What’s in a name?

That which we call a dog, by any other name would still pee on my carpet.

So, all these foster dogs have names. They have to have a name. They need to go into the rescue records with a name. The vet records need a name. Treatment and medication go to a specific animal by name. Of course, the dogs cannot tell us what their before name was, so they are just given a name.

When Betty came to us, it was pretty clear she had no idea who the fuck “Betty” was. I spent an significant chunk of time just shouting random names at her to see if anything got a reaction, but nothing did. I felt mildly stupid calling out a name to a grown dog, and not having it show any sign of recognition at all. It just feels much stranger than it does with a young puppy. I imagined after about a month the dog thinking, “Oh wait, are you talking to ME? WTF, lady? This would have been a lot easier if you’d just said my name. Nonsensical human.”

The absurdity of it all really hit home the first time I took her to the dog park. We let her off leash and I realized I had no way to ever get her back, other than attempt to catch her eye and make it look like it would be a lot of fun to come over and see me. This was a giant dog park too, with forest and hiking trails, not just a rectangle of dying grass.

The little black puppy who came out of the crate first was named Tori. Umm… No. That didn’t work for me. She came that way from the original organization that took in the litter and split it up between rescues. I told V that we’d need to change that. So, our family picked the name Laney, and V changed it in the rescue records. She knows her name now, but I assume the person who adopts her will change it.  Actually, even more bizarre, the original organization first handed off two girl puppies to our rescue, and we expected to get those, but then they came back and switched out one of the girls for Corbin.  The other girl puppy?  She had been given the same name as my daughter.

Betty was renamed Sammi by her family. I assume by now they can call her back in a dog park no problem. I don’t know what any of the others have been renamed. I know Ellie kept her name, which was definitely path of least resistance since she’d had it for so long she figured out we were talking about her.

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