Do you recognise this Dino?

Fame is something associated with the Holland’s. I had a brush with it. My eldest son has completely embraced it and with the advent of social media and the new qualifications and criteria for modern-day ‘celebrity’, it could be argued that other members of the Holland household are basking in some limelight too.

One of the pitfalls associated with fame is remaining grounded; avoiding the negative outcomes that accompany notoriety and associated trappings and pitfalls.

Back in the day, a rather acerbic and unpleasant comedian on the circuit became very famous – and I coined a phrase about him – it’s a shame that fame hasn’t changed him.

Because remaining unchanged by fame is hallowed ground and what to aim for.

Via Tom, we have met a number of famous people who admirably remain unaffected by their aching success. Ron Howard springs to mind; a nicer man you’re unlikely to meet.

Putting this more crudely – avoid becoming a dick or a diva – which I believe occurs when a ‘celebrity’ stops hearing the word, no. It is a simple word but a very powerful one and happens to be essential for anyone wanting to remain in the real world.

Not hearing “no” allows for bad behaviour to be normalised and excused and the famous person effectively becomes isolated and lost.

So that said, let me introduce you to a member of the Holland household whose fame is unquestionable and yet this notoriety has not made a scintilla of difference to how they behave.

A great example then to the celebrity world.

An individual completely without ego and takes fame entirely in their stride.

I refer of course, to Tessa Holland.

One of the most famous dogs in the United Kingdom – and maybe even the world? Tessa has a huge following online. On multiple red carpets, she has eclipsed luminous stars such as Robert Downey Junior and even her official owner, Tom Holland.

Like so many celebrities, she is blessed with great natural beauty and draws admiring looks wherever she goes. With no gym hours, she has that annoyingly svelte figure – and yet wears her physical gifts so modestly. No make-up or makeovers for this star. And always the same outfit as well: plane old naked. Now, that’s confidence for you.

And such is the adulation for her, naturally, she gets mail.

And gifts.

People want to draw her, paint her. Create art of her and for her.

Which brings me to this photo.


Do you recognise this blue dinosaur?

It was gifted to Tessa somehow. At one of our Brothers Trust private screening events perhaps, we don’t know but I wanted to share it on my blog, because it is truly unique.

Over the years – Tessa has received many hundreds of toys in all manner of shapes and sizes and at different degrees of destructibility. Thank you to everyone who has been so generous but also now I must offer a candid admission… and especially so for people who think Tessa is happily playing with their gifts.

She isn’t.

Because your generously donated toys have been ripped to pieces already and for the most part, immediately. I understand that will be disheartening for you to read. It is difficult for us to watch a brand new (heavy-duty) stuffed toy being shredded by a normally placid blue Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

And made worse because now we know that this violence is not Tessa acting on instinct.

Indeed, we thought this was something innate to her breed until this blue dinosaur came in to her life. And where it has remained since and in pristine condition. Not a single puncture mark.

Tessa loves this Dino.

It accompanies Tessa around the house and rivals even my slippers and socks for a place in her bed at night – and so a special thank you from me also.


This post is not an appeal for further blue dinosaurs. Tessa already has the toy she loves. Tessa now wants for nothing in life. As I write this post, I am in my lounge, sitting on one of my expensive sofas. On my other expensive sofa is a blue dog with her blue dinosaur.

A celebrity dog getting it right – an example to celebrities and wannabes everywhere – how to live your best life.

Because everything is relative and ‘a best life’ is what we all strive for, no?





45 thoughts on “Do you recognise this Dino?

  1. João Victor says:

    I’m pretty sure you’ll be receiving a lot more gifts from now on… Hope you guys are doing ok during this period. Lots of love from Brazil! ❤️

      • Denisa Maria J. says:

        This blog really put a smile on my face. I love Tessa and the Holland family! I would love to meet all of you someday! You guys are the ones besides my family that make me smile every day. I would love to be able to make you all feel the exact same way ❤️

    • Shayelyn Coughlin says:

      Hahahah this was so sweet!! My dog, Tessy, which is very similar to Tessa ironically, is fond of a toy of hers too ! Idk if anyone would know it’s origin, but it’s from a skit on SNL & it’s a Mr. Bill toy! Whenever you squeeze it projects “ OH NOO” from the skit and she always licks it when it does says that hahaha. They’re now pals much like Tessa & The Blue Dino!!! I wish I could show you a picture but I thought I’d share that story as well!

  2. Macarena says:

    Loved it!!! ☺️☺️ I adopted a staffy 3 months ago, she is 9 months old now and she is so perfect!!! Still at the “destroy everything” phase but we’re getting better Any advice??

    • Jo says:

      Thats so cute!
      Im glad she found her favourite toy.
      I have a cat named Chester, and I have bought and made him a lot of toys, but he barely pay them attention. A few weeks ago I was drawing something and I made a ball of paper with one of my failures and it fell from my bed to the floor. Suddenly he was running all around the apartment with it.
      Since that day I have made him multiple balls of paper with more drawings, old receipts, and whatever paper I find near me when he starts to look bored.
      Today I was cleaning and when I moved the sofa I found a stash of papers that he had lost under it.
      He just started running everywhere indecisively trying to play with all of them.
      Sometimes its just the simple things that make them the happiest!

    • Sophie says:

      Thank you for this blog Dom. Something just so sweet and simple as a dog and her favourite toy has nearly made me want to cry (but in a nice way) in this awful time. Please keep the blogs coming.

    • Daisy says:

      My cat Eamon (named after my grandad) has never liked toys, he just tears them to shreds. My dad loves him more than his eight children…I think pets are just too lovable.

  3. Pamela says:

    I love dogs and their toys! We have 2 dogs in the house. Our mini Aussie destroys all toys he gets. I’m constantly picking up fluff around the house. Our westie in the other hand has a favorite squeaky toy she has had for years! I think she thinks it’s her baby. My daughter’s dog, they just rescued, has a llama and he like Tess, adores it. He cuddles with it also on their brand new furniture (he is recovering from mange, so it gets his mind off of his skin issues). Thank you for the blog and bringing a smile during these difficult times. I was just notified that school will be out for the rest of the year. Remote learning will be the new normal. What’s sad is not being able to truly say goodbye to my students. Most of my students do not have access to the internet, so face to face conversations aren’t an option. I hope Paddy’s online learning is going well. I look forward to future blogs, podcasts and Facebook lives!! Good health to the Holland family!!

    • Daniela F says:

      Tess is so adorable. I would love to see her one day. I am sure that she is really happy and loved. We all love her so much.

  4. Finja says:

    Hello Dominic,
    I really know what you mean, I live in a house with my family and I eight cats. We started raising baby cats a few years ago and we got lots of toys and stuff for our cats but there was never really something that they loved.
    When I was six we got a dog and she was a happy wonderful girl. Nessy loved her frisbee, you went outside, she picked it up and came with you on the walk. She never really had something like this Dino but in May it is time for my family to get our new puppy. And I will think carefully about the little toy I will buy for this dog, because I want it to be like the dino to Tessa.
    I think sometimes the little things can make a difference so it is a big decision.

  5. Wendy says:

    Alexi, my roommate yellow Lab has a teddy bear that he hauls around. I always think he’s upset about something when he does.

  6. Ceol says:

    Oh, my heart! As owner of two pups, one of which is a power chewer supreme (Breed: Northern Alberta Rescue Special. She definitely has some German Shep in her, but also maybe Lab and Border Collie? Possible some Coyote. Maybe Chicken.) I am constantly picking up the shreds of toys, sticks, stuffies, socks, slippers and occasionally a television remote. She plays no favourites. I’ve never seen her pick a companion like Tess has. Thank you for this quality Tess content. <3

  7. Jessica says:

    Oh that pupper is too cute! I always enjoy seeing her in pictures and video. My Australian shepherd is the same way with toys. She always destroys them immediately. Even the “heavy duty” ones.

  8. Fernanda Mireles says:

    I’ve always believed that the simplest details are those that give us the answers and the greatest and most important lessons of life. And this is an example of that. Beyond the concept of fame, I think at some point in life, all humans get upset if we hear the word “no”
    and this two-letter word has maybe provoked the worst confrontations in human history. This negative “affirmation” reminds us that we will never agree with everything and with everyone cuz there are many ways of thinking, being and living. Now being in quarantine, we could start by accepting that “no’s” sometimes calls to introspection to see where we stand, and not take out the “diva” or “dick” side that we all have.
    Hugs and greetings from Mexico.
    Staying safe, you and your family, including the beautiful Tessa.

  9. Sophie says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I have a Goldendoodle and over the past 8 years we got her different toys but her all time favorite toy is a gift from a pet store, a teddy dressed as Santa, also it is the smallest one of her toys. She adores it and will bring it to people when they come in, almost like we also have to welcome her beloved teddy bear.

  10. Beth says:

    Oh how gorgeous! Lovely blog
    I say this from my personal opinion so don’t give me hate, but I think it would be quite annoying receiving toys, handmade gifts etc. for the pure fact of being famous. I think that, if you want to do something for a celebrity, support them, buy their books, movies, CDs and merch, support their charities… Again sorry if I offended anyone but I just know that I would be overwhelmed if I received hundreds of gifts a day, the odd letter or drawing would be nice but maybe not toys etc.

  11. Lorraine says:

    Love the blog on beautiful Tessa Holland. She has such a gorgeous face and wears her Brothers Trust collar with style! I have a red cocker spaniel Roxi who has a tatty lamb that she got the night we brought her home. It is her very special toy and is nearly 10 yers old. Carry-on just being gorgeous Tess

  12. Casey A. says:

    Our dog, Jack, does not normally like to play with toys. However, he also has a blue dinosaur that he loves! It’s always with him on his bed and he loves to use Dino as a pillow! I tried to add a picture on here, but there’s no way to ☹️

  13. Izabel says:

    I love Tessa stories. Based my life with my own dogs over the years it is hard to predict what they will love vs willfully destroy. Even my cat had a favorite toy, a small stuffed lion, that looked alot like him, that he carried everywhere. I’ve always had powerful chewers as dogs and they only brand they couldn’t destroy was Kong.

  14. Mandi-Sue M says:

    Awww! This gives me hope that one day our Jackchi will actually allow a toy to survive! Unfortunately we got our pup whilst some of our children still had beloved cuddly toys….not the best outcome for those toys!

    Love the blog and glad to hear there are other grounded celebs out there other than the Holland family!

  15. Mia says:

    as usual this blog was great, one of your best ones yet. I absolutely adore Tessa so much, when i saw that dinosaur my mind instantly clicked, my dog has the same one and he adores it. i think i can speak for many others in saying that Tessa needs her own verified instagram account, I would like to truly thank you for writing these blogs and bringing joy to me and many others, so thank you

  16. Zoe says:

    Wonderful article, and true, celebrities must avoid becoming a d*ck or a diva, because it may/does affect their personality towards their co-workers, secretary’s, fans etc. I think those certain types of celebrities should read this article. Maybe they might be enlightened somehow, and maybe they would act more like Tessa?.

  17. LizR says:

    This had me laughing so hard. Our two dogs can’t have stuffed toys anymore because one of them de-fluffs them as soon as she gets a hold of them, while the other one resource-guards them and isn’t above starting a fight over, for example, a stuffed snowball with a cartoon face.

    Given the actions of the de-fluffer, I can understand the resource-guarder’s point, but the last thing we need is to be taking someone to the veterinarian for stitches over a toy, hahaha.

  18. Aimee says:

    Tessa is a cutie! Our dogs are getting us through quarantine! Today our little dachshund was playing catch with her little poop emoji stuffed toy that she loves. My son threw it at, surprised & scared her and she pooped a bit on the floor. The things we find gut wrenching funny right now are hysterical.

  19. LSpires says:


  20. Claire C says:

    Thanks Dom for putting a smile on my face this morning! Tessa and her Dino are just an adorable way to start the day!

  21. Mila Anne-Rose (12 years old) says:

    Very nicely written as always!
    Just wanted to say “Tessa’s probably one of the most loving darlings in the UK. I hope the whole family is staying strong and keeping themselves occupied, and Tessa’s enjoying all her naps with all her adorable toys in her comfy bed!
    I saw this blog on my birthday which was yesterday and it just completely made my day a whole lot better (as Paddy’s giggles always do) then it already was.
    Say “Hi” to everyone in the Holland household for me and give Tessa a big hug”
    Sending lots of love from
    South Africa

  22. Kristina says:

    This is really sweet and heart warming. Tessa and her dinosaur. A match made in heaven It reminds me a lot of my dog Bucky. His favorite stuffed animal is a polar bear I got him last year on our vacation. Have a wonderful day and stave safe ❤

  23. Chloë Kettle says:

    hi there dom,
    i do recognise that dino, i was at your spies in disguise brothers trust event and i gifted that to tessa. my dog bucky has a matching one. i don’t know if you’ll see this but i’ve been trying to get in contact through my twitter and instagrams! i posted an explanation on my public instagram @spidey.quackson_ if you wanna check out the story of how the blue dinosaur reached tessas paws xx

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