Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was told writing about my dear Watson would be helpful. After wiping away an hours' worth of tears, I think it was. Helpful, that is. Here is his story.

He didn’t ‘come’ to me, not a rescue, not a pup in need. Neither was he planned or arranged. He was never meant to be mine.

It started like this: In 2007, my best friend (partner-in-crime) and I decided our alcoholic CEO needed a puppy. I know, bad decision. He couldn’t keep a plant alive, much less another living thing. Yet off we go to a backyard breeder in Virginia. Yes, we broke all the rules. The litter was F1b, sire was registered Golden Retriever (huge red guy) and dam was half Golden and half Yellow Labrador. The puppies were either sleeping or hiding, except for one. This pup was in the kiddie pool, just loving the water. We called him the ‘water boy’, and after trying to look at all the pups, we came back to him.

Our CEO wasn’t very excited about his ‘present’. But he gave him a name. Watson. After James Watson, molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist, and the Head of the Human Genome Project at the National Institutes of Health in 1990. You see, our CEO’s start-up company was developing a 100% mathematically lossless compression algorithm he hoped would generate the funds needed to work on his life-long passion for stopping and reversing the aging process. Brilliant man, but troubled and we cared deeply for him. He is still working on this today.

After a week, we went to his townhouse to find puppy poop and pee everywhere and a very ignored Watson. And the pup had swallowed a staple and had an emergency trip to the vet. It was obvious, this wasn’t a good idea, not at all.

I made the offer to take him home with me. Just for a while. Just until we figured this out.

The first night, at 1 am, with an IV port still taped to his front leg, Watson jumped in my koi pond and started making laps and drinking fishy pond water. I fell in love right then and there. Such a character, at 9 weeks old. Personality just oozing from this little knucklehead. You all know what I’m talking about. Bright eyes, curious mind, big paws and sharp teeth, ready to jump into this big world and make it his own.

Watson was mine. It had been over 10 years since I owned a dog and I was excited. My then husband (who wasn’t a dog person) and I added Watson to the household, which was a cabin with two cats in the mountains of West Virginia. Watson enjoyed all the freedom without the worry of cars or neighbors.

Watson went to work with me every day. The office building didn’t mind, and Watson learned all about car rides and walkies on leashes and elevators and steel stairs and people. Oh, the people! They loved him. He was the star. Pets and love every day. I think that’s why he loved people so much. He lived for attention…from everyone. Talk about exposure…I just now realize how lucky he was to have so many experiences at such a young age! He was a very worldly puppy.

We tried crate training at home. That didn’t go over well. Watson just didn’t understand what ‘jail’ was all about. Biting at the wire, howling, making a mess. The protest was too much. I understood his despair at being confined and agreed we would try without. Didn’t matter to me that all the professional trainers were touting the miracle of The Crate. He didn’t like it, so I didn’t either. With regular trips outside (even in the middle of the night) he was house broken in just a few weeks. In all his 13 years, I can count his ‘accidents’ on one hand.

Puppy chewing can be destructive. I guess that’s why The Crate is so convenient. We used bully sticks. As long as he had one, he never touched the furniture. Or the door frames. Or my shoes or boots. Teething is just that. He wasn’t destructive, he just needed to chew…a lot. I bought bully sticks in 36” canes a dozen at a time, shipped FedEx. I don’t know how much I spent, but there was no chewing drama in our house.

Without the stress of ‘accidents’ to clean up, separation anxiety, chewing and destroying, we were just happy all the time. No drama, no yelling, no punishments. Just a very happy pup.

Watson was different than any dog I had owned. And I had never owned a Golden Retriever. They are not like other dogs. Watson would sit directly in front of me and stare at me. Intensive stare, deliberate and with a full conversation going on in his little puppy mind. He would mentally ‘talk’ to me. This is where his vocabulary developed. Between his brown eyes and facial expressions and my words and facial expressions, we could communicate.

He was vocal too. A kind of moaning or purring as some people have described it. If I wasn’t understanding him or was doing something else, Watson would “Mmmmmm” with his mouth closed. If that didn’t work, he went to the slightly open mouth “Errrrrrr”. If that wasn’t working, he would “Arrrrrr” a little louder. I would answer with a sharp “What?!!” and he would chuff and snort, and point to the toy of importance with his paw, wagging his tail so hard his whole body wagged. Then the game was on…I would reach for the toy, he would snatch it up and race away, knowing I would give chase. Oh, those were the days…he was so happy, just a happy puppy. I loved him so much.

My friends, you were correct. Writing about Watson is wonderful. I am reaching deep to remember all the wonderful things that made him who he was.

More to come. Read if you wish, just know it may go on for a lot longer than planned.
0903071259.jpg
woogie_hose.jpg
puppy2 - Copy.jpg
0901071636.jpg
woogie_firewood2.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,637 Posts
Thank you for sharing Watson's story, his character really shone through with every word. I'm so glad that writing about him has helped, I'd love, as I know many others will, to hear lots more about your special boy. Take care x
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,134 Posts
Wonderful story and great photos. Thanks for sharing!
 
  • Like
Reactions: WatsonsMom

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Looking back at these pictures, which I just found on an old backup drive, reminded me that Watson looked entirely different than his parents. He doesn't look Golden, and he doesn't look Labrador. His coat was neither long nor short. He was a stunning combination, like a new breed. I always wondered if he would breed true, like a Morgan lol.
0902071136a.jpg
woogie_pond.jpg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,160 Posts
Oh keep sharing, this is a wonderful story. I can just see him jumping in the point, and talking to you.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top