February 2nd, 2016
Reflecting on Bailey’s first year, I realized that she has also acquired numerous other names during this period. She has more nicknames than anyone else in the family. How did these aliases come to be? After all, Bailey came into this world nameless. She was one puppy in a litter of 10 Newfoundland puppies – 5 females and 5 males. She was soon christened Bailey after a friend of our breeder’s daughter. At the time, we did not know Bailey was to become ours.
Long before Bailey arrived, our family was busy compiling a list of suitable names for our dream Newfoundland Dog. Male names were accumulating faster than female ones. Greek and Roman gods such as Apollo and Zeus were popular with our two sons. They had been reading the Percy Jackson book series at the time. I was perusing maps of Newfoundland & Labrador in search of name like Carbonear. Some names such as Blackie lacked originality and never made the list. The master plan was quite scientific. From a compiled list of dog names, each family member would select 5 names. We would again each pick one from the 20 names and these four names would become the finalists. Once we learned that our puppy would be female, the list shrunk from 65 to 25 names. What I did not expect was “block voting”. I was approached by one family member, who will go nameless, that he would support my name choice for a female puppy. However, in exchange, I would need to vote for his male name choice when the second puppy came along. I am not foolish enough to blindly enter into any agreement with a preteen. So, I asked what this male puppy would be called. He responded with “Hagrid”. Guess who is a huge fan of the Harry Potter books?” I can’t say that the name rolled off my tongue well and the shorten form of “Hagie” wasn’t an improvement. The deal was nixed.
Thankfully, Bailey’s breeder (Linda MacDonald) came to the rescue and diverted a naming fiasco. She posted an individual photo of each puppy once a week. Much of our family time was spent looking at her website, scrutinizing each puppy photo and wondering which one would become ours. But, it was Bailey that we hoped for. The family agreed to keep her name if she became ours. We knew that Linda would pick the puppy best suited to our family. Finally, she contacted us to see how we felt about Bailey. We had won the puppy lottery. A lot of happy hoots were heard in our house that day.
Bailey was officially registered as Caramor’s Bailey of the Big Land. However, she soon became “our sweetness”. Within a couple of months, Bailey had added a few more monikers such as Boo Boo Bear (Yogi Bear’s cartoon sidekick) – often shortened to Boo Boo, Bailey-Boo, Rascal, Moochie, Whiskers, Rub Whore, Droolie, Fluffa, Our Girl, Pooky and Stubby (her tail was short at the beginning). When asked by my son which Hobbit character would Bailey be, I responded with “Boo Boo Beggins” in homage to Bilbo Baggins. That name also stuck as Bailey became quickly aware of our food. We were not the only ones to give a nickname to her. Some of her young admirers decided that “Black Cotton Ball” was a wonderful name. Bailey takes all of these endearments in stride. She does not hold any grudges when hearing some of the less flattering names. Behind all of these aliases is simply, Bailey.