First day home and name games

Split’s (still just a working name :-)) first day home in one word…busy.   The car ride home in a new crate, exploring every nook and cranny of the house that was accessible to him, figuring out how to negotiate the snow covered stairs on the deck (there are only 2 short steps), engaging Lacey (who was very good), meeting friends, plenty of play sessions with the new Mama, and experimenting with chewing or tugging everything he could get his mouth on.

Probably the biggest change for Split – was being totally alone for even a few minutes.  He grew up with 7 litter mates and until now slept in a pile of fur and had ready access to playmates at all times.    I put a small crate with no door in his puppy pen and a dog bed that he seemed to find comforting.  He now has to get used to sleeping without that body warmth and trusting that being alone is ok and just temporary.  When I was out of sight and the crying began,  I chose to simply go about my business – appearing often as it would happen naturally since his puppy pen is in a central part of the house.   I’m sure that will extinguish over the next couple of days.  He slept in a crate by my bed and maybe due to pure exhaustion, slept through until almost 6am.

If I had any concerns about his adaptability they are gone!  He is quite a bold puppy.  My friend Mary Ann suggested I may want to consider “Zen” as his name since his head markings look like the Chinese symbol for Yin and Yang and the name Zen might remind me to stay calm in the face of the energy that is sure to be coming.  I’m game to explore ideas so I revisited the Yin-Yang concept today, using of course Wikipedia :-).

“Yin yang are complementary opposites within a greater whole. Everything has both yin and yang aspects, although yin or yang elements may manifest more strongly …at different times. Yin yang constantly interacts, never existing in absolute stasis. There is a common misperception (especially in the West) that yin and yang correspond to good and evil. However, Taoist philosophy generally discounts good/bad distinctions as superficial labels, preferring to focus on the idea of balance.”

I love this concept as an approach to dog training.  It supports the concept of acceptance, the practice of assessment rather than judgment and striving for balance.

I may have found my new puppy’s  name “Tai” as a short form of Taijitu, the symbol of Yin and Yang  “Tai” would be pronounced as “tie”).   It symbolic, short and easy to say and a constant reminder of what I am striving to be as a dog trainer.

Friends and readers…what do you think?


  • Julie Symons

    I LOVE these names – “Zen” and “Tai”. Although not the name that *I* picked out for you :), I think they are unique and fitting and would be perfect for “Split”. Glad you survived your first night!

  • Mary Cuccaro

    I like Tai better than Zen. I like to read about Taoism (“the Way”)and agree that it’s focus on maintaining balance is a great aproach to dog training. Lao Tse would be proud.

  • Deb Bogart

    I actually like both Tai and Split. When you first mentioned Split I thought of 2 things. His split face and in a split second, which is how fast he will be sure to go. But after reading how you came to Tai, that doesn’t just fit your new puppy better, but it fits you better. I vote for Tai.

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