Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Name Game - How Mabel Became Mabel

Frankie posted a great idea for the 4th of July and, as always, I'm a little late to the blog party! All the pups are telling how they got their names.

 I have to back up a few dogs to get to Mabel's name.  I was never one of those people who thought naming all your "kids" with the same initials was cute. I find it annoying... I mean there are 25 other perfectly good letters in the alphabet. Use them! But I seem to be stuck on the letter M in so many ways!

I always wanted two rottweilers and to name them Milly and Max. Their names came to me in a dream. I've never had a Max. After I got to know more about the breed... well, I just favor the girls.

I went to Rottie Rescue to get my girl. The rescue lady is one the most aggravating humans I've ever met. She asks MILLIONS of questions. What I didn't realize is...whatever dog she brings you, that's YOUR dog. Her questions allow her to match you with the characteristics of the dogs she has.

She brought out a dog named Missy. Missy was untrained and had been in rescue almost a year. I did NOT like her. I asked to see another dog...Medusa was brought out. She was highly trained in both German and English. Walked nicely on a leash and was a really sweet girl. She was bigger than I was comfortable with but I had lived around rotties and adored them and figured it would all be fine. I also learned that Milly had lived with an infant and that she ran away. Despite her owners being contacted repeatedly, they failed to show up and claim her. I decided that the name Medusa was abusive and her name should change. Since Milly started with an M, I figured it would be easy to learn and that the name change would signal "forever home."

Milly died 2 1/2 months later very tragically ... I thought I had published that story here but I haven't. I was heartsick. I waited about five weeks and called rottie rescue again.

Maggie May
I was shocked that Missy had not been placed. Well, she had but they returned her claiming she "beat up" their male rott. In reality, the woman couldn't handle two. I learned that the rescue lady had kept Missy for so long because she was one of her very favorites...Imagine that! The rescue has 60 rotts at any given time and Missy was her favorite! I couldn't imagine why! She was a cry baby and not trained.  But I kept thinking about how long she'd been waiting for a forever home and even though I was so unsure, I knew this lady was not going to place Missy with just anyone. She was looking for someone who had experience with rotts and that was me.

While I had Milly, a guy friend from college had moved and asked me for decorating help. While spending the day helping him shop for everything from comforters to curtains, I stumbled across a NICE doggie bed on sale. It was cedar lined and had a nice furry top. I had seen them for $80 and up and this one was only $25. I paid for it, put it in the car and rejoined my friend. We made countless trips to my car that day with all the things my friend purchased. Finally on the way to the car for the last time, I noticed through the window that there was something on that bed. It had been embroidered with the name "Maggie." That's why it was on sale!

Still it was a good bed... but you know... Milly could READ!  So I turned the name to the wall and tossed the bed in the attic when Milly died. But now I had a Missy who's name did not fit her at all... So I got that bed out of the attic and turned the name out and let the girl curl up on it. And Maggie stuck.
Maggie, waiting for Trick or Treaters

Since I'm a Rod Stewart fan, naturally, May became her middle name. If you can stand a tearjerker, Maggie's story and how she saved my life is here.  She was always supposed to be my dog... and I would not be here without her. I only had Mags for six years before cancer took her and suddenly, for the first time ( and ONLY! I swear!!!), I thought a puppy would be the right way to go.

Mabel Lou
I had sworn off dogs. I was going to live on my own for a few years. That lasted exactly five weeks! I went to the pound hoping for a pup and found this rottie mix who favored tennis balls to me. She had been adopted so many times, she was on sale for $8, microchip and hysterectomy included! And her name was Midnight. Really??? What are people thinking when they name rottweilers???
 Mabel with her cousin, Huggy

I was determined not to go with another M. But I took this little brat home and she pooped in my car on the way and then I couldn't get her a bath because I didn't have proof of rabies vaccines.  So I had to drive 20 miles with her covered in poo! Not the best way to start. And then she chewed everything in site: remotes, the spines of books (a form of glue sniffing??), her beds.  Oy, she was exhausting and I hated her! But I also knew that the cute was wearing off and since many people returned her within 24 hours of adoption, I knew her future would be deadly without me.

That first weekend with her, I kept thinking, "I don't want to be near her." I really disliked her that much!

I was a fan of the British pop invasion in the 80's and loved all those English bands: Duran Duran, Culture Club, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Paul Young and Wham! When Wham! went to China, naturally they filmed everything. In the video, singer Andrew Ridgeley was out shopping in China and laughed out loud when he read a clothing label. "It says 'Mabel in China'! Mabel in China? Well, I'm not going anywhere near 'er!"

That popped into my head as I kept thinking about the pup and by the end of the weekend, Mabel was christened.

I always make up a name song... some repetitive little ditty that I sing to my pups to help them remember their names. And as I was making up Mabel's song...trying to convince myself I could love this bad dog, I kept saying "I love you" and needed a word to rhyme with you. Lou / you. I quickly noticed that when I sang "Mabel Lou / I love you," her tail would wag.  On  Tuesday when I had to return her vet papers to the pound, it became official. I had yet another M in my pack.


Linda@VS said...

Awww, she grew on you fast, didn't she? And the two of you have brought each other so much joy!

The Adventures of the LLB Gang said...

What a great story!! Thanks fo rsharing!!

Anonymous said...

There really IS a story behind how Mabel got her name! Most people say "I just named her the first thing that popped into my head".

I completely understand your hating her as a puppy-I went through that with Spot.

Give Mabel Lou a kiss from me!

Pat Wahler said...

It was meant to be! Great story!


rottrover said...

We love you, Mabel Lou!
-Giz, Bart & Ruby :)

the booker man said...

i'm so glad miss mabel lou grew on you!! that was a really really good story, miss creekhiker. you did good! :)
the booker man

Gnomebody said...

From Momma:
As someone who knew Millie and Maggie, I know they brought joy to your life and are missed.

Too bad you like to stick with the letter'M', 'cuz I would have named Mabel "Whip", with that whip of a tail she has! That tail can leave a mark when it gets going!

From Riley and Auggie's Momma
BooDee BooDah Tribe