Some of my most favorite memories and activities are centered around the beach and time spent with friends and family doing many water and sun things. There are some who get puppies, search diligently for just the perfect name and sometimes aren’t really happy with the results. Here’s a suggestion: why not name your new adorable and cuddly little puppy after one of the reasons that you either come to or live in the state of Florida….something beachy or something healthy. What a marvelous way to remember those healthy and wonderful swimming, diving and fun-in-the-sun experiences for years to come!
Florida Dog Names in Pop Culture
There are many animals who find their way into the hearts of moviegoers and readers each and every day of the year. These animals can include dolphins, octopi, cats and dogs, their antics being quite entertaining as they swim, chew, dig, wander and sleep their way into the deep, dark recesses of your heart with its hidden fears and memories. Marley is one of those endearingly lovable, and incorrigible, canines who was able to change the life of a Michigan couple, relocated to a small town in Florida, teaching them how to deal with real life circumstances in a more loving, forgiving and positive way.
In the movie, Marley and Me, adapted from the book of the same name written by John Grogan, a newly married couple abandons the sometimes brutal winters of Michigan in favor of the more tropical and sunny climate of Florida. They are both newspaper writers and, while adjusting to a new marriage, a new state and city, and the inevitable “biological clock” of parenthood, they adopt an adorable, cuddly and lively yellow Labrador puppy to “test” the waters to determine if they are ready for a family of their own. The antics which follow this everlasting puppy are very amusing, if not a little sad, as this cute and cuddly puppy grows into a 100 pound, four-legged, independent, doggy of destruction as he chews furniture, the interior of the car, shoes and other miscellaneous items. While dismally failing his stint in obedience training, continuing to wreak havoc in the couple’s home, even as they grow their own physical human family, becoming interesting fodder for the newspaper articles written by the husband and being exiled from the home, eventually as their lives progressed in small town Florida, Marley showed them how to adapt to life’s challenges and circumstances and how to love through them, no matter what.
We must not forget the scruffy mutt we find in the movie and book, Because of Winn Dixie, and the life lessons he taught a lonely, motherless young girl and her lonely and hurting preacher father who moved to a small town in Florida after being abandoned by the mother and wife. Winn Dixie, the shaggy mutt who was terrorizing a local Winn Dixie supermarket, was discovered by Opal as she shopped for some items her father wanted for dinner. When the store manager was threatening to call Animal Control on the doggy terrorist, she “adopted” him on the spot, giving him his name based upon where they were when she found him. Bringing him home and getting her father to allow her to keep him was only the beginning of the adventure. Winn Dixie, who was friend to everyone, “introduced” her to many people and circumstances, helping her learn to deal with some pretty adult situations, make new friendships and heal old relationships to give her a brighter outlook in her young life. He taught her how to love, forgive and grow in the midst of life’s overwhelming circumstances.
Both of these movies and books taught lessons that we all need to learn and apply to our lives, whether the times are good or whether they are bad. And, it teaches us that incorrigible isn’t always a bad thing. The name Marley means “pleasant wood”, emanating from the myrrh bush. It is said that when it is cut, its “tears” are an essential component of most fragrances and has healing properties. In the case of “Winn Dixie”, the name is that of a chain of supermarkets in the southern United States which supplies many basic and exotic food and drink items as well as a variety of medications, all of which can nourish and heal the body and the mind. Ultimately, Winn Dixie, in this story healed Opal, her father and everyone with whom he connected using the most basic of ingredients….love and forgiveness. Some of these same healing properties are available in the warmth of the sun, sand and water of Florida, affecting the mental as well as physical health of those involved.