Good morning and thank you for reading my blog!  Today I want to share with you something that comes from deep within my heart, and that is names that I call Riley.  I remember the day we went to pick out a puppy.  We chose the runt of the litter who had black eyeliner markings around his eyes and floppy ears.  We would come back in a few weeks to take him home once he was a little more grown up.  I came home, picked up a pad of paper, and started writing down a list of potential names for my new fur ball.  It was so challenging!  A dog’s name is permanent.  You only call them one name and that is all the dog will know…or so I thought.​

Since 15-year-old me was to be this dog’s sole care-taker, I had the last say in his name.  So we brought home a tiny little fluff ball named Riley.  I really wish that I had started writing down the transformation of his names since the beginning, but I haven’t and so I will try to recall them all the best I can.

It didn’t take long for the nicknames to start flowing.  The first small transformations were Rye and Rye-Guy of course.  My mom started calling him Ollie and Ol for short or Gov’ (short for Governor) as a term of endearment. Somehow I skipped to calling Riley Scooby or Scoob which I didn’t even realize was from the show “Scooby-Doo” for a long time.  I didn’t copy the name, it just came out of my mouth and stuck.  

Scooby turned to Squamous after I started taking Anatomy and Physiology in college.  Squamous is a type of cell, but my mom didn’t like me calling him that because squamous cells can turn cancerous.  I thought that was a good enough point and stopped.  Squamous then turned to Squanto, like the famous Indian.  But that seemed a little forced and it didn’t last long.  

Side note: All the names I have mentioned so far, have been the ones he has been called at least 100 times.  It would be extremely hard for me to remember the names that I have only called him once.  Those names come straight from the heart, bubble up to my mouth, bypassing any true sensor and bam, a new name!  An example of one of these names would be Jum-Lee or Yucastan Peninsula.  

Then came Squig.  Squig is short for Squiggle, which fits Riley perfectly.  If Rye was a drawing, he would be a squiggle.  The name Squig stuck around for a long time.  It’s just so cute! “Come here Squig!”, “Mr. Squig”, Mr. Long-John-Squiggle-Pants”.  I could go on for a long time.

Now we have been calling Riley “Jim”, which is short for Gymnasium.  I don’t know why I was calling him a gymnnasium and yes, I realize that Jim is a completely different human name.  I think I have been causing much confusion when we go on walks.  A passer-by will ask what his name is and I will say Riley…and then proceed to talk to Riley, calling him Jim…in front of this stranger.  They are probably thinking that I am crazy and lie about my dog’s name.  I mean, I am crazy so…

Now Rye’s names are Jim, Jimma, Jimmy, Jimmers, Jiminy, Jiminy Cricket, Tzim, and Tzimma.  These last two I am guessing on the spelling.  It is a sound that is not used in the English language…

So that is a peak into the world of Jim and all his embarrassing names.  I will have you know that he knows all of his names.  He will respond to each and every one and knows who he is.  I don’t know how he does it and I give him all the credit in the world for putting up with me.

Now that I’ve shared a very small portion of all the names I have called Tzim, I am very interested to hear what you call your dog.  Do you have nicknames for your dog? Do you spew random words to get your dog’s attention?  Does your dog respond to his or her nicknames?  Do your nicknames evolve like mine do? Let’s hear ‘em!