“Since I really didn’t want a puppy,” I said as our new puppy tried to pull my sock off my foot with his teeth, “can I pick the name? I like Zuko.”
“I don’t like that name,” Emery said.
“I like the name Roku,” Mike suggested.
“How about Kenai?” Emery countered.
“I like Roku,” Drake said.
“Zuko is a fantastic name,” I argued.
So a five month name dilemma began. We officially named him Kenai for almost a week before
deciding that nobody could remember that name. We settled on Riggins for almost a month.
Emery, Mike, and I were leaving on a trip to Ohio and Drake was staying home alone. As we hugged him goodbye, I gave him last minute instructions on food preparation and door locking. Just before getting in the car to drive away, I told him, “Pick a name for the puppy while we are gone. And, remember, Zuko is a great name!”
A week later we were happy to see Drake again, and, as he updated us on his battle with the washing machine, he announced, “The dog’s name is Roku.”
“I won’t call him that,” Emery said. “It’s a TV device.”
“It’s from Avatar, and I’ve been calling him Roku all week!” Drake said.
“I’m going go call him Riggins,” Emery said, stubbornly.
So, the dog had two names for a couple of weeks, but he didn’t answer to either of them. Which I blame mostly on us.
“What is this?” I asked as I pulled the name-challenged puppy closer to look at the leather strap on his neck.
“I ordered a collar with his name on it,” Mike said.
“It says Roku-Riggins,” I said. “His name is Roku-Riggins?”
“I’m hoping people will eventually just call him Roku,” Mike explained.
“Very sneaky Mr. Hintz.”
“I have my ways.”
Then, Mike and the boys left for a trip in the mountains of Colorado, and I was mostly alone taking care of the dogs. Arrow, who is five years old, was wonderful. But, the puppy was so bad. He dug holes under the fence and ran away, he howled and woke up the neighbors at 3 AM, he chewed many shoes, he pooped on my patio, and he threw up. Then he did the same thing the next day. And the next day. Each time he ran away, I found his collar in the back yard. When I looked at it closely, I noticed it was missing the part of the buckle that secures the strap.
“Great,” I yelled at the sky, “now I have to replace this!” Then I turned to the hole under the fence and yelled at the dog who was surely so far away he could not hear me, “I am not going to look for you! If you don’t come back its goodbye forever!”
I stomped into the house and looked up the phone number for the dog collar company.
“The collar we ordered is defective,” I growled at the customer service representative.
“We will send out a replacement right away,” the nice lady said. “Whose collar needs replaced?”
A moment of silence passed as inspiration filled my mind.
“Zuko’s,” I said with a smile. “It should say Zuko on the collar.”