Duke's Dog

Use this forum to discuss the May 2018 Book of the Month, "The Sword Swallower and a Chico Kid" by Gary Robinson
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Re: Duke's Dog

Post by JuliaKay » 05 Jun 2018, 18:23

I would like to say that the name maybe is cute and shows a kind of sweetness, but in all honesty, I feel like he just didn't care about the name.
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Post by Riszell » 06 Jun 2018, 01:46

That makes readers wonder indeed. I thought of a short story I read somewhere and this detail kind of reminded me of that. It's about a mother who was about to buy their children a pet fish but found a cute fluffy dog. They decided to buy the dog instead and was worried about the father's reaction. So they informed him they bought the dog instead and named him Fish. I thought that story was funny.

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Post by Laura Bach » 06 Jun 2018, 09:18

I didn't think about that when I first saw the name, I thought it was just a funny name, like naming a dog Cat, this sort of thing. But now I can see it does have something to do with Duke's personality. Some people don't name their animals just to not get attached to them. This seems like the case here.

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Post by dgallois » 06 Jun 2018, 21:18

I think the name of the dog was funny. I hope that is how the author intended. I once had a dog for over a week before I could find the perfect name for him. I am pretty sure my kids would have loved to just call him boy dog.
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Post by stacie k » 07 Jun 2018, 10:39

I'm not convinced that it is particularly significant, but it does show a consistency of Duke not wanting to become too attached to anyone or anything by giving it a name.
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Post by Zain A Blade » 08 Jun 2018, 15:23

Who doesn't name his pets? Only a guy unwilling to form any meaningful attachments. I think it's a typical trait among people who join the circus, it's an artificial life that ensures no meaningful or permanent attachments are formed.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 08 Jun 2018, 16:00

Zain A Blade wrote:
08 Jun 2018, 15:23
Who doesn't name his pets? Only a guy unwilling to form any meaningful attachments. I think it's a typical trait among people who join the circus, it's an artificial life that ensures no meaningful or permanent attachments are formed.
This was my opinion, too. It’s not that this was especially significant, just a little detail that shows an unwillingness or an inability to form lasting attachments.

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Post by Kendra M Parker » 08 Jun 2018, 16:05

stacie k wrote:
07 Jun 2018, 10:39
I'm not convinced that it is particularly significant, but it does show a consistency of Duke not wanting to become too attached to anyone or anything by giving it a name.
I wouldn’t say this was a significnt detail, but I think it is a detail that casts some light on Duke's internal workings. When working with kids with a trauma background, I’ve found that many times they have difficulty forming attachments to people, animals, or things. That often displays itself with an unwillingness to name pets or stuffed animals or dolls since naming something can be a very personal action.

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Post by elivia05 » 10 Jun 2018, 23:29

Naming your dog "Girl Dog" seems to be a way to prevent yourself from becoming attached. This might be reflective of him living his life like there is no tomorrow. I think that is clear that Duke has some attachment issues.

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Post by EricaWilson » 18 Jun 2018, 18:04

I think Duke called his dog Girl Dog because he didn’t want to get too attached. He might have even named her that so she would stand out.

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Post by Jgideon » 21 Jun 2018, 01:10

I think the name was just another one of his entertaining features.

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Post by SereneCharles » 21 Jun 2018, 07:26

I don't see any significance in naming the dog 'Girl dog'. People name things they own for different reasons. Others just pick a name they just like without any reason in particular.
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Post by AWANDO OGUTU » 24 Jun 2018, 08:03

Naming the dog "Girl Dog" could be of significance in the novel. To some extent, I think it portrays Duke's personality.

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Post by Lil Reads » 26 Jun 2018, 13:36

Since Duke has several ex-wives and - presumably - ex-girlfriends, he may have had trouble finding a name that is not associated with an ex. Also the choice of "girl" versus "lady" or "miss" may indicate he struggles forming healthy relationships with women his age. I have this on my TBR pile, so I'm not sure, but does he seem to get along better with younger females?

Naming a pet can be harder than it seems. You sometimes have to take in the personality and gender. At least two of the feral kittens that live near us need to be renamed. One I swore was a boy - orange tabby and looked like it needed to be neutered - and all of a sudden I found her nursing new born kittens. :lol: Tiny Tim became Tiny Timba. Then one of the three month old tabbies is looking much larger than the littermates so Ivy might become Ivan.
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Post by LaurenHaupt » 13 Jul 2018, 00:14

Yes. It's a little bit strange. It's part of his likable personality.
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