MY “Doggone” DAY: Meet Erma

At around 3:00 PM I meandered into SICSA (pet adoption center) with just my backpack.

At 5:00 PM I meandered out of SICSA with my backpack and a dog on a hot pink leash.

As word spread that she had been adopted, four staff members came to hug on her and tell her, “goodbye.”  As we left the pen for the front door volunteers surrounded her with their farewells and best wishes.

On the way home, she did not tug at the leash and obeyed commands beautifully.

While strolling down Dorothy Lane there were three shout-outs of, “you’ve got a beautiful dog!”

That was reassuring.

I pondered possible names.

She is 9 years old and her name is Precious.

I know there’s the adage of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks but I don’t buy into “this is the way it’s always been” crap. Plus, while at SICSA, she was already learning commands in German.


Ummm… those names just don’t fit for a Haasienda pet. After all, we’ve always had names that are associated with my career or projects, or people who greatly inspire me:

  • LOGAN – named for my directing mentor, Joshua Logan
  • FLYER – named in honor of The Wright Brothers
  • CHIEF – named in honor of my one adopted son who is Navajo (the boys had actually given him an inappropriate name that I didn’t recognize; I changed his name to Chief after 20+ texts and calls when folks read his name on Facebook)
  • NAVI – my one son actually wanted to name her Precious; ugh! Get me the ipecac!
  • HARRIGAN – named in honor of Nedda Harrigan Logan
  • BAILEY – named for George Bailey in the movie, ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE; Joshua Logan and Jimmy Stewart were classmates at Princeton University; Mr. Logan needed an additional actor for a show he was directing and tapped his friend Jimmy, an architect major, to do the job; Mr. Stewart changed his major to acting
  • FLANAGAN – named in honor of Father Flanagan of Boys Town fame
  • NEKO – was my son’s cat and named by him
  • CLYDE – the fat cat came with the name from the Humane Society; ironically he was brought in on May 23 which happens to be the anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde’s death; it was also ironic that he had the name from the musical, BONNIE & CLYDE, and three of my students were playing Clyde, Young Clyde, and Clyde understudy

So now… what shall the name of the new dog be?

My son suggested Hamilton in honor of the musical we both love. Several others on social media offered suggestions which I really liked.

While “Precious” was standing on the end of the deck I began calling her with different names:

  • Hamilton
  • Ladybird (Johnson)
  • Mary Todd
  • Katharine (Wright)
  • Nedda (Logan)
  • Dolley (Madison)
  • Mamie (Eisenhower)
  • Martha (Washington, Jefferson)
  • Abigail (Adams)
  • Fanny (Mendelssohn)
  • Angelica (Schuyler)
  • Eliza (Schuyler Hamilton)
  • Eleanor (Roosevelt)
  • Oscar or Hammerstein

“Precious” responded to nothing.

Then, I said, “Erma!” and she came strolling over to me, tail wagging, and her mouth in what appeared to be a doggie smile.

Our new girl will be named after my writing inspiration, Dayton native Erma Bombeck.

Welcome, Erma!


About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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