Slice Of Life Story Challenge March 16 -A Name Means Everything

A Name Means Everything

From my study I often hear one of our neighbours calling her dogs in the forlorn hope that they will obey her commands. 

Ava and Theo, her two strong willed Pugs regularly pay her no mind. They are her untamed babies, wild and willful. Despite her numerous pleas for compliance they continue to wander and scamper off in directions of their own choosing. ‘Theo, come back now!’ ‘Ava, Ava, no!’  ‘Ava, Theo, come here, right now!’ Those defiant little dogs feign deafness and snuffle away, only returning when good and ready. The pugly truth is they are quite naughty.

I chuckle each time I hear the plaintive cries. Those dogs have the coolest names though. Theo and Ava. With names like that I feel they should be a geriatric couple defying the dimming of their days with age inappropriate behaviour, rather than two tiny Pug dogs. I wonder where those doggy names originated? I’m sure there’s a story there...

Quite some years ago, Vicki and I lived in Mount Martha, the adjoining suburb to Mornington. We frequently took walks around the estate of houses close to our then home. We often walked past a house with a rather high wooden fence. Wide wooden panels coated in unremarkable brown paint faced the street. Mission Brown, a colour devoid of personality but full of practicality. Narrow gaps separated the panels. Gaps just wide enough for a dog’s nose to poke through –but that’s all. 

Each time we ventured past, barking would erupt from behind that unremarkable structure. An unseen creature would charge towards the fence, snarling and slobbering, leaping at the fence and barking louder and louder as its agitation rose. We were both grateful for that fence. All we could see was the fleeting appearance of a moist snout as the enrage dog ran the fence line. Eventually a voice would begin calling with increasing urgency from inside the house- REBEL! REBEL! REBEL! BE QUIET!

The barking would eventually cease. Peace and calm would return and we would continue our walk. This scene would be acted out each time we ventured past the brown fence. It was a repeated refrain –snarl, leap, bark, -REBEL, BE QUIET!

We referred to the house as 'Rebel’s House.'  We would tell friends and family about the snarling beast behind the brown wooden fence and the lady who regularly castigated him. 

We continued telling this story until someone said, ‘Rebel? That dog’s not called Rebel, It’s actually Neville.’

Well, did that change things? You bet it did. When we realized what the lady behind the brown fence was actually calling out, that snarling slobbering, fang baring beast, lost a bit of it’s fear factor. 

We laughed. Neville, what sort of name is that for a fearsome attack dog?  

Everybody sing-‘He’s A Neville and he’ll never be any good! He’s a Neville, cause he never ever does what he should…’

 No, it just doesn’t cut it I’m afraid. It’s all in the name, even for dogs.


  1. ha ... misheard dog names ... that might be a meme somewhere .... I agree: Rebel is a much cooler name than Neville.

  2. That's so funny! I have basset hounds and I want to name my next male Neville Longbottom.

  3. Neville does bring the ferocity down a notch! I always wonder what's behind tall wooden fences. Most of the houses along our hike and bike have chain link (like ours) or wrought iron (my dream). Nice to view the houses and pets, even if they bark.

    1. Pondering what lies beyond is always fun. I did it as a kid. I'm still a most curious learner- and walker. Keep pondering Chris.

  4. Such a great post! Many years ago my son was watching a mindless TV courtroom show and I happened to wander in. The case involved an attack from a dog. Of course, the owner pleaded not guilty on his dog's behalf, but I think he blew it when he told the court the dog's name was "Devil Dog."

    1. Devil dog says it all Rose. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. Names usually are given before the character of the creature being named has been able to assert their personality. Some may just live up to the name whereas others, simply deny that name to live a life in secret with a name of their own selection. I love the observations of the naughty pugs. Yes, they should be an old couple.

    1. That's quite true Elsie. It takes time to grow into a name - of deny it for that matter. Tricky things names. I knew a girl called Anna Condor.


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