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Spanish Secrets: By George - How Hard Can It Be?

... the list of pet names is endless but in my experience, a dog will often choose its own...

Crag Briggs introduces us to a dog called Slawit.


Another glorious day is in the offing. The morning air is still, and comfortably warm, but within a few hours the summer sun will ease its way through the floating duvet of pale-grey clouds. Like an artist’s emerging canvass, a teasing hint of milky-blue quickly develops into a cloudless day.

Just enough time to take Slawit out for her morning walk before the heat defeats us both.

For those of you familiar with my hometown of Huddersfield, Slawit will be a familiar name. Everyone else is surely at a loss. Even your trusted dictionary will draw a blank. However; on this occasion, a less trusted source can shed a little light -Wikipedia.org.

Slaithwaite, locally Slawit, is a village within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, in West Yorkshire, England.

Why would anyone name their dog after a sleepy village in Yorkshire?

Unlike the royal household, the list of pet names is endless but in my experience, a dog will often choose its own.

Take our last dog for example. We rescued her from the RSPCA where she’d been given the name Badger. Clearly in recognition of her colouring as calling the name evoked the same response I might expect from a deaf post. So our search began in earnest for a new title.

We tried the usual ‘y’ ending names: Sally, Molly, Dolly, thankfully none of them managed to raise an eyebrow. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve nothing against pet names ending in ‘y’; they’re rather cute, in a simplistic kind of way.

I wanted something less familiar: Although I did breathe a sigh of relief when the mother-in-law’s suggestion of ambulance fell on deaf ears.

Hour after hour we shouted names at the dog, hoping for any sign of familiarity.

‘What about Jasmine?’ suggested Melanie.

No sooner had the name left her lips than the dog pricked her ears up, turned her head and sprinted towards Melanie, excitedly wagging her tail. I wasn’t quite sure whether she’d chosen the name, or had just got fed up of us badgering her.

‘I’m not going out in the street and shouting Jasmine,’ I announced.

So Jasmine quickly became Jazz, which she greeted with the same excited response.

Jazz loved Spain, particularly basking in the warm sunshine: not unlike Melanie in that respect. The only minor problem was her name: not unlike me in that respect.

Spanish people pronounce Jazz as Hass, with the emphasis being on a very throaty-sounding aitch.

Sadly, Jazz died almost 2 years ago. She now rests in a quiet corner of the vineyard: always with us but never around.

We decided not to have another dog, the pain was too great – we held out for almost 4 days.

Another rescue case entered our lives. Little did we know that we’d stumbled across a purebred Podenco Galego. I use the word, ‘purebred’ with an element of caution, but the vet seemed to think so.

Choosing each other was easy enough, deciding on a name was far more difficult - Cuca just wouldn’t do. This time; however, besides looking for a response to our calls we wanted a name that was pronounced exactly the same in Spanish as it was in English.

The name Slawit certainly filled our second criteria; as for the first, we’re still working on it.

‘Slawit, come!’

***
To have a look at Slawit and Jazz, click on the Gallery link on the home page and view my gallery – Craig Briggs

Craig has written a book, Journey To A Dream, a vivid and entertaining account of how he and his wife Melanie came to live in Spain.
It is available from Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Journey-To-Dream-discovery-industrial/dp/1480254932/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1374567185&sr=8-1&keywords=craig+briggs

Do visit Craig's Web site
http://www.journeytoadream.co.uk

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