Sunday, March 30, 2014
A Dog With No Name
When we can’t think of a name for an animal, it’s a sign. This has never happened before. Names come easy to us. We’re kind of famous for our cool and creative names—Motley (the dog), Mojo, Hobbes (cats), Lowdown, Harley, Spirit (horses), Black Betty (all my black chickens), Penny (all the white chickens), Helen (all the red ones), Redeye (my albino ferret) for example, and when people are stuck, they ask us for ideas. We’ve named the dogs of four friends and quite a few of their horses as well as a goat and a hamster. But we could not come up with a name for this Doberman we got shanghaied into taking. Nothing sounded right. They were all too obvious or common or just plain stupid.
I think it was because we weren’t supposed to have her. I knew she was not the right dog for us from the get-go but I didn’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings who found her for us so I inquired just to be polite. Then I found out the owner had died and the family sent her back to the breeder who unloaded her on someone who didn’t really want her. He was keeping her outside. She had a nice dog house but there was a foot of snow on the ground and more was coming. She was in a pen all by herself next to his two dozen beagles who were all snuggled up like mice in a litter in the adjoining pen. Dobermans are not outside dogs. And this was a young Doberman. A pup really. Only about seven months old. So I had to go and get her. Plus, I felt sorry for her, losing her owner.
For three days we wracked our brains trying to think of a name, but nothing. The whole time I kept picturing what would happen when she ran up to all the people who come and go on the farm—the farrier, the UPS man, kids who come to ride with Kelly—or those who pass the house—the dog walker, the bike riders, the lady who picks up litter. They’d stop short and put up their hands. Maybe take a step back. I’d say, “It’s alright, she won’t bite,” like I used to say with Motley. But this dog was scary looking. Nothing like our floppy-eared mutt who would plop down and roll over, red rocket out, tail thumping, when someone came to visit. The Doberman would think something was up, the way people would act. They’d widen their eyes. She’d widen her eyes. The meter reader would jump back in his car. Before you knew it, she’d nip someone.
If I had a fenced-in yard, it would be a different story. I’ve got field fence, rail fence, some chain-link fence on the far side of the property, and picket fence, but none of it is dog worthy if the dog has any kind of oomph. And the Doberman had oomph, if the way she zoomed around the barn when I let her loose in there was any indication. She didn’t come right back to me. I had to catch her. I’d have to tie her up. I don’t want a dog that I have to tie up. I want a dog who, when I step out onto the deck to let him do his duty, he will pee right there on my roses and come right back when I whistle. I wouldn’t even have to put my coat on. Yes, I know I could train the Doberman. But, even though she was beautiful and sweet, this just wasn’t the kind of dog we were looking for. I felt guilty about it but she deserved to be with someone who really wanted her and time was of the essence—she was still a puppy. I had to make a decision right away.
So I chalked it up to a rescue and I gave her to my friend who was the one who found her in the first place. I believe she was meant to have her since the dog sleeps in their bed and was named Lilly about an hour after they got her.