Sunday, September 8, 2013

comments on dogs

Some people maintain it is anthropomorphic foolish sentimentality to suggest dogs smile. Many believe dogs do: the jaw drops, the tongue relaxes, the eyes look up, the dog puffs a little air out, he sits and looks most contented. A happy dog is he. In an aged (even one blind with cataracts) dog one sees grizzled weariness but often the same smile.  Anyone with some observational ability, who has been around hounds must see they have emotions.

Dogs are social animals. In a dog's mind the species distinction with people is a bit ambiguous.


Years ago, i picked up one of the new light books that came in the library (remember that depository of socialism). It was on naming dogs. I had been struck by the fashion, in the US, perhaps elsewhere, upon giving Christian names to pets, and idiotic 'unique' names to children. First of all, your originality, and uniqueness gets old quick; secondly so you want to experiment with that on your own human child?

Yesterday [3 September], i was in Berea, an older man was fishing, and he struck up a conversation with me. He introduced himself by his first name, then i told to him that is my name [really a cognate] too. Now, that was a statistical co-incidence. Now, say you are walking and all of a sudden you hear someone call out your name. A voice calls out, "Cindy, or George, or whatever your given name is". You turn around, and you see that they were calling for their dog. Depending on you, that might be humourous, or embarrassing, or insulting.
'the unenlightened one'
Now, there are names people give to children that are insipid. They will be ridiculed, or if this is 'racial' they may suffer discrimination negatively; names, i would be embarrassed for a dog to carry. But, to-day if you name your dog one of the many variants of Mahomet, you are risking your life. I know of a dog named 'Buddha', i call him 'the unenlightened one'. There is no problem about Buddha the pit bull's moniker. I doubt, a serious Buddhist would be enraged over the naming.

Now, this canine Buddha is far from enlightenment. He is about a year old, and he was rescued from the streets. There are problems with his socialisation. He is fine amidst the company of fellow hounds; he is not in the company of children, and large men. Evidence suggests he was abused. He may have been a runt in the litter, and discharged from human ownership.

Buddha is skittish, and overly alert. He is fearful. He will attack, and then retreat. He has been gelded, still there are fighter instincts. It would be good for all, if this Buddha obtains some enlightenment, at least; if not his continuing existence is perilous.


Now, some names are perfectly fine that are 'foreign' sounding, they are not odd, they are just unfamiliar to you. I saw a list of baby names, and 'Nevaeh' came up. What?  Heaven backwards, alright for your pet, but stooopid for your child.

There are traditional doggy names, e.g.'Fido', 'Rex', 'King', 'Queenie', that have fallen out of fashion. Culturally, we have this too. For example, amongst Jugoslavs who had to put up with Teutonic and Turkic hegemony, names such as 'Baron', 'Prinz', 'Mirza', 'Sultan', 'Turk' were common at one time. They also named dogs after pagan gods, Perun, Zeus, Ogan, Venus, et cetera. I made a prospective list: Iskra (Spark), Peabody (after the cartoon, and think about it 'p-body'). O.k. 'Shakespeare' is a famous human's surname, it is not a given name, and i can write it phonetically 'S(with a thingy on top)-e-k-s-p-i-r'.

Perhaps, one wants to give a name that agrees with the name of the breed. French poodles were often named Fifi. A scottish terrier might be named: Bonnie Dundee, Nessie, Angus, Killecrankie, Braveheart, MacTavish. A great dane might be named Hamlet, if he came from a small town.

1 comment:

  1. it is fun to see what people name their dogs - our new neighbors have two cute little dogs one is named JAMESON and the other is named TULLAMORE, and they call her tully for short. i guess it is easy to see what floats these folks boat!!

    the dogs in my family (both beautiful, sweet pits by the way) are named dixie and hawkeye, their older "brother" also a pit, recently passed over the rainbow bridge and his name was elvis!

    i have three cats - merton, kitsuni and puck! i choose the names to reflect their personality or in the case of kitsune what he looks like..