What’s In a Name?
I was named because my moms thought I was going to be a red head. I’m more apricot, which is kind of red, but not really. Still, when they named Rubin, it stuck. In fact, it more than stuck. It really fit me. They knew it, they said, from the very beginning when all they saw of me were pictures. “You had a Rubin smirk,” Gretchen told me later and when I look at those first photos, I guess they are right. I do have a Rubin smirk.
I’ve been thinking about names today because we met two dogs who, I think, had the coolest names. One was named Bucket — a mixed breed- and the other was named Holla — a black lab. Aren’t those great names? But then I got to thinking, all the dogs we walk have names that fit them.
Take, for instance, our first two dogs of the day — Ollie and Gemma. Both real red heads, there are no better names for them than what they have. Ollie is so much an Ollie it scares me at times. He’s such a good natured fella whose names lends itself to goofy nicknames — like Ollie by Golly. Gemma, on the other hand, fits her unique dog-a-nality. She is a “gem” in many ways, though a bit wild at times, she’s also incredibly social, friendly with just about every dog (except the dog next door to her house, but he’s kind of different), and goes through life as if she’s walking on jewels.
The three of us went for a long walk today and for a moment, I wondered if we were going to spend the day with red heads. Not that I have a problem with that, but red heads are a special breed. Even though we didn’t walk all red heads, four out of the six dogs we did walk were all red heads. I wonder what that says about us? Do we attract their feisty natures? And of those four red heads, three were girls. Hmmmm…I’m still trying to figure out what that means.
Ollie and Gemma enjoyed their long walk, but Ollie and I are both waiting for Gemma to be 100% from her broken toe so we can get back to getting wild like we used to do in the past. We played a bit in the backyard, as you can see from the photos, but it’s still not like it used to be. Yes, red heads are wild, let me tell you, so that’s why I think it’s important to have one or two (or four, in our case) in your life.
After Ollie and Gemma, Gretchen walked Rosie — another red head. Gretchen says Rosie is always so happy to see her that it makes Gretchen very happy to climb the stairs of Rosie’s house and be met by a bouncy, snorting, dancing dog. They went for a nice walk through the park where Gretchen and Rosie played chase. It wasn’t Gretchen’s intention to play chase, but whenever she tried to get a photo of Rosie from a bit of a distance, Rosie would pop up and run after her so Gretchen just kept running and calling Rosie to her.
I’m not sure Rosie was coming after Gretchen. Frankly, I think she was more interested in the treats in Gretchen’s pockets, but I’ve decided not to tell Gretchen that.
Hey, now that I think of it, Rosie’s name really fits her — she’s red like a Rose. Gretchen says that while Rosie isn’t as spunky as Gemma and Ollie, she still has a bit of red head in her. She likes to frolic, if given half the chance and IF she feels safe, and when she does, she has a typical red head smile on her face.
But Rosie is older than all the other red heads we walk so much of her reserve can be attributed to her maturity than her red hair.
After her walk with Rosie, Gretchen picked up Bella. Now Bella’s name is a curious one. It means beautiful, which Bella certainly is. She gets comments all the time when Gretchen’s walk her. “That dog is very beautiful,” people say or “What a beauty!” So in that sense, she is a perfect match for her name. It also means “devoted to god” and while I’m not so sure about Bella’s devotion, if we inverted god to dog, well, then the name totally fits because Bella is devoted to playing and being with any dog she can get her paws on!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to be that dog today. Bella got to play all by herself at the tennis courts and then got a nice long walk up to Woobie’s house. When Bella first sees that she’s going to walk with another dog, she goes a little crazy, but after a few minutes she settles down and walks as beautiful as her name.
Now Woobie is probably the most perfect match of dog to name. I mean, she totally fits her name. It’s something about he hair and her incredibly gentle and soft spirit. While Woobie got to walk Bella the beautiful home, she also got to come to our house where we hung out until we went for a walk to the tennis courts and met our new friends Bucket and Holla. Woobie had a great time and so did I because Bucket and Holla enjoyed playing as much as we did.
Finally, after we played for awhile at the tennis courts, we walked up to Alice’s house. Now Alice is sometimes afraid of other dogs. She’s not afraid of me so Gretchen thought it would be a good time to introduce her to Woobie. Because Woobie is so gentle and non-reactive, the meeting between Alice and Woobie went really well. Does Alice fit her name? It’s funny because I have another dog friend named Alice and I guess I just never thought of naming a dog Alice before I met these two. The other Alice is a boxer and what they both share in common is both a cautious and frisky nature. I mean, when they first meet people and dogs they are cautious. Then, after getting to know the dogs and people, they are very frisky. Alice kept demanding that Gretchen take the ball out of the pack and throw it for her, but we had to take Woobie back home so there was not time for a game of fetch. Instead, we got to pose with the pumpkins and then later, after we’d dropped off Woobie, Alice and I posed by the library because frankly, when I think of the name Alice, I think of a dog who probably enjoys reading a good book!
After work, I got to go to agility class where the names of dogs could spawn a complete other blog from me — Caper, Ki, Kili, Spark, Jill, Altair — but my paws are tired from walking AND from jumping the jumps, weaving the poles, racing through the tunnels and chutes, and running up and down those ramps.
Have a good evening,