Manly Milestones and Canine Conundrums

People!  I never thought it would be so difficult to name a dog!  I didn’t have half this much difficulty picking names for my children.  What is up?

But first, let’s talk little boys and their manly milestones.

About a week ago Tank Boy made a monumental discovery:  he is now tall enough to go potty “like a daddy.”  The many, many, many people who find my blog using the search terms “squatting on the potty” or “potty squat” or “little boy squatting on potty” will be disappointed to know that Tank Boy’s potty squatting days are officially over. 

Those who have found my blog searching for “pictures of little boy squatting on the potty” are used to the disappointment.  Pervs.

So for the past week now Tank Boy has been going potty like a daddy and telling us about it every time.  Yesterday I took him grocery shopping with me and he felt the need to talk about it publicly.  Loudly.

Alas, my little boy is growing up and he is so proud of himself.  I’m proud of him, too.  Now McH just needs to teach him how to write his name in all this snow, and my mommy heart will explode.

Amidst all this pride I did think to have a little conversation with him about the fact that even daddy’s sit on the potty for certain things.  Luckily he got that.  Now I just need to have the first of what will undoubtedly be many conversation with him about putting the seat down when he is finished.

Now for a little pup-date:

She has already figured out that pottying (see, this post has a theme) is the thing to do when she is outside.  She has also already figured out to ring the little jingle bells hanging from the doorknob when she wants to go out.  Now she just needs to figure out that every time she needs to potty is a time she should want to go out.  Luckily she has been confining her occasional indoor business to non-carpeted areas.

But people!  The naming!

Little aside:

We have the t.v. on so the kids can watch the inauguration while they do school, and my oldest child is making me feel Old.

Her:  Mom, they said that’s Sandra Day O’Connor.

Me:  Yes.

Her:  Wasn’t she born in the 1800s???????

Her:  Mom, who is that?

Me:  Jimmy Carter.

Her:  He’s still alive???????

Me:  Yes.

Her:  When was he president?

Me:  He was elected when I was in kindergarten.

The eyes of my three oldest children bugged straight out of their heads and rolled across the table upon hearing that a man who was president when I was six is still alive.  Impossible!

Her:  Yo-Yo Ma?  They just said Yo-Yo Ma is going to play.  He’s not dead yet???????

Me:  *whimper*

What the hell?  I thought this woman was supposed to be reading an original poem.  As if the poetry wasn’t pure suckitude in and of itself, her reading of it is rather stilted and tedious.  At least nobody is asking me why she isn’t dead yet.  Though after listening to that I’m now wondering how it is I’m not.

Anyway, the dog naming!  Harder than listening to that woman’s poem, I tell you.

I appreciate everyone’s input.  Lawmommy suggested Tonks, which is a name McH and I had already considered (though I didn’t put it on my list in the last post).  I agree, she looks like a Tonks.  Except Tonks was all into turning her hair pink and purple and whatnot, so the black fur just seemed too . . . black.

I love, love, love Melissa’s suggestion of Sylvie, and when I looked it up for meanings I found that Rhea Sylvia was the biological mother of Romulus and Remus who were then raised by wolves, so it even has a dog connection.  I almost emailed to tell her she’d won 25 points, my undying devotion, and a month’s worth of blog linkage.

But then I changed my mind.

Because I really, really like Melly.  I decided if I was going to give her a name with the long e sound at the end (something I have unintentionally done to most of my children – it sounds like I’m announcing a cheerleading squad when I introduce them to people – so I was trying to avoid the trend with my dog) I might as well stick with my original choice.  I mean, so what if McH calls her Smelly Melly?  I call his dog Rude the Dog and Jake the Mistake all the time.

But still . . . there was that long e sound at the end.

I kept tossing Alice back and forth in my mind (and I think it won the popular vote on the last blog post), but somehow it just doesn’t seem to fit her.

So then I thought Maybe I’d name her Fifinella and call her Nella.  Stick with me here people, this is good (meaning you are going to think I’ve totally lost my marbles).

You see, in Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester has a Newfoundland dog named Pilot.  In WWII the WASPs (meaning Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, not White Anglo-Saxon Protestants) adopted Fifinella as their official mascot.  Fifinella is a gremlin in a story by Roald Dahl called The Gremlins, and she was designed into a cartoon by Walt Disney for a possible movie that apparently never came to be.  The WASPs wore Fifinella patches on their flight jackets and whatnot.  Furthermore, Mr. Dahl got the name Fifinella from a horse that won some big races the year he was born.  So, there was the whole Pilot connection, female connection, and the horse connection, which is appropriate since she will be a horse of a dog when she is grown.

But then there was the scent issue gain.  “Ooooo!  I think I smella Nella!”  And?  I just know there are certain people who would call her nothing but Salmonella.

But I really liked Nella because it sounded a lot like Melly, so I finally decided to just go back to Melly.  A veterinarian appointment was even made for her under the name of Melly.  Then?  As McH was loading all the dogs into the Suburban for said appointment?  He did that nose wrinkle thing that people do when they realize they have accidentally eaten tripe, or when they don’t like the name you have chosen for your dog.

“Melly?  Really?” he said.

So, since she was on her way to the vet, where medical records would be established, I had to make a final decision.

As we know, today is an historic day.  So, on the eve of this day, when I was feeling pressured to make a final decision, I decided to pick a name that would mark this moment in history and reflect my feelings about it all.  I named my dog after my favorite female capitalist literary character; a woman who fought against the notion that the rest of the nation should be able to live off of her hard work and success without contributing anything more than the effort it takes to hold out their hand; a woman who had the strength to go against her hard working nature and make the horrific decision to step down, step back, and stop letting the rest of society use her and the few others like her as a foundation for their entitled ideals and way of life; an Atlas who realized the world would never be a better place unless she had the strength to shrug.

So my sweet little puppy’s name is Dagny – a big name for a soon-to-be big dog.

If you voted for that one, you get 20 points.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is dusting off his copy of Atlas Shrugged for a re-read.

11 thoughts on “Manly Milestones and Canine Conundrums

  1. I like the name Dagny. I wish I had trained our dog using the bell thing. She just uses a pointed look which my husband always ignores. The bell would at least get annoying after a while & he’d have to get up to let her out.

    I thought the poet was awful too! At first I thought she was nervous or maybe it’s supposed to be read that way. Then I just gave up because who needs non-rhyming poetry anyway?


  2. metaphase

    Yay! Dagny is my favorite, too. I think she would have been smelly Melly for all her days

    I thought maybe I just wasn’t “getting” that poet or something. Glad to know I’m not alone.


  3. Heh. This reminds me of when my dad named our new puppy Newt to spite the very politically liberal man who left him on our doorstep (which he did to play a joke on my dad, who really really really didn’t want to get his kids a dog.)


  4. Christina

    I like the name Dagny. And totally love that it has a literary AND political connection, all in one.
    Question: how does one convince a dog to ring a bell? Cuz wow would that be a great thing to teach the little black mutt…


  5. What an awesome post! Yeah, that poem was…what the heck WAS that?!?! And how about that benediction? WOW, our new president sure knows how to pick ’em.

    Dagny is PERFECT and very appropriate. And you’ve inspired me to read Atlas Shrugged. Despite being an avid reader, I have never read it. I think now is the time!


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