As I wrote here, we’ve got a new addition to the household: Watson, a Labrador puppy. He arrived in the house on the last day of September.
Originally, I wanted to call the puppy Pi, since our other dog is called Kai. Martin wasn’t convinced that the names were different enough for canine ears. We tested it out with Kai, and he seemed to be able to distinguish between the two, but Martin still wasn’t having it.
So then I came up with Watson. The origin is that the mentally handicapped son of a friend of ours cannot pronounce my name. So he calls me "What". That, I have to say is because of my habit of saying “What?”, when something strikes me as bizarre. From there, it was just a small step to arrive at Watson (or, "son of Wat" in etymological terms). Martin has come to accept it, although he took some persuading. A further twist on the name is the reference to Alexander Graham Bell, and the very first words to his assistant over the first telephone were "Mr. Watson — Come here —I want to see you". I suspected I was going to be saying something very similar, very often, to Watson…
The first couple of weeks with Watson were spent trying to stop a multitude of disasters from happening. Pissing and pooping in the house when our backs were turned, chewing through anything in sight, including live cables, pulling tablecloths on fully-laden tables with china and cutlery, the list went on and was added to as he increased in inventiveness. Nights were being woken up every couple of hours by Watson’s whining to be let out to piss or poop. Needless to say, I was the one who had to leave a nice warm bed to go outside in my dressing gown in the rain waiting for a very small bundle of joy to perform its business. It was at times like this when I noticed the resemblance of a puppy to a rat.
Kai wasn’t too sure what to make of Watson at first. He spent a few days practising his hurt look, which he turned on us at any opportunity (particularly after his tail had just been chewed by Watson) as if to say: “What the fuck have you done? What did I do to deserve this?” Eventually he came round and started to let Watson play with him. Kai is very gentle with Watson, and takes care not to hurt him, but I think that’s backfired on him. Watson is determined to be top dog, and plays very hard with poor Kai, who just wants to have a quiet life. Kai puts up with all the nips and barking very stoically. I would have bitten Watson’s head off by now. Our shoes and slippers (and my hands) are being chewed to pieces, and I noticed yesterday that he’s started to chew on the wooden surround of one of my loudspeakers. That is the last straw. We’ve smeared sambal on it in an attempt to stop that.
My great nephew, on seeing photos of Watson emailed to say that he thought that Watson looked “really cute, but a bit crazy”. Today, I was replying to his email. I’d just got as far as writing:
"…a bit crazy"? That’s an understatement – Watson is as mad as a box of frogs!
At that point, I went to see what the dogs were doing. Watson was running pell-mell around the yard, ignoring Martin’s calls to come to him, and Kai ran out of the house to see what Watson was doing. Watson sees Kai, and rushes towards him; Kai’s momentum keeps him moving towards Watson, and they collide – heavily. Watson ends up on the ground, screaming. Kai immediately backs off, tail between his legs. Watson doesn’t seem to be able to move his right hind leg and carries on screaming.
I pick him up very carefully and take him indoors while Martin rings the vet. Watson quietens down eventually, but still doesn’t want to use his leg. Off we all go to the vets, where he gets x-rayed. Yep, he’s broken his leg. The vet says that he’s going to operate on him immediately and pin his leg back together. Martin has an attack of the vapours and all but passes out at the news.
So, as I write this, the vet is probably cutting open Watson’s leg and is preparing to drill holes for the pins. I’m expecting to be called at about 7pm tonight and will go and pick up Watson. No doubt the vet will give me copious instructions on all the extra care and attention Watson is going to need over the next weeks.
As I say, never a dull moment…