Shepherd's Way

New Beginnings Litter

Belle and Cody's 8 puppies began arriving on April 8, so it seemed clear to me that the number 8 held some special significance. Unsure what that might be, I turned to Google for some answers. It turns out the number 8 is indeed auspicious -- according to Biblical numerologists (!), 8 represents "New Beginnings". Reading on, I learned that 8 symbolizes a gift from God, a transformative experience, new priorities. This is all very fitting, so "New Beginnings" is the theme for this litter.

I got many great name suggestions relating to the number 8... in the end, I decided to use some of those sugggestions and a few names that are special for other reasons. So, here -- in the order of their arrival -- are Belle & Cody's babies:
Shine, Charlie, Madge, Nonny, Howl, Squee, Chet and Tavy.

(1) Little Ray of Sunshine aka "Shine" -- Shine looks like a miniature version of her grandma Raven ("Ray"), and her mama Belle's registered name is "Sunshine Daydream"... hence, Little Ray of Sunshine. She is a beautiful pup with a jet black coat & white trim. I am sure my photos will not do her justice.

(2) Cosmic Charlie aka "Charlie" -- Charlie gets his name from two sources. "Cosmic Charlie" is a nod to his mama whose name was also inspired by a song by the Grateful Dead. In addition, there were some strong arguments in favor of naming a puppy Charlemagne (most significantly, the reference in Heath Ledger's classic film, A Knight's Tale). Charlie is black and white boy with a good deal of flash.

(3) Magellan aka "Madge" (or possibly "Maggie") -- Although Magellan is a girl, she is named for the explorer. There is always one pup in every litter that is a trailblazer, boldly going where no pup has gone before. It is early to be making the call, but there are signs that she may be that one. She appears to be "seal" in color, which is a sort of dark golden brown/black... the jury is still out on this, however, puppy coat colors can be tricky to determine.

(4) Anansi aka "Nancy" or "Nonny" -- Anansi is a character in West African and Caribbean folklore, a trickster who is considered the god of all knowledge of stories. Anansi sometimes takes the form of a spider... which ties in to the theme of "8"... and besides it is a good name. She is a dark pup (probably black) with a white collar.

(5) Howell the Good aka "Howl" or "Howie" -- Howell the Good, 10th century ruler of Wales, recognized shepherd's dogs as one of the three indispensibles of life. For that, we owe him thanks, and a puppy named in his honor. Howl is seal in color with a full white collar.

(6) Squiggle aka "Squee" -- I expect some protests over this name, but here's the deal... I know this little girl by her markings, specifically a little squiggle of white on the back of her neck. In my mind, she is "squiggle" and, in time, I expect that to be shortened to "squee". I know how these things go!

(7) Chet -- Thanks to Melinda King for pointing out that "chet" is the 8th letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Chet appears to be another "seal" colored pup, with a hint of waviness to his puppy coat.

(8) Octavia aka "Tavy" -- Last but not least, the 8th puppy is Octavia which means "born eighth". Again, thank you to Melinda King for the suggestion! I am having a hard time telling Tavy and Nonny apart at this stage, so it is entirely possible that I will be mislabeling some of my photos for a while.