Friday, September 2, 2011

What NOT to Name Your New Puppy

            “You have to stop calling him Little Turd!”

            “He IS a little turd,” Alex responded, giving the puppy he was holding an affectionate squeeze.

            “No, he’s not,” I insisted.

            “You just finished cleaning up a whole bunch of little turds in the dining room,” Alex pointed out.

            I eyed the puppy with disapproval. Unfortunately, he was so darn cute that I had trouble keeping my face stern. “I admit that we’re still working on the whole housebreaking thing. If you had taken him right outside when you got home from school, I wouldn’t have had to clean up anything.”

            “Don’t try to blame the little turds on me. I didn’t leave them there. Little Turd did.”

            That was undeniably true. “You still have to stop calling him Little Turd. He’s starting to think that Little Turd is his name.”

            Alex laughed, kissed the curly hair on the top of the puppy’s head, and gently put him on the floor. “No, he’s not. Watch.”

            He headed for the stairs. “Come, Wreck,” he said, gesturing to the puppy. Wreck sat down and scratched his ear with his hind paw.

            “That’s great, Alex.” I hid a smile.

            Alex muttered under his breath. The only part I could actually hear was “such a little turd.”

            The puppy’s ears perked up. He stood up and stared intently at Alex.

            “Come, Little Turd,” Alex sighed. Wreck trotted over to him and draped himself across one of Alex’s shoes. The puppy gazed up at him adoringly.

            “Now will you stop calling him Little Turd?” I asked.

            “I guess so,” Alex decided reluctantly. He bent down and picked up Wreck. “But I still think he’s a little turd.”

            Wreck happily licked Alex’s cheek. He obviously didn’t care what Alex called him as long as he could be near him.

            Apparently, I was the only one who cared. I did not want to call my dog Little Turd for the next 14 or 15 years. I would take on the challenge of retraining both the boy and his puppy. I would win this one.

            Wouldn’t I?