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Friday, March 12, 2010

Naming Our New Pup

We get a lot of questions about the name of our new puppy. His name is Arrluk and it means "Killer Whale" in Yupik. How we managed to get to that name is an interesting story.
When I was a kid the only pet I ever had was a goldfish and he never really had a name, well not until the day I came home and found him sitting in the hot sun of the window belly up! We would bury him in the garden and I needed to put a name on the Popsicle stick grave marker. I decided to call him Speedy because he would swim around in his bowl really fast causing a whirlpool effect and then when he tried to stop he would get swept around the bowl a few times in the current. The poor fish never got a name until he died though. I always felt bad about poor Speedy.
I mentioned this story to a friend in college once and she told me the story of her friend B.G. who got her name because her parents actually never were able to come up with a name and the name on her birth certificate was B.G. (baby girl). I knew if I were ever to have children this would be their fate!
When David and I decided to get a dog I hoped that he would be good with this whole name thing, but it turned out that he struggled just as much as I did. When we picked up Brody from the shelter we talked about changing his name. We actually gave it a few attempts, but it turned out he would barely come to Brody, so changing his name didn't seem like a great idea.Our new pup did have a litter name (Morelli), but we knew this time we would actually have to come up with something. We started with Dr. Seuss names liked Lorax and Horton, but those soon fell by the wayside when we discovered Max, the dog from the Grinch. We were set with Max until we discovered it is the second most popular dog name in the country! This did not help me get over my naming anxiety, how unoriginal can we be? So, we started looking at Alaska place names: Barrow, Yukon, or how about Chicken? Yikes! Something Alaskan would be nice, but David was pushing for Orca due to his coloring and markings. I kind of liked it, but wasn't sold. I threw out Orca names such as Keiko and Willy with not much excitement. Ugh!! Then I came across the Alaska Native Language Center's Dog Names web page. There it was: Arrluk, Killer Whale in Yupik. Perfect, an Alaskan Orca like name. We had one last deviation as I jokingly called him Mukluk one day. David really lobbied for that one, and though it is a super cute puppy name, in the end Arrluk is a better dog name and we all know he won't be a puppy for long!

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