Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah
image From left: Micah Watson, Mark Watson, Belle and Ryan Watson.

June 26, 2014
I won’t start a dog-sitting service anytime soon

I doubt Ryan, Micah and I will ever have a professional pet-tending business.

My nephews and I, however, just completed one week’s worth of dual dog watching. We took care of Belle for six days, and Archie for three days.

Belle is a 1-year-old Border Collie, and Archie is a 2-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.

Pure-bred Belle belongs to my brother Arnie. He and Ryan had negotiated a clandestine deal about two months ago that the household at 39 W. Peach would be responsible for taking care of Belle for a week while Arnie and his wife Joan went on a cruise. Perhaps a story on the cruise would be more interesting than a dog story. I regress.

We watched Belle from Sunday, June 15 through Friday, June 20. It was somewhat like the movie “Three Men and a Little Lady.”

Archie, whose owner is my other nephew, Colin, was a late check-in. He (Colin, not Archie) called about mid-week, and said he (Colin) was headed to Las Vegas for the weekend, Thursday, June 20 through Sunday, June 22. Because we already were tending one dog, Colin figured another would be no additional trouble.

“He’s stayed in his cage for up to 12 hours. All you need to do is take him outside once in the morning, and once in the evening,” Colin said to assure us that tending Archie would not be a big deal.

Belle arrived from Cherry Street in Grantsville at our abode on Peach Street in the same city at 4 a.m. on Sunday, June 15. Arnie put her in a cage in the utility room, said “Thanks!” and was out the door en route to Florida.

Just prior to Belle’s arrival, Ryan and Micah sprinted to their bedrooms to close the doors. I assumed they knew about Belle’s chewing habits. Soon, I learned about Belle’s chewing habits.

Belle started to whine a bit the next morning, so I released her from bondage and let her roam the house. I thought I would take a chance. She was well mannered and I know wanted to go do stuff, but we three men had to go to work.

The week worked out just fine.

Belle escaped our grasp only once when Ryan ordered a pizza. I wasn’t home.

“Pizza’s here,” the delivery person said. When Ryan opened the door, Belle zipped out the front door with Ryan and Micah close behind on a high-speed chase. They apprehended the Border Collie about a half block away.

“I wasn’t too worried. Just didn’t want her to get lost,” Ryan said.

I learned throughout the week that Border Collies, or at least Belle, can sprint at extremely high speeds.

Both dogs behaved admirably while in our care.

After two days playing with Belle, and receiving an inordinate amount of affection from her, I thought that I should get a dog.

After six days, I was counting the days until the dogs would be released from our custody.

Ryan, Micah and I had fun with the dogs, though. Lifeguard Ryan told girls at the swimming pool that he just saved a dog from the dog pound.

“It’s a rescue from death row,” Ryan said he told the girls in order to win their admiration.

Micah said he was surprised when he was in the shower, and Archie was just outside the shower door barking at him. Micah also let Archie sleep with him one night, and then wiped up the drool on the pillow the next day.

Ryan played several games of hide-and-seek with the dogs. He has a knack for putting dogs in odd predicaments, but those incidents don’t last too long. All three of us have a soft spot for most canines.

The animals (Belle, Archie not  Ryan, Micah, Mark) were guilty of minimal damage. Belle ate her dog food one day, and then ate the plastic bowl. She also ate a candle, and scattered a bit of garbage across the living room floor.

Belle can shake, roll over, sit, lay down and crawl. Archie can do most of that stuff too, plus give high-fives.

After Belle was out of our custody Friday night, Colin came over to retrieve Archie on Sunday night.

We four humans talked about Colin’s trip to Vegas, some computer stuff and played some more with Archie.

After a couple of hours, Colin said he needed to head back to Salt Lake. He was tired after the long drive from Vegas.

“Don’t forget your dog,” I jokingly yelled at Colin as he walked out the door.

We all laughed. But there was a bit of truth in that farewell admonition. 

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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