I’m not thinking about the call names. The new owners can call their puppies whatever they like, of course. I’m talking about the registered names. Just as my Pippa’s name was actually Sevenwoods Epiphany, or Dora was Anara Adornment, these puppies need registered names. AND the name has to start with P or at least have an important P in the name somewhere, because this is my P litter. For example, Ishmael is actually Anara Call Me Ishmael.
Alphabetical names are useful for keeping track of which puppy is which. For example, someone contacted me yesterday asking if I’d ever had a puppy with chronic allergies. I said yes, one of the E puppies developed (mild) allergies as a young adult and I placed her as a pet because of that and added that she’s thirteen now and was Dora’s niece and not related to my current dogs. And how do I remember all that? Because I know which litter was named with E and how long ago they were born and who their mother was and how they’re connected to my other dogs. I remember my puppies quite well, and the alphabetical names are one reason they’re easy to keep sorted out in my head.
So, P. That’s not the easiest letter of the alphabet, though I can think of worse. Registered names need to be polysyllabic and sound good with “Anara” in front of them. Multiple words are just fine, but single words can work if they’re long enough.
The puppies are starting to acquire personalities, though my first impressions may still turn out to be mistaken in some cases, plus this is complicated because two of the puppies clicked into a fear period this morning, which has to be discounted when thinking about their actual personalities.
The first fear period, incidentally, usually occurs (if it’s going to occur at all) around eight to ten weeks of age — just in time for first vaccinations and re-homing, which is not great. It’s nice to put off potentially traumatic experiences until the puppy comes out of the fear period, or else make those experiences as non-traumatic as possible. With Cavaliers, many don’t have a perceptible fear period, but others do. It’s easy to identify because suddenly puppies that have entered a fear period run to the back of the puppy room when the vacuum cleaner comes into sight. This morning, for the first time two puppy ran away from the vacuum cleaner, and the other two just picked up their heads for a second and then continued to sleep at the front of the room, so that was quite clear. My way of dealing with vacuum cleaner fear is to add a couple of adult dogs to the puppy room and then vacuum slowly in front of the gate so that the fearful puppies can see the adults be totally, one hundred percent unimpressed by vacuum cleaners. (I literally have to turn off the vacuum cleaner and nudge the adults to make them move out of the way.) (They also go to sleep when being blow-dried.)
Then later this morning, one of those suddenly-fearful puppies reacted fearfully to a neighbor shoveling gravel out of a bin. (Shovel through gravel = loud, weird noise). My way of dealing with that was to immediately get a lot of little treats and teach all the puppies to come to me when I call them, about twenty feet from the neighbor with the gravel. That rapidly persuaded the fearful puppy that there was nothing to be afraid of.
This is how you handle a puppy that has entered a fear period: provide good things and reduce the importance of the scary thing; don’t force the puppy to go nearer to the scary thing than he’s willing to go; let him set acceptable distance while you are cheerful and offer many nice distractions). Puppies will come out of a fear period in a couple of weeks, no harm done as long as you’re careful. Do try not to step on a puppy during the fear period, as that may make them leery of feet forever. That happened with my first Papillon.
But back to P names!
Puppy 1: Affectionate, sociable, happy, middle-of-the-road, fairly average Cavalier personality. (This is why I like Cavaliers, because normal puppies are like this.) Hasn’t hit the fear period (yet, at least). I’m thinking of naming this puppy Anara Afternoon in Paris. I like multiple-word names if I can think of a good one.
Puppy 2: Similar to 1, affectionate, sociable, perhaps more thoughtful, tends to explore a bit farther than 1, a touch bolder and more independent — but also currently in a fear period. He is a quiet puppy. When he is fearful, he is quiet. Because he sometimes strikes me as thoughtful — the kind who looks carefully at things and you can see the wheels in his tiny brain turning — I’m inclined to name him Anara Pericles. I like the name Pericles, and Greek names sound classy.
Puppy 3: All the pizzazz, personality plus, very very happy and sociable. Interestingly, this is the other one of the puppies who has hit an obvious fear period. When he is fearful, he tells you about it. Interesting how some puppies are talkers and some aren’t. Bbecause of all the zip, I’m going to name this puppy Anara Pandemonium. I suspect he will live up to it. I’m sure he would be a fantastic tricks dog and a great therapy dog.
Puppy 4: He’s toughened up a good bit and will stand up for himself rather than letting the bigger ones push him around, but he’s very into humans. He’s a kisser and a talker and he likes to be babied. At seven weeks and three days, he still likes to be fed by hand! Well, that’s a good way of encouraging the emotional bond to humans, so sure, that’s fine. He can learn to eat better out of a dish next week. Not a trace of a fear period (so far). I’m very attached to this little guy. I’m thinking of Anara Personable.
Other possibilities: Particular, Presentation, Phenomenal. Or perhaps Phineas or Perseus, though those are a little short. For a black puppy, I would have thought of Phantom of the Opera, a great name! But for a Blenheim puppy, I guess not. What do you all think of this set of names? Do you like any of these a lot better than the ones I’ve tentatively picked out of the universe of P words and names?
Anything else occur to anybody? I can’t fill out the CKCSC registration paperwork without names, so I need to decide soon and get the slooooow wheels of CKCSC registration turning. AKC is much faster. CKCSC can take a year or so to finally work through the registration process.