Bettina. Cora. Grace. Ella.
Cora. Ella. Grace.
Belle. Bella. Clary. Clara. Gemma. Maybelle. Norah. Beatrice. Frieda.
Cora. Ella. Grace.
Georgia. Layla. Sookie. Beulah. Felicia.
Etta. Adele. Adella. Joanne.
Ella. Grace. Bettina.
Ariana. Vesta. Tessah. Vanessah. Helena. Alanna. Septima.
Honey. Maybelle. Gemma. Adele.
“How about Daisy?”
? [inaudible pop noise and Scooby’s “Rowr roWR?”]
No, that couldn’t be right. Not for a… But…yes. Yes, that’s it. I think.
So, after weeks of naming indecision, meet Daisy.
She’s supposedly 10 months old now – I still think she’s more like 7 or 8 months old. She’s long and lean and lanky, and has a lot of growing to do, but every day she reminds me of why fell in love with this breed over 26 years ago.
She was an owner release at a local shelter; I saw her on Petfinder and zoomed out to get her the next day. It was touch and go – another family was looking at her just as I got to the shelter. First come, first served (WHY did I stop at the bee supply store on my way to the shelter?!) and all that. I loitered long enough so that when they put her back in her run to look at the other dogs available I all but pounced. The volunteer brought her out for me, and after less than five minutes of visiting with her, I adopted her. She showed nothing but normal puppy playfulness, interest in her surroundings – people and other dogs – without shyness or too much “enthusiasm” and seemed pretty unscathed. I’d been looking for months, and in earnest since Dinah’s passing in early April. I talked to several breeders about upcoming litters, but timing was always off for me. Too soon in most cases, then, after Dinah left, I didn’t want to wait months for the next litter. I still hope to get a puppy from one of these breeders – they have some stunningly gorgeous dogs – but for now, the stars aligned for me and Daisy. Rescue has always been near and dear, so I was glad to get a young shelter dog to add to the family.
She was turned in by her owner early in May, with her mother, and adopted out quickly. In less than two weeks she was back – returned by the adopter because she wasn’t housetrained and they were unable to train her otherwise. She’d been raised as an outdoor dog, so housetraining was new to her, but even as a half grown puppy it still takes longer than a week or two. Their loss, my gain, I guess (though I did realize within 24 hours that she had a raging urinary tract infection – this could account for a difficulty in housebreaking!). Her name at the shelter was Jordan – I have no idea if she was surrendered with that name, or the shelter named her that, or if the first adopter named her that. All I knew was that it didn’t work for me. And after much deliberation, Daisy does work for me. And her. And, in a long tradition of pet names for my pets, she will be called Daisy-woo, in honor of the one who suggested the name to me. Dinah was Dinah-doo, Cutter was Cutter-Butter, Farley is Farley-foo (“I love you!”), Pal is Pal-o-wal.
Cutter and Pal came with their names – I considered changing them, but they were obviously the right names. Though Pal was being called Rascal by the people I got him from, his original name from his first owner (and his registered name), was Pal – it fit him much better than Rascal, and better than any name I could come up with. Dinah was named by my mother, via a long distance telephone call as I lamented about trying to find the appropriate “D” name for my puppy, to comply with the breeder’s “D litter” request for naming. I’d been through a long list of D names, none of which she’d even batted an eyelash in response. “How about Dinah?” my non-animal-lover mother suggested. I tried it out on the four month old puppy chewing on a bone nearby. “Dinah” – she looked up at me with a “yes?” – the first time she’d ever responded to any of the names I’d considered for her – and I knew that was it.
Farley was a little tougher. He was a shelter rescue, and Asya, who rescued him, called him Cooper (for all of two days before I got him from her). I didn’t like the name for him but struggled with finding the one that fit him. One that came close was Domino – for his mostly black and white coat, and for the fact that he counter surfed a bowl of blueberries I was thawing in the first week that I had him. He had no house manners (though he was housetrained – odd) and took every opportunity he found. I was eating dinner one night and heard him choking behind me in the kitchen. I got up from the table to investigate and found him trying to inhale a large block of cheddar cheese I’d left on the counter (I’d grated a bit of it onto my dinner before sitting down to eat). The blueberries were a total score for him (Farley 1, Home 0) and brought to mind Fats Domino and his song Blueberry Hill. Blue was also briefly considered. By then I was getting to know him – a spirited, determined pup, full of drive and ambition. And I named him for Farley Mowat, the author, in honor of one of my favorite books growing up, “The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be” a memoir of Mowat’s childhood bird dog, Mutt (Springer and/or Setter cross). Mutt and my Farley were cut from the same cloth – I knew it when he climbed a ladder to the attic, just to see what I was doing up there, a classic Mutt move – I just couldn’t name my dog Mutt. And Farley is so him. Far. FarFar. The Farster.
So Daisy the Rottweiler has joined the family. And once again, my life is complete. In the couple of months since Dinah’s passing, and Cutter before her, I “forgot” how my Rottweilers center and fill me up. The little things Daisy does that remind me of her heritage, and the ones I’ve shared my life with who have gone before her. And why I adore this breed, with its calm demeanor and thinking responses. And I am crazy in love with my Setter boys, but it would never occur to Farley or Pal to bark/herd/attack the garbage bins when I wheel them down the driveway for pickup (or back up the driveway, empty). Or the wheelbarrow. Or my feet – she loves to attack my feet when I’m wearing my garden “duck” shoes or wellies, grabbing my leg with a paw and my foot with her mouth (gently). I remember how Wil, my Boy, used to do this years ago in his patented “tackle” move. And it warms my heart to be reminded of him again. And how Cutter would attack the lawn mower, biting the wheel (I only allowed him to get close when the cutting blade was disengaged), or how Trinah would barkbarkbark at the wheelbarrow when I was using it. Daisy has a great time playing chase with the sheep – something none of her predecessors really had access to (Cutter loved them in the brief time he had with them). She chases them in play, with the two ewes turning tail and chasing, then butting, Daisy (if they can catch her). Daisy thinks this is great fun. I’m not sure what the sheep think, though I know they are far from terrorized. Conan just stops and stands there when she comes running up to him. It works – she rarely bothers him now.
And today these came in the mail.
A talented local artist, Limelight Design, creates these beautiful pieces using the ashes from your cremated pet. I found her through Precious Pets, and finally ordered the pendants last week. She sent me a packet with a small vial (in my case, two vials) to collect a tiny amount of the cremated ashes. There’s a short questionnaire – colors preferred, mounting orientation, etc. – and you return the sample in prepaid padded mailer she sends. In about a week I these two gorgeous pieces back in the mail and couldn’t be happier. Cutter is the green and gold diamond mount, Dinah is the pink and orange square mount. I knew I’d love them, and am especially enamored of Dinah’s – the color is so pleasing, and so her. Cutter’s is gorgeous too, and I can’t wait to wear each of them. Actually, I am wearing Cutter right now. Warm fuzzies. I heart my Butterball.