We walk out of the RSPCA shelter clutching our tiny bundle of paws and ears. Sebastian, as he has been known in the shelter, is naturally nervous and has tried to hide under my chin, around my neck and under my hair. I can feel his tiny heart beating a hundred to the dozen against my skin so I talk calmly and pat him until he settles.
As we sit in the car, a few hundred dollars down in adoption fees and ‘essential’ puppy items, both Peter and I wonder ‘how on earth did that just happen?”
We have space – on the property, in our lives and in our hearts. But a Kelpie pup? That was about as high on the Richter scale in energy levels you could get. We shrug it off. Ah well, we wanted to keep fit.
At this moment I am totally mesmerised by the little black eyes staring up at me. He has a worried expression. Such a serious face for one so young. I hoped he would soon see he had come to a loving home with lots of space to run free.
Once we got home, we settled our new pup in the living room. He had no clue where he was or what to do poor guy. Until suddenly he took off! He ran and ran around the living room. He did loops and jumps and lots of sliding on the polished floorboard. his limbs were clumsy but still he ran and ran. He reminded me of a spring lamb – quite literally.
After a few moments, he just came to a complete standstill and looked at me with those jet black eyes. He padded over and jumped to put his paws on my shoulder and licked my face. It honestly felt for a moment like he was saying thank you. Thank you for taking a chance on me. Thank you for adopting me. And thank you for this awesome space – to create carnage!
“He’s not a Sebastian,” I say to Peter. “It’s too ‘refined’ for a Kelpie and it’ll be too hard when we’re training him to get the tone of voice right.” So we spend the next day or two pondering a good name. “Ned?” I say.
“Well, it’s an Australian icon sort of name – Ned Kelly – Lovable rogue …out on the land.”
“Ned Kelly was Irish but OK.”
We try ned for a day but he doesn’t feel like a Ned after all.
When we name babies, we put thought into what we want to communicate about ourselves and our baby with their chosen name. We research what their name means in Hebrew (for some reason) and we place all sorts of expectations on them as a result.
Here was ‘Sebastian’ – a black Australian Kelpie cross with red low lights and a white throat and the biggest ears you have ever seen. I resist the desire to call him ‘Bat Fink’ or ‘Wingnut’. He looked like a lamb or a calf with his nimble, yet clumsy little body and long legs. I begin to do some research on names that I like until I find Angus.
Angus is Celtic for ‘Unique’ ‘Choice’ – ‘Chosen one’ … perfect! Then, to seal the deal, I am reminded that Black Angus cattle (that Scotland is famous for) are solid black or red in colour.
“What about Angus?” I ask hopefully.
“Angus. Angus. OK.” I get the nod from Mr P.
We try out his name on him a few times. “Angus. Angus. Angus.”
When we see his huge ears stand on end, we know we’ve found the one. Our chosen one! Our unique handsome boy.
We saved Sebastian from the shelter, but we adopted Angus into our home and our heart.