The extremely cute little Yorkie mix formerly known as Gizmo is now:


I tried with the Gizmo, y’all. It just wouldn’t come out of my mouth – I’d be walking her and honestly have to pause: what the hell was that name?

And every. single. person. who heard her name tilted their head in puzzlement and repeated “Gizmo??” And I’d explain that I didn’t name her, that was her old name…and why the hell should she keep that name going into her new life?

So the search was on for a name that sounded a bit like Gizmo, because she answered to her name and I didn’t want to confuse her further by changing it to something with no similar sounds. She’s adjusting to her new life, but it’s not entirely without issues. We considered shaping Gizmo to Izzy, but naah. I’m not sure why Gidget popped into my head, but she likes it and answers to it already.

Sophie’s birth name was Smooch. Same issue – it just didn’t “feel” right. I tested names with her, asking her, “Are you….?” and when I hit on Sophie, she jumped up and danced! That was 9 years ago, and she never looked back.

Ellie is the only one who kept her shelter name, and that’s because it fit my criteria for a call name: Two syllables, and a clean sound. Of course she has a backstory now; her full name is Lady Eleanor of Fluffybutt, and it’s a privilege for her humble lady’s maid to be able to call her Ellie.

So, the issues: Gidget is terrified of new people. I really do think she was meant to be mine, because when the rescue handed her to me in Petsmart she trembled a bit, but got over it and became relaxed and confident.

Now, she’s been outdoors and meeting my neighbors, one at a time. I’m not parading her around; we just bump into people. This neighborhood is full of dogs and dog walkers, so of course a new dog gets a welcome. My neighbors, well, they’re trying to be nice, but a couple of them got into her face too quickly. She didn’t snap or growl, it’s worse (for her): she shook so hard she may have rattled some teeth loose. (Poor baby has already lost some teeth and had a dental before she was put up for adoption, because she was raised on garbage food.) She was absolutely terrified, and the shaking didn’t stop until the new person was 10 ft. away.

She’s confident and cheerful inside the house, but new people outdoors are terrifying. I think her backstory is perhaps worse than we knew.

And I’m so grateful for my super easy care flooring, because yeah, we’ll need some potty re-education. I really don’t want to crate her while I’m at work unless I must, but right now I describe her as “free range guinea pig.” Tiny, tiny puddles (like a tablespoon of pee) appear at random. I’ve put out extra potty pads, hoping Sophie’s demos would help her figure it out, and the Swiffer is getting a workout. (Yay for the new Mr. Clean insert!!)

She will go potty outside, but she’s still nervous in her new neighborhood and I don’t think she’s comfortable with asking to go out there yet. We will get there. She’s going to my vet on Wednesday for an intro, and we’ll talk about how to deal with her adustment.

But we had another huge thing today – she is now climbing the stairs on her own!! I’m pretty sure it’s because she sees her new house as her safe space, and after meeting the tall kinda loud man next door, she couldn’t freaking wait to get back inside – bring on those stairs! She climbed them twice this evening; they’re not so scary now.

I’m still carrying her down, because down is scarier than up and she’s dealing with enough. We’ll work on that over Thanksgiving, when I have a few days off. She’s doing really, really well.

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