The kids wanted to keep the name the dog got in the shelter. Frankly, I was relieved. “Bob Marley” was better than what Zachary wanted to call him. What kind of a self-respecting dog can walk around with the name “Popsicle”? Lilah had some other ideas, but since she speaks some made-up language to her blankies, none of us could pronounce her idea. It was like being someone taking names at Ellis Island.
Fine. Sticking with Bob Marley. “And we can call him ‘Marley’ for short,” I suggested. Because Bob is just a weird name for a dog. Also, the kids already call several large stuffed bear statues around town “Bob,” plus the mole on Zachary’s arm. It could get confusing.
I had them listen to “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Buffalo Soldier” a couple of times, just to make sure. “Are you sure you don’t want to call him ‘Weasley’?” I tried. No dice.
Here’s where I want to clarify: I had never read the book or seen the movie. I knew vaguely there was some movie called Marley and Me, but I had no idea that it was about a dog.
Doesn’t matter. Now, when we meet people, they coo, “Oh, so sweet! I love that movie.” Yeah. No. I clarify.
I don’t mind people thinking we lack the imagination to change the name he had in the shelter, but I don’t want them thinking we named him after a Jennifer Aniston film. There’s a line.
We’ve now watched the movie, because we sort of had to. And it’s very cute. Still, he was named after Bob.
People sometimes say, “But Marley dies in the movie.” Um, yes. It’s not like he’s hit by a car or something. He dies of old age, which is exactly what I expect our dog to do if he’s lucky.
“Oh, no,” I reply. “He was named after the Rastafarian, not the movie.”
Props to the guy who rubbed the dog’s ears and said, “Oh, Marley. I didn’t recognize you without your dreadlocks.”