed very much by them. 

A huge thankyou to Diana for giving her three wonderful, happy years and helping her to find the peace she so desperately needed.


2006 Irish Retriever Rescue UK