She also has a name now!
Before I tell you what it is, I want to thank everyone again for their input and suggestions. Every name was seriously considered, and many were ones we'd come up with and tried on for size even before seeing them here (even "Velveeta," as DougM suggested).
Choosing a name was far more complicated than we thought it would be. We had three people considering every nuance, sound, and association a name might have and we went through dozens of choices. Adding to the complications, Mrs. Jarlsberg has a fascinating condition called synesthesia which causes her to mentally see letters and words in specific colors. So some names sounded good, but were the "wrong color" for this little lady. We also agreed that there are more fun names for boy dogs than girl dogs.
Here are a few comments from Mrs. Jarlsberg (which I'm paraphrasing): she loved the "Flying Nun" connection with the pup's floppy ears, and saw the "Dumbo" connection but didn't much go for the name. "Amelia" was a contender for awhile, based on the children's book "Amelia Bedelia" about a young girl, as well as the fact that the shelter we adopted from was on Earhart road. "Brie" was strongly considered because of the cheese connection (it's the Queen of cheeses!) and just sounding nice. "Violet" was a favorite of Mrs. J because the long "i" sound was evocative of the pup's bright eyes, plus she has a "V" shaped marking on her face.
"Callie" was daughter Jarlsberg's choice and could stand for "Calico" like the pup's coloring. We actually tried this one for a day or two but it just didn't stick. "Pepper" had merit and seemed to fit the pup's rambunctious personality.
SOoooo, what did we end up naming this girl? (Drum roll)
Friends, I'd like to introduce you to the official dog of Hope n' Change: Penny!
The name works on a lot of levels for us. Penny (the pup) has got a nice amount of copper coloring and she responded to the name more than any other we tried. She also responds to whistles, and Pennywhistle Park was a little indoor amusement park we took daughter Jarlsberg to when she was very young. Happy memories!
We also think of her as our "Lucky Penny," because we believe she's the harbinger of a much better year than last year, and because she was lucky enough to go from being a feral pup to a shelter dog to a pampered pooch. Who says this country no longer offers upward mobility?
Associations abound: "a penny for your thoughts," "in for a penny, in for a pound," and "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes" (and just look at those ears and eyes!)
And of course, if you pull a penny from your pocket and look at it, you find Abraham Lincoln, The United States of America, and Liberty. Talk about a patriotic moniker! Plus, just to annoy the Lefties, any penny is by definition a one-percenter!
To end on a serious note (which is hard to do when you've got a Ziplock bag in your pocket, filled with bacon-scented treats to reward outdoor peeing and pooping), it's interesting for our family to reflect on the ongoing process of healing following the loss of our dear Maggie (the best name ever) in November. That pain is still deep, and can appear unexpectedly with the speed and sting of a whiplash. Penny can't take away that pain, but she is a wonderful, loving distraction while time does its slow work.
She'll never take Maggie's place, but she will earn a place of her very own. There's plenty of room in our hearts for both.