My family has always had a dog around. In almost every memory of mine, one of our dogs is present. They are as much a part of the family as my little brothers, and a lot easier to get along with.
When we lived in London, we got a labrador retriever named Hattie, which was the first dog my younger brother was introduced to. My dad knew well before getting the dog that Peter was terrified of them, and well, he figured the best remedy for that would be to give him no choice.
Unfortunately for Peter, Hattie took a particular liking to him. She used to chase him around the house and tackle him to the ground, and then spend a good amount of time licking him. At first, Peter was not very pleased. Eventually, you could hear his shrieks of laughter from a mile away, and he became the dog lover of the family. More so than the rest of us that is.
One of my favorite books as a kid was about a monkey, but for some reason it was always that books which would disappear behind beds or under dressers, and we could never find it. I did, however, remember that it was about a monkey with a super complicated name having something to do with a hot air balloon.
When my dad came home from a business trip to London with a yellow lab puppy, we were over the moon, sitting around in a circle trying to come up with her name. I suggested Luna Babuna, which is what I thought was the name of the monkey from my favorite book. (I later learned that wasn’t the case, once the book decided to make an appearance). Anyways, the name stuck. Thankfully, it was quickly shortened to Luna, which I believe was the plan my parents had in place long before.
Luna was the “kissing queen” in our family. On weekends when we woke up we would always go to my parents room, where we would absolutely destroy the place within ten minutes. One of us was almost always lying on the ground giving Luna a belly rub, for which she would thank us profusely with kisses. Hence, the kissing queen.
Luna and Hattie were around all the time, and came with us pretty much everywhere. While we were living in California, Hattie had a litter of puppies. When Hattie was tired of being the mom, “Auntie Luna” would step in.
My parents generously gave us each two puppies to name. Mine were Sweetie and Gracie (please keep in mind I was very young). Peter’s were Star and Pluto. (I believe this was during the time he was interested in space. Just a guess.) Philip’s though, took the prize. Watch and Leaf. Stroke of pure genius isn’t it?
He did at one time explain his reasoning behind the names. Watch, after a horse at my Aunt and Uncle’s ranch in Montana. And Leaf… Apparently he was in the backseat of the car and looked out a window, when he saw a tree. Go figure.
We loved those puppies, and spent a ton of time in the backyard chasing and playing with them. We did end up selling them, much to our disappointment, but most of them went to family friends. When we moved to Colorado, Hattie and Luna came with us. Unfortunately, Hattie passed away of cancer a couple years later. Shortly afterwards we got Moose, given that name by my brothers for his big feet. He needs an entire blog post for himself, so maybe I’ll do that sometime soon.