Friday, May 10, 2013

The Naming of Dogs

When we knew a puppy was in our immediate future, we made lists of possible names. First was the list of names we liked, but, as it turned out, each of these was already claimed by a child or a dog already on the block. We eventually settled on Joey, and shortly thereafter, a big lumbering Newfoundland hove into view - and his name, alas, was Joey. We had gotten far enough along with Joey that I even had the name tags for his collar - little ones, as would befit a puppy; they sit on the shelf, unattached. I loved the name Mungo, but we had already had two Mungos, and the second one lives in infamy because he ate absolutely everything in sight - from grandchildren's sandwiches (low hanging fruit for Mungo), to pens, pencils, lemon tarts, boxes, homework, and, of course, socks.

Next I went through lists of saints names. Nothing appealed. I went to the internet. Boys names meaning light, hairy. sweet, speedy, and peace. On to fauna and flora, earth, air, fire, and water. Water. That's where I found it. Dover is a Welsh boys name meaning water. The name suits Dover to a tee. And there are no kids on the block called Dover, although there is a dog up the hill named Dozer. Dover and Dozer are friends.

Dover will gravitate to any water he can find - rain, the shower, the hose, the spigot, the sea, the pond. So it turned out to be a very fine name. It sounds great, people like to say it, it sounds soft and sweet, and when I announce supper time out the back door, no extraneous kids, dogs, or cats come running down the street to see what's on the table in our house. Only Dover ambles in from the fence up-back for his evening gruel and yogurt, with maybe a little egg or cheese added in as a special treat.
Dog-paddling with a friend.

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