Naming the dog

Well, we’ve finally got a new name for the dog which my brother arrived with last week.
Of course we knew she was coming, but she’s taken a while to get here and is nearly a year old already, trapped by circumstance in the UK after she was given to me more months ago than I can remember; I’d only seen her twice since Christmas, once via a webcam.

The name ….

Which brought us to the conundrum of the name …. for the way I see it is that the real name has to be given by the owners, not by the “kennel”, no matter how nice or close that kennel is; so up until Mike arrived a week ago the puppy was called Poppy by my brother and his family, with the full knowledge that this name was only temporary and would change as soon as a few days had passed and she had picked her name.
For just as I feel that the owners of a dog have to choose the name, so I feel that the name must in fact be chosen by the dog itself. Something about it, something that it does, some scrape it gets into, some characteristic will suggest a name, physical or mental, but what that characteristic will be, which one will be chosen by who, is what makes the naming of a dog so important.

Choosing it ….

Some dogs will show their hand in the Naming Game very quickly, but most, especially when entering an established “pack”, keep their personality close to their chests and then it is the choice that I, as the owner, makes, that binds me to the dog in that his or her name reflects my personality just as much as the dog’s.
At the moment the Quinta has three dogs excluding that brought by my brother; Lucky, Molly and Sideways.
Lucky ‘cos he was found in a bin along with the rest of his dead siblings. They’d been drowned in a plastic bag as an unwanted litter, so Lucky he was and Lucky he remains.
Molly, born to a stray in a ruin in Santa Clara where she burrowed amongst the heaps of rubble, hence Molly The Mole.
Sideways, because that’s how he takes your legs from under you …. he just doesn’t seem to have the slightest conception of the different traction abilities between 4 and 2 wheel drives. A real personality.
And now the new one ….. a rather floppy, soppy, German Long Haired Pointer, very feminine, my first ever pedigree dog, and instantly confirming my prejudice against the majority of pedigree dogs, with a brain the size of a peanut.
There was a last ditch cry to retain “Poppy”, soon dealt with, and then a bewildering flurry of ideas, though none of them with any real weight.

Spoilt for choice ….

Being dark red, we started with Hazel, moved on to Hazelnut, and then Hazy, which described her normal state of mind as well, so it nearly took the day, but still not with that je ne sais quoi. However it started us thinking beyond her colouring.
She’s not the sharpest tool in the shed, (just like us when we have to choose names for dogs), so then we went through a whole series of other alternatives, Lipstick went to Dippity and then on to Dipstick and that’s how it would have stayed unless Rafi, a visiting volunteer from Baltimore, Maryland, the U.S. of A said that what sounded fine to us over here had a completely different connotation in some parts of America and seeing as we had a fair smattering of our cousins from across the Pond, it might be better to choose something else, so, sadly, Dipstick had to be dropped …..

“It’ll come to us,” I reassured everyone as some brave soul put Poppy into the hat once more, “the dog’ll choose its own name. Calma, calma.”
So it was later on when we were watching her fishing that, sure enough, the name suddenly jumped out at us.

I should explain, …. she’s taken to fishing in the lake, pointing at them from the side and lunging at them as they swim past. I don’t think she’s caught any yet and I don’t know if she ever will - Tiny, a huge bear of a dog we used to have years ago, used to catch quite a few, sitting there for hour after hour waiting for them to come within reach, but then Tiny could get a whole day of amusement watching the reflected clouds floating past in a puddle ….. I don’t think this latest dog has got quite enough IQ for that ….
So then “Fish Finger” was put forward and that led us onto a rather flowery Pecheurette, and then of course it hit us and the name chose the dog, the dog the name, Pesca, short for Pescadore, a fisherman, - there are no fisherwomen in Portugal apparently… (of course there are, and grammatically a fisherwoman should be called a “Pescadora” but she’s nevertheless called a Pescadore, a fisherman….. it’s a long story and best reserved for another time).
So anyway, there you are, Pesca has arrived, so cry “Long live Pesca” …. and let’s send out for some brain food ….

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