Saturday, February 1, 2014

Weekend Pupdate

Today marks the One Weekiversary of having the new pup in our lives, and she continues to be a joy. An exhausting, peeing, pooping, chewing dynamo who also is loving, adventurous, and (thankfully) a calm and quiet sleeper once the sun goes down. She's definitely a keeper.

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.


bocopro said...

Nicely said. You have far more class with pets' names than my wife and I have shown with ours, which have been (over the past 50 years or so)

Rat (a vicious little black & white terrier)
"Bud" (Best one we've ever had -- true name was "Featherfoot" -- long story I'll spare you)
Sir Charles the Unusually Cautious
Ratfart (a sour-dispositioned little Chihuahua)
Lancelot (a rescue cattledog with serious mobility problems)
and finally

Monsterdawg is a pure tricolor Aussie who's actually quite affectionate, but very aggressive and rambunctious. At 70+ pounds, he can easily bring children and slight women to the horizontal where he can lick them properly.

His name actually is Montalban, which got shortened immediately by my grandkritters to "Monty" because I owned a Monte Carlo when he arrived as a frolicking pup, and finally to Monsterdog by those whom he had tackled and tongue-bathed into complete submission.

Sparky said...

Penny is an adorable name and a well chosen one in my mind. Thank you for sharing the journey with us.
(Now I've got "Penny Lane" worming through my mind ... lol).
I also had to laugh out loud at the names @bocopro mentioned. They are priceless! We all truly have spoiled dogs.
God bless from Jack, Sam (the Jack Russell Terrorists brothers) & Lucy (the boxer). ~:)

Stan da Man said...

Well done, sir, and thanks for the share!

Geoff King said...

Penny is a cutie! Is she good at tracking "cents"? Other associations with her name leap to my mind. Considering your previous dog was Maggie, the quote from Margaret Thatcher: "Pennies don't fall from heaven – they have to be earned here on earth" barks for attention. Also, considering you rescued her from the pound, Benjamin Franklin's: "A penny saved is a penny earned" holds new meaning. Just my two cents worth.

Anonymous said...

Penny's a survivor. Who knows how many of her ancestors young Barry Soetoros ate between tokes of Maui Wowie?

Anonymous said...

Precious Penny!
She's a little beauty!
- BarbaCat

RatDog said...

Nicely done, Stilton. Thanks for adopting here in north Texas. I had my own Penny for 13-1/2 years (a Golden). All the best to your new family member.

Anonymous said...

Too adorable, and a fitting name.
Wishing you many wonderful years with your new princess.

leelu said...

Congratulations!! New puppies are fun. Enjoy to the hilt!!

DougM said...

Penny! Yeah, cute name.
I still think "Velveeta" …
(What? Nah, that wasn't a serious suggestion. I mean, hey, it's not even real cheese; but mainly it has too many syllables.)

CenTexTim said...

Continuing the 'dog rescued from pound' theme:

Penny wise and pound foolish...

See a Penny, pick it up
And all day long you'll have good luck.

Best wishes to all the Jarlsbergs, both two-legged and four-legged.

David in SoCal said...

Stilt: Good job on both the choice of a new family member and a great name to boot! Looks like Penny and the Jarlsberg's have rescued one-another; and may you all be blessed with happiness and precious memories. David & Mrs. SoCal.

Anonymous said...

Penny reminds me of the courageous and plucky little girl in "The Rescuers". With the help of her animal friends, she gets the best of the evil, witchy Madame Medusa as her former 'pet' crocodiles prepaired to 'take her to lunch".

TrickyRicky said...

What a wonderful pup, and a great name. I understand the sentiment that she can never replace Maggie, but will eventually be her equal in your hearts. We are mourning our girls, which we lost a year ago and two weeks ago, respectively. When the right dog comes along sometime this spring or summer, we will jump in with both feet and start the cycle again.

Yay Penny!

psconover said...

We lost our dear Maggie on July 6, 2010. She was a golden retriever and her body wouldn't take her further. We shall always love Maggie, but like you with Penny, we have room in our hearts for Mandy. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Same face as our 3/4 Rat, 1/4 Jack Russell dynamo. 'cept black, white & a little brown My buddy named her & designated her ours 2 weeks before he passed from cancer. Never ending source of entertainment & a little aggravation. Love her, though. The eyes have a power all their own. lol! Enjoy!


WMD said...

God choice Stilt.

knock, knock, knock, Penny.
knock, knock, knock, Penny.
knock, knock, knock, Penny.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Readers- I've got to admit that it's awfully heartwarming to hear everyone's individual stories about dogs, past and present, and how much they mean to us.

DougM said...

^^ WMD (2/3/10:39)

WMD said...

Just looked at my earlier comment, sorry. I'm sure you all know I meant "Good" choice.

Chuck said...

Well done.

On an unrelated note, I preferred the 2-number combinations for proving my humanity. The 2-word combination I'm having to interpret right now is tough (some of those letters are really hard to discern).

Bruce O'Hara said...

Great choice! Keep us posted as she grows, please :-)