After Watson died, we decided we wanted to get a new dog relatively quickly. As Will put it, it was just too sad looking at his empty bowls and bed all day. We knew we’d never feel the same way about another dog, but the next dog would be Alston’s dog – the one in all his childhood memories. The search was on.
We started at the SPCA, but no one seemed to fit the bill. We tried a basset hound rescue group, but the only dog available within 50 miles of us was already spoken for. Lady became our rebound puppy, until that didn’t work out so well for the sheep. And then Will found a dog on Craig’s List.
His story and pictures reminded us a lot of Watson; another beagle who was found wandering and appeared to be well cared for. He was likely a hunting dog that just didn’t work out, as so many abandoned hounds are in Central Virginia. Based on his teeth, the age guesstimate is about a year.
For the first few days we couldn’t decide on a name, so we took to calling him New Dog, a nickname Alston immediately accepted. Upon waking every morning he’d say “I go downstairs, see New Dog.” We’ve since settled on the name Tuck, as in Friar Tuck… a true sidekick and perhaps a bit more adventurous than Dr. Watson. Just what a farmer boy needs.
In some ways, Tuck is so much like Watson; same size, both curl up into the same beagle ball, wag their tails in the same desperate anticipation of people food. But they are just dissimilar enough that I don’t feel like I’ve tried to replace Watty with Watty Light. The basset in Watson added to his endearing patheticness; those droopy eyes and jowls, his long ears, that log like trunk, his old-man-ness. Tuck has wonderfully thick doggie eyeliner, a less neurotic disposition, a willingness to play with other dogs, and a lot of spots. Not so much an old soul as a willing companion.