Wednesday, May 12, 2010

They Call Me Mr. Noodle

Kind of a quiet week, so I thought I would explain all the "Noodle" talk on this blog.

Noodle is Cadence's nickname. Noodle, Noodle-Doodle, Mr. Noodle, The Noodle - he responds to any of them. Also to "Nood", which I've realized does not sound that good when said in public. I'm the first to admit it is a goofy name, but it fits. I actually gave it to him less than 24 hours after I picked him up. When I brought him home, I also picked up his brother, Spy, so that his new owner could pick him up at my house, which was halfway between her and the breeder. Spy at the time was fairly bigger and broader than Cadence. Sitting side by side, Cade looked kind of lanky and narrow at that age. He has filled out nicely since puppy-hood, but at the time he was kind of long and thin, and had this really long neck which was accented by all his white along his ruff. I looked at the two next to each other in the ex-pen, and told Cade he was a noodle. That was the first day I had him, and it has stuck.

The funny thing is how much it suits him still. The dog can bend and contort his body and squeeze into, between, around, and through anything he sets his mind too. (A trait that, combined with his recent mastery over wire crate door latches, makes me very glad that he does generally have some respect for enclosures. He could be quite an escape artist if he chose to be.) He loves to lie totally stretched out in "frog dog" position, with his legs flung straight out in front and in back of him. He also still tends toward a lean, lighter-boned physique, and somehow the silliness of the name also fits his happy-go-lucky, playful, silly personality. You can never get impatient or frustrated with a Noodle. As Lowell described him this morning, "He doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He sincerely tries and wants to be good and do the right thing all the time." Just sometimes - OK, not infrequently - the Noodle-brain leads him to temporary mischief.

I had picked out the name "Cadence" years ago as the name for my next puppy. I love the name. For me the term comes not from music, as most people assume, but from cycling, which is my other great love. I also liked that it conveyed balance and rhythm - a good description for my ideal of an even-tempered, reliable yet driven dog. I was so pleased to have found the perfect name for my perfect new puppy. So it was ironic when it occurred to me the other week that a sub-portion of people who know him actually do think his name is Noodle. Which, really, is kind of a dorky name, so please, it's Mr. Noodle, if you don't mind.

Spy (left) and Cadence when I brought them home

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