Shepherd's Way

Midsummer EveBelle's Midsummer Magic Litter

Every litter needs a theme. Belle and Odie's puppies arrived on the afternoon of June 22 so their names reflect the timing of their arrival.

Midsummer (celebrated from June 21 - 25) marks the longest day of the year and so the shortest night. Midsummer Eve was thought to be one of the times of the year when magic was strongest... it was considered a good night to perform rituals to look into the future... it is a time when fairies and spirits of nature and light are very active, crossing between the realms and roaming the earth to play tricks on unsuspecting humans.

In addition to the midsummer magic, this litter was born under a Super Moon, which is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at its closest approach to Earth. The close proximity makes the moon appear larger.
Belle's first litter was born under a Blue Moon so apparently she considers the lunar calendar when making her plans. Out of respect for Belle's sensitivities around this, some of the puppy names pay homage to the moon.

Now for the introductions: Belle & Odie are proud to announce the birth of 6 beautiful puppies -- 5 girls and one boy...


Litha is another name for Midsummer and its associated celebrations. The word "Litha" means gentle and navigable so it is an apt description of a time of year when the breezes are gentle and the sea is smooth. Belle is a very gentle dog so Litha should describe her baby as well.

This little pup looks very like her aunt Honey.


The month of June is named for Juno, the Roman goddess and Queen of Heaven who was celebrated at the summer solstice.

Juno was the firstborn pup in this litter. Her markings are similar to Litha's. She has double rear dewclaws so I briefly considered naming her Twinkie, short for Twinkle Toes, but then thought better of it. She does kind of look like a Twinkie, though... about the right size, for now.

Hermia (to be known as "Mia")

"Though she be but little, she is fierce" ... with a description like that I had to name one of these girls after Hermia from Shakespeare's comedy, A Midsummer Night's Dream. All the pups are similar in weight, but Mia is the smallest by about an ounce (approx. 11 oz).

"Hermia" is also the feminine form of the name "Hermes." In Greek mythology, Hermes was the protector and patron of shepherds.


Hanwi is the moon spirit in Sioux mythology. Her name means "Night Sun." Hanwi pierces darkness; she guards her people during the day and protects them from harm from evil spirits.

It remains to be seen whether we call this pup "Hanna" or "Wi" or some other variation. She is a clear sable, no black shading in her coat, which seems appropriate for a spirit who drives back darkness.


Tarot are playing cards depicting images and symbols from a variety of cultures and used for fortune-telling. In keeping with the midsummer solstice theme, the "Sun" card is sometimes referred to as the best card in Tarot. Frequent keywords associated with the Sun card are:

  • Optimism -- Expansion -- Being radiant -- Positive feelings
  • Enlightenment -- Vitality -- Innocence -- Non-criticism
  • Assurance -- Energy -- Personal power -- Happiness
  • Splendor -- Brilliance -- Joy -- Enthusiasm


"Rune" refers to a character in an ancient magical alphabet; a mark of mysterious or magic significance. Particular runes are associated with different parts of the year. The Midsummer rune is "Dag" (pronounced -- appropriately --"dawg"), meaning day or dawn, and it signifies good luck. It predicts that the darkness is gone and the sun will light your way.

There was some debate over what to name the lone boy in this litter. Since he is a "Pie Tri" -- piebald tricolor -- a name with Greek associations seemed appropriate...Apollo, for the Greek sun god, was the leading contender. Because his piebald markings resemble those of a Holstein cow, "Hank" as a tribute to Hank the cow-dog was also considered. Ultimately, however, it just seemed right that a boy with special markings born under a super moon in June should be named Rune. The fact that some of my favorite sheepdog stories feature a dog named Doon is an added bonus.

The Complete Line-Up: