Riley needs a middle name so that I have some way of calling him when he gets into trouble. Otherwise he’s going to start answering me when I say “darn dog,” which seems to be quite often.
Riley is a good dog, or so others who have had dogs and, therefore, know good dog/bad dog behaviors tell me. He just likes getting into mischief. That fits in perfectly with the girls who also are good but like to get into mischief every once in a while.
With the girls, though, I can pull out the middle name to let me know I mean business. They play with Polly Pocket instead of brushing their teeth, I let the middle names fly. They start fighting over who gets the comics first. Out pop the middle names. I dont know this to be true, but i think middle names were invented by Mothers.
When he goes over to the neighbor’s yard and gets into a….umm…”marking” match with Zeus the dog, I can only say, “Riley come! Riley no! Riley stop! Darn dog.”
When he seemingly wakes up from a dead sleep, saunters past me washing up the dishes, lifts up the garbage can lid (which is secured 98% of the time except when I am scraping off dishes to wash them) and eats the scraps I just scraped off, all I can say is “Riley drop it! Riley! Darn dog.”
So I’m thinking a middle name is all I need to help keep him in line. With a middle name he will immediately stop whatever he’s doing and come dutifully to us when we call. A middle name means we’re serious. Using keeps us as the alpha dogs.
So we’re brainstorming possible middle names. So far we’ve come up with:
- James (which is my Dad’s name, but that’s not why it seems to be stuck in my head. I think there was a company back in my hometown whose name had Riley in it along with James. They used to advertise on the local radio station all of the time. Apparently their marketing efforts worked somewhat because decades later I’m still recalling them in my subconscious.)
- Big Dude
- Jehoshaphat (that’s just one of those names that feel fun coming out of my mouth)
- Maximus (let him feel like he’s got power even as we’re trying to keep him in control)
- And then there’s always Darn Dog
So the search is on for the middle name. Until we find the magical one that will have him behaving nicely, I’m keeping the trash secured, towels in the garage, and Riley on a leash when we walk down to the road to wait for the bus.
And I am thanking God that I haven’t pull out any other potential middle names when he’s caused trouble, especially when the girls are around.