Member of the Family

Get to know the cute pets of Ballantyne

By Michael J. Solender

In this web-only feature, we highlight Ballantyne-area residents’ adorable pets. In this installment, we introduce to you, Watson Jenkin.



Old English Sheepdog


Six and one half years old


Mom – Cynthia, Dad – Charles

Adoption story:

“I’ve always been attracted to the Old English Sheepdog breed,” Cynthia Jenkin says. “Ever since the 70s I thought these dogs were very attractive – I’ve always wanted that type of dog.

“When my youngest son went off to Appalachian State, the house was just too quiet. We decided to get a dog to help fill the void. I saw an ad in the paper for Old English Sheepdog puppies for sale from a breeder in Dallas, North Carolina. Watson was the last pup they had, and I saw him and just fell in love with him. I felt like I rescued him.”

More about his name:

“Because he is English,” says Jenkin, “I wanted his name to reflect that. My husband initially picked out Sherlock, because he watches Sherlock Holmes, but I didn’t want that, and we settled on Doc Watson or Watson for short.”

Daily Routine:

Jenkin notes Watson is a certified therapy dog with Therapy Dogs International (TDI), a volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing, and registration of therapy dogs and their handlers.

“I felt like he was an unusual breed,” she said. “As a speech/language pathologist working with children, I wanted to share the experience of being with him with other people. Working with him as a therapy dog and giving back to the community is something I wanted to do.”

Watson has found his calling working with local children helping them hone their reading skills. “We go to area libraries twice per month, South County Regional and Morrison Regional, for the ‘Paws to Read’ program. This is where children, ages five to 13, read aloud to dogs helping promote the child’s oral reading skills and confidence.”

When not working, Watson spends his downtime doing mostly dog-like things like sleeping, eating and playing.

Favorite walks around Ballantyne:

Watson lives with his family in Ballantyne’s Southampton neighborhood, and in addition to enjoying his home turf, he loves walking about in the Ardrey neighborhood and loves to hang-out and play at the William R. Davie Regional Dog Park off Pineville-Matthews Rd. in south Charlotte.

Defining character traits:

Jenkin says Watson enjoys playing fetch and has a big mouth, so that he can pick up three toys – or two balls and a toy – all at one time. “And he loves to eat ice,” she says. “He can’t get enough ice; the ice maker doesn’t produce enough ice for him to eat.”

Favorite food/treats:

“All kinds of people food, kitchen scraps,” Jenkin says. “He eats everything. He loves to chew on sticks. He even likes cat food.”

Do you live in the Ballantyne area and have a pet you’d like us to consider for this feature? Send an email to with the subject line “Member of the Family” along with your contact information and a photo of your pet