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Friday, August 24, 2007

Wicked Thievery

One of Watson's endearing but frustrating habits was his inclination to steal Waldo's rawhides and bully sticks. As noted in a prior post, Watson came to us with dreadful teeth. It looked as though he literally had never seen a toothbrush in his life. We did what we could to save as many teeth as possible, but ultimately one of his canines died and had to be removed. The surgery required that he be put under general anesthesia and kept at the hospital for the better part of a day.

While the vet was in his mouth, she removed seven other teeth, for a total of eight. (A dog has 42 teeth, so Watson had roughly 20% of his teeth removed at once.) Indicative of his personality, Watson was ready to eat the moment he came home from surgery. Mind you, the Old Man was missing a major tooth (canine) and several ancillary teeth; yet he was literally chomping at anything he could get his hands on. Mind you, we had no other dog at the time so our house was bare of treats like rawhide and whatnot, which made life a little easier as his mouth healed.

When we got Waldo in March 2007, we encountered a dilemma: how do you balance the needs of a very mouthy 8-month-old with the want of an old, toothless dog? The solution was to only allow Waldo to have something like a rawhide or bully stick with supervision. That way, as soon as the little guy grew bored with it, one of us could pick it up immediately.

Mind you, Watson would watch the little guy like a hawk the entire time. It would be an hour or more of chewing and Watson would just lay in his sphinx position waiting... waiting.... waiting.... probably thinking bad thoughts and cursing Waldo the entire time. Every once in a while, the waiting would pay off as the Old Man would grab it faster than we could. Often, he would have this look on his face (see left.) You can almost see the word bubble above his head: "What? What'd I do??"

Chasing and cursing would ensue, with me grabbing the rawhide and yelling "OPEN!!" as Watson stared at me and clamped down harder. Oh.... the good memories....

The last glimpse I had of his thievery was the night before he passed (August 15th, at left). He had stolen Waldo's bully stick for what would be the last time. He had not eaten nor had been interested in a real meal in days, so I was glad to see he was still interested in something. He took the stick and brought it into the living room onto his towel. He gave me the customary look, nibbled it a few times and then just left it. That was yet another small clue that this situation was terribly wrong and that he really was not feeling well.

I count the bottom photo/moment as one of the signs that he was trying to tell me he was done. Never in his life would he have left a bully stick alone like that; and Rich and I had always said that when he stopped eating is when we knew he was done (and that was years before he was even sick). His appetite for all things - from delectable to plain rubbish - was legendary.

In hindsight, I can find humor in this tale. I do tip my hat to his effort of being a complete dick to his little brother just one last time. That's my boy...!!


Lesley Rigby said...

I really did enjoy reading that blog! What a wonderful character he was.

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

Haha - what a star! I love the picture of him with the stolen chew - all the best dogs have a bit of a naughty streak... and no, of course I'm not thinking of Prince!!

ankur said...

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