The Dog with Three Names

One might wonder if a shelter dog can have an identity crisis. Sometimes a dog moves from home to home, family to family, and possibly hears a different name in every new situation. It has to confusing and stressful for an animal who can’t speak our language, who has no control over any of these big life changes, and who thrives on predictability. This describes the life of Prince, Oz, and Marty who is just one dog.

Before we proceed with our tale, we want to say that changing a dog’s name is not a bad thing, especially when trying to build trust in a new relationship. When that new name is paired with wonderful feelings and experiences, a name change can be a great thing. Plus we know how important names are and it should work for both the dog AND the human. We just want to acknowledge that from a dog’s perspective, it could be confusing.

Now, back to our little dog with three names. He came to us as Prince back in early 2016 when his person no longer had the time to care for him. He appeared to be a tiny Pomeranian mix with a beautiful rich chocolate-colored coat. Being small, he was adopted soon afterward but that only lasted a few weeks before he was returned because of behavior.

Within a month, he was adopted again. This time, he was given the name Oz, which seemed to suit him. His new person fell deeply in love with him and was able to build trust his trust. Her commitment to him was strong. His life became her life. Over time, her life hit some hurdles, and Oz was in and out of our shelter when she needed help while undergoing medical care. Through the years because of his multiple stays with us, we got to know and love him. He was a sweet little guy. He always came in looking as though he had just left the spa. His coat was shiny, his nails neatly trimmed, and he often had a little bow in his hair.

Then in early fall of this year, Oz came to us again, but this time he never went home. His person passed away, and Oz lost his family. He was 9 years old now. But this spirted little dog wasn’t done with life’s offerings and he was about to reinvent himself once again. When Steph came in, she came looking at a medium-sized senior dog we had. She was looking for an older calmer small dog who could travel with her back and forth to her CA home. Unfortunately the dog she came to see was not a good candidate for that. We loved her thoughtful, kind, and dog-savvy approach to adopting, and we suggested she meet Oz. BINGO! An immediate connection was made and Oz was soon out the door and on his way to a new life.

Oz now goes by Marty, which again seems to fit him in his new lifestyle. He’s an early morning beach walker, a lap-warming movie watcher, and soon will be a trans-continental traveler. From Prince to Oz to Marty, the golden years ahead for this little guy might just be his best ones yet!

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