First off, to all of our USA friends – Happy Independence Day! Hope you have a terrific day – and spend a little time remembering the courage it took to declare our independence from the most powerful empire in the world.
Our pal Frankie thought it would be a great idea to take this day and post how every dog out there got its name. We are really looking forward to reading everyone’s stories (the rules of the game). Being Siberians, we, of course, bent the rules and took a post every day this week to explain where each member of The Herd’s name came from. We are wrapping up all of our stories with our newest member – Cheoah. (Don’t forget that every member of The Herd has his/her own page here, including past members of The Herd.)
As we said yesterday, we never intended to have more than 3 dogs, but when our big personality, Nikita, passed, we adopted Kiska and Kodiak to fill that void. And then we could not resist Qannik’s infectious smile. In May of 2008, we received a phone call from a volunteer at Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation that a Siberian Husky had been abandoned behind a foreclosed house – tied to a tree. The owners of the house had simply left, and this beautiful red Sibe was just left sitting there. We, of course, made room for her.
But let’s back up to how she earned her name. A few weeks prior to getting that call, we were out hiking and stopped by the Folk Art Center. A woman approach the hu-dad and introduced herself as a member of the Lakota tribe. She said that she believed that dogs with “white eyes” were spirits and asked to be introduced to Qannik. When he said sure, she replied, “No, I need you to introduce me to him.” So the hu-dad introduced them to each other. They sat and talked for quite some time – the woman had great stories to tell. But just before she parted, she turned and prophesied that she foresaw an addition of a Siberian Husky to The Herd and her name would be Cheoah, the Cherokee word for Spirit.
The hu-dad decided to make the prophesy come true by naming our newest addition Cheoah. There is just one technical problem. You see, we live right beside the Qualla Boundary – the reservation for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. School children on the reservation must learn to read and write both English and Cherokee. Thus, we live in an area where lots of people know that Cheoah does NOT mean spirit. It means “otter.” Yep, we named a dog Otter. In a part of the world where lots of people KNOW that we named the dog Otter. Sigh.
Here is the good part. None of The Herd is particularly enamored with water. Except for Cheoah. Who loves to be soaking wet at every possible opportunity. So maybe she isn’t misnamed at all. (As for Cheesewhiz – just a play on the name. No meaning).