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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Let me start by saying that Watson was happily given to me by our CEO. It was a logical decision by all. This puppy was not going to help our CEO to change the world. But he changed mine.

Life on the mountain was good. Growing up without the hustle and bustle of a city made for a joyful young dog who became my best friend. I didn’t feel like his owner, we were more like partners. A team. Me in the garden, Watson in the squash. Me in the pond, Watson in the pond. Me going fishing, Watson swimming in the river. I didn’t catch many fish, but we had a great time.

One day in February, we walked down to the river to watch the ice floes go by. The water was high and fast. Watson saw Canadian geese on the river, and did what a retriever was born and bred to do. He jumped in and started swimming. A 7-month-old pup is no match for a fast-moving river in winter. I screamed and screamed his name. He finally turned around and swam back towards me, but the swift current was carrying him down river fast. I ran along the bank screaming for him, and watched in fear as he struggled to get to shore. Finally, he got caught up on some deadfall, and I dragged him up the 20ft bank, both of us wet and cold. I had come seriously close to losing him, and I learned not to trust him around water. He was, after all, the Water Boy.

Watson grew up with cats. Idgee and Ezra, one a feral kitten I raised and one a rescue from the shelter, were his brothers. He loved his kitties. He was always concerned with where they were and what they were doing. Being outdoor cats, they would be gone for hours, all day sometimes. When I called for the kitties, Watson was there to greet them with a slobbery mouth over their heads. I guess that’s how young dogs ‘hug’ a cat. They didn’t seem to mind.

The cats may be the reason Watson started “Creepy Dog”. He was about 6 months old, and one day while we were playing on the deck, he froze, dropped his head and stared at me. Without moving his head, he lifted one front paw, ever so slowly, hovering in the air before carefully placing it on the ground with the grace of a big cat. Each step was equally slow and precise, his head never moving, his eyes never leaving mine. It was a bit disturbing. I had never seen a dog do such a thing. He was like a mountain lion stalking prey. But it was me he was stalking. I mirrored his behavior, asking him all the while what the hell he was doing. Then, in a flash, he darted to a toy and snatched it up and proceeded with a serious case of the Zoomies. This made me laugh, and Creepy Dog was born. It became a game, and Watson would do Creepy Dog if he was being ignored. “If you don’t play with me, I’ll be creeeeeepy!” Sometimes he would do it in the dark, from another room, for a full minute before we noticed him. It freaked out our friends for sure, but to us it was just the silliest thing ever! He did Creepy Dog all his life. It was who he was. It made him special. Watson will be forever remembered by friends and family for his Creepy Dog thing.

Okay, that last paragraph made me cry again. I loved him so much for his personality. He was so different, so unique. So very special.

Now, there are so many memories of Watson, I could go on and on…and on. Running off with the neighbor Golden Benny and getting lost in a swamp, eating my butternut squash out of the garden, stealing my bra and making me chase him all over the house. You know, Golden things. But I will share one more story of his youth with all of you, my readers. Please don’t judge.

I had trouble sleeping, so I was prescribed Ambien. As you know, this is a drug that has some serious side effects. Watson was the victim of one of those side effects. Sleep walking. I was in the kitchen one morning and noticed a patch of hair missing from Watson’s side. I looked closer and saw it had been cut. The hair had been shaved from his belly, front legs and hind legs, and his tail too. Oh, my dear god, he had been shaved of what little feathers he had grown! I looked all around for the missing hair, went to the bathroom where I kept the clippers. Nothing. Not a trace. The crime scene had been completely cleaned of any evidence. I had no memory of the event. Then I remembered, the day before, telling Watson how if I trimmed his long fur, he would look just like a Lab. I had shaved the dog in my sleep. I called Watson to the bathroom, and he looked at me with such shame and trepidation. His absolute trust in me was heartbreaking. I apologized over and over for what I had done, hoping he had not been traumatized. He seemed to forgive me. And he was never afraid of the clippers or the bathroom. It was the worst thing I ever did to my dear Watson. I think this is the reason he never had Golden hair, because it never grew back. It was our dirty little secret. And now it is not a secret any more 😊
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Laughing through misty eyes. Thanks for sharing, he was truly special.
It's so hard when we lose them.
 
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And this is for you:
"OLD DOGS DON'T DIE."
Old dogs don't die; they can't. They've merely run up ahead; they're waiting for us just out of sight.
Close your eyes late at night and you may smell his musky odor, or perhaps hear his snuffle from the next room.
Pay attention and you may feel his nose on your hand or the back of your calf.
When your final day comes, you can go on to meet him; he's never left you and never will,
and when you close your eyes for the last time, you'll open them again to be met with his bright eyes and wagging tail.
Old dogs don't die, at least, not those dogs who take the biggest chunks of our hearts with them when they leave us.
Those dogs are inextricably part of our souls, and they go with us wherever we are.
Though we may not see them, we know they're there because our heart is still beating; we still breathe,
and those of us who have been truly touched by a good dog know our lives really started the day we met them.
Magnificent dogs don't die. They shepherd our dreams and only allow the good ones through the gates of our consciousness.
They watch over us much as they did in life, and that moment when we step just barely outside of death or disaster,
it's because they moved our feet or they stopped short in front of us as they did in life.
You see, a good dog is something only given to a few people.
They are a gift from the universe and, though they're with us only a short time, they never really leave us.
They are loyalty and love perfected, and once we are graced with that sort of love we can never lose it.
We merely lose sight of it for a time, and that is our fault; for how can love like that ever go away?
It can't. It can't, and it never will. For these brave souls trade their hearts for ours,
and they beat together beyond sickness, beyond death.
They are ours, and we are theirs, for every sunrise and every sunset, until the sun blazes its last and we once again join the stars.


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Discussion Starter #4
That was beautiful, thank you. Truer words were never spoken. He is always with me. I wear his dog tags so I can hear his jingle when I go out to the hammock and look down at where he used to lay. I talk to him all the time. Today I took him on my bike ride, I hold him so deep in my heart :)
 

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Beautiful stories. Watson sure was a character. You will always miss him but it won't always be this painful. I believe we will see them again.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am very joyful reliving Watson in his youth! It was hard at first, but with so many many wonderful memories, how can I be sad having known such an amazing dog?
 

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Thanks for sharing some of Watson's stories and pics and feel free to share as many as you want to.
 

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Watson continues to touch new hearts every day.
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks my friends. Every morning I think of new things to share. Watson wanted my attention so much, he would do anything. He got kinda pushy, became a real brat when he turned 1. Wouldn't let me sleep, grabbed my hands and barked and huffed and demand I get up and play. We would argue and if he got rough (because he was very mouthy) I had to put him in the bathroom as a time out. Of course when I said "Enough! Time Out!" and made the hand signal, he went totally limp, like a sack of sand. I had to drag him by the front legs and shove him through the door. And by this age he was 25" and 90 pounds.
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Discussion Starter #12
The image of Watson, the sack of sand, being dragged along mad me smile!
He was a very bad boy sometimes. He learned quickly that feigning death was the best defense. Picking up his front paws and dragging his seemingly lifeless body across the floor to the bathroom was not easy!
 

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I love that you took the time to snap a pic of him with the things he stole. He is very much alive in your stories, and full of himself! Thank you for sharing.
 
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