I hadn’t really told anyone that I had decided to keep the puppy. My best friend and roommate, Amanda, was arriving the following day to join us for the last two weeks of our trip. There was a lot to talk about with her—and I had a sneaky suspicion it would take the full two weeks to work out the details. In all fairness to the dog (and Amanda), everyone in the house needed to be on the same page in order for this to work peacefully. There was still a chance he wouldn’t be able to live with me. My thoughts were racing day and night—from the adventure, work, and the possibility of a puppy. Something was starting to stir inside me. I found it easier to enjoy and be in the moment when my future was forming in front of me. Nothing was certain, nothing was familiar, not even my current surroundings, and yet everything felt “right” and alive.
Names were being discussed. The puppy should have a great name—but what? Buster? Biscuit? John? Peter Pan? Story? James? Lucky? Pickles? Action? Bruiser? Dopey? Gonzo? Luke? Rascal? Bubba? Gizmo? Poko? I cringed at some of them, because, (although these are fine names), I felt like he already had one.
I kept adding “Rocket” to the list. “Hey, you already said that one!” I was told over and over. “I know,” I answered, “because that’s his name.” “No, we’re choosing his name right now,” was the reply. “I know,” I smiled.
When I thought back to my dream of having a dog, I saw him. I saw a “Rocket” by my side. This puppy felt like that Rocket. From the moment he crawled in my lap at the vet, I had been trying to smother that “Oh, there you are!” feeling. But I was nervous. What if Amanda came and we discovered that he couldn’t stay, and then he was named Rocket and went to live with someone else? But I didn’t want my dog to end up with a name like Hippo or Rover. So I had to keep pushing for ‘my’ choice.
A tiny bit of my fear subsided when I heard someone say, “So what should we name Rocket?”