Articles Index/Editorial
Posted 06/14/10


It’s All in a Name

 Special thanks to Sue Ely for her contributions to this issue, and to Lorraine Comi for encouraging her to submit the article on living with a pack.  Sue has been gracious enough to volunteer to answer specific questions should anyone wish to email her at or call her at 908-832-5873.

While I think Sue’s article is superb, I did have to laugh a little when she said to teach every dog its name, and to demand that the dog look at you ‘no matter what’ when its name is spoken.

When I was growing up, I sometimes wondered why my grandmother, when addressing me, sometimes first had to name all her other grandchildren – including my brother John – and even her children - including uncle Roger – before she could retrieve my name from her memory bank.  She clearly knew to whom she was speaking, she just couldn’t immediately attach the right name to the little person standing in front of her.  And now?  It’s humbling to admit, but in my small pack of five I believe my dogs think their names are – variously:





Fortunately, my crew is mostly mellow (perhaps because I do adhere to Sue’s regime) and they tolerate my inability to quickly attach name of dog to deed being done with amazing good cheer.

Of course, in a pinch, I can just yell “treats!” and they’ll all come running at full attention, but in that case I’d better deliver the goods! (Carefully, in pack leader fashion, of course.)

On another topic, elsewhere in this issue are some tips on how to successfully deal with a lost dog.  This is a result of a well-orchestrated (if somewhat panicked) week-long search for a friend’s Shetland Sheepdog this August.  This well-trained, extremely well cared for little fellow was about the last dog you’d expect to be ‘lost’ … thus proving that it can happen to anyone.  The tips could be invaluable if you find yourself in this position.  I suggest you save them with the hope you’ll never need to use them.  (Kind of like carrying an umbrella to ward off rain.)


ANTIC, September, 2009

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