Delayed Gratification


Pete and Baby Moses

We are expecting a new puppy: a companion for Moses, and a respite–and new pupil–for Pete. My husband has misgivings about a third dog, and–although I generally keep it to myself–so do I. But, sadly, we won’t have three forever, and I want Pete, the elder statesman, to help train the puppy.

The puppy will be a special one, like Moses, carefully bred to be healthy, smart, even-tempered, gentle, and sweet. Also long-lived. These German Shepherds often live to be 13 or 14 years old, which is long for a big dog. Every day I check the breeder’s website, to see the current puppies, and look for news of the coming event. But today I found out it won’t be late fall, but early spring.

I am a little disappointed, but it gives me time to continue my ruminations on names. Leading contenders for now are Marcus Aurelius (guess why); St. Augustine (remember Augie Doggie?); Herodotus (I know); and George.

Official dog names are usually kind of pompous, with the kennel name in the possessive first, followed by the particular dog’s name.  Still, it’s always possible to have fun with the form. With Peter and Moses we have New Testament and Old Testament represented. But the truth is that Moses’ name, although he is officially Moses, Prince of Egypt, was actually the result of my watching The Ten Commandments too frequently in my youth. I wanted to be able to shake my head sorrowfully and say, “Moses, Moses, Moses.”

I’m kind of leaning toward George. But I am open to suggestions. Drop me a line if you have a perfect name for a big, beautiful, new German Shepherd puppy. Did I mention that he’s expected to be 150 pounds? He’ll need something he can grow into.

If I pick your suggestion, I’ll send you a copy of my latest book.


Moses, left, and Pete on Washington Island.


6 thoughts on “Delayed Gratification

  1. Hello Jan, Julie lent me The Audacity Of Goats. I simply loved it! You had me hooked with your first book and this one didn’t disappoint either. I read it in a little over a day. Your style of writing is wonderful, the story kept me from putting the book down, and again, your description of nature, animals, and people were perfect in that you have a gift of bringing the images to a reader with just the right amount of words. A true talent is that. Question, as a long time huntsman/ fisherman, isn’t a pike and a northern the same thing? (Page 159) Just wondering if the locals call things differently in that area of the state. As to your dogs: check your city’s codes, here in Germantown we are allowed 3 dogs before we have to apply for a special kennel license. Longevity of a big dog has lots to do with the owners too. Some of my Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have lived to be 14, I believe it’s the love and care you give them. No doubt on that part with you. Lastly, the dog and butter story made me laugh, I had that situation years ago and used the mouse trap method also. My daughter is experiencing the same thing right now with her Chessie pup. Forgive my long letter, I’m laid up a bit with my back problems from pulling weeds and I’ve the tv and books to keep my mind active. ( Ok, I let my dogs jump up on the bed to keep me company, shhhhhh.) – Anne


    • Thank you, Anne! I appreciate your detailed comments. I did edit a bit, to prevent revealing any plot details.
      And I think you may have caught my ignorance of fishing.
      But your surmises were extremely insightful….
      Loved your long note. Keep them coming. I love hearing from my readers and friends.


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