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What's In A Name?

Pretty much everyone would probably agree that names are important. When our sons were born, there was the "mother approved" list of names that the Hard Man had all nicely typed up for him (just in case I was unconscious or something when our child needed to be named #planforallpossiblesituations!). But my sweet husband always has insisted on "seeing the child" before a name could be selected (from the approved list of course). We carefully picked names for our boys...ones that could not be made into horrible nicknames that would plague them in middle school.

We also looked at what their initials would be, trying to avoid any unnecessary "initial nightmares". I worked at a medical clinic for a few years after high school. This was back in the day where you had to manually PASTE the doctors appointment notes into patient CHARTS! When anyone would add any slip of paper into a chart, you had to initial that page. EVERYONE else could just use their first and last name initials. But my first and last initials, before marriage, were BM. Yes, I know. Hilarious! I was the only person that had to use all three of my initials so as to avoid any uncomfortable situations (I actually really like my name, and in my parents defense, who could have known I'd need to use my initials so much).

In any case, names are important. And even if you have the best of names, nicknames still get assigned. My Husband is the best at giving nicknames. And whatever nickname he bestows seems to stick. He's given all our boys nicknames or "story names". He's so good about just making up bedtime stories for our boys. He tells tales about 4 brothers: Shmoog, Pane, Dete and Gill. It's quite hilarious. My own nickname from the Hard Man came one day, a long time ago when we actually had time to read books together. We were reading a book that was staged in northern MN where my husband grew up. The author intertwined an Ojibwe god into the mystery novel called the Gitchi Manitou, which means "great spirit". I may or may not also be a "great spirit" in my own right. So my husband took to calling me the Great Gitchi Manitou in our home. This was then translated by one of my sons to the Great Itchy Mommy Doo. And that nickname has stuck. #HardManisintrouble #HardManswifeisnothappy

It stands to reason then that the Hard Man has been in charge of naming all our family pets. We have a matching black lab and black cat who were puppy and kitten together. My husband named them Boone and Crocket. Then there is the hermit crab named Hermy. And our goldendoodle mamas. Kinni and Nicki were named after the famous Kinnickinnic River that flows through our neighborhood. It is peaceful, faithful and brings life to it's surroundings. And it provides hours of entertainment for my boys and husband. The trout fishing is phenomenal. Seemed so fitting for our two sweet girls.

The internet is full of advice on naming your puppies. A few tips that we have found helpful along the way are the following:

1. Avoid names for your puppy that sound like the main commands that you want your dog to learn i.e. avoid names that sound like "Sit", "Come", "Heel", etc. You don't want your puppy to be confused about a command versus you saying their name.

2. If you plan to train your dog to be a service dog, hunting dog, etc. one syllable names are very beneficial to your dog and yourself. It's easier to call out a one syllable name, and it's easier for the dog to hear and comply to that one syllable.

3. Your puppy is going to love you to pieces, no matter what you name them. And they won't care what nickname they get along the way either. So, God Bless and no pressure! Enjoy your sweet little bundle of fur! And name away!

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