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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Dog with no Name...


A Dog With No Name

We went to a breeder and picked her out even before she was old enough to come home. She was cute, I must admit, really cute.

Before you ask, she is a Shih Tzu, a small frou-frou dog from a breed originating in China.

It's been a long time since I've had a puppy at my house. I'm just not quite sure what to do with her -- housebreaking, chewing, and all those horrible things that puppies do. But she is really cute.

"What's her name?" everyone asks.

She doesn't have a name yet. We need to think of a name.

"How about Molly?" I ask.

My honey doesn't like that one, but he can't think of anything else. The entire family gets in on the act, but nothing seems to fit.

I wasn't really in favor of another dog. Honey wanted a dog, and I finally caved in. His brother has a Shih Tzu. I blame him for this.

The dog needed to go to the vet for a checkup, so the appointment was made under "female puppy". We can't call her "female puppy" forever. She needs a name.

I look on the internet: Daisy, Lulu, Missy? I suggest.

Lulu? "Like the cartoon?" he asks sarcastically.

"Daisy is cute. I like that." But he shakes his head.

Muffin, Buttons, Skittles, Dixie, Bubbles?

"I like Skittles," says my daughter. But we still can't decide. Nothing seems right -- or good enough.

We go to the pet store to get a bed and a collar. We tell the pet store lady about the new puppy and that she doesn't yet have a name. "Just wait," suggests the lady at the pet store. "She will name herself."

I don't think so. I don't want her to end up with a handle like Trouble, Puddles, or Boo-Boo. No, we need to think of something.

"A lady at work says she gives her pets people names," suggests honey. That's the new trend. Pets are just like members of the family, so people name them just like a person.

"People names like Molly?" I ask?

"No, names like Sam, Alex, or Cooper," he replies.

"Well, those are names for a boy dog. What about Bonnie?" But he doesn't like that either.

To make it even worse, his brother's dog has a really cute name, Harley. We have to think of something at least as cute as Harley.

What about a Jewish name? I suggest, even though she is Chinese. We looked on the internet for Hebrew dog names: Hannah, Delilah, Naomi, Rebecca, Mollie?

"Mollie is on the list," I say.

But he doesn't like the meaning, "bitter."

"She's a dog! What does it matter what it means?"

Everything else is too grand for a puppy or unpronounceable. We want something people can pronounce.

Days go by. Poor nameless puppy, I am beginning to think her name will be "The Dog."

"I need to name her before going to the veterinarian," says honey. "What do you want to name her?"

"What do 'I' want to name her?" I've been making suggestions for two weeks -- now he wants ME to name her?

"She's YOUR DOG!" You decide!

Finally, on the morning of the doctor appointment, he puts her in the pet carrier and gets ready to go.

"What's her name?" I dare to ask.


We have a new dog at my house, a Shih Tzu. She is really, really cute. Just in case anybody wants to know, her name is Dixie.

Copyright 2006 Sheila Moss

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