Adoption Time, Part 2: His Name Is…

Gayle and Jeremiah_Sidney NEThis post by Gayle M. Irwin

His name is Jeremiah, and no, he’s not a bullfrog! Back in the early 1970s, a song by Three Dog Night rose up the charts and remained at #1 for several weeks. “Joy to the World” starts off “Jeremiah was a bullfrog, was a good friend of mine….” See the delightfully-cartooned video below:



On my post last week, I mentioned that my husband and I were adopting a new dog and the reasons for that. I also mentioned we planned to re-name the dog. Greg and I had a list of names; ones I liked he didn’t and vice-versa. So, we began looking at other possibilities, including “Yaddy” (Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals award-winning baseball catcher); “Jackson” – a town in western Wyoming (we had “Cody” already, another Wyoming town, so that was out); and “Joseph” (our other dog is Mary, but that just seemed too strange to have “Joseph” as well). So, we explored other options. Because we are Christians, we went through a list of Biblical names (of course, Mary, is in the Bible, so another Biblical name could be appropriate, just not “Joseph”) – we decided “Jeremiah” fit.

Jeremiah_resting_Sidney NE
Jeremiah, formerly Stormy

The name means “exalted of the Lord,” or “appointed by God.” We truly believe this little dog was appointed to be ours – we went through many inquiries about dogs not only at this facility (Hearts United for Animals), but also via a few other, more local, shelters and sanctuaries. “Stormy” at that time was the one still available. And, perhaps he will be exalted living in our house – certainly he has been from the horrible conditions of a puppy mill. So, as I mentioned in last week’s post, new home, new life, new name. He is still learning his name, but he’s a smart little guy, and he’s quickly learning a lot of new things: commands, like “sit” and “come;” housetraining (puppy mill dogs are rarely, if ever, living in a home – generally they are kept in tiny cages outdoors; and how to interact with cats. He is also learning about toys and cuddles – and liking both!

Everything is new to him. He barks at the TV. He is afraid of going down steps (but he’s acclimated to going up them, hopping like a rabbit!). He’s never been groomed except at the shelter with just scissors, so his trip to the “doggie spa” yesterday was frightening. Thankfully, and as I suspected would happen, our Mary-dog has become a wonderful “big sister” – she is helping to teach him many things, including (1) going potty outdoors is more fun than indoors because there are trees and bushes to smell and a big yard to explore; (2) a person’s hand is not always for abusing, but most often (at least in this household) for affectionate pats and pets; (3) sleeping on a comfy bed is WONDERFUL; and (4) having friends, both human and other animal, is FANTASTIC!

Jeremiah rode very well in the car from Nebraska to Wyoming; we overnighted in North Platte so we could all have a break. Considering his background, Greg and I were happily surprised that our new dog didn’t get motion-sick. I held him on my lap for a while and then he rode sweetly in the backseat beside Mary.

Mary and Jeremiah
Jeremiah and Mary in the Nebraska hotel room.

This is our first puppy mill rescue dog (you can read more about this nasty places on my pet blog from this week: Mary was adopted through English Springer Spaniel Rescue, but she didn’t come from an abusive, horrific, neglectful background; she was loved and cared for but her special person died unexpectedly, and therefore, the rescue helped to re-home her. Cody, our cocker who passed last year, was a stud dog, and at 10, the people let him go; so though his background was somewhat similar to Jeremiah, Cody was treated better and was housebroken and used to, at least some, affection. He was turned over to the Casper Humane Society. And Sage had just recently lost her home due to a divorce. So, each of our dogs have their own story; each also came from a different place and a different state (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and Nebraska).

I’ve christened Jeremiah with a middle name: “Story.” It’s similar to “Stormy” and therefore, has a familiar sound to his previous name, but, most importantly, it reflects what I do (write stories) and the fact that he, story and dogs like him, have a story. Needless to say, there will be a “Jeremiah Story” book one of these days!

Jeremiah_after groom
Jeremiah in his Wyoming home after his vet visit and groom appointment.

The journey continues. Travel, a new home, vet visit, and doggie spa, all in less than one week. “Jeremiah’s Journey” is probably a great title for a book — maybe I better get on that pretty soon!

What pet adoption stories do you have? What ones have you written? Or is there one you should write if you haven’t? Do you struggle with names for your book/story characters as Greg and I did with our new dog’s name? How do you come up with names for your characters?


Gayle_signing photoGayle M. Irwin is an award-winning Wyoming author and freelance writer. Her inspirational pet books for children and adults teach valuable life lessons, such as courage, perseverance, friendship, and nature appreciation. She is also a contributing writer to magazines and newspapers, as well as Chicken Soup for the Soul, including the August 2017 release Chicken Soup The Dog Really Did That? Gayle is a pet rescue and adoption advocate. Learn more about her and her work at


cody-cabin-cover2   bookcover_tail-tales_front-cover   Chicken Soup book_Dog Really Did That_2017   Mary Book Cover   Mary Ranch_Front Cover Option


16 thoughts on “Adoption Time, Part 2: His Name Is…

  1. He’s a cutie. We saved Tootsie, she was in an overcrowded kill shelter, 4 days from being put down. But some great people brought her to the Street event and now she’s mine. There is a story behind it. Cher’ley

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You should write about her, Cherley! Thank you for rescuing Tootsie and giving her the love and devotion she needed. And she gives it right back to you, I’m sure!! Thanks for reading and commenting, and I’m glad you, Del, and your house survived the hurricane.


  2. Adorable, is all I can say. What a lucky dog and what lucky people you are to have found each other. May the journey you all make be a joyful one. I think the name is perfect. Can’t wait to see his story in print. Congratulations! Doris

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Doris! Jeremiah has learned much in the past several days — and so have I! He is a delight to have in our home, and I feel so blessed to me his new “special person!” Thank you for reading and commenting — I appreciate your kind words!!


  3. Gayle, I enjoyed reading your adoption story but was distracted by the song, “Joy to the World” and the memories it brought back. When I was in elmentary school, I loved a boy, and we performed this song together at a school talent show. That’s something else I need to write about. Thanks for the memories and congratulations again on the new addition to your family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Abbie, I have to admit — I debated whether to include the video, but it was so FUN, I just had to share!! I LOVED this song when I was young… and I believe it’s still appropriate today. Thank you for reading and commenting and for sharing your memories of “The Jeremiah Song.” — yes, you have a story you must write, and I hope to read it one day!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m getting the impression that even the freedom Jeremiah is having in your home, and being with Mary, will take some getting used to. Wishing you all a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Nancy — I appreciate your reading the post and commenting. Yes, we’re all still figuring things out, but Jeremiah is doing wonderfully well, and Mary is being a great “big sister!” I am so pleased with Jeremiah, in spite of a few bumps in the road, he is doing SO WELL in less than 2 weeks. I look forward to many years with this special little fellow!! 🙂


    1. Thank you, Neva — I appreciate you reading the post and your kind comments… and I’m so glad you’ve had the opportunity to meet him! He and Mary continue to do well together, and the cats… well, one thing at a time! LOL I look forward to sharing many years with the little guy and I feel blessed to share life with him!


    1. And, he keeps stealing them, Mike! LOL I think he’s just very curious as to what these things are that Mary keeps putting in her mouth, he just has to investigate… and try them out, too! 🙂 I’m glad Greg thought of the name — and looked it up — for it certainly does have a nice ring to it and certainly seems appropriate. Thank you for reading and commenting on my post, and for following me on FB. 🙂


  5. Congratulations on your new family member. Nearly all my dogs have been rescues, but not from rescue organizations. They wandered up from the river bridge, where people dumped them. To my house, where they lived happily ever after. In the play Greater Tuna, there’s a scene in which a woman say to her little boy, “I told you if you bring one more dog into this house–oh, isn’t he cute?” When my mother and I saw that, we guffawed. She’d said that to me so many times…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rescue is rescue, Kathy — my first pet was a stray cat that followed me home when I was 7. Several of my friends have pets now who “found” them, so they are “rescue” pets, too. 🙂 As you know, I enjoy helping animals in need, so though it would have been nice to “rescue” more locally, this adoption was obviously meant to be. Thank you for taking time to read and comment on my post!


  6. While working on my latest WIP my sister and I struggled with names. Since this is a memoir it is all true, but we needed to change the names. So we settled on keeping the first letter of each persons name so we could keep them straight in our heads.


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