Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A Name By Any Other Name
Saz asked how Daily got her name, so I thought I’d tell you. It’s an unusual name, I know, but that’s what happens when you get a retired show dog.
Daily’s full name was Champion Menlo Cobblebrook Daily News, or Daily for short. I always said that she was perfectly named because every day we wondered why we waited so long to get a dog. Obviously, we were waiting for this dog.
I have this fear of responsibility. I’m serious, it’s a real problem. Al surprised me with a bassett hound puppy when we were first married, but it was just too hard being on the third floor apartment for the poor thing to go outside and do his business. So, we gave him to Al's parents, and I felt like a failure as a doggie mom. It was years before I felt like I was ready to try again.
We spent those years watching dog shows, reading about dogs, dreaming about dogs, and playing with other people’s dogs. Then everything just fell into place. We decided that a Petite Bassett Griffon Vendeen seemed like a great dog and started looking around for one. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a breeder just 20 minutes down the road from Al’s hometown. Fate! So, we called and asked if we could come by and see the dogs, since we had never seen one in person, or in dogness, or live, or whatever, we wanted to see a real PBGV.
Cynthia had several adults and no puppies, which was fine because we didn’t want a puppy. We stood in the backyard while the dogs ran up to greet us, happy to be out of the kennel. And the cutest one (Daily, of course) ran up to say hello, then sat near us while everyone else ran around like crazy. Then she crawled on her belly over to us and we pet her a little more, then she had had enough, so she went up and sat by her kennel, ready to go back in. So calm, so independent, and so darn cute.
Cynthia said that Daily was a retired champion and they were looking for a home where she could just be a pet. Her career was cut short because she got into a fight with her kennel mates and they chewed her ear up. The vet, for some reason, took off her entire ear flap. So, Daily’s right ear looked like a human ear lobe. But with all that hair on and around her face, you couldn’t tell. She had one litter of puppies, but there was a recessive gene and only one puppy survived. Cynthia said it was just too hard on Daily and her to try to have puppies again.
When we decided Daily was the one, we went through an interview with Cynthia. It was double sided, I wanted to know she was a responsible breeder and she wanted to know if I was going to be a responsible dog owner. I already knew she was a good breeder because she had repossessed a puppy (Daily’s puppy, actually) that she didn’t think was being treated right, plus we joked and laughed about how she spent more money on and building the kennel than her house. We paid to have Daily fixed and update her shots, and that’s it—she was ours.
We got all the doggie stuff together and went to pick her up. Daily was roaming around the house, and Cynthia was trying not to cry. She kept asking Daily, “Where’s your ear?” and we were taken aback. That seemed a little callous for this woman, but then we realized she meant pig’s ear. She had given Daily a pig’s ear. Al thought that was pretty funny, so he spent a lot of time after that asking Daily, “Where’s your ear?” She would just cock her head and look at him like he was an idiot.
We got home (a 10-hour drive), Daily walked around her new home, and huffed at her reflection in the sliding glass door. She quickly found her new bed and her food and water bowls. There was a lot of adjusting ahead, but that’s a story for another day.