Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Names of Things

So, it seems as though things may be moving forward in one direction or another. I came to a decision about moving back out to the property, and I’ll start moving over the next month. I’ll take a little time doing it, since I’ll have paid my rent, but I expect to be out sooner rather than later. Not least of all because I may have found the puppy I want.

Since I made my decision, I started looking online for dogs available in the area, researching breeds, etc. I’ve been loosely interested Newfoundland, Bernese Mountain Dogs, German Shepherds, Mastiffs and possibly a wolf/hybrid. Most of these are far, far out of my price range and I spent a little time looking at rescue sites as well. I really want to raise the pup myself, however, so my heart wasn’t into the rescue idea. However, through my search I discovered a litter that is 1/2 English Mastiff, 1/4 Fila Mastiff and 1/4 Newfoundland. Coincidentally, I also discovered what my top price is. Haha.

I emailed the breeder to see if they had any puppies left (they won’t be available until July 8th), and he returned my email promptly. There is only one male in the litter, which I’d prefer for practical reasons, (they’re much cheaper to get neutered), but I will wait until I have met the pups to make a decision.

Finally, I have to decide on a name. For quite a while now I have told people I want to name my next dog Metaphor. I had a classmate in my creative writing poetry classes who would always make statements like, “That’s not a baaad metaphor,” and I was endlessly reminded of someone berating a dog. “No! Bad Metaphor. Bad dog.” In fact, I was so enamored of the idea I was actually going to name the dog Metaphor Bentley, after the fellow. I am no longer certain. As a fantasy, it’s a great one. Realistically? I don’t know. We will see. It depends on whether the pup is male or female and how it behaves.

Names are important to me. I have named or supplied the names for all my family’s pets for ages. Between my own past pets and my parent’s we have had the cats: Midas, Bast, Moomba, Cheshire, Isis, Osiris, Athena, and Jasper. The dogs are/have been Topaz, Hero, Sebastian, Viola. I had a Doberman named Charlie Brown, but I didn’t name him, nor would have. I believe names are symbolic. In many ways the name we give something defines our expectations of it. That’s one of the reasons I have a hard time when people give ridiculous names to characters in games.

As you can tell, I am fond of mythological or literary names for animals. I would consider Prospero for a male mastiff or Hero for a female. (I couldn’t stand the last pup I name Hero, in some ways I don’t want to be reminded of it, but in others I want to reclaim the name, because I love it as a name.) Prospero is Shakespearean, and Hero, while also Shakespearean, stems for me from the poem “Hero and Leander” by Christopher Marlowe, one of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Time will tell, and when/if I get the puppy and decide, I will share.

I am sure it comes as no surprise that I have spent a fair amount of time thinking about what names I would like to give my children should I ever be lucky enough to have any. I find it’s a lot easier to come up with girl’s names, which makes sense. After all, I want a daughter more than anything. It is much more challenging to give a child a name than a dog, or should be. I consider the meaning, the historical references I know, and the flow of it. I intend to name my children something that sounds good to the ear both as first and last name and first middle and last. (Though I am not certain a middle name is really all the necessary. Traditional, but unless there’s someone you want to remember, I have difficulty seeing the point. I will see what my eventual significant other thinks.) The names I like change over the years, of course, but the concerns remain. In fact, one of the many things I find appealing about Eden thus far is the way her name sounds. Should I never see her again, I will still seriously consider it a name for a daughter. It fits with my last name like a glove. I also really like the name Penelope. It sounds good, it’s a cute name and yet it is the name of a wise, good woman in Greek mythology. Penelope was Odysseus’ wife and stayed true to him in spite of all his journeys. On the opposite end, for comparison, as pretty as the name Cassandra is, I couldn’t give her name to my child. I would endlessly be reminded of the woman from the Iliad, who could see the future but was cursed to never have anyone believe her.

Time to go!

Enough words, goodnight.


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