I like words. Hanging the right moniker on a situation, experience or perception rubs my internal genie-lamp and makes it glow. My ideal career would be naming paint colors. Who does that and do they not realize how jealous I am? I cannot evaluate a color-sample without knowing its story. I could fall in love with a shade, just because it is well matched with an inspiring, imaginative or clever word. Words have colors and meaning and depth in my eyes.
In my sideline of fostering dogs, I am chagrined at how little import is given to naming them. It's true that rescuing them is most important and shelter staff carry a heavy load but can they no longer dream of aspirational and singular titles for these canines who are already so down on their luck? Maybe that, in itself, is the reason. How much harder to see a dog put to sleep if you've invested emotionally in matching him personally with an identity?
Foster homes often rename dogs that have come from shelters. If they've only had a name for a week, and no one knows anything about their past, then the family that takes them in has that prerogative. The future forever home can take the name with the dog or choose something meaningful for a fresh start. Within the email group at the core of the organization we sometimes have to refer to a dog as Sally/Nikki/Lady, or similar, so that everyone can follow who we're talking about, depending on when our lives intersected with this particular animal.
I've stayed away from naming any dogs, until Honor. I saw her no-name photo and it was Veterans Day so I asked, "if I foster her, may I name her Honor?". The animal shelter put that name on her paperwork and so did the vet. I took a couple of days to automatically get her name right as Brook and Emma kept spilling from my lips first. In hindsight and in view of her blond good looks, Monroe would also have worked. Now we'll save that for another blonde bombshell.
I do think we can have a naming resource on the rescue web site, so we get a few less Lassies and Laddies. People who've dreamed of a collie since they were kids can't seem to get past the movies. I'd be embarrassed to have a collie named Lassie, but that's just me and a loving home is a loving home, by any name.
Over the last week or two I've been jotting down potential dog names. Some are well worn, like Bonnie, but appropriate for a bonnie dog of Scottish heritage. Others, like Freedom, Liberty, Glory, Treasure and Promise are a nod to their past and hopes for their future. I'm going to roll out my compilation below, in no order whatsoever. If you have ideas to share, I'd love to see them and you can comment on anything, especially if you see that which could be misconstrued, or has a characteristic attached that is negative in any way.
Collies can be sable and white, like Lassie; Tricolor, black white and brown; Blue Merle, or mainly white, with color mostly on the head. They come in smooth (short) coats as well as the long and flowing and, of course, there are both boys and girls. Names can fit a young pup, a teenager or a more veteran rescue, as they come to us in many stages of life. Even those who reach us too late for much but the final, compassionate, rescue, deserve names.
Diva will be first, as she was First Collie for fourteen years, then Bonnie, Freedom, Liberty, Glory, Treasure, Promise, Rambler, Judge, Banner, Kestrel, Hawk, Falcon, Aspen, Dallas, Honey, Whisper, Merlin, Wizard, Pixie, Sixpence, Penny, Rain, River, Meadow, Kipling, Discovery, Topaz, Dirk, Soleil, Frenchie, Hollywood, Doon, Capri, Monroe, DaVinci, Picasso, Darwin, Monet, Matisse, Damson, Royal, Regal, Elsa, Adonis, Athena, Apollo, Jupiter, Zeus, Scout, Dewars, Drambuie, Connery, Wallace, Melodie, MacGregor, Countess, Duchess, Bramble, McTavish, Rainbow, Jewel, Barley, Balmoral, Toddy, Savoy, Carlton, Ritzy, Shandy, Peaches, Scarlet, Rhett, Tara, Gable, Player, Crusoe, Caruso, Rolex, Rover, Journey, Luna, Dreamer, Bardot, Ardent, Heathcliff, Drummer, Bedouin, Traveler, Memphis, Taylor, Bogart, Quest, Giver, Bandana, Bond, Phoenix ,Steinbeck, Twain, Forrest, Robbie, Diamond, Trooper, Dior, Fendi, Pilgrim, Hawthorne, Legend, Story, Oscar, Trophy, Tribute, Lord, Mystery, Magic, Charisma, Panache, Ghillie, Harmony, Gala, Bracken, Fern, Willow, Heather, Rowan, Keeper.....