‘Watson’ devastated, afraid and heartbroken at shelter after owner taken by cancer

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At the Lancaster Animal Shelter in California, a six-year-old German shepherd mix named Watson, remains behind bars, looking out at the world wondering what happened to his happy life and to the person he always loved.

Watson belonged to an older woman who had been house bound and who had a caretaker. Watson was the woman’s world, and when her cancer progressed to the point where she had to be hospitalized, the woman refused to leave her beloved dog until she knew he would be safe. Sadly, before Watson’s safety could be established, the woman died and the dog ended up at the Palmdale shelter.

And then a ray of sunshine – if only for a moment – someone adopted Watson, but the confused dog allegedly bit someone in his new family and again was taken to the shelter – this time to the Lancaster shelter.

Adoption listing:


“My name is WATSON and I’m an approximately 6 years old male germ shepherd. I am already neutered and I weigh 87-pounds. I have been at the Lancaster Animal Care Center since June 14, 2020. You can visit me at my temporary home L125.”

Watson is devastated, and he is afraid. He is now listed as RESCUE ONLY because of the alleged biting incident. His new owner or the rescue organization wanting to help must sign a waiver.

Following is information on his behavior:

“Watson was standing on the outside while the runner approached his kennel from the inside of the building. The runner called out for Watson to approach, but he refused to walk towards the runner and sat in the farthest corner in the back of the kennel sitting nervously as he yawned avoiding eye contact with the runner. The runner attempted to open the door from his side to entice Watson to come forward, but he continued to stay in place. The runner closed his guillotine down to prevent him from running to the inside as he made his way towards Watson on the outside kennel. He was avoidant of the runner taking steps back as he opens his kennel door.”

A little interest perhaps in someone trying to help him?

The runner presents his leash out towards Watson which he slowly walks up to sniff it with a soft body, slow tail wag, and soft eyes. He allowed the leash to be placed on with ease and guided out of the kennel without issue. His body begins to loosen once out of the kennel as he shook the nerves away walking well with the runner. He enters the catch pen timidly as numerous amount of dogs run towards the gate to greet him which caused him discomfort. He greets the dogs briefly with a tense body, stiff tail, open pant, and shifty eyes. Watson was collated with ease by the runner, but refused to enter the yard on his own and attempted to back out which ‘he had to be guided in by the handler.'”

Watson considers his next move, but doesn’t want to interact with other dogs. He has been around other dogs earlier in his life, but not for awhile and needs help learning to socialize with other dogs again.

“Once in the yard, Watson immediately overwhelmed with the new environment and dogs at play in the yard. He froze in place near the exit door, too uncomfortable to move forward. As the dogs approached to greet him, he began squealing in fear for them to back away. When they did not respect his warnings, Watson began displaying a snarl baring his front teeth with a tense body, tail tucked, wide shifty eyes, while continuing to squeal in fear. Not wanting to move from the door, Watson has to be led by the handler to walk away from the exit in order to create space for new incoming dogs. Watson received freedom to roam the end of the play yard without any dogs to bother him as he kept to himself sniffing around. It wasn’t long until Watson returned back to the yards exit where he remained in place for the remainder of his time in the yard. He continued standing timidly as the dogs attempted to approach him, tolerating their presence from a distance not loosening his body at all at any point while in the yard. Because of his overall discomfort with the dogs he was sent out of the yard after a short time.”

Watson needs a quiet home where he can decompress from his traumatic experiences and can grieve over the loss of his favorite human. He had lived with other dogs at one time, but not recently.

Videos of him interacting with a volunteer can be viewed here or by clicking here on Networking Now.

Posted by Romeo Brix on Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A plea has been sent out by the shelter and volunteers hoping to find a suitable foster home for this dog. If you are in Southern California and can help, please contact the shelter. Share this boy’s heartbreaking story with friends, family, approved rescue organizations and social media contacts.

(Pet Rescue Report is not the contact point for this dog. Please contact the above referenced sources.)
(Photos and video courtesy of Patty Franco)

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