We all ask our parents the reason they chose our given name. It is interesting, even if we are not fond of our name, we rarely change our parent’s decision. Maybe that is why we are so adamant that we decide the name our grandchildren call us. Finally, we have the choice to choose our name, our identity.
And speaking of choosing a name, as you all know, I was recently faced with naming our new pooch! Of course, there is a story. Like most of you, I deliberated and deliberated about a name for our new Wheaten Terrier. I wanted a female and had chosen the name Tulip. The name made me smile, and the story behind the choice of the name was loving.
My ultimate concierge and I decided, after the devastating loss of Orchid, that our home was not a home until we had a pooch. We knew precisely our choice of breed and sex, and I never anticipated that I would be unable to get a female Wheaten.
On my way home late one afternoon, I stopped in at my favorite little flower shop in the Drake Hotel. I wanted to buy a bouquet of tulips, for my mom. Walking home, I passed several dog owners walking their pets, and my thoughts turned to the naming of our new pooch.
Looking down on the bouquet of many colored tulips, I felt uplifted by the gorgeous array of color, and in an instant, I said to myself, “Her name will be, Tulip.” I couldn’t wait to tell my mom and my ultimate concierge. My mom loved the tulips and the name. My ultimate concierge seemed happy, too.
As luck would have it, and I mean that sincerely, I was unable, after hours of searching, to find a female Wheaten. Our only chance was a male, and after deliberating, we decided it was for the best. Bringing the opposite sex home would be easier emotionally. However, little did I know, naming the new puppy would be taxing.
My Initial Ideas
Having lived many of my adult years in Honolulu, I was sure I wanted a Hawaiian name for our new pooch. I also wanted to honor Orchid. I loved the sea, and after much deliberation, I decided on the name Kai-o. Little did I know how hard the name would be for others to pronounce. My ultimate concierge continued to say Kyle and people in our building said, “What? Could you say the name, again.”
On our first morning walk, I decided to change his given name to Kai. The O would be his middle initial. I kept saying Kai, Kai, Kai to myself and it did not flow. I loved Kai-O because it had two syllables.
As I entered the park with little Kai, a woman with a large white dog approached asking me the breed. I, in turn, asked her the name of her pooch.
She said, “Payton.”
“Did you name your dog after the athlete, Walter Payton?” I asked.
“She responded with, “Yes.”
“Oh,” I said, “I had a Doberman named General George Patton, and we called him, Patton.”
We parted, and little Kai and I continued our walk. My mind drifted between thinking of doggie names and saying, “Go pee!” to Kai.
Third Time’s the Charm
My mind returned to famous Americans. I thought to myself: Payton, Patton, Washington, Edison, Lincoln and a myriad of other artists, poets, athletes, scholars, and on and on. “OMG,” I thought to myself, “America, has so many heroes.”
Kai finally peed. I smiled, patted him and said, several times, “Good boy.” We continued our walk, and I continued thinking about names.
My mind would not stray away from the name America and how much I love this country. I could not stop thinking about how proud I am of our forefathers and how proud I am to say to the words, “I am an American.”
America It Is!
And then it hit me! Our new Wheaten pooch would carry the name of my country, America! His name would represent all the male and female heroes, all Americans who made this land what it is today… from sea to shining sea.
I bent down and picked up all twelve pounds of our little pooch; hugged him to me and said, “America, I love you.” And, darlings, I meant it in more ways than one.
I knew people would wonder, why the name, America? However, I cared not one bit because I feel joyful each time I say it. Some young people hug me, some people stare at me and say nothing and others are bewildered, but smile.
My ultimate concierge loves the name though, and when I mentioned, America, he stared at me for a few seconds before commenting. “One of my grandsons texted saying you choose a strong name.” Interesting comment, I thought.
I know each of you has a story behind the naming of your pet that provoke strong feelings.
In the past, I named Orchid because Orchids are my favorite flower, while I called our Doberman Patton because he was the General of our home. I named our cats Georgio, Princess Daisy, and Plumeria because one was a yellow Tabby and the color of my favorite perfume, another because the fur on the top of her head was in the shape of a crown and Plumeria because her tail was plumb-like and I love Plumeria Orchids.
I never dreamed I would name a pooch America, but I am glad I did.
What is Your Pet’s Name? I’d Love to Hear It!
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