Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Introducing....My New Friend Oscar!

My partner and I recently adopted a dog, and he is not only the most amazing dog in the world, he is the cutest. We love him!

One of the first steps to becoming a new dog parent is choosing a proper name. Our little guy had already had several names. He was Maxwell at the shelter, Tucker right after the rescue we got him from pulled him from a shelter, then Hudson in his foster home when they realized the name Tucker didn't suit him well. Before Maxwell, he was called something else even. I don't know what, maybe Bob or Scruffy or Peanut. He was found wandering the streets when impounded by the shelter. He just barely made it out. He was pulled from the shelter dangerously close to the cut of for euthanasia. Thank goodness he made it out! It is only been four months, but he is already our best friend!

Our guy probably went two weeks or so before we finally settled on a name. Here was our criteria:
  • An old man human name. ( our little dude is a border terrier mix, and border terriers have cute old man faces.)
  • A name you could shorten with an 'ie' or 'y'.
That was really it. Despite the short criteria list, it feels like a huge responsibility to name a creature. We didn't want to choose the wrong name and have him go his entire life being called something that didn't even suit his personality at all! 

We had a huge list going. I wrote it in a little book with dogs on the cover. One day early on in our parentage of our little dude, I found him merrily chewing on my notebook! This is how I discovered he has a penchant for chewing. But when I looked at the mangled sheet with his potential names, it is hard not to feel a jolt of suspicion..does my new buddy hate all his potential names??

We had many top runners for names. One of my favorites was Douglass Fur. But, would the pun of fur instead of fir get old and eventually grating, was it too precious and not full of the dignity and gravity that a scruffy faced darling deserves? Another top choice was Roger, but the poor guy would surely start being called Rogey in no time, which isn't a charming nickname at all. We considered Walter, but I already know a dog named Walter. The Walter I know has such a strong personality, he has fully encompassed his name the way Cher has with hers. No one else can be Walter. We considered Harvey, Henry, Gulliver, Holiday, Stewart, Huckleberry and Charlie. We considered names we would have never really named him, like Cassius and Coriander.

We had crossed many names off our list and had our top five. One day I got a text from David saying "I'm leaning toward Oscar. We can call him Ozzie for short." Oscar was one of our top five names. At the point I got the text, I was so tired of our little dude being nameless, I said "let's do it!" It seemed irresponsible to make the little dude wander through the world for so long without a name to buoy him to his new life. He was no longer that nameless dog found wandering the streets of California. He was our little guy. He had a home, a family and he needed that name to fully tie him to us. David probably could have written "I'm leaning toward Sir Lancelot Furrington Scruff Face McGoo' and I would have jumped on it at that point. Besides, we thought if we didn't like it, we could always change it. People do that!

We took him to his first vet appointment under our care and wrote 'Oscar' on the paperwork. We went to our local pet supply store and made him a little bone tag with our phone number and the name "Oscar" proudly etched in the gold bone.

One day, shortly after he got his name, Oscar and I were on a walk together. At a stop light, Oscar looked up at the man waiting for the light to turn next to us. The man said "what a friendly dog. He is smiling at me! What is his name?"

Every other time a stranger had asked me this I had to awkwardly explain that I just adopted him. Our Oscar though, was settling right into his new name.

I said "Oscar!" It was the first time I had declared his name without hesitation, without the explanation that we just started calling him that and aren't a hundred percent sure we will keep it.

The man smiled down at my little dog and said "Hello Oscar!"

Like most names, Oscar has meaning different meanings attributed to it. One meaning is 'deer friend.' But in my heart, he is not a deer friend, he is a dear friend! 

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