Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Giant Puppy Gets a Name

Today we have one main goal:  Name our new puppy.

When we get back to Haiti this little cuddly creature will be adopted into our family.

We've never really done the "pet thing."  When you have a bunch of kids, really close together, the idea of adding a dog into that mixture sounds insane.  "We want a dog.  Can we have a dog?"  Believe me, the kids have asked.  Relentlessly, they have asked.  My answer?  "No.  Unless one of you moves out, we can't have a dog.  We can't have a dog because we already have too many kids."

Anyone who knows me knows this:  I am not a dog person.

Call me crazy but I'm not a fan of things licking me or of exposed private parts.  Dogs have those.  I won't lie.  It makes me cringe to know that dogs put their exposed hiney holes all over the floor.  If someone came over to your house, licked you, opened up their butt cheeks, set their butt hole on your floor...or worse...your couch...and then this person humped your leg, I'm thinking their bizarre behavior would be a show stopper, a story you told over and over, and your guest would never be allowed back at your house.

The rules are obviously different for dogs.

Add two legs, some fur, some slobber, and suddenly this barbaric house guest becomes a beloved pet.

We've also never been a huge fan of dog food bills or paying for dogs to go to the vet.

Can you imagine how much food this dog will eat?  Four boys and a mastiff.  Are we the dumbest people that ever lived?

Dogs in Haiti are not just pets, they are working dogs.  Part pet, part security guard.  I keep telling myself that over and over and over.

The boys are thrilled to have a dog waiting for them when we get back to Haiti.  I'm thrilled to have a puppy who will grow up to be a giant beast of a dog who will be the best protection for my babies money can buy in a country like Haiti.  We could all pull the Jesus card here and say He is our protection.  He is.  I want to believe that, but until I fully do, I will snap back with a snarky, "Jesus created mastiffs.  Maybe that's how He is protecting my children."  You can pray for us.  It's always welcome.

When I'm at Beth's and her lionesque dogs are walking around her house, I'm in awe of these enormous creatures who are insanely loyal and protective while allowing children to sit on top of them.  Gentle giants to those they love.  Fierce warriors whose barks make my blood go cold and my legs feel like jelly when they encounter people who are new or seem the least bit threatening.

Today we had a chaotic family meeting to decide on a name for our newest family member.  Beth is fostering our dog, and being the dog lover she is, I'm sure it is driving her bananas that this dog does not have a name.

Naming things in our house is a big deal.  All our names start with A or H, so we had to decide if the dog's name would start with an A or an H.  Overwhelmingly the kids agreed that must have an A name or an H name.  Since it's a dog, and not a person, we were all okay with it having EITHER an A or an H name, even though in our ridiculous pattern we have going on right now, we are due for an A name (since Hudson is the baby).

We listed adjectives to describe full-grown mastiffs.  With an animal this substantial, it really needs a proper name.  One that means something.

Anson mentioned Hestia, a greek goddess who was the protector of hearth and home.  We all loved Anson's idea, but no one was a huge fan of the name Hestia.  Aaron said it sounded like a disease or a sugar substitute.  As a homeschooling mom, I liked Anson's idea because it caused great pride to well up inside me  that he remembered our mythology unit.  Then Anson told me he read about Hestia in the Percy Jackson books.  Well, fine.  Whatever.

Aaron and the kids started looking into other warriors/goddesses.  Not because we believe in those, but because they are bigger than life and cool.  Just like a mastiff.

We finally found one we liked.

Meet Artemis.
Protector of the Vulnerable

I almost cried (I am all sorts of lame that way) when Aaron and the kids said her name and what it means.  And guess what?  After reading more about Artemis, in the stories, she became a midwife.

Artemis.  Protector of the Vulnerable and the warrior midwife.  She will fit in well around Heartline.


the momma said...

I guess I'm lame, too ;-) 'Artemis' is just perfect!!

Life With the Crazies said...

First of all... I am dying laughing right now at your description of dogs as a disgusting house guest, I too cringe at the butt hole all over the carpet, couch, etc. It repulses me, hence we do not have a dog.

Secondly, what a perfect name!

beth lehman said...

Great name, great story - Artemis. So strong sounding. Butt holes, indeed. I have the same problem with dogs...!!!

Kelly said...

We have a 175 lb bull mastiff (yeah he took after the mastiff side of the family). He is the most Awesome person (he could never be considered just a dog) who has ever been. Yes he slobbers, eats and drinks messily but could never be replaced in our hearts. I hope your Artemis will give you joy and live a long life.

Mrs. H. said...

"Aaron said it sounded like a disease or a sugar substitute." I just cracked up laughing at this! I have got to stop reading your blog while I am eating!! I am going to choke one of these days.

I am a huge dog lover and I can't wait to hear about Artemis when you return to Haiti. I just have a feeling there will be some funny stories involving her down the road. :-)

CarpioFamily said...

ok, so you mention wondering how much food she will eat when full grown. Ours is a 7 yr old mastiff, we buy 55 lb bag of food just about every 4 - 6 weeks. it's like $20 at Sams. We give ACV to help calm fleas/parasites since medicine for a >100 lbs dog can be expensive. Yea! for big dogs and boys who love them.

kfsullivan said...

Great name! I think this dog may just win your heart over, totally. Our dog has yet to win mine over, but I have a good feeling about Artemis.

Anonymous said...


Give. This. A. Chance! If you will allow it to happen, this dog will become another member of your family! Just get over your A/R, clean-freak, germ-aversive tendencies and let this precious pup worm her way into your heart! I PROMISE you won't regret it!! After all, God made dogs, too! I can't wait to see your posts about Artemis in the weeks to come!

Cathy T

Anonymous said...

Oh, and my comments above come from one who once said "No dog is EVER coming in my house!". Now, they sleep in the bed with me. You don't have to go that far, though...babysteps!


Hendrick Family said...

Ha Cathy! So funny.

I'm giving it a go. We'll see!


Jenny said...

So funny! I must admit it has never occured to me that my dog is placing her "butt hole" on my carpet, but I'm suddenly glad I gave in to my husband's rule of no dogs on the furniture :)

love the name!

Jennifer Faulk said...

AWW! What a cutie! :) We have a one year old German Shepherd, and he is both a fearless defender and a snuggly lovie. (Our three year old would live life with her arms around him if we would let her.) That sweet Artemis will grow on you as she grows up! :)

Me. Us. She. said...

I'm so lame for never commenting and then deciding to comment on a dog name post! But I have to say that I love Artemis. PERFECTION!

Suzie said...

The big lunk who has won my heart is a Goldador (half Lab, half Golden Retriever) named Augustus Nelson. Almost one hundred pounds of total adoration. Artemis is an equally perfect A name, so no doubt she will win you over as well!

Marla Taviano said...

Her name is perfection.

Sharon Wheeless said...

Love, love, love the name. I also have issues with dogs and their parts being all on my carpet and furniture. But if I needed one for protection, I would want an Artemis.

mandi said...

And I love mastiffs. They are such great dogs. She will turn you into a dog person, no doubt!

Now, about the butts...that was hilarious! And so true. Don't even get me started on cats. The way they step in their poop and then people let them sleep in their beds. Ack!

Joanna said...

Heather, I have to admit I have NEVER met anyone that has described how they feel about a pet the exact same way that I do. I completely agree. I usually try to keep my comments to myself since my dear friends love these furry beast that don't wear any clothes to cover their "privates".
Thanks for the good laugh. Can't wait to see you again in Haiti soon!

Hendrick Family said...

Ha Joanna!

Yes. We have to keep our doggy disgust on the downlow in our particular circle of friends.

Glad to know you know what I'm thinking when Marley slobbers on my skirt. Barf.


We Are Family said...

LOL! Our family LOVES our 160lb English Mastiff - However if you are looking for him to be a fearless defender ....ummmm maybe he can LEAN on someone and crush them but if your dog is anything like ours, there won't be one ounce of aggression in that huge hairy body ;) HAVE FUN....You didn't even mention the GIGANTIC piles of poo you will need to discard....

Tamara Bonacquisti said...

OH my! You are a stitch. I have ALWAYS had a dog. A big one too. I have never thougth about the butt hole thing in that way. Now I am quite disgusted. I hope I still like my Golden when I get home!
And for the name! You homeschooling is showing. hehehe It really is a GREAT name for a female Mastiff. A much better chose then when our kids named their hamsters, Hestia and Artemis! Too funny. No one ever said it sounded like a sugar supplement, or a disease, but they do make much better names for Mastiffs, then for tiny fluffy hamsters.

Stacey said...

I couldn't help but note how funny (pun intended) your first intitials are.


Or it is it Aha! Hah!

Love it! Enjoy your puppy!
Maybe you shoud name him Aha! He is great idea!

...or Haha! Because you will inevitably enjoy him. No doubt!

I can't believe I'm actually going public that I think this way but here goes...

Stacey said...

And duh...
It's a girl!

Her name is lovely by the way. I love it!

Melda said...

You can do it!

I am living proof.......

4 boys and a dog and I try to keep the WEEKLY grocery bill below $300 a week. Yes, it's true.......they will eat more as they grow, but it's an investment!

Ruth Ann said...

ok, I definitely just laughed so hard that I CRIED. While I love dogs, I have some issues with them also...especially the gross factor and the fact that I already live with all boys - a husband and three little guys. All - let's face it - gross.

If only I lived in Haiti - then we could be best friends and have the quality girl time we probably both need :)

mamamargie said...

Love it! Love it! Love it!