Real Life: Pet Names – A Dog Called Cock

A friend on Facebook is asking for help naming her puppy and it reminded me of a piece I wrote way back when. Obviously, I suggested she called her puppy Cock and here’s why.

Sometimes when one comes in to new communities one discovers that there are certain subjects which bond people, regardless of class and status, because there is consensus.

Ultimately, it’s why we ‘Brits’ talk about the weather all of the time. It is the one thing we can all actually agree on: ‘the weather is shit and when it’s a nice there is no finer place than Britain on a sunny day.’

On arrival in The Shire I have discovered that folk around here have a big propensity towards dogs. I was raised with cats as pets. I, personally, don’t want a dog but I think it’s because I am bowing under the weight of mothering, working, breathing, chickens, cat, rabbits, errant husbands, being bonkers and aged aunts. It seems like a pet too far and we already know I am thinking about the menagerie too. It could push me over the edge.

A dog is a ‘must have’ accessory in The Shire but it’s not enough to simply own one. You must be able to speak ‘dog’ with knowledge, empathy and crazy love. It’s a bit like speaking ‘child’.

I have noticed that when folk walk in to the pub with a dog, especially if it is a breed, other dog speakers engage with them. ‘Is that a Weimeramramarama?’ Owner nods, ‘lovely dogs, my great aunt Ethel had one some 20,000 years ago so calm, great badger hunters; but can be a bit chewy.’

Or alternatively, they will use dog parlance to describe the characteristic of humans to me. “Did you know Beverly at Country House, rather large lady, eats like a Labrador?” I just nod trying to not look puzzled. I have no idea about the eating habits of a Labrador.

If I am going to belong in the shire I might have to succumb and get a dog. I was thinking I might get a cocker spaniel and call it ‘Cock’. At least I can amuse myself daily and roam through the fields shouting ‘COCK!’. The comedy moments would be endless, “Get down Cock!”.

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