The Dog List
Walk your dog with me this day. First let’s take this little cul de sac, I have just the right words to go the distance.
My email in-box was full but one subject-matter caught my interest right away. It contained my granddaughter’s name, Chelsea. It became priority mail. Click.
“To Friends of Chelsea”. Well, I’m more than a friend, but go on. “We are saddened to tell you that Chelsea passed away today about noon.” My heart was racing, my head shaking ‘no’. Where is this coming from? Next door neighbor. How can they be telling me this? It cannot be my Chelsea. Wait a minute. Think clearly here, calmly. Give them a call. Thank you, God, it is, or was, their dog!
Okay back on the dog-trot, for my words-along-the-way.
My dog list includes: Daisy, Blackie, and Rex; my kids had Muffet, Zach, Katie and Katie II. A couple of those names could double for fellow human beings. Really, all of them qualify. That’s the way we Americans do it.
Your brother-in-law is Max? So’s my dog. Molly? That’s my daughter’s name. We may think ‘I really don’t care for your dog having the same name as my daughter’. But we don’t take it to congress for a new law. But this would not happen in France. (Not that they had an act of congress, this is just tradition. No, it is TRADITION.) One does not give the dog a here-Charly-name.
In fact there is a formula and a list that is consulted when a new puppy joins one’s family. In 2010 all puppies in France will have a name that starts with the letter F. So Fido is back. (I checked the list, Fido is on there.) The F signifies the year of his birth. So if you have Boomer he was born in 2006. There probably aren’t too many Galileo’s around, he’d be 19 years old.
Yes, the alphabet has 26 letters, but six of them have been axed because of the difficulty of providing enough names for that year. MIA: K, Q, W, X, Y, Z. So the same letter comes around every 20 years. Foreign words are on the list, along with historical figures such as Shakespeare, Newton, cities, cars, and words that don’t mean a thing to a Frenchman like Flunk and Foko and Fuzzy.
I became personally acquainted with a little white fluffy dog named Rusty who barked in French. I asked why ‘Rusty’, when he definitely is not, and that is how I heard of the name list. Rusty just had a good sound to it. Do the math? Yes,Rusty is ten years old.