Tom Holland Mourns Death of Dog Tessa: ‘Missing My Lady’

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Tom Holland
John Phillips/WireImage

Tom Holland is mourning the death of his dog Tessa after nearly a decade of companionship.

“Missing my lady ❤️,” the Spider-Man star, 27, wrote via Instagram on Sunday, April 21, alongside a photo of Tessa. In his Instagram story, he shared another photo of the blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier titled “T-Day” with a link to his father Dom Holland‘s Patreon blog.

Dom, a writer, revealed that the family planted a tree in their front yard in Tessa’s memory and scattered her ashes. “Not so much an obituary — but more an insight into the final lap of the life of a remarkable little dog who had come to dominate my family — indeed, she was the only Holland who everyone loved all of the time,” he wrote in a blog post earlier this month.

Tom adopted Tessa when she was just a puppy and he was still living with his family. Tessa was raised with Tom’s parents, Dom and Nikki Holland, as well as his three younger brothers: Harry, 25, Sam, 25, and Paddy, 19.

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“I would like to introduce to everyone little Tess. The newest member of the family. #staffs,” he shared via Instagram in July 2014 alongside a snap of the canine resting her head on his shoulder.

The pup remained by Tom’s side through the years as he rose to fame shortly after her arrival, making his debut as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War in 2016. He took her to set when possible and FaceTimed her when he had to go on location. Tom even brought her to a London press event for Spider-Man: Homecoming in June 2017.

“I love her, she is an angel,” the English actor told TIME after Tessa appeared with him at the June 2017 event. “Staffies are considered to be very dangerous dogs, which is not true, is not the case. They are not aggressive. She is the sweetest, most angelic thing you’ll ever meet. And yeah, I brought her along because I’ve always wanted to bring her to a press event. She got super scared of the cameras at first and just ran away. But then she came back and had a really nice time.”

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While she was usually well-behaved, Tessa actually distracted Benedict Cumberbatch once. “If I’m in London, she’ll come to set. I was shooting this film called The Current War with Benedict Cumberbatch, which was a very serious movie about the invention of the light bulb,” Tom explained on The One Show in 2022. “We were shooting this sequence that was supposed to be in a field, but we shot it in a sound stage, and Benedict was supposed to be giving this massive speech to about 100 extras.”

He continued: “Tessa is so well-behaved. I can have her on set, she doesn’t bark, she doesn’t make a noise. And I’m sitting there watching Benedict and he’s crying, giving his heart and soul into this performance — and [I realized] my dog obviously some sort of hay intolerance. You know how dogs sneeze with just like every fiber in their body? She was just sneezing and sneezing.

“You could see Benedict trying to stay in character and then, eventually, he was like ‘Can somebody take that dog out, please?’” Tom apologized to Cumberbatch and Tessa recovered from her sneezing fit.

She even went on to inspire one of Tom’s performances. When he voiced a dog in Dolittle, Tom brought Tessa to a January 2020 screening and said she helped him create the animated pup. “I just based this character off of Tess, really. I just brought Tess to the studio and copied [her],” he quipped.

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