Monday, June 2, 2008

The Name Game

Up until we got Godiva, names at Couper’s house had been fairly simple. Couper’s Mommy decided upon getting Couper that she would be Mommy. For whatever reason, I started calling Couper, “Little Buddy”. I am not sure how that started, much less endured. Even I felt uncomfortable that “Little Buddy” is what Skipper nicknamed Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island. After calling Couper that 15,000 times, and not having seen Gilligan’s Island in years, the discomfort eventually wore off. So, there were two logical choices for me to be called: Beavis or Butthead. Oops, wrong story, I meant: Daddy or Big Buddy. I never quite understood why Couper’s Mommy wanted to be called “Mommy”. She was clearly not Couper’s birth mother. They aren’t even the same species. But it was what she wanted to be called so I never said anything about it. I went the other direction and evolved into Big Buddy. Couper’s Mommy and I were not living together at the time, so I was more like a buddy that Couper visited all the time. Couper and I were (and still are) playmates first. So Little Buddy had a Big Buddy. I call him Little Buddy most of the time and he really only knows me as Big Buddy (“Couper, go to Big Buddy”).

When we started talking about getting a girl puppy, Couper’s Mommy would talk about getting Couper a “girlfriend”. I had two problems with that. First, Couper is fixed, so he probably was not looking for a relationship. Secondly, I knew Couper’s Mommy would also be Mommy to the new puppy. Since we do not live in 1930’s Appalachia, it is socially unacceptable to be boyfriend and girlfriend and share a mommy. We had a little chat about that and decided that Couper would instead get a little sister.

So we did get a little sister and her name is Godiva. Our naming scheme fell into disarray.

Couper’s Mommy is still Mommy around the house. However, on the blog she is now Couper/Godiva’s Mommy, which is only fair to both Couper and Godiva. I thought about her being Couper’s Mommy if Couper messed up and Godiva’s Mommy if Godiva messed up, but not only is that confusing to you the reader, but inaccurate because as Couper/Godiva’s Mommy often points out to me, “When they mess up, they are your dogs.” Couper/Godiva’s Mommy is a bit much to type, and you may ask yourself, “why not just call her by her real name?”, but her actual name is much too long as well and the authorities are cluing into Google.

As for the dogs, Godiva is Godiva and Couper is Couper. However, the Little Buddy is now a Big Brother to his Little Sister. He is also the Little Buddy to his Big Buddy. Couper has also been through the years: Little Bud, Little Boo, Little Friend, and Little ‘Noop Dog. That is to say that he is “Little”. So if I say to him, “Go get your Little Sister”, he looks at me like, “Go get myself??? OK. Here I am. Done”. This is also difficult from a phonics perspective. After years of “Big B” being followed by “uddy”, saying “Big Brother”, especially at 2:30AM, is difficult. “Godiva, follow your Big Buddy, I mean Little Brother, I mean Big Brother”. The fact that Godiva is quite a bit smaller than Couper makes the modifier “Little” seem like it should apply to her in all names, but it can’t because it is Couper’s and as we have found out the last few weeks, Couper does not like giving up what is his. And no, Godiva does not yet have a sustained nickname although “Princess” and “Piranha” have come up a few times.

The biggest change is for Big Buddy. When I got home on Godiva’s first day at the house, Couper’s Mommy said to her, “Godiva, say ‘hi’ to your daddy”. I did a double take, looking for either a male dog or the milkman. The next couple of times Couper’s Mommy referenced “Daddy”, I realized, (1) I was daddy and (2) this was going to persist. We hadn’t talked of this beforehand, nor have we really talked about it since. I’m kind of taking it as “You will have responsibility in raising this puppy and not just be the good-time partner-in-crime while I do all the discipline; like with the last one!” It is Lifetime Movie 101. I haven’t complained. I realize I am much more part of the problem than the solution with Couper. He’s my first dog and gets the benefits of that. So I have to grow up and be Daddy to the second dog. As time goes on I less and less hear the hackneyed phrase “Who’s your daddy” in my head when I am called that. The most confused is Couper who will now hear from Couper’s Mommy, “Go get your daddy”. (Insert your own inappropriate joke here).

So the family is now: Couper/Godiva’s Mommy; Godiva, Little Sister; Couper, Little Buddy, Big Brother; Big Buddy, Couper/Godiva’s Daddy. But if you meet me on the street or here on the blog, I am still Big Buddy. Or Butthead.

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