This is Watson’s sunning-like-a-lizard, “where’s my taco?!” face. 

Conor and I wanted to go for a run, but couldn’t stand to leave Watson alone at home. Instead, we packed the dog along with reading materials, baby carrots, and metro passes. Our relay race plan started off well; Conor went for a run while I sat in the sun, took pictures of Watson, and listened to the young people nearby look up instructions for baking special brownies. I got tagged in, and joined the coursing stream of people that is the running lane in Central Park.

It was going so well. The weather was finally wonderful and everyone was stretching into it. The dogs ran, too, after the last abandoned bites of hot dogs, stray kernels of kettle corn. I dodged jogging strollers, bounced past the Guggenheim, and felt speedy, light, and happy. I rounded the corner of my last tenths of of a mile, and looked up for Conor and Watson. Who should have been right in front of me, under our home base tree. Rather, they would have been there, had I not missed a turn and ended up two miles away. Oops.

Fortunately for my absent internal compass, I have a phone that tells me where I am. I ran my way back to the two of them, and then we went to Shake Shake and ate too many servings of french fries and custard. The way I figure, if I’m going to get lost and run two extra miles, I might as well make it up in french fries. 

His face is literally  XD

I sent Conor this picture to prove that Watson was not sick. Hungry for popcorn, maybe, but not sick.

A photo essay about spending Saturday night on the couch with Watson.

Maybe this is codependency and maybe personal space is a thing, but the broad expanse of a chair can get mighty lonely without a friend.

Q

Anonymous asked:

I am a big Westie fan myself and am looking to get a Westie soon, but can't find a good name. How did you come up with the name Watson for your Westie? :)

A

Howdy! One of my best memories from library school was keeping Kelsey company when she went to meet Oscar, her Westie pal. “I love the name Oscar,” she said, “but it would be an embarrassing name for a human child. This way, when I am naming my kid, I won’t be tempted to use Oscar.” Great advice, right? I should mention here that Kelsey’s rosy-cheeked, super cute son is named Walter Gregory — an upstanding name that will never be mistaken for a puppy’s. 

With that advice in mind, I went through my favorite literary heroes — the brave, clever, loyal characters I always wanted to be my best friend. Then, two more tests. 1) Can you yell your dog’s name across a park without shame or fearing judgement from others? There’s this guy who I used to see at the park, who would call out for his yorkie Precious, and then turn to anyone next to him and qualify, “my girlfriend named the dog.” 2) How are the nicknames? Watson gets Watsy, Watso, Wats, and so forth. All quality options. 

In the end, it came down to Watson (named for Sherlock Holmes’ Dr. John Watson) and Matilda (Roald Dahl). If novelty is important to you, Watson was the only Watson we knew in New Mexico, but there are two other Watsons in our neighborhood — a doxie and a French Bulldog. He’s no Buddy, though. 

People always mistake Watson for Winston, so that’s probably a fitting Westie name, too. The other Westies and terriers in our park are named Sebastian, Gus, and Chompers. On tumblr, there’s Lily, Arthur, Maggie, Puck, and Buffy, who all seem happy about their names. 

Good luck!

After all the errands (above, Muji in Chelsea), we stopped for frozen custard at Shake Shack. Watson wasn’t allowed to eat his whole too-generous portion, but he got the entire cookie and every last drop of the peanut butter sauce.

I am not sold on the toy camera setting, but here snowy, blurry Watson and I play exploring-Hoth on the basketball court. 

"OH, HEY, A PILE OF CLEAN LAUNDRY," Watson says. "THANK YOU FOR THIS MARVELOUS DOG BED." 

"OH, HEY, YOU FOLDED MY BED," Watson says. "I AM NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND THAT DECISION BUT IT IS STILL A GOOD BED." 

Q

Anonymous asked:

Your dog is soooo cute!! We live in Maine and have a female westie that looks so much like yours! You do an excellent job trimming him and I love the outfits!

A

Thank you!

Watson’s wardrobe is courtesy of his grandmother; she keeps him in coats, sweaters, scarves, and embroidered neckerchiefs. Her Etsy store, Pie for Watson, doesn’t have any dog items listed right now. If, however, you’re ever interested in a custom item, do get in touch!

image

Credit for Watson’s good looks has to go to his fantastic groomers at Scot’s in Albuquerque. I follow their lines, mostly trimming to keep his beard clean, his eyes clear, and tail “carrot” in-between visits. We are on the hunt for a new groomer in Brooklyn, which may involve some trial and error. Things could get weird, like this very early haircut:             image

Little guy looks simultaneously over AND under-groomed. To be fair, I was also totally inexperienced when it came to describing what I wanted. I think I said, “shorter, please, but cute and fluffy?” Not helpful. Fortunately, we always have sweaters as a safety net! 

In which Watson refuses to go towards the light at the end of the tunnel so we stand around for a while. 

Everlane* probably can’t endorse this particular use of their backpack, but it is making Watson adventures possible! 

Some notes on safety: As happy as I am about figuring out new ways to explore the city with Watson, I would not recommend this unless your best friend is an odd velcro dog without any escape instincts. Watson was secure and safe inside the bag, but only because he had no interest in getting out. In one test run at home, I put the backpack down, drawstring loosened, on the bed. Watson looked around, shifted to a more comfortable position, and fell asleep, still inside the backpack. While waiting for the train, I wore the backpack against my chest, where I could wrap my arms around him. Additionally, he is wearing a collar and leash; the leash is tied to the strap of the backpack.

* If you decide to use this link, I get credit — thank you!

I am completely defeated by the morning. One snow storm after another, and that red banner announcing dire travel conditions never leaves my version of The Weather Channel website. After the storm, there is ice, then slush, then mud, and then, a storm again. It is a real test of character to leave the warm nest of my bed. Especially when Watson, see, Watson has adjusted to his new life in New York. 

Gone are the mornings when I stir, and then feel, immediately, the full bouncing weight of a Watson who is SO EXCITED it is DAYTIME. I get up because I am going to be late, and not because Watson is standing on my head. No Watson to follow me into the kitchen to make tea, no Watson at my feet while I brush my teeth. Instead, Watson has decided that he will keep Conor-time — and Conor-time says the day does not start for at least another hour. They lay together, rumpled and askew, and I can’t really hold it against them. Much. 

To mitigate my snow-and-morning feelings, Conor sends me joyful pictures of our strange and funny Watson in his new routine. Daytime snoozing, moose rampage in the park, fresh bread, and king of Couch Mountain. Nothing calls Watson to the kitchen quicker than the crackle of crust from a new loaf of bread. Librarianing away in my warm office, I am a little jealous and a lot cheered.

Love is partly, I think, being really happy that your puppy and your person are having snacks and naps, even when you are not there. Love is partly, at least, taking a stray girl and her dog into your home and feeding them toast. Love is definitely, though, waiting to watch House of Cards together.