Today we brought home a freshly-minted cavapoo puppy we named Bob.
Bob Cajun, to be more precise.
Not a traditional dog name, for sure.
What’s in a name?
A lot. Our friends Matt and Sam in Gatineau have cats with human names: Brian (on the right; named after then-coach of the Senators, Brian Murray) and William (on the left; full name Sir William of Blackbury). We’ve always thought that was unique, and they were certainly part of the inspiration.
But Bob on its own is not that fun. Nicole observed that he is the same color as Cajun seasoning, and I’d love to tell you how her thought process got her there, but I really don’t know. It’s an enigma. Sometimes.
Now, the name Bob Cajun (read: Bobcaygeon) has a very important emotional meaning to me and, by extension, to us as a family. The short version has these highlights:
- The Tragically Hip has been my favorite band since a kid named Jeff Bell in high school let me borrow his Road Apples cassette.
- Bobcaygeon has been my favorite song since the very first time I saw them perform it live. I have ticket stubs from shows where the crowd ranged from ~50 people at Bill’s Bar in Boston, to roughly 12,000 people enjoying Another Roadside Attraction at Cayuga Speedway near Hamilton, Ontario. Every show was special, but they were all indistinguishable from magic.
- Our very second date was seeing Joel Plaskett open for The Hip at the Manhattan Ballroom, and I like to think that’s when Nicole got hooked.
- Before our wedding, she secretly collaborated with Front Page, the local band performing at our reception, so they could learn the song. They played it right after our first dance (Harvest Moon by Neil Young), and that was the best possible wedding gift I could imagine.
- We’ve been to Bobcaygeon many times, both before and after kids. It’s a very cute little town with a lock and a great poutine stand, far enough out of the way that nobody could end up there by accident.
- On the Hip’s final tour, I took Madeline on a road trip and saw them (with Matt) at their second-last show in Ottawa (blog post here), then went to a house party at Dan and Julie’s house in Callander where we watched the final show from Kingston.
- When Gordon passed away the next year, I was devastated. I happened to be in Canada with Madeline and Nora (remember what it was like before COVID, when you could travel at will?), and we completely changed our schedule to pass through Bobcaygeon again. We stopped in Kingston, too, to visit some of the makeshift memorials that quickly sprang up.
“Get a puppy!” they said.
“It’ll be fun!” they said.