A while back, our friend Frankie Furter challenged everyone to share the story of how they got their name on July 4 as a fun way to enjoy a laid back holiday. So, in the spirit of Frankie's idea, we're sharing the history of our names. At least, as much of it as we can.
Greyhounds are a little different than a lot of dogs, because most of them come to their homes as retired racers who already have names. Some of the names are rather funny and clever. Many times they have kennel names that have something to do with their racing names, and other times, they have kennel names that have nothing to do with their racing names. CKB Tom Koon, you know who you are!
Some racing owners always give their dogs some initials before their names that stand for something personal to them. For example Treat's owners always named the dogs Adios and then something, so her name was Adios Treat. Hawk's owner always names the dogs Stat US and then a name. His litter all had team mascot names. It also happens that sometimes they don't give a prefix of any kind to the names, too. Anyhow, now that there's a little background behind us, I'll explain how our current girls got their names.
Lilac's official name is WW Line. It appears that her owners really liked trains, because there are a lot of train references in their dogs' names. She was known as Line when we got her as a foster. During the time when we had her as a foster, a very good friend of ours had a greyhound who was a lot like her in temperment and she went through a prolonged illness and eventually passed away just before we made Lilac officially ours. Her signature color was purple. When we first got her, she was into everything, in the sneakiest of ways. We had to say her name A LOT! We decided to alter her original name slightly and make it something easier to say so that we could try to train her. So, in a nod to our friend's dog, we changed it to Lilac, which still had a bit of the sound of the name she'd had but was easier to say in a training sort of way. Seven years later, we still say her name a lot and she still ignores us just as much. Interestingly, in both of the litters of puppies she had there is also a dog named Line. We think Lilac just suits her, though. I often think of the poem "When I Am An Old Lady, I Shall Wear Purple" when I think of Lilac, too, so it just sort of seems to fit her. Lilac's name is the only one that we have changed after she came to live with us.
Blueberry's racing name was Reward Terry. Before she lived with us, she spent a few months as the companion to a crazy cat lady. She'd been called Terry at the track, but they had someone in their family named Terry and they didn't want to have confusion. Greyhounds who are grey are actually rather rare, and the color is known as blue within the breed. They thought it would be fun to combine a reference to her color and make a rhyme with her name, so they changed her name to Blueberry. The first four months that Blue lived with us, we were supposed to be petsitting her, with the plan that she was returning to the woman who'd first had her. So, of course we were calling her Blueberry. By the time she was officially ours, we were very used to calling her Blueberry and honestly, I couldn't pick a better name for her. It just really sums up her personality. She's funny, sweet and often a surprise.
Bank On Benefit. She was called Bunny at the farm long before she had an official name. At first, I thought that it might have been a play on Benefit, but I learned that she was called Bunny from the time she was little. Interestingly, there was a mix up when her litter left the farm and went to schooling, and the names that they were supposed to have got somewhat mixed up. So, it's possible she was meant to be Bank On Bling. Since greyhounds are usually trained to chase mechanical rabbits on the track (who have their own names, but that's a post for another day) I really loved the irony of her being named Bunny. She's also very petite for a greyhound. Often people ask if she's a whippet, but she's a bit too big for that. Still, because of her size and her nature, Bunny really is a perfect name for her.
I know that a lot of greyhound adopters change their dogs' names when they first adopt them, but I've always been partial to keeping part of them. I feel like it's a part of their history, I suppose. If I had one who came with a really embarrassing name, that would be a different story, though! However, now you know a little bit about our girls' history.
We'd like to wish all our friends in the United States a Happy Independence Day, as well! Here's our own version of red, white and Blueberry!