O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other name would smell as sweet..
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
Opie has more than one name in our house. This is not surprising. We all have many names. For example, I am Mom, Mama, Mommy, Josette, Honey, sweetie, and of course, WOMAN!!! As you can imagine, each of these names is evoked in a different situation. The person using the name is usually in a distinct emotional state when using it. Opie has different names as well. What follows is a list of his names and the situations which warrant each use.
Opie — Default name. He is referred to in casual conversation by this name.
OPIE! – He’s being called for some reason. Here are some possible reasons:
- He’s on the couch trying to bury his bully stick
- He’s got Dad’s cargo shorts in his mouth and Dad isn’t in them.
- He’s barking at a critter in the backyard after midnight.
- He’s knocked out the screen to get at the critter and bolted into the dark backyard after it.
- He’s pulled the leash out of my hand in an effort to “climb” a tree to get at a squirrel.
DICKENS DAWG! – My husband calls him this when he’s being a little Dickens and a rascally little fellow.
I’ve always wondered how that term evolved. Charles Dickens is the only Dickens I can think of, but it seems odd to call evoke his name when calling someone a rascally mischievous character. He certainly has some rascally characters in his novels. The “Artful Dodger” comes to mind as well as Fagan from Oliver Twist and Uriah Heep, the disgustingly “‘umble” character in Great Expectations. Somehow, the use of the term “Dickens” to denote a rascally type fellow does not connect that well for me. Wouldn’t it be more logical to have developed specific references to the characters in our popular culture rather than to their author? I can easily see calling Opie, you little “Dodger,” and saying, ” Don’t give me those “Uriah Heep” eyes!
If I make a reference to Cujo, you will immediately know I m referring to the vicious dog in a Stephen King novel of the same name. If I say a dog sounded like the “Hound of the Baskervilles,” you may not have read that particular Sherlock Holmes story, but it sounds creepy and mysterious, right? You don’t refer to a vicious dog as a little Stephen King or as a scary sounding dog as an Arthur Conan Doyle dog. We refer to them by their character names. Cujo and The Hound! It just doesn’t make sense. Okay, I digressed.
Honey Dawg — obviously, this is when he’s being sweet, nuzzling in for a pet, flipping over for a belly rub and showing his puppy adoration. We call him this because it just feels right!
Crazy Nut Dog! — This name is invoked when his squirrel frenzy will not make him mind!
Moron Dog — He’s usually done something stupid which has exasperated us — tied himself up in his leash, stepped in his water bowl and caused it to spill all over the kitchen floor, or worse yet stepped in another dog’s poo at the dog park, or gotten himself “marked” when he was smelling some dog’s underbelly while said dog was marking a pole. He got “baptised” today by Poppy, one of his little buddies.
Stink Dog — Well, I don’t really have to explain that do I?
Mama’s baby — When he’s the only sweet child in the house. He hasn’t forgotten his homework, had a tantrum, hit his brother, refused to do his chores or complained about the laundry not being done and not noticed that you are wearing a new outfit and feel a little fragile. Mama’s Baby always knows just when to come and sit on your foot and look up at you and lick your knee. Mama’s baby knows just when a little doggy adoration is just what is needed.
And so those are the many names of Opie! He’s clearly a multi faceted dog.