How Hurley Got His Middle Name


hurley lucky barry

Liam didn’t want a dog. Any time “dog” was mentioned, he’d wax poetic about his childhood pup, Lucky, and say that no other dog could ever live up to his first. Lucky was a Jack Russell terrier, saved from the shelter in Cork by a seven-year-old Liam and his older sister. They didn’t get permission before bringing the lucky dog home and springing him on the family. As is often the case, the rest of the household fell madly in love.

Lucky lived a life more luxurious than any of the kids, according to Liam. While Liam had to eat gross things like porridge or vegetables (remember, this story came from Liam himself – always take with a grain of salt), Lucky got sausages. While Liam was required to stay home and out of his mother’s hair, Lucky got to go to the English market every day. It was from that very English market that Lucky was snatched one day, and a heartbroken Liam grew up determined never to fall in love with another dog.

Well, as we all know, marriage is about compromise. A neighbor let slip that one of his friends needed to rehome a Jack Russell puppy, so I told him to bring the dog by for us to meet him. I knew, knew, knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Liam wouldn’t be able to resist a wriggly, sweet little puppy. And I was right. The dog was given a 24-hour trial period, during which we would try to avoid naming him. I already had a name picked out, of course.

The first morning we woke with the puppy in the house, Liam went to take him straight outside. After taking him from the cage, however, he though the dog might want to see me first thing. Unfortunately, the pup lost his bladder right outside the bedroom door. That was about when I started to stir. Then, the house alarm blared. In his haste, Liam had forgotten to disable it. I jumped from the bed, wide awake by that point, and ran to turn off the awful noise. The moment my foot hit that puddle of pee, I went down into the splits, and there I stayed, laughing so hard that I couldn’t move. Liam had to help me up when he got back inside.

After that, there was no question: we were keeping that puppy. He just needed a name. Liam’s choice? Lucky. I said no way. We couldn’t expect this poor puppy who’d already peed in the house to live up to the rosy memories Liam had of his childhood dog. Besides that, the sister who’d gone with Liam as a kid to adopt the lucky Lucky had named two subsequent dogs Lucky. The name was no longer original.

Liam finally agreed that Hurley was a fitting name, and after a week or so, we realized no other name would have suited him as well. Liam took our new baby for his first checkup at the vet. The vet tech asked for the dog’s name, and Liam, still a little miffed that he hadn’t gotten his way, grudgingly replied, “Hurley.”

“And his middle name?”

Well, Liam didn’t even know dogs could have middle names. Without hesitation, he blurted the first name that came to mind.

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