Chuck Terrill: Be careful how you name your dog

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Sound travels well in the summertime heat. All of our windows are open, and I heard you calling your dog the other night. It caused me to meditate on pet names. Yes, I am easily entertained. You called and called, and apparently, the dog didn't respond. The problem might have been that he didn't recognize his name.

When you named your dog, “Bob,” you didn't think about calling him to come home. Instinctively, pet owners turn their dog's name into two syllables when they call them. So, “Bob” became “Baaaah-obbb!” Over and over, that's what I heard: “Baaaah-obbb!” “Baaaah-obbb!” “Baaaah-obbb!” Poor, one syllable Bob probably thought you'd lost your mind.

When calling your pet you automatically use that “sing-song” voice. The first part of the name is always a higher musical note than the second part of the name. “Spot” has to remember that he is “Spau-ought!” “Jack” has to learn that he is also ”Jaaaa-ackkk!”

In my perfect world, I would make sure that all pets had two syllable names to start with. Then the creature wouldn't be so confused when we shouted them in. “Danny” would know it was him that we wanted when we shouted “Dannn-knee!” Do you see how much easier that would be? “Lulu” and “Baxter” would have no problems whatsoever. Two syllable names just make more sense.

Or, you could be like my mother-in-law, Jeanette. She named her dog with just the initials. S.O.B. I won't tell you what those initials mean, but she calls him Sobee. When she stands at her backdoor to call the dog she shouts, “Sooo-Beee!” over and over.

My wife, reading this article over my shoulder, just informed me that the “Bob” I heard you calling for is probably your son, and not a dog at all.

Hmmh....Let me start over: I heard you calling your son the other night.

All children should have two syllable names.

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.