Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Also Consider It At Full Volume

Maybe you already know this. But when you're picking a name for a dog or a cat, I would suggest narrowing it down to your last few choices. Then get outside. Walk for at least 20 minutes, hollering the names at the top of your voice every few houses. Then see if you still like your chosen names.

Beckett escaped again last week. We'd had a carpenter out, installing handrails on our outside steps. He also tightened the screws on the gate and added a few more pieces of wood near the latch. "This will be like Fort Knox," he confidently told me, showing off his handiwork. "Your dog won't be able to escape without breaking the whole gate, and that's just not going to happen."

We let him have the run of the yard. Since it was actually a balmy day, we stayed outside for 10 or 15 minutes to make sure he didn't engage in any funny business. The carpenter left, and Keith and I went back inside to feed Eleanor and make dinner.

A while later, we realized we had left Beckett out in the yard. Except, of course, he wasn't. And was no where to be seen, so clearly he had been gone quite some time and had made good his escape. I was hoping to go for a run anyway, so I got changed and jogged off down the street.

"Beckett!" I called. "Beeeeckett!"

But calling out a name into the great wide open has a way of changing it. Unconsciously I started elongating the vowels to make the name last as long as possible, in the hopes that Beckett might catch the last syllable on a breeze and come running into my arms.

By the end of our road I was yelling, "Behhhhy-kit!" I felt like I had moved hundreds of miles South. The name sounded so strange coming out of my mouth, yet I was powerless to stop it.

A few times, I ran into walkers or joggers and asked them, in a conversational tone, to keep an eye out for a small black and white dog that is also the spawn of Satan. With brown eyes. Once, they asked what the dog's name was. "Beckett," I replied, but saying his name normally had become strange.

He did get found. On the plus side, we've met a lot of neighbors through his escapades. But if he keeps escaping, I'm renaming him John.


Jonathan said...

What is it with dogs escaping ?

My grandfather had a black labrador that was the master escape artist when it was young.

The same dog also knew when he was speeding and would paw at his arm in the car...

cat said...

I hear people do the same thing when they name their kids. Pick the first, middle, and add your last name, then yell it like they just tracked mud across the floor. That's what you'll be yelling multiple times a day for 18 years! ;)