My Memoir by Watson – Chapter 6
You’re very lucky to be getting another chapter. I’ve had a Big Adventure!
We were doing a spot of shopping in the city on Sunday. I like the city. There are plenty of places with spare ham sandwiches. If I just cock my head at the right angle. Anyway, at around 1 p.m. we were standing outside a department store minding our own business (or at least He was minding his, I was considering doing mine) when I heard a terrible noise. Terrifying it was. One bang after the other. Never heard the like, as She would say. So, being his best friend and all, I did what any decent dog would do… (Embellish heroics here. Note to self: remember to remove this note.)
I yanked my lead free and high-tailed it back into the store. He followed me, which was his job, and off we went. I careened through the departments on the ground floor, hurtled down an escalator, whizzed through the mini mall, slid through the sliding doors and out onto the street. Up the road we ran. Me leading the way, Him pounding behind. But He still hadn’t caught up when I crossed Kungsgatan (She said later that my Guardian Angel obviously had, but that’s baloney. I know an angel if I see one, and believe me, the ones waiting to cross Kungsgatan were no angels. They kept trying to step on my lead. What’s up with that?) I ignored them and rushed on.
Over Birger Jarlsgatan we went, and into Humlegården park. I do like the park, but now was not the time to butt sniff. I sailed past the dog yard and skateboard ramp. Up past the football pitch, out through the top gate and across Karlavägen boulevard. (That was the last He saw of me, He said later.)
But I knew where I was. I was charging up Engelbrektsgatan and across Valhallavägen boulevard. I stormed through the KTH university campus, out the other side and into the Lill-Jansskogen woods. I do like the woods, so I continued to run. I’d just dodged another lead-grabber when I came across an area divided into tiny gardens, each with a little shed. Looked quite cosy. The bangs had stopped and so did I. Which was when I realised, He was lost! Oh.
But first things first. My legs were tired, and it was such a pleasant afternoon. Cool but sunny. I reckoned I’d earned a kip, what with saving the day and all that. So, I settled in.
I have no idea how long I slept. Nobody does. But I wasn’t seen again for the next seven hours.
Now. The rest of my story is based on hearsay. Judge Judy would say this encounter doesn’t count, but I reckon it’s a tale that needs telling.
He’d raised the alarm when he saw my rear disappear. My family drove into the city and found Him first. (I bet He needed a kip too, but He never said). They had a deep think and decided I could be anywhere. They also decided they needed help and put my picture on Facebook.
What a stroke of genius. People shared the post, others shared the shared post, and even more shared the shared shared post. They updated the post when spotters said where they’d spotted me. (Brave, I said. No, angels, She said.) That last lead-grabber I’d dodged even posted a map with the position marked near Greta Arwidssons väg. Which, as it turned out, was the last time I was ever seen. As in ever that afternoon. Not EVER ever. Eye roll.
Help came from far and wide. Another decent dog lover linked my family with Missing Dog Stockholm on Facebook. (Now, just for argument’s sake, I’d like to make a point here. Was I a Missing Dog? There are two ends to a lead. I was still attached to my end. ☝🏻)
Good friends began to arrive in cars and on bikes. Lill-Jansskogen is a large area that backs onto another large area that covers more woodland and a number of open fields. It ends at the water’s edge opposite Lidingö island, where I live. Smells fantastic. If I were trying to get home, they reasoned, I’d keep going in that direction, right? Right. They clung to that thought. The other edges of the area are lined with motorways. (They want to know how I knew which way to run from the city centre, but I’m not telling. That would be a breach of the Canine Confidentiality Code.)
They spread out, stopping everyone who would listen to ask for help. Many people listened. Dog walkers, cyclists, strollers. Missing Dog Stockholm had stepped up on FB and were working to keep everyone updated.
By now, six hours had passed and the sun was beginning to set. And some were starting to panic. (I won’t mention names here. Rude. Those of us who are built of sturdier stuff were still fast asleep. Probably.) Was the lead stuck? She worried. No, said someone. Watson chews everything. Even if he did get stuck, he’d bite through the lead. (Proud!)
A lady who owned two ID sniffer dogs offered to come and help. Missing Dog Stockholm announced a search would be held at 20.30, and volunteers were to meet at the Circle K petrol station, who generously donated coffee and buns. A FB chat group called Watson’s Angels was quickly created as a central communication point for searchers. Pieces of my car blanket were cut off and handed out to any dog with sniffer potential. Cars were posted in key spots and the dogs set off.
Now the sky was pitch black. She was standing with 3 volunteers at Circle K when they saw a falling star over the allotment area. Based on the last sighting, He had also walked to the allotment area with the two ID sniffer dogs and their owner.
Which was when I decided to stretch my legs. I triggered a sensor lamp and He ran towards it. That was that, I’d found Him! The time was 21.30.
What a commotion. The news was posted on Watson’s Angels and the closest volunteers rushed to meet us. I was hugged. There might have been tears. I was given water. She arrived and wrapped her arms around me. “I’ll never complain about him again,” She announced. In front of witnesses. Then She kissed my ears, over and over, and said. “You lousy little twit!” What’s up with that? Ok, so I’m still officially a pup, but I do weigh a cool 25 kg for my 8 months. Humans are weird.
We drove home. Her car smelled of a bag of free cinnamon buns. His car smelled of hamburgers that had never been eaten. I had my eye on all six of them. Starving, I was. Hadn’t been fed all day. The cats yowled for food, too. But neither asked where I’d been. No gratitude whatsoever. He’d still be out there if it wasn’t for me.
I was happy to be back in my basket by their bed. They thought I would be exhausted. No idea why they would think that. I remained fresh as a bone until they eventually hissed: Watson, go to sleep!
But I heard one of them mutter I’m so glad he’s home before they started to snore.
I’ve made you a map of my route. Maybe one day I’ll tell you how to cross thirteen lanes of traffic without stopping for breath. Stay tuned!
Ps: And what were the bangs that caused the ruck? Two assholes in sports cars having a revving match at traffic lights. I heard Her tell someone that. But she’s wrong. I’m the champ of ass holes. Take it from me, they can’t drive.
Ruth, Arne, Maxine & Emelie would like to thank the following from the bottom of our hearts:
Watson’s Angels: Alexander, Anders, Beverley, Björn, Caroline (for all 33,000 steps!), Einar, Emelie D, Gunilla, Jejja (and her bitch on heat!), Joseph (and Levi!), Kerstin, Lars, Laurie, Magnus, Maritha, Philip (and his pal), Sofia, Tina and Viktoria (and Folke!).
Pia Antas and the ID sniffer dogs
Missing Dog Sweden
Lidingö Djurbutik & Trim
Circle K, Baron Rålambs väg 11
Everyone who was stopped and then helped comb the area before we created Watson’s Angels at dusk.
Everyone who sent messages of love and encouragement.
Plus the hundreds and hundreds who shared his missing posts and added him to other dog pages.
Huge apologies if we’ve missed anybody. Like Watson, we were a little all over the place that day.