So last night, I get home and the new dog is very happy to see me, crying and whining just like Murphy. I open her crate (because she gets crated while I'm gone until I'm sure that there won't be any problems) and I'm mobbed by two dogs who are just happy to have their best pal back with them. I play with them both for a minute and then put them both outside in Murphy's run. They scamper off into the darkness together and I'm getting a pretty good feeling about this one. I leave them out there about ten to fifteen minutes while I relax a bit from my day, and then I go open the door, expecting to see two German Shepherds on my back steps.
There's just one. Murphy's there alone and she's gone.
It's midnight but I let out a yell, calling her. She could be anywhere off in the darkness and I've got zero chance of spotting her much less trying to run her down and catch her out on the woods or in between the neighboring houses. I'm glad I had her microchipped yesterday, but still...
Suddenly there is a rustling in the leaves outside the fence. It's her, coming right to me. She's apparently found a small gap in the fencing, one so small that Murphy'd ignored it for years, and wriggled out. But with the first call from me, she scrambled back up the hillside and wriggled her way back though that hole again. All she wanted to do was get next to me and get some petting. She had her total freedom, but even after just a day, she still chose me instead.
What's that old saying? If I remember, it is:
"If you love something, accidentally let it run off. If it doesn't come back, you're an idiot, but if it does come back, you're stuck with it forever."
She came back. I think Murphy was a bit disappointed, having already called dibs on her supper bowl, but I'm happy.
And she's got her name, as of that moment.
I'd been mulling the suggestions offered by many of you (and more than a few of my own) and was down to just a few that really stood out, both for their flair, their historical significance, and the proximity to her old name, making it easier for her to transition. By coming back against the odds, she made the final pick herself. So without further ado, it pleases me to introduce Miss Memphis Belle to the blogosphere:
(Thanks Brigid and OldAFSarge for the suggestion.)
I liked Boudicca a lot at first (especially after finding this catchy little tune about the real Boudicca that I can't stop replaying), but when I tried it on a few people, I quickly realized that I'd be spelling and explaining it to a lot of historically-unaware people for a long time. I went through that with Lagniappe and it gets old.
And regarding the original Memphis Belle, the original was a B-17F that was one of the first to complete 25 missions over Germany during World War Two. A good girl that always came back, she was sadly neglected and abused after the war, but she's getting her second chance now courtesy of the restoration shop at the Wright Patterson Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, just like this Belle's getting her second chance now here with me.
The Original Belle's story:
And the restoration effort:
Now if you'l excuse me, I have a fence to restore.