What’s In A Name? Well . . . Remember the Song “Wildfire”?

Horse on FireRemember the famous song “Wildfire,” by Michael Martin Murphy, in the mid-70’s? It was about a horse who lived up to his name. A taste of the lyrics and story:

“Oh they say she died one winter when there came a killin’ frost, and the pony she named Wildfire busted down his stall . . . In a blizzard she was lost. She ran calling ‘W I L D F I R E’! . . .” And so on.

If you don’t know this song, you’re really missing out. Turn on this uTube link and listen while you read (you might want to watch it too — and get out your box of kleenex).    http://tinyurl.com/q89voa

So what’s in a name? Everything! Never underestimate the significance!

When you find yourself with a brave, mouthy puppy whose temperament you admire but who you certainly don’t want to grow up nipping at people, DON’T name him Snapper. Or, if he’s a Rottweiler and tends to jump on people, how about NOT choosing a name like Charger or Bruiser? And that horse that has the bad habit of shooting a hind leg out and nailing your farrier every time he tries to pick that foot up? If his name is Sniper, change it! You get the idea.

I don’t know why people do this, but I guess it is human nature to identify some notable characteristic their animal has and then to take it one step further and label it. In effect, the animal is branded for life. You might as well put a sandwich board on him with the name in foot-high, neon letters.

Every time someone sees, hears, or says a name in association with your animal, they are emitting the energy of whatever that name may be. Words have connotations, so when you say a word like “Tornado” to a horse named that, what do you think happens in your brain? And believe me, the animal gets the vibe.

“Balderdash!” you say? No, it’s true. There is more power in the spoken word than we can imagine, and everything that comes out of our mouths carries a huge weight. You can’t say the word “terrorism” without thinking of 911 or other horrors; this is why President Obama has come up with other terminology for how we identify and refer to this phenomenon in certain contexts — to take the heat out of it.

Now you get it. Choose the part of the personality that is noble and admirable, even if the mouthy part is more predominant. Name that puppy General because he is brave. The Rottweiler might become Amigo because he is friendly. The horse? Hmmmm. Let’s just call him something happy-go-lucky like Charlie, to help neutralize his more aggressive tendencies.

So, if you want that cuddly Doberman puppy to grow up to be a defender, don’t name her Punkin’ . . .

And check out Wildfire — that’s my gift to you today.

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