People often ask me the name of our one-year-old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier puppy. I tell them, “His name is America!” They look a bit stunned and often smile while saying, “What a great name.” It seems appropriate with July 4th right around the corner to tell you how I unexpectedly named our puppy America after every American in this beautiful country.
Love does not touch the reasoning parts of our brain, it touches the dreamy part: our hearts. It is there that my Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, America Good, lives. After all, it is our heart that houses all of our loves, including the love of our country. My puppy America has stolen my heart. Similarly, my love for my country fills my heart with pride.
Walking in the Park
I named my dog America because of a conversation with a stranger. A woman approached me in the park, curious about America’s breed. After I told him to be polite, I asked her the name of her dog.
“My dog’s name is Payton” she mentioned.
“After Walter Payton?”
“Yes,” she answered.
“ I had a dog, Patton,” I said.
“After General Patton?” she inquired.
“Yes, he was a male Doberman, General George Patton. Patton for short.” I quipped, laughing.
“Oh! My husband would love that name,” she remarked.
After the short exchange, we said our goodbyes. My nameless puppy and I happily went on our way with my mind whirling and twirling with the question of what to name our dog.
Inspired by Our Conversation
I remember thinking to myself, “That woman and I each had a dog with an American hero’s name.” I liked that and asked myself, “Who made our country great?”
I stopped dead in my tracks and began saying American hero names out loud, “Payton, Patton, Edison, Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, Twain, Hemmingway, Jobs.”
Then I smiled and picked up my little nameless puppy and said to him with joy, “Every American, not solely one American, made America beautiful and great. Your name will be America, named after every single American that helped make our country the greatest country in the world. Your full name will be America O. Good.
I gave America a big kiss and said, “America, let’s hurry home to tell your daddy.”
Toasting to America
Darlings, I was so excited as I opened up the door to our apartment in the sky. I told Shelly, “I thought of a name I love, love, love for our new puppy! He will be known as America relating to him the story of how this name came to be.”
My ultimate concierge was taken aback and said, “America?”
“Don’t you love it?” I questioned.
Shelly was silent for the longest time. Then smiled and said, “Well every night at dinner we raise our glass to toast our country and say, ‘God Bless America’ so I think the name America is perfect.” He laughed and laughed and smiled and smiled. And so did I as I said to our puppy, “I love you so much, America.”
Dog Ownership: Why a Woman Should Consider a Furry Friend
I understand there are many reasons why a woman over 50 might hesitate to have a furry friend. In my mind, if you are toying with this idea, let me tell you the addition of a dog will be worthwhile. Of course, if you get a puppy, you will have to muddle through the peeing, pooping, chewing and misunderstood commands. You will have to climb out of bed in the early morning to walk the little darling and take your pooch out every few hours.
Countless women, both those with or without careers, say the best advice they can give every woman over 50 plus is to own a pet. Why? Because, darlings, after 50 the pluses win, hands down.
Half a Loaf Without America
My life without America Good would certainly be ‘half a loaf.’ As a woman over 50+, I am someone who does not settle. I want the whole loaf when it comes to my happiness and I work at it. I know my needs. Firstly, my home is where my heart is. It is filled with good energy, my loving, ultimate concierge, my family keepsakes, the stunning views outside our windows of Lake Michigan with the beautiful Chicago skyscape and last but not least, our puppy America. Our home would be ‘half a loaf’ without America O. Good. The O is for our beloved Wheaten, Orchid, who passed away on April 21, 2018.
Learning to Slow Down
Owning a dog is like raising a child. Both will be totally dependent on you for their entire life for food, exercise, health care and unconditional love. It is a wonderful feeling to be needed and to receive true love in return. Although I admit being a woman frazzled and dazzled with no extra time, taking a long walk, smelling the roses and taking my time to boil fresh chicken and rice and cooked carrots and hard-boiled eggs for America slows me down. I cannot explain how content I am when I am with America.
He drips with unconditional love. His mannerisms make me laugh out loud with gusto when he talks to me in doggie speak. He keeps me in stitches with his cheerful, lighthearted personality. When we take our walks, he stops to say hello to every dog and then wants to follow them. In the last several months, I have met more dog owners than I have met in eleven years walking Orchid! Thus, I have dubbed America ‘The Happy Mayor of Pearson Street.’ If there were presidential dog elections, America would win by hook or by crook. His good nature brings out joyful and positive vibes in my life.
Welcoming AJ Good to the World
I am writing my musings from Austin, Texas. My ultimate concierge and I are with all of our family because we welcomed in a new grandson, Austin James Good, better known as AJ Good. He weighed in at nine pounds, a true Texan. We watched our grandson and granddaughter ever so gently cradle AJ in their arms. Often I leaned over to my ultimate concierge and said, “I wish I could cradle America in my arms and hug him to me.” My ultimate concierge agreed, “I wish I could too.” And then, in unison, we both noted that we can hardly wait to get home to America.
America The Beautiful
With July 4th just two days away, my puppy’s name America has inspired me to write a few words about our great visionaries. It was because of all the men and women who crossed the sea that we formed our 13 colonies and achieved our independence. It was George Washington, a man with great character, who became our first President of the United States. The great Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which gave the United States of America its independence.
On July 4, 2019, I ask all of you to raise your glasses with family and friends and toast yourselves. It is because of you and your fellow Americans that we live in the greatest county in the world. Cheers from our entire family to all of you. And God Bless America.