My dog’s name is Tsunami and my husband’s dog is Annie.

Tsunami & Annie

I am always intrigued about how dogs get their names. Let me tell you about our girls.

A little black German shepherd ball of fluff joined our household in the spring of 2000. We had recently lost our 16-year old Jilly girl and our home was so sad…we needed another dog in our lives.

My husband Hal and I really wanted to work with a search and rescue dog and decided to begin looking for an appropriate pup to train. We found a breeder of working line shepherds. She had two litters available. We sat on the ground and held and played with a blur of cuddly puppies. So hard to choose. Which one would grow up to have what it takes to become a SAR dog? Even the most experienced dog trainers can pick a puppy that grows up only to wash out from a working program.

Who to Choose?

We had a few favorites. June, the breeder invited us into her home to discuss purchase details. We sat down at the dining room table to look over pedigrees. Under the table was a pup – older than the others we looked at – about 3 months old. I sat on the floor and called the pup over. She obliged and curled up in my lap.

“What’s the deal with this pup June?” I asked.

“Oh, she’s not for sale. She’s the last pup from another litter,” she explained.

“Why isn’t she for sale?” I inquired.

“I don’t know,” June replied. “There’s just something about her. Something special.”

After a lot of haggling we came home with that very special pup.

We named her Tsunami because she came into our hearts like a big wave. She went on to dramatically change our lives. She continues to inspire me every day.

Tsunami this Summer

On September 11, 2001 terrorists attacked our country. Hal and Tsunami responded to the World Trade Center to search for the lost. Our world had changed.

On July 4, 2002 we received a call from Tsunami’s breeder. A puppy she had sold was no longer welcomed by its owners. The dog had to go. Allergies were cited – sure – on the Fourth of July! June did not have room in her kennels as it was a busy holiday. The dog was going immediately to a gas station to work as a guard dog. Could we take her in?

We’d taken in dogs before and found lovely homes for them. Sure, we said. Bring her over.

She was named Cheyenne. She was skinny, shy, and smelled like a thousand ash trays. Allergies indeed. She tolerated Tsunami, who was very gracious to our guest, barely looked at me and immediately latched onto Hal.

We thought Cheyenne did not suit her but were reluctant to stray too far from that name…it was the only thing that was still familiar to her. Hal renamed her Orphan Annie – or Annie for short.

Annie is still with us. Wise dog that Annie. She cleaved to Hal, stole his heart. He renamed her again – Arfin’ Annie.

Hal with Arfin' Annie

So, what’s in a name? I’d love to hear your stories.

Semper Fido,