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Naming of the Dog

by Vicky Chapman, NSW, Australia


David Yehudah asked:

"One (?) thing about your family seems odd to me; doesn't it strike you as the least bit unusual that a grown man would call his dog "Fluffy"?"

Well, yes, now you mention it, it is odd, but then again, Joel has never claimed to be sane.

Not that Joel actually named Fluffy. She named herself. There we were on the first night, puppy being cute and adorable, trying to come up with a name. I'm sure that pet shops dope the food they give the captors, because for the first 48 hours, the puppy was docile and loving and as sweet as pie. Mostly, she slept, mostly on Joel. We weren't really planning on getting a dog just then (Fluffy was purchased in a moment of classic puppy-dog-eyes induced weakness) so we hadn't planned any names.

So we sat in the lounge, taking turns to adore this cute little creature, trying out names. I wanted to call her "Willow" but Joel really, really doesn't like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, so he vetoed it. ("Buffy" was certainly out of the question). I refused to go with "Fang" as this cute, harmless little bundle hardly looked the vicious type, and I'm absolutely certain that the name of someone reflects their personality (just look at Shmoggleberry for an example).

We couldn't really agree, and we spent two days trying names out names on her. Joel was going for the more traditional dog names of "Fido", "Rex" and of all things, "Ghengis", while I was going for TV characters "Delenn", "Kosh", "Dharma" etc. Nothing was working. On the second night, by mutual agreement, we decided we'd go for anything that she'd answer to.

All sorts of names were being tried out. Ridiculous ones, normal (human) girls names, traditional doggy ones, random syllables thrown together ones. I tried, out of desperation "Fluffy". After lying on the carpet half asleep for more than an hour, the puppy's ears perked up, she got up, and came over to lick me to death. I thought it was a coincidence and both of us kept going with the barrage of various names.

I tried "Fluffy" again several minutes later, and got exactly the same reaction as before. Joel said "You can't call her 'Fluffy'" and the puppy went over to him and the sound of the word. "Not 'Fluffy'," he moaned, "Oh God, not 'Fluffy'", and each an every time he mentioned the word, the dog would do something that looked like she recognised her name. "Come here, Fluffy" I cajoled, and she bounded right over, clearly recognising her true name.

The weird thing is, it suits her. If she was human, she'd be a blonde. She's terribly enthusiastic and full of beans, but not real bright, and has absolutely no vicious streak in her whatsoever. If we did ever get burgled, we'd probably find her further under the bed than the cat. But we love her regardless, and think that "Fluffy" is the perfect name, despite the fact she has a short, wirey coat. Then again, if you consider what the cat has to put up with as a name, the name "Fluffy" is fairly normal, all things considered.


Editor's note:

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