Hunting Dogs photo

A couple weeks back I asked readers for suggestions on how to convince a significant other that you need a new pup. Incidentally, the photo that accompanies that blog is my little setter, Jenny, when she was eight weeks old. I can’t say that I actually tried using any of your fine and varied suggestions, but obviously I did something right, or at least not catastrophically wrong, as here I am again, for better or worse, with a new pup.

Meet Insert Name Here (we’ll get to that in a minute). He’s a precocious, long-legged, raw-boned little cutie of an English setter from Berg Brothers Kennel in Dayton, Minnesota. In this picture he’s giving the stink-eye to a prairie chicken wing, but when I picked him up from the airport Friday, he was alternately charming everyone at the cargo dock (when they were paying attention to him) and splitting their eardrums with howls of pure anguish (when they weren’t).

And that’s pretty much how things have been for the past couple days. The first week or so of life with any new puppy can be summarized thusly: feed me, love me, don’t leave me. Which is why I’m trying to balance a sleeping (and, unfortunately for me, farting) ball of fur on my lap as I type these words.

I had actually planned on getting a new retriever pup this year, as my chessie is pushing nine, and focus on a new setter pup next year. But the chessie breeding I was hoping for didn’t happen this year, so I decided to simply reverse the timeline and get a new setter pup instead. My wife was skeptical, but it made perfect sense to me. It may have been more practical to have had another year or two between my pointing dogs (Jenny just turned two) but in matters of puppy, practical (thankfully) rarely rears its ugly head.

So in the coming months I’ll be writing (and perhaps even shooting some video) of our progress from butterball to first-year gundog. I hope you enjoy it, I think it’s going to be fun. Or at least funny. I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunity to laugh with and at me.

But there’s a problem. For the first time in Love family recorded history, we can’t quite come to terms on a name. My oldest son wants to name him one thing, my wife wants to name him something else, I have my own name in mind, and my five-year-old (the smartest, most level-headed of the bunch) keeps reminding all of us that we can’t keep calling him “pup” the rest of his life. So I have set an absolute Wednesday deadline for naming “Anon” (as I’ve been referring to him). My wife has solicited suggestions from her friends and family. Now it’s my turn. Give me your best male dog name suggestions. My tastes in dog names tend to run toward the obscure or literary, but lay anything you got on me, I’m getting desperate. I gotta find a name, and quick. The last thing I need is a dog with identity issues.