The Naming of The Puppy

When naming your new pet, whether it be a dog, cat, bird etc, you instantly fall into one of these categories. The first being the “pick what ever comes into your head an hope it fits group” for less anxious people, this would do fine, sometimes I wish I was that person … I’ve picked the name sprout and that’s what were going with, how much easier would that be … to those people, I envy you ! The second being the “pick a name off the family tree group” Obviously again this works perfectly well for some people, we in fact did this with Jasmine, her great, great Grandmother was Lornaville Jasmine. The third being the “shorten their kennel club name group” works perfectly, assuming your dog has one. Atlas does in fact have one and is registered with the kennel club but this isn’t something I thought could be shortened to a cool house name (ill go into that shortly) and the last category you may find yourself in is the “research everything and ensure the name has thorough meaning and suits the pet group” …. want to take a guess as which one I went with ?!

Correct …. I am right in the middle of the “research everything and ensure the name has thorough meaning and suits the pet” group, one word, IDIOT!! You end u with a list as long as your arm and start contemplating whether its normal to give your pet a middle name.

First of all, the lovely beautiful bundle of puppy smell didn’t live with us yet so how was I to possible know his personality?? Second of all you forget that the name you have chosen, or looking at choosing, is going to be shouted at least 100 times a day depending on said animal for the foreseeable. Obviously in our case this was a dog … that means a lot of name calling, especially when you have a free spirited personality like Atlas, trust me, most days I’m not convinced I chose well, I’m starting to become quite sick of the name!!

So we were lucky enough to receive first pick of what was going to be the puppies official kennel club names. There was a few different ones to pick from, however Amy and I both liked “The Regal King” … now you see why shortening this wouldn’t really do us any favours. Imagine shouting King across the busy park to a dog with absolutely no decorum, no manners and running around with half a tree and a plant pot in his mouth having just ploughed into a three year old and scarred him for life ! (yes I am in fact talking from experience) it just wouldn’t work.

We had the Regal King part sorted and he was registered. I had been quite adamant that I wanted to call him something strong and something that would represent his size and something not too long. I ideally wanted something from Greek Mythology, its dreamy and romantic and clearly nothing like Atlas at all, and so the search began. Amy took a little bit more convincing as she wanted something a little less unusual.

We had narrowed it down to around seven  names:

  1. Atlas
  2. Forrest
  3. Ocean
  4. Barnaby (not my choice)
  5. Reuben
  6. Sailor
  7. Solomon

Back and forth we went between them all. I then met a friend who had called their dog Reuben, so that was out. Forrest reminded us of Forrest Gump and more and more I found myself shouting “run Forrest run” and so that was out. Ocean was dismissed quite strongly by my mother and so that was out …. anything for peace and quiet. I wasn’t a great fan of Barnaby, ever, although Amy and I eventually agreed that it was a bit long and had too many syllables, and Amy wasn’t to keen on Solomon, and so that was out.  It was then down to Sailor and Atlas. I loved the meaning of Atlas, Atlas was a titan who was responsible for bearing the weight of the heavens on his shoulders. As we knew he was going to be larger than life we decided this was what we would name him, hoping that our now, nearly five week old land shark would suit it, the breeders response was “oh well that’s a first, but I like it”.

Turns out he’s terrified of the dark and so maybe we didn’t choose so well, he also does not appreciate a good starry night …. he gets confused with the shadows on the floor (I am rolling my eyes as I type)

Parents of actual children will know that choosing an unusual name for your child comes with a few awkward conversations. In our case with the giant furbaby, we have a straight 50/50 split.

The older book worms of our community like his name and often comment on him being big enough to hold up the stars. That is, when they eventually manage to hear his name. One visit to the elderly started an argument between Edith and William (both circa 200 years old) about whether he was named after a book of stamps of a book of maps …. turns out the battery in old Williams hearing aid had gone, much to the disgust of Edith !

The younger generation sort of look at us and smile with a pained look on their face and say “ohh that’s nice” quite evidently I’m not going to give every human under the age of 80 a Greek mythology lesson and so we just now say “yeah like the book of maps” this seems to end the confusion pretty quickly and then they carry on about their business.

Safe to say, apart from online, we have never met another Atlas. Come to think of it nor have we met another German Shepherd with one ear that refuses to stand … but that’s an ongoing saga !

So name down … now was the countdown to bringing him home !!

 

Atlas – The Regal King

Four weeks and four days ❤

Atlas

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

We chose Atlas …

Hopefully by now you will have read the previous blog about how we ended up being in contact with our lovely breeder and his family with their delightful country house in the abyss.

I have to just mention that initially we were very aware that the poor the breeder and his wife clearly couldn’t quite work out the dynamics of the two women who had just arrived at his home late and a little disgruntled. It became quite obvious that they were trying to comprehend whether one was wanting a puppy and the other had gone for moral support and advice or whether they were in fact a couple. Of course they were polite and never asked the question however I have noticed the same look a few times, whether it be training class, vets visits or just out walking with a misbehaving Jumbo Jet on a lead !!

You have the family with the nice car “oh that puppy went to a family with a range rover” or the wife who is a vet “oh that puppy went to the lady who’s a vet” Atlas is “the puppy with the two mums”. Of course there is absolutely no animosity but it is interesting to watch the faces of people who are trying to understand the makings of a less traditional family.

Now if you haven’t ever seen a litter of puppies close up then you cant fully appreciate the feeling of pure emotion that comes over you, and yes before you say it, you are right baby dogs absolutely make me much more broody than baby people! Atlas was one of originally eleven puppies born, unfortunately three didn’t make it and so there were eight. Eight bundles of pure loveliness shuffling around their crate like tiny seals looking for their next meal. Their eyes had just opened and so they looked like someone had just taken a picture with the flash too close and their eyes hadn’t had time to adjust.

Beyond the squinting eyes and the lack of coordination, there in front of us was effectively our future best friend (or so we thought). So the breeder at this point is very proudly passing us puppies and showing us the little girl that they were keeping and one puppy that had already been reserved, Mowgli.

I think I previously mentioned that there were only boys to choose from because this was mums last litter and they wanted the girl who was already named Ember. I was at this point quite insistent that I wanted a big dog with as long a coat as possible, we had already had long coat and that was what we liked.

As I was quietly trying to figure out which puppy was which (im sure you can empathise that is is quite difficult to tell puppies apart at that age) he announces, and I quote “Now this big guy is my favourite … look at the size of him” and presented us with the most divine little face I have ever seen. He was slightly bigger than the rest and was significantly fuzzier than the others also but in all honesty my initial wants had gone completely and I just wanted to snuggle this little monster and not put him down.

They say dogs choose their owners and as soon as I held him he looked straight at me, tilted his tiny little head backwards howled and then snuggled in for a snooze. At this point I was delirious and took that as a sign that he had chosen us … now knowing Atlas it is evident that it wasn’t at all fate and was just his prodigious personality shining through even then.

You will be please to know that I did let Amy have a hold before announcing to the breeder that he was the one we wanted to share the next decade with, evidently not realising that I was never to have a cup of tea on my sofa ever again and that we were going to have to very quickly have to learn how to deal with public embarrassment due to our new puppy fancying himself the class clown, of course we wouldn’t really change him for the world ! We chose the tiniest little blue velcro collar that I’m fairly certain came from the craft section at the range and popped it on his neck to make sure that he didn’t get mixed up with the others, were told that we could collect him on the 18th January and that if we wanted to pop back to see him we were welcome any time which we did of course take him up on …  and so our story began.

 

 

Baby Atlas – The day we fell in love

Atlas2Atlas1Atlas3Atlas4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He got his silver !!!

Just a little … more recent update of the dinosaur!

We have been following the Kennel Club Good Citizens award. He very quickly sailed through intro and bronze and did the most amazing trial run of the silver a couple of weeks ago.

Lo and behold the great big lump made a spectacle of us all. We dually watched as Archie the Bichon tootled around strutting his stuff so delicately on the end of the lead whilst the nine year old handler put him through his paces …. did I mention we were massively out shined by a NINE year old?!

I feel a slight tugging on the lead and turn to see Atlas lay on his back chewing Ruby the Labradors toy and grunting like a dying hippo, safe to say it went very quickly downhill from there.

Recall – this must mean run off and play with the other dogs first.

Stay – how many positions can one dog manage in two minutes (and lets not forget the incessant high pitched yapping like a Yorkshire terrier)

Heel work – not a major problem you’d have thought, considering this is something we do daily, how wrong you are ! he would have won first place and a gold star if he was auditioning for Zippy the bloody bush kangaroo !! ohh the shame !!

One word … MORTIFIED !!

I think they only gave it to him to avoid me either crying or leaving him there and swapping for Archie the Bichon! He excelled himself, he really did … he was most proud of his efforts to sabotage our Wednesday evening training at the local church hall.

Atlas 1 – mums 0 !!!

 

 

 

 

Our journey to finding the Regal King

So your family decides to get a dog. I would have imagined by this point that there had been some discussion about what type of dog you want, old, young, small, big, even giant in fact and lets face it guys its big thing! This creature is going to invade your home for the next decade at least … you’ve got to make sure its the right one, and so the search begins, easy right ?? Absolutely not … its the most difficult, heart wrenching, frustrating ordeal I’ve ever encountered and let me tell you, it didn’t even last very long.

We already had an idea that we wanted to get another German Shepherd and I’d ideally have liked a long haired, not that it was too much of an issue, but everywhere you look you find stickers and posters with big bold writing “ADOPT DONT SHOP” and “STOP PUPPY FARMING”. So we did what any normal animal loving couple did … trawled the internet and set up play dates with the dogs in the dogs home.

Now did you know its easier to foster a real life human baby than it is a dog? There’s checks for your house, checks for your income, checks for your past conduct with animals, checks for your immediate family and if your working you cant work more than four hours a day. Now I’m not criticising and obviously jokes aside the people in the rescue centres and the rehoming shelters do an amazing job and they have to follow certain procedures as these dogs have 99% of the time had a pretty rough time. Added to the fact that they have to cover themselves, because you and I both know, as sad as it is, in todays society … where there’s a blame there’s a claim.

We don’t have children but we do live in a fairly busy home and there is usually a random child or three dotting around (we fancy ourselves as the cool aunts … we’re not, we’re just unpaid childcare, we know this and choose to ignore it anyway). So we knew we wanted a big dog and were open to any kind of larger dog, we’ll not go into my BMI but lets say a teacup Chihuahua probably wouldn’t look right, and we had it in our minds that larger dogs are harder to place purely because of their size. It became a common occurrence that the larger dogs were to be placed in homes with children over 12. apparently dogs over 60 inches high have a child phobia!?! Of course we get it … we’re fairly intelligent, these people have to make sure some poor child wont be mauled by a stressed out dinosaur. After many conversations with shelters and a especially one very strange lady who wouldn’t give me details of on certain dog for, and I quote “data protection reasons”, since when did dogs care about GDPR?? we decided to rethink and so we went down the puppy route (for our sins).

Jasmine came from a reputable stud and so we thought ok we have a starting point so we looked on the stud dogs and came across the stud that we wanted, I say “we” in this part but I am very aware that poor Amy (mum number two, if you didn’t know Atlas has two mums, you do now and yes we will go into that at some point and no he doesn’t wear a rainbow collar … yet !) ended up just agreeing because I was probably a little overbearing and had reached the end of my tether with the dog search and wanted something sorted. We then searched for a litter that had been born, nothing technical, we used Google and an iPhone, and found a litter.

They were black and tan, mainly short hair but one that looked like he was going to be a plush coat. and let me tell you, they were the cutest thing id ever seen. They were only two weeks old but the breeder said to come along anyway and if we wanted to we could have second pick of the litter … Perfect. He had mum and grandma there to see also but said out of 8 puppies there was only one girl that he was keeping. Ok now until this point …. shockingly we hadn’t ever discussed whether we wanted female or male so we decided that although the male would be bigger we weren’t too bothered and agreed a time to go over to the house to meet the puppies, and turns out the whole family and the two adult dogs.

It was the second week of December 2017 and freezing. Turns out the family lived in the most beautiful location right in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, which is all lovely and nice until you have to find it in the dark, is there a reason they don’t have lights in the country?? So we go in and have a chat with the breeder and his wife, who by the way was such a lovely couple!

We had cuddles with mum and grandma dog (at this point I feel like I’m writing a story for a children’s collection, but let me tell you … this actually took place) and then the breeder stood up and said the famous last words … “would you like to meet the puppies”.

 

This is what he presented us with  … two weeks and two days old ❤

baby Atlas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where it began

Hello all and welcome to our blog. This primarily is to document the cute, sometimes highly irritating and mostly hilarious antics of our now seven month old German Shepherd puppy officially named, The Regal King. Luckily for all, (us mainly) he has a “house name” as we like to call it, Atlas (we will go into the naming of the demon puppy, this needs its very own place)

It all started with my previous delight Jasmine, also a German shepherd. My family and I bought her as a nine week old fat, fluffy ball of loveliness. Believe me when I say that she was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen … I was only 16 at the time and had lead a relatively sheltered life and so my experiences of beautiful things were a little limited, nonetheless we were blissfully in love with her.  I will upload a picture for everyone to cast their eyes at, just so everything is in perspective.

At first thoughts I remember that she was the most loving loyal companion you could wish for. Mind you the more I think of it, that probably really inst the case. There was the hair, anyone with any form of shedding dog can appreciate the hair, let alone a long haired German shepherd, you eat it, breath it, sleep in it, drink it and more often than not, just learn to embrace it. Then there was her hatred of men, this was an interesting pastime of hers that I’m fairly sure she took great pleasure in, so much so that the poor postman posted a note through the door one morning requesting his very own post bin to save his fingers. You will be please to know that we duly obliged, mainly to avoid any future court summons from frightened said postman. There was the love of shoe insoles, yes the insole only, many a time I went to school in the morning with my poor feet just resting on the hard rubber of the shoe sole after Jasmines wild night of insole shredding. If you ever have the opportunity to see a shoe minus its insole you will know what I’m talking about, safe to say it wasn’t the most comfortable after a day trudging through the halls of secondary school and last but not least there was the lack of sleep. Now I knew even then that some puppies can be a little upset in the evening … what I hadn’t prepared myself for was the high pitched screeching at maximum volume every hour !! The only way to shut her up was to sleep alongside her on the kitchen floor and even then it didn’t always work.

Alas, we finally got over the terrible stages of being a family with a new pup and forgave her for the initial mishaps we had in the first year of our coexistence and moved on.  For the next twelve years we cried, laughed, loved and subsequently enjoyed an amazing twelve wonderful years with her until she sadly and very unexpectedly suffered a stroke in December 2017.

It was all very quick and we are so thankful that she did not have to suffer. During the twelve years we spent with our very special Jasmine, I especially learnt some very hard lessons. The first being to love unconditionally and forgive, everyone and everything makes mistakes, don’t hold them to it. Teach the right way and move on but love always. The second was loyalty, now every dog is somewhat loyal to their owner in their own way but if you have never owned a German shepherd then you have sorely missed out, they are loyal to the death and once they have bonded with you they will be your best friend for life, the third and probably most important lesson that I find myself recently struggling with is patience, try where possible to take a deep breath and be patient, dont act in the moment, move away, compose and reevaluate the situation, you never know a different approach might be the key.

But of course our story does not stop there! Everyone who has ever had a pet then you will fully appreciate that a house is not a home without any animal, especially when its missing a giant German Shepherd. Jasmine left such a void within the household that we decided a new dog was a must have and so we met Atlas.

 

Jasmine1 Jasmine … where it all started ❤