Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Naming of Dogs

Naming one dog is pretty easy. I like to use names with easily recognizable two-syllable calls, and one-syllable attention-getters. Vowel sounds are very important, dogs aren't great at telling consonants apart. Neither am I, sometimes I can see a person's mouth making one sound while I still here a different one. For me, it's called an auditory processing disorder. For the dogs, it's perfectly normal.

Brisbane and Sisci
Photo by Erin Koski
Brisbane's name is pronounced 'briz-BAIN', because I am an uncultured American. Also because it's a really easy sound to shout very loudly. I call him Brizzy or Mr. Bane for fun, and just Briz when I need to get his attention to give him a command. He is very tuned into that 'short i' sound.

Ru is pronounced 'roo' like 'kangaroo', but I decided to spell it weird because I didn't want a stupid little Winnie the Pooh dog. Turns out spelling had nothing to do with it, and he was a stupid little Winnie the Pooh dog all along. I call Ru with repeating vowel sounds, "Rurururururururururu!" He actually comes to any repetitive sound though, "bababababa!" "kikikikikikiki!"

Sisci came with her name, and it's a good one. Names that end with an -ee sound are great for shouting over long distances, and easy for dogs to recognize. The only problem is that I end up calling her 'Sis' for short. This is a great attention-getting sound. "Sis, come!" "Sis, up!"

What's wrong with "Sis"? It uses the same 'short i' sound as "Briz". Now my cattledogs have no idea who I'm talking to unless I say their entire name. Brisbane knows he's "short i, long a", Sisci knows she's "short i, long e", neither of them can tell the difference when I use their abbreviated names.

The solution for this is clearly to rename Sisci. I've always planned on calling her Godzilla, I just need to work on making it stick. She already recognizes this as a name, so it's really just a matter of habit for me.

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