Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Four Rules of Dog Naming

The last post got me thinking about dog names.

First rule for a good dog name: Does it sound stupid when I yell it at the top of my lungs?

You would think this is an obvious rule but here is an example of ‘dumb when yelled’: I know of a dog named Brown Dog, which makes it sound like you can’t remember your dog’s name when you shout it across the park.

Second Rule: Does it sound like a 4 year old picked it out?

Yelling Princess, Pookie, Opie, Tiffany, Sweetie Pie can even embarrass the dog involved.

Third Rule: Try to be original.

This is also known as the DAVE Rule. My husband has never been in a class that didn’t have at least one other Dave in it. These are the most common dogs names (as unscientifically compiled by me) Max, Sam, Molly, Maggie, and Sadie. They seem to fall into the categories of people names that are no longer used by people. Let’s branch out folks, how about Ed, Oliver, Carl, Victor, Otto, Henry…there are still some decent names left. And the second most common naming source for dogs is a play on their color. I have seen my share of color coordinated names - some good, some bad. Copper, Penny, Shadow, White Fang, Smokey Bill, Blackie…the possibilities are endless though often repeated.

Fourth Rule: Not that Original or you will be explaining the name FOREVER.

This would be my own personal mistake. My dogs are Vector and Inertia, if you can believe it. One is named after her ability to only run in a straight line, thus making all rabbits save if they merely turn left. And her sister after her ability to not be moved - she is the body at rest remains at rest. Being a physicist, my husband gets the blame for the names, but I am the one who did it.

Meet some of the regulars at the Yawning Dog Ranch…

My very first clients were Snoopy, Tiffany, and Owey. Can’t you just tell they let the kids name the dogs? Well these dogs put to rest the theory that people own either large or small dogs because Owey is the size of a loaf of bread and Snoopy was the largest black lab I have ever seen. I say ‘was’ on Snoopy because he died last year. I now have a growing list of dog that I have babysat that have gone on to doggie heaven. (That is where all the frisbees taste like filet mignon and the squirrels are all fat and slow.) Snoopy was big enough to saddle and ride, and Owey was tiny yet running the show (shitzus born know that they run the universe) and then there is Tiffany, Torpedo Tiffany, as I renamed her. She was supposed to be a chocolate lab, but her color was closer to carmel than chocolate and she was as wide as long. The dog had no neck, just flared from her nose to her belly and then slimmed a little toward the tail. Not only is she shaped like a torpedo, she also functions as one. In Tiffany’s case love comes at a velocity. Tiffany is one of my favorites. She has to have all the love. No other dog can come near me. And if she feels that she has not been sufficiently loved she thrown a belly-in. Very much like a sit-in protest only it requires me to knee down and rub her belly until she decides we are done. Short of a fork lift, there is no way to move Tiffany once she has flipped onto her back. These dogs’ owners moved away on me. I never realized I would miss being knock flat by Tiffany.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Doggie Update

Justed calling to get the doggie update.
I just hung up with the dobies' mom. She misses them and worries about them and just wanted to check in on her kids. I love these calls. I talked to the german sheperd's mom earlier this morning. Maybe I should invest in a webcam and they can peek in on their kids when they are away. Kennel-cam? doggie-cam? or they might me checking on me ala nanny-cam.

Too cold for those of us without fur coats.

Not much playing down with the dogs today. It is just too cold. It makes sense that I am freezing; I am more of a reptile than a mammal. But how can they be freezing with a built-in winter coat. I can understand the Dobermans wanting to go back in their kennel - they are one of the fur-less wonder of the dog world. Winter has arrived with a vengeance and even the wooly dogs are not ready for this cold and windy weather. Even my own labs have been out and in like a shot. They keep standing next to the door, huffing at me to let them out, and when I open the door, they look at me to “make it stop.” Sorry doggie, I cannot stop the wind, the cold, or the rain…but thanks for asking.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Have a DOG-GONE Good Holiday!

I live in a little town that has the best Christmas celebration I have ever seen. Each year there is a Helper Light Parade at the beginning of December. You can come out, freeze in the dark and the cold, and see a bunch of home made Christmas floats all covered in lights.

The parade is scheduled for next Friday and Saturday, December 2nd and 3rd. I have wanted to do a float since I opened my dog kennel, but this year I am finally doing it. Nothing says Christmas like paper mache'ing in a freezing wind. If I don't end up with frostbite, I'll post some photos of my dog float.

My business logo is a blue dog yawning, of course. Making him 3D has been a trip. He is currently 7 feet tall, papered up to his collar, but still missing all of his teeth. I need to finish the paper mache so that I can get started on the painting. Why?why?why? didn't I start this in July.

I have the most important part of my float, the Jingle Dogs CD, dogs barking Christmas carols. Now all I need is the trailer, the generator, the lights....maybe a heated garage.

Home for the Holidays

Another Thanksgiving at home with the dogs. People ask me if I hate being stuck at home for the holidays because I am babysitting everyone else's dogs. What are they nuts? I have spent a holiday in O'Hare, not doing that again.

I love staying home. I like to cook big. I hate to be away from home for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Running a dog kennel means never having to lie about not wanting to go 'home' for the holidays.

Even better this year...not having anyone over for dinner, means I didn't have to clean the bathroom.