Otter Oughta Be Her Name

Are you aware that the name Cheoah refers to a certain water loving creature? Very appropriate since otter oughta be her name.

With water drooling out of her mouth, you can see why otter oughta be her name.

With water drooling out of her mouth, you can see why otter oughta be her name

We were hiking one day and ran into a Lakota woman who wanted to be introduced to Qannik, a dog she perceived to be a special spirit because of his eyes. In talking with her, she foretold that we would soon adopt a new Siberian Husky named Cheoah, the Cherokee word for “Spirit.”

Dive! Dive!

Dive! Dive!

Thus, a few weeks later, when we adopted this little red Siberian Husky who had been abandoned behind a foreclosed house, we decided to name her “Cheoah.” Unfortunately, we live in one of the few parts of the world with several thousand Cherokee speakers (we live beside the Eastern Band reservation) who have gleefully told us that Cheoah actually means Otter, not spirit. Fortunately, Cheoah is also that rare Siberian who loves water, as can be seen in these photos.

Why are you looking at me?

Why are you looking at me?


  1. Terry (+Rory) on September 24, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    I LOVE CHEOAH!!! She is such a beauty…and very cool! She follows her own rules!!

  2. All Things Collie on September 24, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    Ha, I wonder where that woman learned the word for spirit!

    Collies don’t usually like the water/swimming. Do huskies? Or is Cheoah unusual?

  3. Juno's mom on September 24, 2018 at 9:27 am

    The dive picture made me think of the fishing style of bears in rivers referred to as snorkeling. She looks like a fuzzy little bear. ;-D

  4. tammy j on September 24, 2018 at 6:49 am

    oh how I love this! a Free spirit listening to her own drummer! 🙂

  5. Jean B Burkhardt on September 24, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Cheoah might be a “spirit” OR an “Otter” but no matter-she is a water loving sweetheart!!!!

  6. Patricia and Rebel on September 24, 2018 at 4:23 am

    Maybe she saw the “Spirit” of the “Otter”

Leave a Comment

Read Another Story

← Back One Story ◊ OR ◊ Forward One Story →

This Week's Thundering Herd Special Features

Monday Musing

Weekly thoughts from our Hu-Dad with the latest updates on his writing projects, the books he's reading, and a gratuitous dog photo of us.

The Red Balloon (Except Silver)

November 28, 2021

The classic movie Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon) had a bouncing toy befriend a boy. My recent experience with a silver balloon, however, makes me question the uplifting tale.

Way Back Wednesday

Each week, we reach back into our vault of over 4,500 previous posts and share a favorite. We hope you enjoy this look back.

View from the Ranch

October 13, 2009 |

The view from the ranch, our neighbors, is awesome, especially as the leaves begin changes and the cold weather rolls in to our mountain.

Visit Millerton, a fictional small town near Asheville NC, via D.K. Wall's novels. Ordinary people. Extraordinary events.