There’s a challenge floating around social media to tell your naming story.  Since each girl joined us in the midst of family changes, I’d like to share their stories.

NewfGirlsWeb-85Maisie: My daughter had just gone off to college, and we had our two senior dogs Bailey (10 1/2- year-old Newfoundland) and Charlie (13-year-old Newfoundland Labrador mix). Charlie had been diagnosed with a large abdominal tumor and we knew he had limited time but Bailey was still in very good health.  I thought Bailey would be a great big sister to a new puppy, however the week before we picked up our new puppy Bailey took a turn and suddenly passed away.  We brought home this little bundle and poor Charlie wasn’t feeling well.  He passed away 1 week later.  Suddenly we went from 2 senior dogs to 1 young puppy.  We were starting over again and I kept thinking back to when Bailey was a puppy and my kids were little.  My daughter is an avid reader and we both shared our love of books and read together a lot, especially at bedtime.  One of our favorites was Daisy Head Maisie and it seemed like a perfect name for our little brown girl.

NewfGirlsWeb-14Annie: My son had just gone off to college and I was feeling the quietness of the empty nest.  I looked into Newfoundland Rescue and found Annie, who was still in foster care one year after her rescue. Annie was one of 44 Newfoundlands surrendered from a puppy mill in December of 2014.  The paperwork and records were spotty and all that we received for Annie was her 2014 Rabies certificate.  Her name was listed as Anne but Paris was handwritten next to it.  I don’t know why she had two names or even how it was known that this was her name but she has always responded to Annie not Paris.  Assuming this is correct, I found a listing for Paris on a Newfoundland registry with a birthdate of June 7 2006 so that is when we celebrate her birthday.  We call her Annie Bear, Sweet Annie and Annie McFanny.

NewfGirlsWeb-31Winn:  On January 2nd of this year my very healthy Dad was diagnosed with a large tumor on his liver.  I was with him in February for his radiation therapy that was supposed to give him 2-3 years.  I hoped at that time that there would be a puppy available for me once they were born, and that I would bring her with me when I returned for his 3 month follow-up appt.  I rushed back to his side on March 24th.  The litter had been born and I shared my news with him and any new pictures as I got them from her breeder.  As my family and I sat around him in the hospital, we shared lots of stories and memories and by far our favorite place was our lake house on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  Dad loved his boat and my spot was always on the left side of the bow.  Whenever he felt like going for a spin, I eagerly joined him and we would tour around the lake.  I told him I would be naming her Winn and that made him smile.  Unfortunately, he didn’t live long enough to meet her but to honor him and those happy memories I decided her registered name should be Bearfoot in the Bow.

I know this post ends on a bit of a sad note, but Winn exudes so much joy and her antics bring me laughter when I need it most. It’s impossible to be sad when she is around.

I would love to hear from all of you with your naming stories, human or 4 legged!

14 thoughts on “#howigotmyname”

  1. Lovey to hear how your girls got their names. None of the rescue dogs we adopted over the years responded to their names. Two of them were strays and named by rescue staff. The other four were handed in by previous owners without any paperwork and names they did not appear to recognise. When we first met them we looked into their eyes and a name would come to us which we felt suited their spirit. They all instantly responded to their new names and associated them with their new lives ☺

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  2. Love Winn’s story. I’m sure your dad is smiling down at her. Our stories? Well, Sam was named Brians’ Yosemite Sam on his papers and his owners called him Sam. I wasn’t fond of it but kept it. Now I can’t imagine calling him anything but. Except if you don’t count, Doofus. LOL
    Elsa was a puppy mill survivor whose owner passed away. The shelter who initially took her and the other 7 dogs named her Tanaka or something along those lines. She, along with the 3 other females were then transferred to the Poodle Rescue of the Rockies. They were in such rough shape, they were called Hope, Faith, Charity and Love. Elsa was Love. Love didn’t appeal to me and because poodles originally came from Germany (as did I), I wanted a name that reflected our ‘heritage.’ Elsa means noble and was also the name of my strong willed great aunt. Seemed like the perfect name for her. Sometimes I refer to her as Missy or Lady May from the PBS series, Mr. Selfridge, quite the character herself.

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  3. Loved the stories, though of course Winn’s is sad….but I smiled when I got to the Barefoot in the Bow part. And so memories of your Dad must bring you smiles too, as does Winn and Annie and Maisie. They are all beautiful names. Katie was named after a dog my husband had when he was a boy. But of course she thinks she is the only Princess Katie on earth. We let her live the dream.

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  4. I enjoyed reading all of your naming stories. Our dogs play such important roles in our lives. The last story touched me as I am going through my own challenges with aging parents. At 82 years of age, my dad is determined to make one last trip from Vancouver Island, B.C. to Labrador in August to see his girls – Bailey & me! I am keeping my fingers crossed that his health holds up to get here.


  5. as always, wonderful stories by you! winn’s story was sad but “bearfoot in the bow” turned it all around, it’s an beautiful tribute to your dad.

    sammy’s naming story is goofy and a reflection of my oddball sense of humor. i looked down at him in the pen at the shelter and realized he only had one eye, the poor love! well, adam sandler’s “thanksgiving song” popped into my head “…sammy davis jr. only had one eye, turkey for the girls, turkey for the boys.” which made me laugh. so, when erik came up to see who i was canoodling with i said “i want HIM, his name is sammy davis!” you have to be a certain age to even get the joke…

    (first owner had named him Grizzly, second owner had named him Maximus) nicknames: sam-boni (hockey season) and bubba!

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