Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's In A Name?

I spend alot of time thinking about the names for my animals and I have names for dogs not even born yet. Most of them are named after a dog I admire. For example, Jed came to me with the name Rusty.Usually, I like the names his previous owner called her dogs - she's clever at it (she named Pleat for the cowlick between his eyes that looks like a pleat in a pair of pants ) but this time I thought he needed a change. I called him Jed after my favorite movie dog. Jed the wolf dog starred in "The Journey of Natty Gann" and "White Fang". My new Jed spent his first night at my house eating a leftover burrito. The next morning while Scott was giving me a lesson, I needed to call Jed back to my side. I hollered out "Jed! Jed!" and Scott said "He won't come to you. He doesn't know that name." Despite this, Jed turned on a dime and rushed back to me. He didn't care what we called him, as long as I continued to feed him those burritos.

I had been saving Lad's name for a long time. He was named after the main character in Albert Payson Terhune's book "Lad A Dog". Gasp! Is that a rough collie? Yes it is, actually. Terhune claimed that the real Lad didn't have all of the adventures he attributed to him in the books, but all the stories had come from real dogs who had defended their owners from attack, saved children from drowning and so on. My Laddie is named after the spirit of all those brave dogs.

Hemp. Well, Hemp was simple. I took one look at him and thought he looked exactly like Adam Telfer's, Old Hemp. I hoped it would be a good omen to name him after the father of the modern border collie.

Bob-dog has been in and out of my life since he was 7 weeks old and had been given many different names. His breeder called him Arizona. I first called him Pip (Squeek). His first owners called him Dax and when he was returned to the kennel I worked for the owner called him Bob after Kathy Knox's Bob. For those who aren't border collie people, Kathy's Bob was a sheepherding national champion. When I finally bought him at 6 months old, I felt he'd been through enough name changes so I let him stay with Bob. However, I always called him Bobby and imagined a different kind of celebrity whenever I used it.
And Skid? Well, Skid was named after what we were doing when we met.

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