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The name game continues. If you want to participate, check out Frankie’s blog and the rules of the game. We are taking a post every day this week and explaining where each member of The Herd’s name came from. We will, at least, finish on July 4 – the day when everyone is supposed to post their stories.
We will continue with the story of The Herd tomorrow, but today we are going to cross the valley to our hu-grandmother’s house (The Herd Annex) and tell you about Tartok (Ruby’s name will be explained on Thursday).
Our hu-granddad suffers from a degenerative disease (progressive supranuclear palsy or its cousin, corticobasal degeneration – exact diagnosis is extremely difficult – think Parkinson’s and you have the idea) that affects many basic skills such as mobility and speech. Dealing with something like that is difficult for both the patient and the caregiver, so having a canine in the house is terrific support for hu-grandmom. Since she loved seeing The Herd and their antics (and, remembered fondly our beautiful Nikita who used to woo stories to the hu-grandmom), the hu-grandmom decided that she wanted a Siberian Husky.
As it turned out, our fantastic vet knew of a lady who had a Siberian Husky who needed to find a good forever home. A match made in heaven. Tartok made the move in November 2007 (he was born June 30, 2005).
His name was Midnight. A great name, but there was one problem – Midnight was the name of the beloved horse that the hu-grandmom had as a child. A horse is a best friend, a confidant, and a supporter – so the name had too many fond memories and could not be used. Still, we wanted to find a name that represented his black fur and resembled his original name – and we wanted to find a Native American name, preferably Inuit. We tried translating Midnight directly into Inuit (Unnuar Kretirarlugo – imagine trying to pronounce that) and using the word black (Tungulria or Kvernertok). We even played with a couple of names not directly connected to the color (Kinguyakki – Northern Lights – and Tikaani – wolf). Finally, we settled on Tartok which means dark, without light, although the hu-grandmom doesn’t like to acknowledge the “without light” part.
Tartok’s nicknames are mostly plays on his name – Tokkie, Tokkie Wokkie Doo, Ricki Ticki Tocki, and so on.
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