Name Game – Cheoah

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.)

Cheoah performing the Siberian Mind Meld

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.

Performing the patented Cheoah Snow Slide

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.

These baby gate contraptions can be confusing.

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.

No, I have no idea how all of the water jumped out of the bucket and all over the dog room.

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).

Cheoah acting very lady like.


  1. Lisa on July 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    If if your name does mean otter, it’s still beautiful! As are you! Great to know where you got your name. Thanks for sharing!
    Kodi x

  2. Country Corgi Pups on July 8, 2010 at 6:12 am

    We have very much enjoyed learning how all of you got your names. We told how we got ours in our last Pippin’s Peek at the Past Puzzle (going on right now).

    We are so glad that you were also able to come to Cheoah’s rescue too!

  3. Mochi on July 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Cheoah’s name matches her perfectly! 🙂


  4. Twinkietinydog on July 6, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    Let me get this straight… Cheoah got her name before her adoption. Her dufus family left her tied to a dufus tree. She loves to be soaking wet! Hmmm, and she’s “accidentally” named Otter. BOL
    You’ve done a fabulous job introducing and reintroducing us to the sibes. THANK YOU

  5. fullofgrace on July 5, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Every Day I was drawn back to read about your herd. I loved reading the stories of each and every one of them, and the reasons for their names. I was hoping to participate in the name game but before I knew it fourth of july was over 😛 Anyhow I loved each post you made for each of your special pups 🙂

  6. Mr Koda MD on July 5, 2010 at 4:50 am

    Great tale!
    Makes it a bit more fun with a story!

  7. siku marie on July 5, 2010 at 1:07 am

    We have followed the Herd’s naming stories all week and feel that we not only have gotten to know about each of your names but have been priveleged to share something of your souls and your spirit. In many cultures knowing another’s name is powerful strong medicine…thanks for trusting us.Each of you adds a special strength and completeness to the whole of the herd!

  8. HUSKYS RULE on July 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Happy 4th to the herd!!! Loved all the stories!!! Go ahead & admit that you are a big fan of the movie “Animal House”!!! I am so glad that yall are one big happy family!!!!!!
    Licks & Nibbles,
    Kody & Nia

  9. Huffle Mawson on July 4, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    I think it was fate that she got named Otter 🙂

  10. Kari on July 4, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    they say some dogs grow into their names, she must have known about the otter connection

  11. Lorenza on July 4, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Happy Independence Day to all of you!
    I loved reading about you names!
    Kisses and hugs

  12. The OP Pack on July 4, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Every time we hear the story of the spirit and the otter, we love it even more. Cheoah would do well with TD and Ciara, who both seem to love to be wet – bring on the rain for them any day.

    Happy Fourth.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  13. Dennis the Vizsla on July 4, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    I can’t hear the name “Otter” without thinking of “Animal House”, which, given the size of the Herd, is probably not inappropriate! 😉

  14. Fiona on July 4, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Happy Fourth of July! And thanks for the days and days (wow – there are a lot of you!) of name-sharing! We both really like the mind-meld picture, and are studying it diligently to see if we can learn her technique!

    Here’s to hoping that you are able to steal some yummy foodables from the grill today!

    *kissey face*
    -Fiona and Abby the Mutant Puppy

  15. The Army of Four on July 4, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Happy Independence Day, Herd!
    Tail wags,

  16. Khyra on July 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Mom says she rekhalls when woo shared her tale fur the furst time on SiberNet –

    Given the transports and reskhues Mom is involved with, she knows of too many left in a house/tied to a tree stories – one day we khan only hope that…

    What a great series of posts AND pikhs – the last pikh is furry special BUT does she take it to the next level as Whitney ‘whould’?

    Happy FoURth of WOO-ly!


  17. Houndstooth on July 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

    She is the sweetest little thing! I can’t imagine anybody leaving her behind. Did you ever look it up to see what word is Cherokee for Spirit? Or maybe she just meant that she was an otter in spirt! lol I still think it’s a pretty sounding name for a lovely girl!

  18. NCMountainwoman on July 4, 2010 at 9:32 am

    I love the name regardless of the different meanings. What a lovely dog.

  19. Pip on July 4, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Thanks for sharing! I have enjoyed reading all your posts this week. Such beautiful dogs all with amazing stories!

    Your pal, Pip

  20. Sam on July 4, 2010 at 7:46 am

    We adopted one of our Great Danes from the same situation. The guy left and left a Fawnequin Great Dane and Great Pyrennese in the back yard – in July in Arizona. Thankfully, a concerned neighbor had enough sense to look in the back yard after noticing the guy was gone. They had gone several days without food or water. Ben, as we called our dane, was one of the best Great Danes we ever adopted!


  21. Shawnee the Shepherd on July 4, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I has so enjoyed reading about how all of yous gotted your names. I will has to werk on my name game post today. We woz going to go hiking up in Noo York where it be kewler today but mom’s back is owie so we can werk on the name game instead.

  22. Clive on July 4, 2010 at 5:29 am

    Happy 4th of July to all the Herd!

    It has been really interesting to learn how all the Herd got their names.

    best wishes
    Clive and the NSLM

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