Call Me by Your Name

By Chris D.

When we agreed to foster a little white American Eskimo mix from Where the Love Is, the assigned name of “Scruffy” was about right. He had arrived in a transport van from Macon County, Georgia, a few months earlier with an unruly lion’s mane around his neck and his round rump had a scrappy swagger to match. (Scruffy at right.)

In the few months we fostered him, he was bounced from four try-out homes for aggression toward children and dogs, returning each time a little scruffier than he had left. My husband and I kept rooting for him despite his abysmal record. The phrase, “junk-yard dog” came to mind.

Fast forward to our adoption of the little terror in March of 2019. We had fallen in love with Scruffy’s spunk and quirky behavior…but not his name. Now that we had been groomed with a fine buzz cut and domesticated to the point where he’d roll over for a belly rub, the name “Scruffy” seemed, well, undignified.

So began our quest to rename our new dog. We figured keeping the “uffy” sound would make the transition easier for him. We started alphabetically: “Buffy” and “Fluffy” were just to precious for a dog that snarled when his favorite pillow was moved. Ditto, “Muffy” and “Puffy.” We thought we were getting somewhere with “Ruffy” and “Tuffy,” but those names cut too close to the bone.

Honestly, it was just through the process of elimination and trial and error that we landed on “Duffy” as our boy’s new name. It was actually fitting in a way I didn’t realize immediately. (Duffy at left.)

A dear friend, Mary, had taken a literature course in college, which was taught by a Mr. Duffy. She was the only student in his class, so Mary would sit through lessons at a table in the school cafeteria alone with Mr. Duffy who seemed ancient at the time. We, her immature, 18-year-old friends, sat at a nearby table trying to make her laugh behind Mr. Duffy’s back. Her cafeteria “dates” with Mr. Duffy were a running joke for decades.

Mary was delighted to learn the name of our new family member and we were delighted with the choice as well. There was one more coincidence, though. Later on, we researched the name Duffy online. It originated from Connacht, one of the four provinces in Ireland.

It is Gaelic for “dark” or “moody.” Well, Duffy: If the shoe fits…

  Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Please sign up for our newsletter for dog related tips and tricks and to get updates on our dogs & events!